"Casper" -- The Two-Tree Kitty
(late May 2016)
"Casper" was stuck for 30 feet up a tree for 4 nights in Horn Lake, MS before I was able to rescue him. Casper was somewhat skittish, but I was eventually able to corral him and bring him safely to the ground. Winn, many thanks for your generous contribution to the Oktibbeha County Humane Society!
It was mid-afternoon on a Friday, when the Kat Fone yowled. Kate was on the line; her new rescue kitty, "Casper", had been stuck in a tree for three nights, could I help? I said that I would be there the next day before noon. Later that night, I talked with Brett, Kate's husband, and received directions to the house.
When I arrived, Kate's father, Winn, led me to the tree, which was a hardwood that was covered with poison ivy. I soon spotted Casper at about 30 feet, pacing about a large limb. It took me four tries to get a climbing line established because all of the poison ivy kept re-directing my shots. I was not looking forward to climbing in the poison ivy, and planned to take it slow. It was obvious that Casper was a traveler, but I did not know yet if he was skittish or friendly - his meows sounded friendly to me so I had hopes this would be an easy rescue. There was a lot of undergrowth about the tree, so I could not keep an eye on Casper as I was setting up the climbing rope. When I finished, I realized that I could not hear Casper any longer. Both Winn and I began looking for him, and I finally heard some faint meows that originated a long distance away from the tree, down a fence line. I went in that direction, and discovered that Casper had used a very long limb as an escape route to a small, wiggly pine tree. He was at about 20 feet, and 6 feet out on a limb. This tree was covered in vines as well, but not poison ivy. It was now established that Casper is a skittish traveler, not a friendly traveler.
I was happy that I would not have to climb the poison-ivy tree, but sad about having to stem climb a small, wiggly tree. At least he was not high up. I started the slow process of stem climbing, was soon level with the limb that Casper was on. I brought out some food, and for 20 minutes tried to entice Casper to come to me. All of my attempts were futile, and Casper kept eyeing the small limb that led back to his original tree -- I did not want him to take that route!
I finally decided to pull myself up on his limb, which would put me past my comfort zone in this small wiggly tree, but it was the only choice I had. There were too many vines and other small limbs to use the rescue pole. I took off my helmet before I did this so that it would not hinder my progress -- there is no video for this rescue.
I made ready, then pulled myself up on the limb and quickly leaned out towards Casper. He was already trying to slink along the small limb back to the original tree. Fortunately, my first grab at him achieved scruff lock, so I was able to drag him back to me through the vines and stuff him into the Kat Bag.
I descended, and handed bag+Casper off to Winn, who placed him in a cat carrier. Casper's tree adventure was over, and I hope he does not have another one any time soon! The picture below shows Casper in the cat carrier. Many thanks to Winn for all your help during the rescue!