A "Bandit" in Tree-Jail

(mid April 2019)

Executive Summary

"Bandit", a five month old rescue kitty, was stuck 35 feet up on a long sloping limb in Mantachie MS with heavy rains forecast for the next day. After reaching his limb, Bandit initially came close to me, but then retreated back out. Thirty minutes later, when I was on the verge of trying some more drastic like the grab pole or net, Bandit responded to Brittany's calling and came within grabbing distance. All were relieved! Brittany and Jason, many thanks for your extremely generous donation to the Oktibbeha County Humane Society!

Details

It was about 3:00 on a Thursday afternoon when I received a text from Brittany that said "Someone told me you rescue cats from trees". I replied "Yes", and after some more exchanges, learned that her 5 month old rescue kitty had been stuck for two hours in a tree in Mantachie MS. I checked the weather and saw that heavy rains were forecast for the next day, so I told Brittany that I would be coming right out.

On arrival, I was met by Brittany and April (sister to Jason, Brittany's husband). April was the person who knew about my previous rescues in the area and who pointed Brittany to me. They led me to the backyard and pointed up -- Bandit was 35 feet up, on a long sloping limb, about 20 feet out from the trunk with at least 10 more feet that he could go further out on. Brittany had let Bandit explore the back yard for the first time that day. As she was carrying Bandit back inside, the family's dogs spooked him for some reason (they are normally friends) and he jumped out of her arms, climbed up a skinny, limbless tree and jumped from there to his current limb. Brittany and Jason had rescued Bandit and his sister when they were tiny kittens -- they saw the pair crossing a road following a large dog and decided to rescue them. Both were sick and malnourished, and Bandit's sister did not make it. However, Bandit was now healthy, and had recently been to the Vet for shots and neutering. Brittany was very attached to Bandit, and just wanted him to be safely down from the tree.

I was hoping that I could convince Bandit to come to me - chasing him on that limb would probably only result in a dangerous jump to the ground. I put a rope at about 50 feet, and while climbing, used a lanyard on the same skinny tree that Bandit initially climbed to keep me near the spot where Bandit jumped to his limb. When I reached Bandit's limb, I pulled out some dry kitty treats and started sweet-talking to Bandit. After a few minutes, he slowly began creeping towards me, and I began to think this would be an easy rescue. Alas, no such luck - Bandit was almost in grab range when he had second thoughts and retreated back out on the limb.

I climbed a little higher so that I could stand on Bandit's limb, and tried a wet cat food bribe on a stick, but that did not work. After 30 minutes of fruitless cajoling, I told Brittany that I was ready to try something more drastic, such as using my net to drag him closer to me. Brittany suggested that she try calling him from behind me. She moved next to the trunk, and started calling Bandit, who immediately reacted by starting to creep down the limb. I hastily donned my Kat Bat, and joined in the sweet talking. Bandit clearly wanted to go to Brittany, but had to move past me to do it. Bandit finally came within grabbing range -- a quick nab and Bandit was in the bag. On the ground, I handed Bandit off to a relieved Brittany, who vowed to use a harness the next time she allowed Bandit to have some outside time. Brittany and Jason, many thanks thanks for your extremely generous donation to the Oktibbeha County Humane Society!