"Donald" - A kitten Stuck for four Nights

(early January 2018)

Executive Summary

"Donald" is a kitten who was stuck 35 feet up a tree for four nights near Vernon AL. He became scared during the rope installation, and came down the tree for a self-rescue. Angie, many thanks for your thank-you card and the very generous donation to the Oktibbeha County Humane Society!

The video shows Donald backing down the tree. This is a good example of how cats come down trees. It can be difficult for them to orient themselves butt-down, hence the reason they become stuck for many days.


It was early afternoon, when I noticed a message to my Facebook page. It was from Angie, her adult daughter's rescue kitten "Donald" had been stuck for 4 days near Vernon AL. Other attempts at rescue had failed. I contacted Angie and arranged to be out later that afternoon.

When I arrived and exited the truck, I could clearly hear Donalds cries. I soon spotted him. He was about 35 feet up, in what looked like a sweet gum tree right off of Old Highway 18 (Donald's owner is Chrystan, who lives just a couple of hundred feet down the road). He was in a solid, wide union, looking down and crying his heart out. Angie arrived as I carried equipment to the tree, and Chrystan arrived during the rope installation. It would be an easy rescue if Donald cooperated. I set the throw line on a union at about 50 feet, and then had to do some throw bag manipulation to get the line better isolated. During this setup, Donald became agitated, and cycled between a limb a couple feet below him and the union that he started out on. I started pulling my rope up; it was soon over the target branch and began heading down towards him. This freaked Donald out, and he jumped onto the trunk attempting to get away from the rope. This put his butt pointed down towards the ground, and he eventually figured out that he should just let gravity take him down the tree. He shimmied down, butt-first, crying all the way. Once on the ground, he began cautiously heading back towards his house keeping to the edge of the woods. Chrystan followed him, and eventually coaxed him to her for a warm reunion. It was a happy ending to a long ordeal.