"Luis" - A Scared Kitty up High

(December 2014)

Executive Summary

"Luis" is a four-year old tabby who has a bad habit of getting stuck in trees; this time he was 50 feet up a gum tree near Oxford, MS. Despite lots of loud yowling, he allowed me to successfully rescue him, making his family very happy (Gary and Olivia and boys, many thanks for the donation to the Oktibbeha County Humane Society!).

Details

On the drive home from rescuing Snowflake, I noticed that I had a voice message on the Kat Fone; it must have come in while I was in the tree with Snowflake. It was from Olivia, and it was about one of her kitties ("Luis") that had been stuck for 3 days behind their house, 50 feet up a gum tree (the picture on the left shows you the approximate location of Luis). I called her back, and arranged to be there at about 2:00 the next day. Olivia's husband Gray would meet me, as Olivia had to be out of town. Olivia also explained that this was not first time for Luis to be stuck up a tree.


When I arrived and introduced myself to Gray, he led me to the tree that held Luis. Their height estimate was correct, Luis was way, way up this tree and complaining loudly. Gray explained that Luis had a habit of this, and that he had personally climbed trees on three different occasions to rescue Luis (but this time, it was too high). They also had a tree service come out at another time. Gray also said that a year previously, around Christmas, that Luis disappeared for 12 days and they could not locate him even though they continuously searched the area. Gray said that just when they had lost hope, that Luis showed back up at the back door, reduced to little more than skin and bones, but alive. They speculated that he must have been in a tree that they could not find, and finally had somehow either fallen out or climbed down. I told Gray that even though Luis was high, that hopefully the rescue would be routine since he was right next to the main trunk. Gray told me that Luis had not moved from his spot since he had been stuck -- that gave me a bit of hope that Luis was afraid of moving around the tree and would hold still for me.

Gray had to go pick up their young sons from school, and I was left to the task of rescuing Luis. I tried to set my climbing line fairly far away from Luis so as not to spook him, but he complained loudly every time any movement occurred in his tree. This worried me a bit, because the way he was complaining made me think he would run when I got close to him. I finally got the climbing line installed and started up. When I got about 10 feet under him, I started going more slowly, and tried to get Luis interested in my kitty treats. He had no interest at all, and just yowled louder as I got near him (the video makes it plain that he was a very scared kitty). I eventually realized that even though Luis was scared of me, he was even more terrified of moving around in the tree, and that he probably would not run from me. I finally closed to grabbing range, and was able to grab him by the scruff and pull him to my lap. Luis immediately became quiet -- he was glad to be in human contact again! I had no trouble putting him in the Kat Bag. On the way down, Gray arrived back home with the kids. I walked back up the hill, and we released Luis inside their outdoor porch where his food dishes were. The three boys were very happy to see Luis safe and sound!