"Cosmo' - A KitTy Who was stuck Forever
When you are stuck in a tree for two weeks, as poor Cosmo was, it can seem like forever. Also, before you ask, I have no idea how Cosmo survived for that long in the tree. Fortunately, Cosmo is now reunited with his loving owner and seems to be recuperating nicely. Linda Cranford (www.impactads.com) wrote a very nice story about the rescue.
It was about 2:30 pm on Sunday, August 10 and I was about to settle in to watch the final round of the PGA Golf tournament when I noticed that I had a missed call and a voice mail on the Kat Phone. The call was from Jeff Daley, of WDAM TV, who described the situation and wondered if I could help. I returned Jeff's call, indicated that I could help, and received an address for a home that was located in Jones County near Hattiesburg. In talking with Jeff later, I learned that he heard of Cosmo's plight on Friday and commenced urgently looking for sources of help. Through a Facebook connection, he was eventually given my contact information by Lydia Sattler, Mississippi State Director for the Humane Society of the United States. On the trip from Starkville, I drove through monsoon rains in Laurel and fervently hoped that these rains would not be at the kitty's tree. When I drew near to the location at about 6:00 pm, my Google Maps directions failed as there was a bridge out on the route that I was taking to the home. I proved to be too dumb to use my smartphone for re-routing and too hapless to follow on-the-phone directions from Jeff. However, Jeff saved the day by meeting me at a local gas station and guiding me the rest of the way. My smartphone also informed me that rain was on its way in five minutes, so I was worried about being able to do the rescue before the weather turned bad. As it turned out, the rain stayed to the north and we did not get wet.
When Jeff and I arrived, Mr. Q (Jeff's assistant), Linda Cranford (www.impactads.com, author of the story that is linked above), and Ms M. (Cosmo's owner) were also present. Cosmo turned out to be an orange tabby about 2 years old, and he was barely visible in the leaves about 40 feet up a hickory tree. Ms. M said that she had moved in two weeks previously, and Cosmo became stuck in the tree the day after she arrived. She related that she had contacted different local entities for assistance, but in the end, was unsuccessful. (Fire department - no insurance coverage for this type of work, Sheriff department - no equipment, tree companies - too expensive or no response).
Fortunately, the tree looked like an easy climb as it was healthy and had many convenient branches. I installed a climbing line, and went up the tree. During the setup, Cosmo was quiet, but he started crying as I drew near him. When I was within about 10 feet of Cosmo, I began sweet talking to him. Cosmo was near the crown of the tree but he started carefully working his way towards me as I talked to him. When Cosmo reached grabbing distance, I scratched his ears, and was awarded with some gentle purring. Clearly, Cosmo was happy to see me! I grabbed Cosmo by the scruff and put him in the Kat Bag. Cosmo was unhappy with being placed in the bag, and let everyone know it with loud yowls. I lowered him to the ground where he was taken out of the bag by Ms. M. and Linda. Cosmo was brought inside by Ms. M. and placed in a kennel so that he could receive food and drink in small quantities during his recovery. I climbed down and we all rejoiced that Cosmo was safe.
I called about noon on the next day to check on Cosmo's status. Ms. M. said that she had kept him inside all night, and that he had been relaxing on the deck that morning and seemed to be doing fine. So in the end, Cosmo survived his long tree imprisonment, and I hope that he desists from climbing trees for a long time!!!
No pictures were taken during the rescue at the request of Ms. M's son who owned the property, Mr. Q. did a short interview of me after we left the property but I believe the footage did not get used because of the privacy request. Linda Cranford also did an interview, which formed the basis of the story linked above.
In terms of mistakes, the actual climb went smoothly, but as I was packing up the truck I realized that I had forgotten to stash my truck keys for safekeeping. They were in my pocket when I started the climb, but were now missing. A frantic search about the base of the tree revealed nothing. I was envisioning the sheepish phone call to my lovely wife about her needing to drive 3 hours with the spare keys when I decided to check the truck one more time. The keys were laying on the passenger side where I had stowed the equipment -- I think they fell out of the tree and were entangled in the equipment somehow. The man upstairs definitely took care of Cosmo and myself on that day! So, lesson learned, stash the truck keys in a safe place before climbing!