"Kitty" -- Rescue at 70 Ft after 7 Days
(late January 2018)
"Kitty" was stuck for seven days near Laurel MS before her rescue. When I arrived, she was 70 feet up and way out on a limb. When I reached her limb, I was able to lure her back to the trunk with wet cat food. She did not struggle when I nabbed her. Joyce and Forrest, many thanks for your very generous donation to the Oktibbeha County Humane Society! This rescue was picked up by Right This Minute, the viral video show (LINK). Thanks Gayle, for your kind words about the rescue!
It was evening, and I received a voice mail from Cindy about her mom's kitty (a rescue) that had been stuck for seven days near Laurel MS. I called Cindy back and arranged to be there the next afternoon. Google maps was not great about directions in the rural area where the kitty lived, so Joyce (Cindy's mom) met me at a nearby church and then led me to her house.
I had been told that the kitty was 'way up there', but despite the warning my eyes bugged out from my skull when I saw where "Kitty" was perched. She was in a sweet gum tree, on a limb that started from the trunk at about 65 feet. It went out for approximately 15 feet and angled upwards, and Kitty was sitting at the very end, putting her height at about 70 feet. Beneath her was a large shed with a tin roof that she would hit if she fell, which I wholeheartedly hoped to avoid. Joyce said that 'Kitty' had arrived only two weeks earlier, when one of her adult daughters had rescued her from a bad situation. Kitty had been staying inside, but she escaped outside without Joyce's knowledge, and Joyce found Kitty in the tree when she started looking for her. Joyce told me that her extended family had tried several things to get her out of the tree, including fireworks, and shooting guns in the air. Kitty had once been on a much lower limb, and using a 22 rifle and a shot gun with slugs, Joyce's family managed to shoot the base of the limb enough to cause it to fall. However, Kitty jumped to another limb when her limb broke and she stayed in the tree.
There was a nice tie-in point at 70 feet that I was able to hit with the first shot of my throw bag launcher. I established a rope and started up. Kitty's position looked so precarious that I pulled up my net and extension poles when I reached 50 feet with the expectation that I would use them in case Kitty did not come to me. As I went further up the tree I had to be careful in my climbing as I was shaking the treetop, causing Kitty's limb to sway and I feared that she would fall. When I reached her limb, I tried bribing her with dry cat food, but the rattling of the bag did not interest her. I then pulled out my Sidekick extendable pole, put a small cup with wet cat food at the end of it, and extended it to full length where it reached about two-thirds of the way to her. I let the smelly kitty food sit there for a while, with the wind blowing its scent to her. After a couple of minutes, Kitty let out a loud meow (the first noise from her since the start of the rescue) and started coming towards the food. Inwardly, I gave thanks for this major miracle. I slowly used the food to lead Kitty all the way back to the trunk. I detached the cup and let her eat the cat food for a minute while I donned the Kat Bag. She did not resist when I scruffed her and put her in the bag. She yowled a bit on the way down but all were happy that she was safe. On the ground, Joyce took charge of Kitty and the bag, and went to the house followed by two of her grandchildren, Adyn (12) and Emalyn (5).
After packing up, Joyce invited me inside for some birthday cake (Adyn's) and some coffee. I also met Joyce's husband Forrest, who was recovering from a recent triple bypass surgery and who watched the rescue from the front porch. He thanked me for rescuing Kitty, who was running around, pausing occasionally for food and drink, and seemingly fully recovered from her ordeal. Kitty even allowed me to pet her. I was happy and relieved that the rescue ended with Kitty safely back on the ground.