"Stray" SweEtie Tabby In A Pine Tree

(mid April 2017)

Executive Summary

A neighborhood kitty was stuck 30 feet up a pine tree for three days in Pearl MS before I was able to rescue him. It took a bit of work before the kitty trusted me, but all ended well. Randi, many thanks for your very generous donation to the Oktibbeha County Humane Society!


I was digging digital ditches when I noticed a message on the Kat Fone. It was from Randi in Pearl MS; an unknown kitty had been stuck in a tree near their house since the previous day, and the kitty had weathered some horrific stormy weather. I called Randi back, and told her that I would come out the day after next since my work schedule was too busy the following day.

When I arrived, Randi lead me to the back yard and pointed to a large pine tree just outside the back fence. The kitty was about 30 feet up, on a branch that sloped up at a high angle and then ran straight out for several yards. The kitty was chillaxing on the level part of the branch nearest the trunk. We went next door and met Maurice, a neighbor, who graciously allowed me to carry equipment through his yard to a back gate that offered easy access to the tree. I installed a climbing line, which spooked the kitty causing him to move far out on the branch away from the trunk. I started climbing and was soon on the limb with the kitty. I tried coaxing him by shaking a kitty treat bag but he did not budge. I then started the slow process of edging out on the limb trying to at least get within rescue pole distance. The closest I could get to him was 10 feet, at which time I tried prodding him to move towards me using my extensible sidekick pole. I gave up when it become obvious that it was not going to work. The next thing I tried was placing some cat food in a small cup at the end of pole and offering it to him. This has never worked for me before, but the change was immediate with this kitty. He perked up, meowing and rubbing his head on a nearby branch. He cautiously followed the cup and cat food as I lured him closer to me. The kitty allowed me to pet him when he got close, and arched his back, encouraging me to pet him some more. I pulled him into my lap and then awkwardly put the cat bag on my hand. After stowing the food away, I was able to scruff him and place him in the bag.

Once on the ground, the kitty finished off the cat food and drank some water that Maurice provided. Randi's husband (Chris) and young daughter Rylee joined us; Rylee had been very concerned about the kitty. I scanned the kitty for a microchip but it did not have one. Randi said she had seen the kitty around the neighborhood several times, and it was obviously being fed by somebody because the kitty was comfortable around people and enjoyed being stroked. We let the kitty wander off after its meal, and I hope it found its way back home.