"Simon" - Stuck for Five Cold Days
(early January 2018)
"Simon" was stuck for five nights in sub-20s temps near Okolona MS. He was scared and would not come to me, but fortunately, I was able to limb walk out to his position and nab him. Amanda, many thanks for your generous donation to the Oktibbeha County Humane Society!
It was around noon, and I noticed a missed phone call and voice mail on the Kat Fone. It was from Amanda, one of her kitties had been stuck for five nights in Okolona MS. I called back, and arranged to be there later that afternoon.
Upon arrival I was met by Amanda and her young daughter Hannah. Amanda led me to the back yard and pointed out 'Simon', who was on a long limb at about 25 feet in an oak tree. There was a trampoline underneath a slightly lower, and much shorter limb (yellow square in the picture) on the other side of the tree. Amanda said that Simon would move between the two limbs, but was not brave enough to either jump down or climb down. I wanted Simon on the shorter limb so that I could reach him if necessary, and also so that the trampoline could catch him if he fell. Amanda stood on the trampoline and soon coaxed him to the shorter limb. During the subsequent rope installation, Simon moved back to the longer limb a couple of times, but each time Amanda was able to coax him back. After I geared up, I waited until he was coaxed back to the shorter limb, and then quickly climbed up, cutting off Simon's route back to the tree.
At this point I was confident we could get Simon safely down, either by him jumping to the trampoline or by me nabbing him. I tried some food bribes, but he was not interested. He had retreated to near the end of his limb, and was giving some distressed meows about how he did not like the stranger in his tree. I decided to limb walk out to him, figuring that he would probably jump down to the trampoline before I reached him. I started walking out, and cut two smallish limbs that were blocking my way. During this time, Simon kept looking down, swishing his tail, wanting to jump but never brave enough to actually do it. I finally inched close enough so that I was able to lean down and touch Simon. I tried grabbing his scruff, but his fur was tight, and I could not get a decent hold. He was also a bigger, heavier cat than I had originally thought. I finally got my other hand involved in trying to grab him, and eventually decided to forget about scruffing him - I grabbed him with both hands, peeled him off the limb and brought him to my lap. This was rough treatment, but he never tried to bite me or even struggle that much. With a bit of difficulty, I was able to maneuver him into the Kat bag. After a short descent, I handed him off to a grateful Amanda. The photo below (courtesy of Amanda) shows Simon relaxing after his long ordeal. Amanda told me that Simon was stuck in a different tree a couple of months earlier and had been ladder-rescued by the Okolona fire department. I hope that Simon avoids tree climbing in the future!