"George" and "Cutie' - Kitties who Klimbed too high
"George", a 3 month old shelter-kitty, had been stuck for three days in a tree in Como, MS (30 minutes north of Oxford). He graciously allowed me to rescue him with a minimum of trouble. "Cutie", a 5 month old shelter-kitty, had been stuck for two days in Brookhaven, MS. Cutie was even less trouble than George to rescue. Hopefully they have learned from their adventures and will stay at ground level for a while!
It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon on the LSU campus, and my lovely wife & I were wandering around with her Father (LSU fan) & wife (LSU fan), awaiting the start of the MSU/LSU football game. I was somewhat disappointed that it took a full 1 minute and 30 seconds after stepping foot on campus to be "Tiger Baited" -- it made me feel that LSU fans were being a bit lackadaisical. We were at my older brother's (LSU fan) tailgate consuming cajun goodness when I noticed a missed call and voice mail on the Kat Fone from a Mississippi area code. My kitty-stuck-in-tree sense tingled, and checking the voice mail confirmed that I was right! It was from Sheryl, who explained that her 3-month old shelter kitty "George" had been stuck in a tree since Thursday. I called her back, and discussed plans to rescue George the next day after we returned to StarkVegas. <At this point in the narrative, we skip to the next day to avoid reminding LSU fans exactly what happened that night -- something they would like to forget!>.
The next day, we drove back from the bayou, and I then packed up the truck and headed to Como MS, which is 30 minutes north of Oxford. Sheryl's friend Paul, and her young daughter, Shelby, met me at a local gas station and guided me to George's tree (Sheryl was working and could not be present). After exiting the truck, Shelby excitedly explained to me that her kitty was stuck in a tree and needed help getting down. I triple-crossed-my-heart promised to rescue George from the tree. By the way, sometimes I am asked why I do this. If you had been present, and had heard Shelby's plea for help, then you would know. George was in a tall pin oak at about 40 feet and cried loudly as we approached. I unpacked my gear and prepared to set a climbing line in the tree. During this time, George was excitedly clambering about two limbs at his height, crying all the time. I then noticed that it was sprinkling, and my brand new rope bag was getting wet. Except I realized it was not rain, when Shelby started laughing and saying "Oh! OH! George is peeing!!!!". Yep. George was VERY excited about what was happening. A couple of microseconds later, I rescued my rope bag before it could get fully christened by George. I set a line in the tree, and then went up to visit George. You can watch the youtube video below to see how the rescue went from that point. After putting a cooperative George into the Kat Bag, I lowered him to Paul and Shelby who quickly put him in a carrier and gave him food and water. I checked with Sheryl the next day via text message, and was told George was doing just fine. So, all ended happily!
The next evening, another message was present on the Kat Fone. This was from Jennifer in Brookhaven, and her 5-month old shelter kitty had been stuck in a tree since the previous day. I called Jennifer, and arranged to drive down the following afternoon. Jennifer told me that this was the second time in a week that "Cutie" had been stuck -- the first time they rented a bucket lift to get her down but this time she was too high. When I arrived at the home, Jennifer, her young son Evan, and Jennifer's mother met me in the front yard. Cutie was in a gum tree that consisted of one main spur about 60 feet high, and an alternate 40 ft spur that paralleled the main trunk. Cutie was on the smaller spur, all the way at the top, and crying loudly. Jennifer said that the previous day, Cutie had been on the main trunk at about the 60 foot level, so Cutie was quite a traveler in this tree! As I was getting my equipment ready, Cutie climbed all the way down to where the spur joined the main trunk, which was only 20 feet. Briefly, I thought that no climbing was going to be necessary as it seemed as if Cutie would climb down the rest of the way. However, Cutie refused to come down any further, so I set my line and proceeded up. During this time, Cutie went back up to the 40 ft spot, but as I got closer, came back down to the 20 ft union. Cutie was quite friendly, and transferred to the Kat Bag with no fuss. A quick trip down the rope, and Cutie was safe with her peeps. Many thanks to Jennifer for the photo of Cutie and myself.
Short videos of myself at height with the kitties are below (the Cutie video is very short with no sound because of a camera malfunction).