"Jack" -- An Unconventional Rescue

(February 2015)

Executive Summary

Jack, a fluffy orange kitty, was stuck for three days in Corinth MS before his rescue. I had to dump out the tree by shaking his limb, but it was a short drop and he was fine. Ed, many thanks for your generous donation to the Oktibbeha County Humane Society.

Details

It was Monday night, the same infamous Monday that the Starkville FD had encroached on my Cat-Saving-Hero turf, when the Kat Phone meowed. It was Rachael, and her father's kitty "Jack" had been stuck in a pine tree for three days in Corinth MS. Facebook had spit out my name, and Rachael wondered if I could help. I said that I could, and soon I received a call from Ed (Rachael's father), who explained to me that Jack was a very skittish kitty (an adopted stray), and Ed was the only person who could get close to him. This made my stomach churn a bit, as I do not have a great track record with skittish kitties. Ed said that Jack was at the very end of the first limb of a pine tree that started at the trunk at about 25 ft but dropped down to about 15 ft at the end. Ed said that each morning Jack would be at the end of the limb, but previous rescue attempts had only succeeded in scaring him back to the trunk. I arranged to be at the tree at 7:00 am the next morning.

When I arrived at the house, Ed came out to meet me and I saw that Jack was back out at the end of the limb. When I carried my gear to the tree, I made a wide circle around Jack's position and tried to keep as far away from him as I could as I set up my gear. I did not want Jack going back to the trunk, where he could possibly climb higher. Ed stayed right under Jack, sweet talking to him and keeping Jack occupied as I installed a climbing line. It was an easy climb to Jack's limb, and I started limb walking out to Jack. The end of the limb was very bushy and I could not even see Jack as he kept retreating further out on the limb. The limb also started drooping even closer to the ground from the portion of my weight not supported by my rope. Ed and I talked, and we decided that since there was no way that I could get all the way out to Jack, that I should just shake Jack off of the limb since it was such a short distance to the ground. The youtube video below shows the last few seconds of the rescue where I shake the limb, causing Jack to fall to the ground (he lands on his feet, of course!). When Jack hit the ground, he immediately headed for the garage where his food and water was, and proceeded to pig out while I packed up my gear. The picture on the left is Jack in the garage, taken when I was about to leave the house. It was an unconventional "rescue", but in the end, Jack was out of the tree! I also want to thank Ed for his generous donation to the Oktibbeha County Humane Society.