"Cocoa" Caught in a Tree

(mid September 2018)

Executive Summary

"Cocoa" was stuck 70 feet up a sweetgum tree for four days in Corinth MS before his rescue. Fortunately, Cocoa was cooperative and made the rescue easy. Steven, many thanks for your generous monetary donation and also 100 lbs of dog food to the Oktibbeha County Humane Society!

Details

It was late on a Saturday morning when I noticed a voice mail on the Kat Fone. It was from Steven, their 6-month old kitty had been stuck for four days in Corinth MS, could I help? I called back and arranged to be there around 1 pm.

I was met by Wanda (Steven's wife) upon arrival, and she led me across the street to a neighbors yard that contained many tall hardwoods. We called, and could faintly hear a kitty crying from way up. After searching for a while, I finally spotted some kitty ears sticking out of a squirrel nest at about 70 feet in a sweetgum. About this time Steven joined us, and said that Cocoa had been hanging in the squirrel nest the entire time. Just above the squirrel nest, the main trunk had broken off, but there was a large stem angling at a 45 degree angle continuing on for about another 20 feet. I decided to try placing a rope on this stem about five feet above Cocoa's perch. I hoped to prevent Cocoa from climbing higher, which would make for a difficult rescue.

It took several shots, including one stuck throwbag and switching from a 12 oz bag to a 10 oz before I finally hit my target. I pulled up a rope and donned my gear. It was about 90 degrees and I was already feeling the effects of the heat. I fervently hoped that Cocoa would be cooperative. I began slowly climbing, not wanting to spook Cocoa. Cocoa had hunkered down in the nest during rope installation, and had been silent. When I was about 10 feet under Cocoa, I asked Steven to begin sweet talking him. Cocoa responded by poking his head up and answering in pitful meows. Cocoa saw me, but did not seem scared of me. Cocoa lived with three noisy chihuahuas, so I guess he was used to commotion. I drew even with Cocoa and he just laid in the nest, content to let me scritch his ears. I easily nabbed him and put him in the Kat bag. He complained while in the bag, but did not struggle much. I freed my stuck throwbag, and started down. On the ground, I handed Cocoa and bag off to Steven who took him to the house for food and water. After I packed up, Steven made a generous donation to the Oktibbeha County Humane Society and also gave me two 55 lbs of dog food (he said they often donate dog food to their local animal shelter). I was happy that all ended well and hope Cocoa stays out of trees from now on!