It was late in the evening when my phone rang, and I listened as a man named Randy told me the story about his cat. His cat was named Daisy Belle, and she had been stuck in a Live Oak tree for 11 days after being chased by some dogs. He lived out in the country near Rayne, and, from the beginning, he had been trying to find someone to help him get her down, but no one would help. It wasn't until a few minutes ago when he talked with a relative who is a veterinarian in Baton Rouge that he learned about me. As he talked, I could hear how much he and his wife cared about their cat and how worried and distraught they were. This was important. I told him I would be there first thing in the morning. Now I could hear how his voice was much more relaxed as relief finally fell over him with the knowledge that a rescue was now in sight. After spending 11 days trying to find someone to help, he finally found it.
I drove out to the site of his rural home the next morning and Randy was outside waiting for me under the tree that held Daisy Belle hostage. There was a ladder leaning up against the tree as evidence of his own failed attempts to coax her down. He pointed up to Daisy Belle in the tree, and there I saw a pretty, solid white cat resting about 30 feet high in a crotch of an almost-vertical stem. She called to me below and looked very good considering the length of time she had been stuck.
Live Oaks can be challenging because I often find that there are no good places to install a rope above the cat. Fortunately, this time, however, I found a good spot, but it was only eight feet above the cat. As long as I aim carefully and the cat does not get too disturbed by the commotion so close to her, then this should work out just fine.
I shot my throwbag into the tree and hit my spot, and Daisy Belle took it all in stride. She may have been a little nervous about it, but she handled it just fine. When I used that line to pull my climbing rope up, however, then her mood suddenly changed. Even though I was now making less noise and disturbance in the tree, her voice changed to a deep, scary tone that could be roughly translated into, "I'm getting out of here!" I was beneath her at that point and could not see her well, but I could hear the familiar sound of four sets of claws sliding down the tree in a mostly controlled manner. Daisy Belle slid all the way down to the lowest branch of the tree and settled there looking just fine. Randy immediately climbed up the ladder to her but Daisy Belle walked along the branch away from him. He coaxed her over to him and she came just within reach. He could touch her but not pick her up. I told him to remain calm and patient and give her time to come closer. After a minute, she did step closer, and Randy gently picked her up and brought her down. He took her inside where he and his wife welcomed her back home and cared for her.
I packed up my gear and loaded it in the truck. I was actually disappointed that I did not get to rescue Daisy Belle. I am very happy she is down and safe, but I have not had a rescue in a few weeks and was happy to have one to do. She deprived me of that joy, but the important thing is that she is down and safe however it happens.
Randy invited me inside, and it was a pleasure to see their house so full of joy at having their Daisy Belle back home again. They had worried and suffered the past 11 days, and now it was over. Daisy Belle walked around to make sure everything was in order and then settled in to eat. She appeared to be just fine. She is about nine years old now, but when she was born, she had two black spots on her head which disappeared over time.
I did not get any pictures or video of her in the tree due to her early exit, and the pictures I took of her inside were poor, so I have very little to show here.