Most of the cats I rescue are less than three years old, though I have certainly had a few older ones as well. Crazy Girl, however, may be the oldest cat I have rescued so far. Mark is not sure exactly how old Crazy Girl is, but she could be as much as 18 years old.
Mark does not know what caused his senior cat to climb up the tree, but he came home late from work and heard her calling to him as he got out of his car. He found her about 25 feet high in the tree next to a camper trailer. He tried to reach her with a long ladder, but he could not get close enough. After searching the internet for help, he found me and e-mailed me that night. I got his message the next morning, and after talking on the phone, we arranged to meet there in the afternoon.
When I arrived, Jimmie Lynn, Marks' step-sister, led me to the tree. Crazy Girl was still perched there and crying to us below. Crazy Girl got her name for her sudden and inexplicable mood changes, and while she was generally a sociable girl, her friendliness toward strangers was questionable. I was not quite sure what to expect from her, especially after the installation of my rope in the tree above her scared her a good bit.
I climbed up to her slowly, and she peered her head around the trunk of the tree to look at me. She was not alarmed, but she wasn't coming to greet me either. She was simply concerned and withholding judgement until I made my intentions more clear.
I approached her the way I usually do which is slow and relaxed while reaching my hand out to her to sniff. She neither backed away nor came closer to me. She was still not convinced. I talked to her some more and reached out to her as I reached level with her. She let me touch her and seemed to relax a bit when I petted her, but she was still holding back.
I opened a can of food for her to further cement our friendship. She looked at the food, licked her lips and sniffed it a few times, but she would not eat a bite. Though I was not optimistic, I put the food in the back of the carrier and held it up to her. She looked inside for several seconds but then lost interest in it and looked away. She was not going to walk into the carrier, so I put it away and prepared the cat bag.
To get her in the cat bag, I needed to approach her from the other side of the trunk. As I moved over, she had backed up on her branch a little bit as if she was afraid of something. I reassured her with some more touching and petting, and she seemed fine. Then I massaged her scruff, squeezed it, picked her up and pulled the bag over her. She didn't like that and complained about it, but she did not fight it. I secured her in the bag and brought her down.
I handed her over to Mark who took her inside and released her there. I gave him the food that she refused to eat in the tree, and he took it inside to feed her. She gobbled it up now that she was safe inside. Mark was visibly relieved and appreciative, and I packed up my gear and left.