"Professor Tuna" Rescues Himself

(early November 2018)

Executive Summary

"Professor Tuna" chased another critter up a tree and then became stuck at 40 feet near Starkville MS. After an overnight stay, he came down to 20 feet and loudly cried for rescue. He watched with interest during rope installation, but as I was beginning to don my gear he decided to self-rescue by jumping to the ground. Professor Tuna was fine after the jump and was soon rewarded with his favorite food, -- tuna -- by his loving human, Heather (all photos by Martha Thomas, Director of Development & Community Relations, Oktibbeha County Humane Society -- thank you!). And, I have to say, "Professor Tuna" is an awesome kitty name!


It about 8:00 pm on a Friday evening when I noticed a Facebook message notification. Shortly after that, the Kat Fone began ringing from a Starkville number. Sensing a kitty in distress, I answered and talked with Heather, whose kitty had chased some unknown critter up a tree and then became stuck. Heather said that the kitty was at about 40 feet and she was worried about the cold weather forecast for that night. Tuna had arrived the week before after Heather rescued him from a bad situation, and she was already attached to him. I told her that it would be dangerous for me to do a night climb to that height, and that I was also fearful of the possibly-skittish kitty jumping and not knowing where to go since he had only been at the house for one week. I told Heather that even though it would be near freezing that night, kitties are built to withstand cold weather and the kitty would be fine, especially since no rain was forecast. I asked her to update me on the kitty status the next day, and if still stuck, I would come out.

About 10:00 am the next morning, Heather texted that the kitty had come down to 20 feet, but would not proceed any further. I replied that I would be out ASAP. On arrival, I was greeted by Heather and her husband Don. "Professor Tuna" (great kitty name!) was in a sweet gum tree in the front yard, strolling back and forth on a long limb at 20 feet, continuously crying for help. I asked Heather and Don to keep Tuna's attention while I set a rope as I did not want Tuna climbing any higher. I soon had a rope installed at 30 feet. As I was digging around in my backpack for some gloves to begin climbing, I heard some exclamations from Heather and Don and a loud "THUMP" -- Professor Tuna had become tired of waiting and had jumped to the ground. He ran to the front porch followed by Heather, who soon gathered him up for some loving. Professor Tuna was fine and accepted scritches from everyone. Hopefully he will stay of trees in the future! All of the pictures in this post were taken by Martha Thomas, (Director of Development & Community Relations, Oktibbeha County Humane Society) who joined us during the rope setup -- thanks Martha!