"Jack"-- The Behemoth Kitty
(early October 2016)
"Jack" is a 10 year old kitty, who was stuck 30 feet up a tree for two days in Tupelo MS before I was able to rescue him. Jack holds the record for the largest kitty to that date that I have rescued -- he weighs in at a whopping 24 lbs according to Brigit, his owner. I struggled to get him into the bag, causing Jack some distress, but was successful in the end.
It was a Sunday morning, and I had just finished unpacking the truck after an aborted kitty rescue in which the kitty was rescued by a neighbor using a ladder before I could leave town. I was wondering what to do with myself when the Kat fone yowled. It was Brigit; her 10-year old kitty had been stuck for two days in Tupelo MS. The fire department had tried earlier that morning to rescue him, but the ladder that they brought did not reach him. I told Brigit that I would be there ASAP!
When I arrived, Brigit joined me in my truck and we drove next door to her sister's house (Yvette). Brigit unlocked the gate to a pasture, and then we drove up to the tree that was holding Jack prisoner. Jack was perched midway out on a limb at about 30 feet, silently hanging out. Brigit informed me that during the fire department rescue attempt, Jack had crept all of the way back to the trunk but that the ladder would not reach him. This gave me hope that Jack would come to me when I reached his limb. Nina, a neighbor, joined us during the setup to give assistance and encouragement. After installing the climbing line, I donned my harness and started up.
When I reached Jack's limb, he started meowing loudly in a stressed manner, giving the impression that he was not happy and that the last thing he would do would be to come closer to me. I pulled out some kitty treats and started shaking the bag. This immediately changed Jack's demeanor -- he kept meowing, but they started sounding more friendly, and then he began to move towards me. When he reached me, Jack allowed me to stroke him while he concentrated on finding out what was in the kitty treat pouch. I began grabbing his scruff, and quickly realized two things: 1) He did not have much scruff, his skin was fairly tight, 2) He weighed a ton, it felt like I was trying to move a large barbell. Brigit informed me from the ground that Jack weighed 24 lbs! I realized that I would not be able to pick him up off the limb since my grip on his scruff was tenuous, and it would probably cause Jack pain for me to hold him that way. I started dragging him to my lap while simultaneously attempting to drag the bag over his rear end. Jack ended up in my lap, with me trying to stuff in him into the bag with my free hand while maintaining my shaky grip on his scruff. Jack became distressed, yowling loudly, but fortunately not struggling too much. I was finally able to work him all of the way into the bag. When I hung Jack from my belt, I fervently wished that the bag would hold until I reached the ground. Happily, I was able to reach the ground with Jack still in the bag, and I handed him off to Brigit. Brigit sent me the picture below taken immediately after the rescue that shows Jack hanging with his brother Maverick.