Richie is a super friendly Maine Coon mix cat that likes to visit the neighbors. He loves people and readily greets anyone who comes by. Hearing descriptions like that of a cat I am about to rescue is like music to my ears. It doesn't guarantee that the cat will be friendly to me in the tree, but it certainly sets the probability very high. I always feel lucky when I can rescue a friendly cat, but to have two in the same day is very special indeed.
Richie was about 25 feet high in a tree on a small strip of wild ground at the edge of the backyard. Since I was expecting Richie to be cooperative, the most difficult part of the rescue would be just setting my rope in the tree. Weeds, vines, briers and other trees made it a little difficult to get my line where I wanted, but I managed to get it done without getting upset.
As I climbed up toward Richie, I saw that he had his back to me, and I wanted to be sure that I did not surprise him. I talked to him, and he eventually turned around and spoke to me. He seemed very relaxed and comfortable with me there, so I climbed up higher to him. He happily greeted me and let me pet him right away. Richie is indeed a very sweet and friendly cat, so this rescue should go fast and easy.
Before I went up the tree, I asked about his food preferences and learned that he has never had canned food before. I usually open a can of food to entice cats to come to me and go into a carrier. Even though Richie had not had canned food before, I thought he would still be at least interested in it. He might even be extremely attracted to it.
After visiting with Richie for a minute or two, I opened a can of food. When I presented it to him, he sniffed it, and then walked away without ever tasting it. Poor Richie did not even know what he was missing. That was disappointing, but in spite of his lack of interest, I put the food in the back of the carrier to see if he could be lured inside. When I put the carrier up on the branch in front of him, he readily and calmly walked all the way inside. I don't know if it was the food that interested him or if he would have walked inside even without the food there, but I suspect it was the latter. Cats are naturally attracted to boxes and often can't resist going inside, and Richie was relaxed enough that he was free to indulge in that attraction. Regardless, all I had to do was push his long bushy tail inside and close the door.
When I brought Richie down, I set the carrier on the ground and saw him sticking one leg out the grate of the carrier door in an attempt to play with a leaf or stick just outside the door. Richie lives in a family with three children, and one of them, Grayson, came over to me to thank me for getting Richie down. He had been worried about Richie and was very relieved to have him down and back home again. Later that day, Brittney sent me this picture of Richie recovering from his adventure with some much-needed sleep. It did not matter that his head was hanging over the edge of his bed. This was still luxurious comfort compared to that tree.