"GraHam", The Kitty Who Got Dropped

(late July 2017)

Executive Summary

"Graham" was stuck overnight, 30+ feet up a a hardwood tree in Oxford, MS. Graham was very cooperative but I was a klutz and dropped him; fortunately the ground was soft and he was not hurt. Francis, Kimberly, and Brittany -- many thanks for your very generous donation to the Oktibbeha County Humane Society!


It was a Sunday evening when I noticed a text message on the Kat Fone. It was from Francis; her daughter's kitty had been stuck all day in a tree in their yard in Oxford, MS. I arranged to be there the next morning.

When I arrived, I was met by Francis and her two daughters, Kimberly and Brittany. They led to me a tree in the side yard where "Graham" was hanging out at 30 feet. Graham was about one year old and was just starting to learn about the outside; it was unknown what caused him to climb the tree. He was laying on the branch looking tired, but perked up as I started carrying gear to the tree. I established a tie-in point at about 40 feet and he watched everything with interest. I donned my gear and started up the rope. When I was about 10 feet below Graham, I put my Kat bag on my right hand, and then resumed climbing. When I drew even with Graham, he meowed and came as close to me as he could. I was hanging away from Graham's limb, but used another limb to pull myself closer.

I then made a huge mistake by grabbing Graham right then instead of using my lanyard to tie myself close to his limb. As I pulled him up off the limb, his back legs became caught on the side limb I was holding to keep myself close. I had to let go of that limb, then quickly try to push his back legs over the limb before I swung back out. This scared him, and he twisted out of my grasp, falling to ground. Fortunately, there was some leaf and brush cover, softening the landing and he was not hurt. Francis gathered him up and rushed him inside for food and water. I apologize profusely for my stupidity; there was no reason to rush that grab. As I was packing up, Francis brought Graham outside to show me that he was doing fine. The pictures below (taken by Francis) show him relaxing and eating. For future rescues, I hope that I remember to secure myself in case I need to use both hands in a kitty grab.