"Sammy' -- Saved on the 11th Day
(mid May 2016)
On day 11, I was able to save Sammy from the clutches of a dastardly pine tree, 50 feet up, in Florence MS. Sammy made the rescue easy by coming to me once I got near him.
It was mid afternoon on a Saturday, when the Kat Fone yowled. It was Wayne, their family kitty "Sammy" had been stuck in a pine tree in Florence MS for 10 days and he had been referred to me by the Webster Animal Shelter. I would have liked to rescue the kitty immediately because of the extreme duration of the kitty's predicament, but I had grandparent baby sitting duty that night, so I told Wayne that I would be there by 9:30 am the next morning. That would make 11 days in the tree, which is the longest verified time for a kitty in a tree that I have rescued. Wayne had the exact date when Sammy initially became stuck (a couple of kitties that I have rescued have been missing for longer --- 2 weeks -- but unsure as to how long they were actually stuck in the tree).
When I arrived, Wayne led me to his neighbor's property where Sammy was stuck. I was introduced to Scott, the property owner, who also very concerned about the kitty. Wayne pointed up, and I kept looking up until I saw Sammy sitting on a limb at about 45 feet. Wayne told me that Sammy had somehow moved to this tree during the night; that he had been in the neighboring tree the previous 10 days. All of us wondered how in the heck Sammy had moved trees, because the only way was by a very small branch from which he would have had to make a squirrel-like leap to bridge the gap. Wayne said that Sammy had been all up and down the original tree, so it was obvious Sammy was a traveler, hopefully a friendly traveler. Wayne told me that Sammy was very friendly, so I had hopes this would be an easy rescue.
We started carrying gear to the tree, during which time I was introduced to Wayne's wife, Nicole. When I shot the throwbag to Sammy's limb, it hit his limb and bounced over it. The shot was good in that my throwline was in the right spot, but bad in that it spooked Sammy and he climbed another 10 feet higher in the tree. I decided to climb to the original tie-in point, and then attempt to progress from that point.
When I reached the tie-in point, Sammy became very interested in me, and came down to a set of branches that I could reach if I stood on my tie-in branch. I tried pulling myself up on the tie-in branch a couple of times, but could not make it up from the side of the tree that I was on. My attempts made a lot of noise and spooked Sammy; he retreated about 8 feet out on the limb that he was on. I re-positioned to the other side of the tree, and was able to use another branch and a nylon loop runner to help my efforts, and I was finally able to pull myself up on the tie-in branch. Wayne, Scott, and Nicole were holding a tarp under the tree in case Sammy fell during the rescue attempt.
At this point, I could stand up and easily reach the branch that Sammy was on. I opened some wet cat food that Nicole had given me, and showed it to Sammy. He was hesitant at first, but his stomach won the battle and he came down the limb to check out the food. I scratched his ears a bit, and then scruffed him and put him in the Kat bag. It was an easy ride down to the ground where I was able to hand Sammy off to Wayne and Nicole for some food, water, and loving. Before I left, Nicole reported that Sammy was eating, drinking, and purring up a storm! The photo below of Sammy chilling is courtesy of Wayne and Nicole. Many thanks to Scott, Wayne, and Nicole for all of your help during the rescue!
Update: This has been a popular blog post with the youtube video at 20K+ views. Sample links: