Cake is a skittish cat. Even in his own home, he runs from strangers. He was afraid of me during his first rescue, but he was just so exhausted from his several long nights and the summer heat that he just could not run away from me. This time, however, he had energy, and he was so terrified of me that it was heart-breaking. It is so painful for me to hear those desperate, deathly cries of terror and not be able to explain to him that I was a friend and he would be just fine. He thought this was the terrifying end of his life, and he was not going out without letting the world know about it. So he walked out to the end of his branch and shouted his cries and pleas for help just as loudly as he could.
Since I could not possibly get close to him, I thought the only thing I could do was to set a cat trap on his branch. I set up the trap, baited it with food and left. I went out of his sight but stayed where I could watch him to see if he went into the trap. I watched and waited for an hour and a half, but he did not budge. It became so dark that I could not see anymore, so I went home with plans to return in the morning.
The next morning, which was Thanksgiving day, I got an early call from Cake's owner saying that he was in the trap. I was so happy about that, because if he were not in the trap, then my only remaining option would be to cut off the branch and lower him to the ground. In that case, it was more likely that he would fall or jump, and I did not want that to happen.
I climbed the tree again and finally got my first ever close look at Cake. As expected, he was still terrified. I secured him to my lowering line and removed the straps that held his cage to the branch. I slowly lowered him to the ground. Just as he got to ground level, he somehow managed to open the trap door of the trap, and he jumped out. I am so puzzled about how he could do that, and I have never heard of that happening before. It is very difficult to open even for a person because it requires one to hold two independent metal rings up high with two hands while the third hand pulls the door open. If the cage is upside down, however, it opens easily. But the cage was not upside down or even close to it. Regardless, after he hid under a deck for a few minutes, Cake went back to his house where he gorged himself on food, which is appropriate for Thanksgiving day. He is doing just fine now, and for that I am thankful.
I was told that Cake will not be going outside anymore. That is music to my ears.