I packed up my gear, and as I began to leave, the clouds began building up and threatening another one of the typical afternoon thunderstorms that so often occur here in the summers. I checked the weather radar picture and saw a storm passing over us, but after that was over, it should be clear for a good while. I drove on over in a heavy downpour expecting it to be over by the time I arrived, and, sure enough, it was. While the rain is certainly an unpleasant experience for the cat, it is at least a welcome opportunity for him to lick some severely needed water off his fur.
I could hear Smoke as soon as I exited my truck. For a small boy, he had a lot of loud fussing to do. He wanted down, and he wanted down now. He followed above me watching me and fussing as I walked around the tree. He wasn't just pleading for help, he was mad and impatient. It was pretty clear that he would be a cooperative rescue, and, indeed, he was.
Smoke was 30 feet high, and he was very mobile in the tree, walking far out to the end of one branch then moving over to another branch and then another. The tree was very large and tall, but the large trunk was surrounded over its entire length by dense sprouting limbs and vines. It would be difficult to push my way through this dense foliage.
Once down on the ground, I handed him off to Victor. Smoke was released inside and Victor picked him up and held him. Smoke settled into his arms with relief and started purring.
Mission accomplished. Now all he needed was some food, water, and a comfortable place to sleep.
While I did have my video camera with me and I even remembered to turn it on, the video is useless because the dense foliage blocked the view. I have some great close-ups of a bunch of leaves, but not one single frame of Smoke. Thwarted again.
Two days after the rescue, Victor sent me this picture of Smoke after fully recovering from his adventure. I also learned that, since I rescued him, Smoke has been up a tree not only once, but twice. He had also climbed trees a few times before I rescued him. Victor is trying to keep him inside more, but this little boy likes to climb, and I suspect that I will be seeing him again. Maybe soon.