Minnie is a mystery cat. She doesn't belong to anyone as far as we know, but we think we know who feeds her. We're not sure how long she was stuck in the tree, but we know it was at least three days. We don't know how old she is or even is she is a male or female. We don't know her name, so, for the sake of her rescue, I am calling her Minnie. What we do know is that she is lucky that Louis heard her crying and cared enough to do something about it. Louis lives two houses down from the backyard where Minnie's tree was located, and he is the one who made the phone calls that eventually led to me. It was not his cat, but he could not bear to hear it suffering like that, and he wanted to help it.
Minnie was in a tree that was just barely inside the fence of a yard and home that has been vacant and neglected for quite some time. Even though the front yard was small, the house was barely visible through all the tall weeds that had grown there. The tall weeds, bushes, trees and vines were so dense that it was virtually impossible to walk to the backyard. If the tree had not been so close to the fence next to the neighbor who maintained her yard so well, I don't know what I would have done. It was fortunate that the tree was very accessible from the other side of the fence and that neighbor welcomed me into her backyard and allowed me to rescue Minnie from her side of the fence.
When I first went into the backyard, I found Minnie about 35 feet high on the lowest branch of a tall pine tree crying down to me below. Her branch reached far over the yard, and she walked far along it to get closer to me. I was relieved to see this, since I regarded it as a good sign that she would be friendly and cooperative. I hauled my gear to the backyard and began the process of installing my climbing rope. At some point during that process, she moved out on a branch on the opposite side of the tree and was now perched over the overgrown backyard. She had also become quiet, so I was concerned that she was now scared of me and would make this rescue more difficult. Still, I hoped that by the time I reached her, she would settle down a bit.
From ground level, it was difficult to see her well, especially with the sun behind her. It was not until I climbed up a bit and got my first closer look at her that I could see that she was a cute black and white cat with a sweet feminine face. That is the only evidence I have to call her a female, and I could be wrong about that. While it was still difficult to see her clearly, I think I also noticed that her left ear was tipped which would indicate that she was already spayed and vaccinated. That was a relief, because then I could just let her go after the rescue instead of taking her to Animal Control where she would be spayed and returned afterward.
When I reached level with her branch, I stopped to speak and try to make friends with her. She just gave me a stare that said she did not trust me. After a few minutes of this with no improvement, I decided I would need to climb higher and route my rope over some branches so that I would be able to walk out on her branch to get closer to her. As I climbed higher, I was not paying attention to her, so I don't know what she did. But at one point I turned my head just in time to see the blur of her falling down through the tall weeds to the overgrown yard below where she disappeared from view. I could not see through the dense weeds to see what happened to her. Did she run off? Is she still there? Is she injured? I could not know. From the location of her fall, I could only guess that she began to walk farther out on the branch until she stepped on limbs that were too small to hold her weight.
I came down and packed up my gear, but I could not leave without trying to go over there to check on her. That is when I learned just how impassable the yard was. I got through the front and side yards, but I could not get to the backyard. There were a million places to hide here, so unless she came out to greet me, it would be impossible to find her. I left a can of food for her on the steps of the abandoned house and hoped she would find it. I left with a troubled heart not knowing for sure that she was alright, but I was hoping that Louis would see her when she emerged and let me know.
The next morning, Louis did call. He saw Minnie walk by his house looking just fine. He was relieved to know she was not suffering in the tree anymore, and I was relieved that she survived her fall just fine.
Since I was never close enough to take any pictures or video of her, I have substituted her picture with one of another cat that looks very much like her.