Lance's wife drove to the store a few miles away, and when she got out of the car, she heard a faint meow from somewhere. She looked around and didn't see a cat anywhere, so she did her shopping, came back to the car and drove home. When she got out of her car, again, she heard a faint meow. Now she was very concerned and called her husband, Lance, out to help investigate. When they opened the hood of the car, they found a kitten hiding in a small space behind the headlights.
They pulled the kitten out of the car and took it inside. The kitten was scared, of course, but otherwise fine. She was a beautiful Torbie, and they decided to keep her. Their two small boys wanted to name her Minerva from the Harry Potter tales, and she settled into her new home very well.
Today, Minerva is about nine months old, and she got stuck in a tree in her backyard. She had climbed it before, but she went only to the first fork of the tree which was about ten feet high and was able to come back down by jumping most of the way. This time, however, she climbed more than twice as high and was unable to figure out how to get down. Lance tried to get her down himself, first by ladder, which would not reach high enough, and then by making a make-shift ramp out of scrap boards, which Minerva considered but refused to use. She spent the night out in the tree while Lance searched the internet for more ideas before finding me. The next morning, he called me, and I went out there to get her down.
When I arrived, I saw Minerva peering her cute face over the edge of her perch about 25 feet high. She was in an interesting tree. The main trunk forked into two large vertical stems, and a limb from one stem grew into the other stem forming a live bridge between them. This happens sometimes over a long period of time, and this tree appeared to have another limb in the process of doing the same thing just above it where Minerva was perched. Eventually this part of the tree will look more like a ladder.
From what I learned about Minerva, I was concerned that she might not be very receptive to my approach. To make matters worse, I had some trouble getting my rope installed in the tree, and that commotion just made her more nervous. She stayed in place though, and I gave her time to settle down before climbing up to her. I approached her slowly and cautiously, but she looked like she was happy to see me. She showed no fear, and readily sniffed my hand and let me pet her. We were good friends very quickly in the tree, so I figured I had this rescue just about done.
Since Minerva was so relaxed with me and the descent was short and easy, I thought she would do well going down in my lap. Unfortunately, before I went up the tree, I failed to ask Lance how Minerva felt about being picked up or being in a lap. If I had, I would have learned that she does have a problem with that even though she is otherwise very affectionate and trusting with them. So, I was surprised to see her becoming alarmed when I began to pick her up. I did not have the cat bag prepared on my arm, and now it was too late. I had a cat that was slightly panicking in my hands, and if I let her go, she would almost surely climb much higher in the tree. I could not calm her down, and I needed to do something quickly. I held on to her by the scruff, held her out so her legs could not push on my lap and came down as quickly as I could. Once on the ground, I handed her off to Lance who quickly carried her inside the house.
I have never done that before, and I was lucky that the tree lent itself well to such an easy descent. I was also lucky that Minerva did not fight me more vigorously, or I could have lost my grip. However it was done, it worked, and Minerva was fine and now safe in her own home.
Lance was very appreciative and sent this picture of her resting after her rescue. She is doing just fine, and I suspect I may be seeing her again someday. I will just be sure to remember not to pick her up next time.