'MILO' - The Bama Kitty Stuck Across the Crimson Crevasse

(late December 2015)

Executive Summary

"Milo" was stuck 50 ft up a tree for 4 days in Vernon AL before I was able to rescue him. Milo was very cooperative and the rescue went smoothly. Many thanks to Lindsey, Milo's special person, for her very generous donation to the Oktibbeha County Humane Society!

Details

It was mid-morning on a Sunday, and I was contemplating exciting ways on how to spend the day, such as raking leaves, when the Kat Fone pinged. It was a text message from Lindsey, about her kitty in Vernon AL that had been stuck for 4 days in a vicious tree -- she received my contact info from facebook friends. After a quick phone call, I arranged to be there by noon. Rain was scheduled to arrive late afternoon and I wanted to ensure that we could rescue the kitty before then.

On the drive over I became a bit turned around in the wilds of Alabama despite GPS navigation, and Lindsey and her better half Ryan met me a little ways from their house and guided me there. Once I exited the truck, I was introduced to Lindsey, Ryan, and Kalyn (Lindsey's daughter), and then led to the tree that was holding Milo hostage. He was about 50 ft up and near the top, but fortunately there was a good union about 10 ft below him that I could get a rope in. The tree was across a narrow but deep ditch, with no good access to the other side. l was not looking forward to lugging my equipment across the ditch, but Lindsey saved the day by suggesting that we use an old porch railing they had as a bridge across the ditch (see the picture). After a few trips carrying equipment over the ditch, I dubbed it the "Crimson Crevasse" since I was in Bama land, and it seemed appropriate. During the setup, I was introduced to Ryan's father Dale, and all helped on the ground as the rescue proceeded.

After a couple of tries, I was able to place a throwline over my target union, and then hauled up a climbing line. After gearing up, I was soon climbing towards Milo. He was plainly miserable, and let out sad meows as I climbed. When I reached my tie-in point, I put a climbing lanyard on the union, and transferred my weight to it. I unclipped my main climbing line, installed a nylon loop support on the stem above the union, and then pulled myself up and into the union. After standing up, I was still about 2 feet from making a safe nab of Milo, so I installed a stem climbing setup. This allowed me to advance up the stem until I was level with Milo. All this time Milo was calm, and watched me with interest. Level with Milo and with the Kat Bag on my right hand, I was able to stroke Milo gently before grabbing him securely by his scruff. I then gently pried him loose from the limb and pulled the Kat Bag over him. I attached the Kat Bag to my belt, and then proceeded to down climb until I reached my main climbing line. I re-attached myself, and then descended to the ground where I handed Milo off to Lindsey for food, water, and snuggling.

Below is a picture of Milo's position in the tree from the ground, a picture of Milo post rescue (thanks Lindsey!), and a picture of me nearing Milo during the climb (thanks Lindsey!) .