"Bonnie" The Kitty Who was Dumped

(mid April 2017)

Executive Summary

"Bonnie" was stuck 25 feet up a tree for three days in Lucedale MS before her rescue. She was not cooperative, and I had to dump her out of the tree by cutting her limb. Intervening branches and a tarp made her fall a gentle one, and she was ok. Valerie, many thanks for your generous donation to the Oktibbeha County Humane Society!


The Kat Fone yowled; it was Valerie. Her family's kitty, Bonnie, had been stuck in a tree for three days down in Lucedale MS -- could I help? I arranged to be there late in the afternoon on the following day. When I arrived, Valerie led me to some woods on the side of their property and pointed to Bonnie, who was far out on a limb at about 25 feet. Bonnie, a rescue kitty, had only been living with the family for about 2 months and was semi-feral. As I began setting up, Bonnie moved nervously even further out on her limb. I began climbing and was soon immediately under Bonnie's limb. Valerie and Sarah (daughter) held a tarp under Bonnie in case she fell. David (husband) was also present to help out.

I opened can of cat food and offered it to Bonnie on an extendable pole. She showed cautious interest, and followed the food all the way back to me. At this point, I made a mistake. I expected Bonnie to stop once she reached me and eat the cat food. Instead, she gave it a quick sniff, then headed back out on a different limb. I tried blocking her with my left hand but I was not quick enough and she was soon out of reach. I violated a golden rule of the Warm Hearted International Society of Kitty Rescuers (WHISKR) code -- "If the Kitty is in Grabbing Distance, GRAB THE KITTY, STUPID!". I had just transformed an easy rescue into a tough rescue.

I pulled myself up so that I was standing on a limb instead of hanging from the rope, and tried the food bribe again at Bonnie's new location. The food bribe was rejected. I then tried the rescue pole, but she retreated even further out on the limb, out of pole reach. At this point, I only had the nuclear option left which was to cut Bonnie's limb. There was a small spreading oak tree under her limb and also some scrub bushes, so the limb would not hit the ground. There was also a good possibility that Bonnie would just become hung up in some lower branches and not make it to the ground. I began cutting her limb. When the limb drooped, I tied it off with some loop runners to ensure that it would not hit the ground, and then finished the cut. The branch dropped and immediately hung up in some lower branches. I began shaking the branch, causing Bonnie to drop to a lower branch, and then to another one. At this point she was about 8 feet up and barely hanging on. Valerie and Sarah went back to the tarp, and a final shake caused Bonnie to fall. After hitting the tarp, Bonnie scooted away. Bonnie showed back up for food and water about an hour after I left. I hope that Bonnie stays out of trees from now on!