"Flash", The Reluctant Kitty

(late May 2017)

Executive Summary

"Flash" was stuck 35 feet up a tree for three days near Carthage MS before his rescue. He was spooked by the rope installation, but food bribing and sweet talking finally convinced him to come close enough for a grab. Jean and Rod, many thanks for your extremely generous donation to the Oktibbeha County Humane Society!


I had just returned from my Isabelle rescue when a text message appeared on the Kat Fone. It was from Jean; her kitty had been stuck for three days near Carthage, could I help? I told her that I needed to get some work done in the morning and would be there in the afternoon. The next morning I checked the weather and thunderstorms were predicted for the afternoon. I contacted Jean and arranged to do the rescue in the morning. When I arrived I was met by Rod, Jean's husband. Jean had recently broken her leg and would not be able to watch the rescue. I was also introduced to Phyliss, a family friend from Baton Rouge.

After a group prayer for a successful rescue, Joe led me about 50 yards into the woods behind the house. It was easy to determine Flash's tree as he was yowling loudly for a rescue. Flash was 35 feet up a hardwood, near the trunk. I installed a rope which spooked Flash, causing him to go out on a limb about 10 feet. I started up and was soon at height with Flash. I thought about using my rescue pole, but gave up on that as Flash would probably just retreat further out on the limb out of reach. My last resort would be to cut his limb as the ground was soft and marshy, and there was significant understory between him and the ground. However, I wanted to avoid drama if at all possible, so I brought out my extendable pole and tried a wet cat food bribe. He showed interest, but had trouble figuring out how to get turned around on the narrow branch. With coaxing from Rod on the ground, Flash eventually got turned around after about 10 minutes. Flash then slowly began making his way back to the trunk. I put the cat bag on my hand and kept luring him with the wet cat food. Flash still seemed nervous, and started looking up as if he wanted to climb higher when he reached the trunk. As soon as Flash came within grabbing range, I dropped my extendable pole and grabbed him. I had to use both hands to peel him off the limb but I soon had him in my lap. From there, I was able to work him into the Kat bag. Flash was safe! I descended, and handed off Flash to Rod, who brought him to the house. The photo below, taken later in the day by Jean, shows an exhausted Flash recovering from his ordeal.