"YellowBelle" A Damsel in Distress

(early May 2017)

Executive Summary

Later in the day of the "Kitty" rescue, I also rescued "YellowBelle", who had been stuck 25 feet up a tree for four days in Belden MS. She was not cooperative requiring me to use a net, which she fell out and into a tarp held by neighbor rescuers. YellowBelle ran off but showed up for dinner that night. Mr. and Mrs. W., many thanks for your generous donation to the Oktibbeha County Humane Society!


On the drive home from the Kitty rescue, the Kat Fone yowled. It was Karen; her parent's kitty "YellowBelle" had been stuck for four days in Belden MS, could I help? I told Karen that I would stop in Starkville for lunch, and then drive to Belden that afternoon.

Karen met me at a local gas station and led me to the house. It was easy to spot the tree that was holding YellowBelle captive as there was a ladder under it and a 'limb bridge' that had been propped up against the limb giving Yellowbelle a path the ground. Karen introduced me to her parents, Mr & Mrs. W., and they were happy to see me. Mr. W told me their homebrew rescue efforts had been unsuccessful. Furthermore, a utility worker had been out the previous day in a bucket truck, but gave up on the rescue when YellowBelle hissed at him. That was not good news to me; Yellowbelle was only 25 feet up, on the first good limb and near the trunk, but she could go fairly far on the limb if she ran from me. I installed a climbing line at about 40 feet. During the setup, several other neighbors showed up, all willing to help out. I enlisted them for tarp duty in case things went sideways.

I started climbing and soon was at height with YellowBelle. She immediately give me a couple of warning hisses. Yep, not looking good. I then tried both dry and wet food bribes which were soundly rejected. YellowBelle was going to make me do this the hard way, using either the rescue pole or net. She was fairly close to the trunk, so my first plan was to climb a little higher, get on the same side of the tree as her, and then try to quickly snare her in the net. I told the ground crew the plan, and they deployed a tarp and passed up my net. I climbed up a little ways, scooted over a limb and got a little closer to Belle. She eyed me suspiciously, looking ready to bolt further out on the limb any moment. I readied the net, then quickly moved it above and in front of Belle. She started retreating the minute I began extending the net, but I she was not quick enough - I trapped her on the limb. This was the first time using my net capture kitty on a limb,and I was unsure what to do. I tried dragging the net and Belle along the limb closer to me, but the net was hung on another limb. As I pulled harder, the net suddenly released, dumping YellowBelle off the limb. She managed to hang onto the bottom of net while I tried to lower the net closer to the tarp. YellowBelle hung a few seconds, then dropped to the tarp. She was a heavy kitty, and her impact caused the neighbor closest to her to lose their grip on the tarp. Yellowbelle tumbled off the tarp and then bolted around a shed and into the woods. She seemed fine (and was fine). YellowBelle showed up for dinner that night after things had quieted down. Things could have gone smoother, but all was well in the end.