"Otto' and 'Kaya' - A Busy Week
"Otto" had been stuck in a small pine tree for two days in Oxford, MS. During the drive to rescue Otto, I received a call about "Kaya", who had been stuck for three days and was in Brandon, MS, which means they were separated by 175 miles. I was able to rescue Otto easily, but it was too late to make the drive south so Kaya had to wait until the next day. Kaya's rescue also went smoothly, and she was reunited with an 8-year old little girl who missed her terribly.
Sunday, March 2 was a beautiful, sunny, spring-like day -- perfect for a kitty rescue! Unfortunately, the Kat Phone did not ring until the morning of March 3rd, and the latest winter vortex had arrived overnight which meant that it was now 29 degrees. Miss M., referred to me by the Oxford Fire Department, said that her kitty "Otto" had been stuck for two days, and it was very cold outside, and could I please come and rescue her? (Yes, "Otto" was a female, so I am assuming that "Otto" is short for "Ottorina"). No problem, I had finished my meetings for the day so I packed up the truck and headed out. As I neared Oxford, the Kat Phone rang again, and this time it was Mr. H., who said that his little girl's cat had been stuck for 3 days in Brandon, would I help? I said that I would, but that it would have to be the next day. Wow, the Kat phone ringing twice in one day -- unheard of! I continued on to Otto's residence, and met Miss M outside, who was bundled up against the cold as it was sleeting fairly heavily. She led me to a small pine tree, and pointed to a squirrel nest at about 20 feet. She made a kitty call, and Otto popped out of the nest and ran down the limb towards us as far as she could go. Otto, a young tabby, was visibly shivering, and clearly wanted down. I tossed my throw bag over a limb by the nest, installed my climbing rope, and climbed up next to the limb that Otto was on. She came right to me, and I easily nabbed her and put her in the Kat bag. A short ride to the ground, and Otto was whisked away inside for warmth and food. I was able to get a picture of Otto snuggling with Miss M. as I prepared to leave. Total rescue time was about 20 minutes.
The next day after class, I packed up the truck and headed south to Brandon. During our initial phone call, I asked Mr. H. if he had contacted any local tree companies for perhaps a faster rescue. He said that he had called two of them, and both turned him down as they were afraid of "getting scratched". That is unusual, as many tree companies are happy to do cat rescues -- I am assuming that they were already busy with other jobs and used 'afraid of vicious kitty mauling' as a handy excuse. When I arrived in Brandon, Mr. H. led me across the street into the fenced-in backyard of a neighbor, and pointed up at a large hardwood tree. "Kaya", clearly a vicious-mauler-of-tree-climbing-humans, was sitting in a good sized crotch about 30 feet up. As we stood there talking, she walked far out on a limb and back again, very anxious about people at the base of the tree and hoping for a rescue. I was used my Bigshot to shoot a throw bag above Kaya's crotch, and pulled up my climbing line. I donned my gear, and started climbing. In my haste to get up the tree, I made a mistake in installing my climbing line -- it draped over an intermediate limb instead of hanging straight down, and this caused me some issues going up, but I finally got past the intermediate limb. As I drew even with the crotch that Kaya was in, she became nervous again and retreated back out on the limb. However, sweet talking from myself, Mr. H., the lady who owned the tree, and a neighbor who had walked up finally convinced Kaya to come back to the crotch. I scratched her ears for a bit, then grabbed her by the scruff and placed her in the Kat bag. She was a hefty kitty, so I lowered her down to Mr. H. I was unable to get a post rescue picture as Mr. H. took her back to the house and put her in a bathroom with food/water so that she could calm down. He then had to go pick up a little girl at school who was going to be very happy to see a certain kitty who had spent the last four days in a tree. Total rescue time was 1 hour.