In my rush, I failed to place my climbing line where it would not interfere with the suspended branch that Mel was on. I was concerned that my rope would push against the branch enough to dislodge it, sending both the branch and Mel to the ground. To minimize that risk, I climbed only to a point beneath her and hoped to lure her into a carrier from there.
Mel is a friendly cat that is highly food-motivated, so I was expecting her to be cooperative. Indeed, she did readily come to me for her food, and when I placed the food in the carrier, she walked in with only slight reservation. The most difficult part was just getting her tail all the way inside so that I could close the carrier door.
I brought her down to the great relief of her owners who then took her inside. They had been very distressed over the past three days as they struggled to find a way to get Mel down.
It was only as I was packing up to leave that I learned about one of the things that made Mel so special to them. Rachel has epilepsy, and Mel can sense when she is about to have a seizure. Mel will lie down on Rachel's body when she senses a seizure coming and then find and alert Chris to let him know. I always feel good to rescue a cat, but I especially feel honored to rescue a special cat like this. Shortly after the rescue, they sent me this picture of Mel on Chris's lap. Mel is doing well, and they are all happy to have the house back to normal again.