"Dotee" - Two Weeks in a Tree

(late October 2018)

Executive Summary

"Dotee" was stuck 60 feet up a tree for two long weeks near Columbus MS before his rescue. A food bribe convinced him to come down to my tie-in point at 50 feet where I bagged him. He ate and drank well after his rescue, so he seems to be ok despite the long time in the tree. Cassie (his owner) cried as she hugged me, and there must have been rain coming out of the clear blue sky because my cheeks were wet for some reason.


It was mid-morning when I received a Facebook message, and then a text message from Cassie in Columbus MS. She had been seeking help for two weeks for her kitty "Dotee", who was stuck in a tree, and had finally received my contact information from Grassroots Rescue of Starkville. I called Cassie back, and arranged to be out there later that morning. I later learned that three weeks previously, Cassie and her mother and left on a trip. While packing, Dotee (inside/outside kitty) had escaped outside, and could not be located before it was time to leave. A friend was kitty sitting during the week they were gone and left food and water outside for Dotee. When Cassie returned one week later, the kitty sitter told her that Dotee was in a tree. Since that time (two weeks previous to this day), Cassie had been seeking help for Dotee.

At Cassie's house, she led me to a neighbor's backyard and pointed up. I could hear a kitty crying loudly, but it took me a while to spot Dotee, because he was at 60 feet in the tippy-top of a sweet gum tree. The only decent tie-point was at 50 feet and I had a small window in which to shoot a throw bag. After several failed attempts I was finally able to hit the union with a throwbag. I pulled up a rope and prepared to climb. Dotee, her mother Jacque, and a friend (Tristan) stood ready with a tarp. I climbed slowly so as to not shake the tree too much, and eventually reached the tie-in point. At this point I realized that I had left my lanyards on the ground, so Tristan and Cassie attached them to my rope and I pulled them up to me. I was able to pull myself to the trunk and stand on a limb so that could look up at Dotee. I used a lanyard to make myself more secure, and then began sweet talking to Dotee. He was about 10 feet above me, and the tree had leaned some on ascent so that his path to me was at about 60 degrees instead of vertical. By his cries I could tell that he wanted to come to me, but he was not quite brave enough. I pulled out some dry kitty treats and shook the bag, and Dotee immediately started working his way down to me. He even jumped to a neighboring limb on the way down in order to bypass a troublesome stem. Upon reaching me, I ditched the kitty treats and hurriedly donned the Kat Bag. Dotee turned around as if to go back up but I was able to snag him before he made much progress. During the grab, I could feel his ribs quite readily; he was nothing but skin and bones. Back on the ground, I handed him off to Cassie, who took him inside. After packing the truck, Cassie reported that he was eating and drinking well. I resolved to contact all of the authorities in Columbus and ensure that they had my contact information. I send it to them every year, but for some reason, none of them referred Cassie to me when she contacted them. I was relieved that Dotee seemed to be ok after his long ordeal.