"Midnight", A potentially Itchy Rescue

(mid July 2017)

Executive Summary

"Midnight" was stuck 30+ feet up a poison ivy infested pecan tree in Carrollton, MS over a hot weekend. With some help from Jacob (her guy) and Katelyn, I was able to rescue her.

Details

It was an early Sunday evening when I received a text message from Tracy. Her son's kitty, Midnight, had been stuck since Friday in a pecan tree in Carrollton, MS. I contacted her, received some more details, and arranged to be there early the next morning in order to beat the heat. Tracy was on a trip but her teenage children would be home.

When I arrived, I was met by Jacob and Katelyn. Jacob explained that Midnight was 10 years old and that he raised her from a kitten. He had not slept much that weekend trying to coax Midnight out of the tree. Midnight was a mostly inside kitty, but had escaped outside and then was chased up the tree by their rambunctious family dog. Jacob led me to the pecan tree, and I could see Midnight hanging out at 30 feet on a large limb.....and the tree was covered in poison ivy. Sigh. I was just recovering from a case of PI from some yard clearing on July 4th, but a kitty was in TROUBLE! I told Jacob that I would need to wash up afterwards, and then started installing a rope.

Midnight was calm through the rope installation until the very end, where she decided that she had enough and climbed a little higher and to a different limb. This was actually better, as this limb was much shorter than the previous limb, giving her less room to run from me. I donned my gear and started up. When I reached her limb, Midnight retreated about 6 feet out, which was as far as she could go without falling. I tried some food bribes with no success, so I asked Jacob and Katelyn to hold a tarp under her while I did a limb walk. I stood up on her limb, walked out a bit, and then reached down and successfully scruffed her (she tried to avoid me but she had nowhere to go). I descended and handed Midnight off to Jacob, who whisked her into the house for food and water. I was extremely happy that Midnight was ok, and realized how lucky we were that she had chosen the short limb when she moved up the tree. I washed off outside, and then again when I got home, and have hopefully avoided another case of poison ivy. Even if I get a case, it was worth it to help out Tracy, Jacob, Katelyn and Midnight! The post rescue picture below shows a relaxed Midnight (photo by Jacob). There is no video as my helmet cam hit a limb about halfway through the rescue and shut off.