The cat-in-tree rescue business has slowed to a trickle in the new year. The end of last year was my busiest ever, so the contrast with this year has been strong, and I have been sitting around twiddling my thumbs while waiting for the phone to ring. But ring it did this Monday afternoon, and it came from a familiar place: Cara's House, an animal shelter in a nearby parish. It was Cara's House that asked me a few months ago to rescue Chomper, the cat that was stuck in the swamp near there, and they took care of him until he was transported to a shelter in New York where he was later adopted.
This time, the cat that needed a rescue was their own resident cat, Tori, and she was stuck in a tree on their own property after an unfriendly dog chased it there. Tori was in a tree that was in a wild area between Cara's House and a very busy four-lane, divided highway. The tree was just on the edge of a wide ditch which was full of water due to recent rain. The land around the tree was covered with palmetto, vines and briers. Tori came to rest on a branch a little over 20 feet high, and that was just about the only branch on that tree. Fortunately, there was a larger tree very close to it that I could climb and reach her from there.
The nature of the site limited my access, so I set up my rope in a location that was not ideal. I climbed up to Tori's height, but I was on the opposite side of the large tree from her. I maneuvered over to her side and secured myself where I could lean over to reach her branch. Fortunately, she was friendly and glad to see me and walked over to my outstretched hand. I petted her and breathed a sigh of relief that she was not going to make this more difficult.
The people at Cara's House told me that Tori was friendly but feisty. So far, I had not seen her feisty side, and I did not want to see it up there in the tree. Even though I could easily scruff her into a bag from this position, I decided to first try to get her in a carrier to avoid any potential feisty reaction. Tori, however, would not cooperate with the carrier, so I put it away and prepared the bag.
Again, I held my hand out to her and, again, she came to me for some petting. I felt her scruff and slowly tightened my grip. I held her firmly while I slowly lifted her up and pulled the bag over her. She did not react at all. She didn't fight or fuss the entire time in the bag, so I never did see her feisty side.
I brought her down and handed her over to the staff there. They took her inside and fed her while I packed up my gear. After I finished packing up, I went inside to check on Tori. She had been in the tree only a total of five hours, so she was fine and was just starting to eat her supper. Everyone was very happy and relieved to have her back down and safe.
I was in a rush to rescue Tori because Cara's House would be closing soon and darkness was approaching. In my haste to get set up, I forgot to retrieve my camera, so I do not have any video of the rescue. I was able to get pictures of Tori and the site only after the rescue was over, so there is no cat to see inside the red circle in the picture of the site. The circle shows only where she was when I rescued her.