"Ghost" The Disappearing Kitty
(early February 2017)
"Ghost" (my name for kitty) was stuck for 6 days up a tree in Kosciusko MS. I was first called about him on day #4, but then he disappeared and it was thought he had climbed down. On day #5 the kitty was spotted in the tree again, and I rescued him on day #6. He had been hiding inside a hollow in the tree. Manza, Jim, and Mary Ann -- many thanks for your help in rescuing this kitty! Update: Manza was able to reunite the lost kitty with its owner the next day, thank you! This rescue was featured on the Right This Minute web news show.
I had just finished class and the Kat Fone yowled. It was Manza - a kitty had been stuck for 4 days in a tree in their yard in Kosciusko, could I help? I said that I could, and arranged to be there later that day. Near my departure time, Manza called back and said her husband had checked at noon and could not spot the kitty in the tree. Manza said she would check later that afternoon as well. About mid-afternoon, Manza texted me and said the kitty must have come down because she could not see it -- I was happy the kitty was down, but thought it unusual that the kitty would come down by itself after being stuck for so long. Late afternoon on the following day, Manza called back and said they spotted the kitty again, but it had moved to a dead tree right next to its original tree (probably by just walking on a branch). I arranged to try the rescue the following day (day #6).
Arriving the next day, Manza showed me the two trees - the original tree (a cedar) and the dead tree. We could not spot the kitty, but Manza showed me a hollow about 20 feet up and said the kitty might be in there. Her husband and 14-yr son had tried a ladder rescue the previous day, and her son was able to put his hands on the kitty but it slipped out his grasp and went higher up the tree. During the ladder rescue, the son saw a possum in the hollow and decided that it might be good if he came down...fast!
The dead tree was very sturdy at the base and I did not fear it toppling over. I set a rope in the dead tree above the hollow, and a second rope in the cedar tree. Mary Ann, a concerned neighbor, assisted me in the setup as Manza had to return to work. Jim (Manza's husband) arrived as I was preparing to climb the cedar tree rope.
I climbed the cedar tree rope to a branch above the hollow. I then walked out towards the dead tree, using the dead tree rope to traverse the remaining distance until I was right above the hollow. Peering inside, I was relieved to see a kitty face, not a possum face, staring up at me. The hollow was deep, and I did not feel comfortable reaching that far inside as it was unknown how the kitty would react. I had brought up some bite proof gloves as precaution in case I would have to do that, but first I tried luring the kitty with some treats. The treats immediately interested the kitty, and he started carefully climbing up out of the hollow to reach my treats. When the kitty was close enough, I scruffed and bagged him with the Kat bag. He never struggled and was quiet all the way down.
Jim, Mary Ann and myself brought the kitty inside, and Mary Ann gently extricated him from the bag. He was quiet and sweet, accepting loving from all involved. Mary Ann gave him some wet cat food which he quickly scarfed down. Jim's family already had 2 cats, 3 dogs (2 small inside, one lab outside) but was going to keep the kitty and try to find his owners. Jim mentioned that the kitty may be a new addition to their pet family once his three children saw the kitty and if the owners could not be located.
The picture to the right is the kitty eating some wet cat food after the rescue. The video shows the rescue.