Marley's owner, Derek, told me that Marley is a friendly 4 year old boy, so I was hoping for a quick and easy rescue. When he told me that Marley is a Norwegian Forest cat, I knew to expect a long-hair cat, but I was not prepared for the massive amount of hair and fluff I found on Marley. When I climbed up to his branch, I could see several clumps of his hair that had become stuck in the bark.
When I first approached Marley, I found him showing some signs of mild fear as he backed away slightly from me. Perhaps I climbed too quickly or noisily, or maybe I was just expecting too much from him. So I slowed down a bit and gave him time to calm down. Since he was not going to come greet me happily, I decided to offer him some food. I held it in front of him, and he sniffed it. He even lapped his tongue in the air just 1/4 inch above the food, but he did not touch it. After that, he showed little interest in it. Again, I was surprised, and I was disappointed that I would not be able to lure him into a carrier.
The next best option was to scruff him into a bag, and for that, I needed to get a little closer to him. When I moved a little closer, he seemed a little frightened by me again. I held out my hand and he calmly sniffed it. Then he let me touch him, and I gave him some good petting. Now that he was comfortable with my touch, I would be able to scruff him.
I grabbed his scruff and pulled him up, but he would not let go of the branch. He was holding on so tight, that I could not pull him up. I used my other hand to pull his legs away, and then I was able to lift him. But all that fur felt like a lubricant between my hand and his scruff, and I was losing my grip. I had to get another grip on him, and I was very fortunate that he did not struggle, or I would not have been able to do so. Normally, I hold the cat upright while I pull the bag down over them, but because I was losing my grip again, I had to pull the cat down into the bag while holding the bag upright. Fortunately, Marley was not fighting me, but his back leg was caught over the top edge of the bag, and I had some trouble getting it inside. I managed to get him completely inside the bag, but it was more difficult than it normally is, and I was sweating it. If he had fought me, I would have lost him for sure. But Marley took it all in a docile manner, and that made all the difference.
I brought him down, and Derek, took him inside to release him. Marley headed straight for the bathtub, because that is where he prefers to drink his water. Derek let the faucet trickle, and Marley lapped it up for a very long time. He was still drinking when I left.
Derek and his children were very relieved to have Marley down and safe again. Marley is recovering just fine, and Derek sent me this picture of Marley sleeping afterward. I hope this is Marley's last time to get stuck in a tree, but time will tell.