"Hershey" -- Almost Missed Christmas
(late December 2018)
Patrick called and said that "Hershey", his young daughter's kitty, was stuck 35 feet up a tree in Starkville MS. Hershey was a sweetie and made the rescue easy. Patrick, many thanks for your generous donation to the Oktibbeha County Humane Society!
It was early on the Sunday evening before a Tuesday Christmas, and my wife Donna and I were eating at a local restaurant. I noticed a missed call and voice message on the Kat Fone, which is a 99.99% indication of a kitty in need of help. After eating, I returned the call and talked with Patrick. His young daughter's kitty, "Hershey", had been stuck since the previous evening. Patrick lives in Starkville, and his home was only 15 minutes away. We were leaving for holiday travels the next day, so I decided to do the rescue that night. Donna came with me to assist in holding the flashlight while I did the climb.
When we arrived, Patrick led us to a tree next to his shop in the backyard. A light on the shop provided extra illumination. "Hershey" was at 35 feet in an oak tree, looking down at us, hoping for rescue. I quickly established a rope at 50 feet. My plan was to climb above Hershey, then come down in order to prevent her from going higher. I donned my gear and started up. There was plenty of light between flashlights from the ground, my headlamp, the shop light, and a full moon. I soon reached the tie-in point. The trunk sloped away from me, so I put a lanyard around it and began slowly coming down to Hershey, sweet talking all the way. Early on I thought she might bolt up a neighboring stem, but she settled down. Once closer to her, Heshey realized that I was there to help and she climbed up the stem to me. She mildly complained when I nabbed and bagged her, but did not struggle. On the ground, Patrick was relieved to have Hershey out of the tree, and I was happy that his daughter did not have to worry about her kitty any longer.