"Ginger" -- Calico Caught By A Tree

(mid May 2018)

Executive Summary

"Ginger", a 7-year old calico, was stuck 20 feet up a river birch tree for three days in Philadelphia MS before her rescue. Darlene was able to locate me by referral from the local animal control office. Darlene was barely able to reach her from the top of a ladder, but Ginger would not cooperate and remained in the tree. Darlene told me that Ginger was not very tolerant of strangers, so I first tried using a cat carrier and food, but this only caused Ginger to retreat higher up and out on a small limb. I then climbed to where I was in easy grabbing distance, and fortunately, was able to make friends with Ginger. She graciously allowed me to scruff her, and after a quick trip down, I handed Ginger off to Darlene. Many thanks to Darlene for your very generous donation to the Oktibbeha County Humane Society!


It was almost noon on a Friday when I noticed a voice mail on the Kat Fone. It was from Darlene in Philadelphia MS; one of her kitties had been stuck for three days in a tree, could I help? I called Darlene back and arranged to be there later that afternoon.

When I arrived, Darlene led me to the back yard. She explained that she and her husband had 9 kitties (all rescues and spayed/neutered), about half which lived outside in a kitty-fenced backyard (Ginger belonged to the outside crew). The yard was large, immaculate, and had a fence around it that prevented the kitties from climbing out. The problem tree offered generous shade near the back of the house, and there was also a deck that the kitties could shelter under if they felt threatened. This looked like kitty heaven to me! The tree was a small river birch, with few limbs until 20 feet where it bushed out. A large circular union formed where the limbs branched out, and Ginger was perched there, looking very comfortable. I was able to stand on a ladder and put a rope on a limb right under Ginger's perch. Because Darlene told me that Ginger was wary of strangers, I decided to bring a cat carrier up with me and try to entice Ginger to enter it with a food bribe. I geared up, started climbing, and was soon near Ginger. I first offered here some wet food, which she sniffed but did not eat. I then put the food in the carrier and held it up in front of her. This made Ginger uncomfortable; she meowed, backed away, then went up and out on a small limb.

I was disappointed, as it now seemed that I would have to use either my net or rescue pole, which typically ends with the kitty jumping. The height would not be a problem, but a trellis was underneath her limb and I was afraid that she might land on it awkwardly and injure herself. I descended, fetched my rescue pole and net from the truck, and climbed back up. This time, I was able to stand in the union that initially held Ginger. This put me very close to Ginger, and she seemed pinned by some small branches and wisteria vines. I decided to try to grab her, so I donned my Kat bag. I held out my hand and she cautiously sniffed my finger, and allowed me to pet her cheek. Then she allowed me to scritch her head and she even arched into it. Ginger was not skittish at all --- she was a sweetie! I scruffed Ginger, using my other hand to free her from the branches and vines. She did not struggle at all and went into the Kat bag with no complaint. Back on the ground, I handed Ginger off to Darlene who took her inside for food, water, and recovery. I was happy that all ended well and that no rescue pole/net drama was required! There is no video due to ineptitude by the camera operator.