I was up high in a tree in Kentwood and just approaching Tigger when my phone rang. I could not answer it, because I was in the middle of a rescue, but after the rescue was completed, I checked my messages and learned that the call was from Joanie whose cat, Wiggles, was stuck in a tree in Folsom. Well, I was already halfway there and rain was expected later, so I called her back and let her know I was on my way. It was a warm and humid day, and I was tired and a little dehydrated, but I should recover enough during the drive over there.
I had never been in that area of the state before, and I was surprised to see so many pretty ranch-like homes set very far back on very large and beautiful tracts of land with gently-rolling hills, ponds and long, white fences and barns. I expected to see horses grazing the pastures, but I actually saw very few. Then, to my surprise, when I arrived at the address that Joanie gave me, it was at one of these beautiful ranches. I entered the gate and drove down the very long drive along a white fence to the house. After I parked, Joanie's husband, Mike, came out to welcome me.
The cat, Wiggles, was stuck in a tree on the property of the ranch next door, so Mike led me across the grounds, past some unused stables to the edge of the fenced property where we stopped. I unloaded my gear there and pushed it under the fence which was near the drive to the neighbor's home. Closer to that house, I could see Joanie sitting down on the driveway looking up into the pine tree next to the drive and waiting patiently. Secured around her waist was a rope that extended at an angle up into the tree. The other end of the rope was tied to a container they had hauled up into the tree, and they were hoping to use it as an elevator for Wiggles to lower her to the ground. It was a great idea and could have worked, but Wiggles was not going for it. Still, I admired them for being so motivated to do that and for doing it so well.
Wiggles had been in the tree for only one night, and Mike and Joanie were very quick to notice her absence and find her. They care for several cats and dogs which were somehow magnetically attracted to them at various times, and because they are such big-hearted people, they always bring these homeless creatures into their fold and care for them. They are attuned to the needs and idiosyncrasies of each cat, tame and feral alike, and have found a space for them all with some in the house, some limited to certain areas, and some, including Wiggles, in the large loft over the stables.
When I arrived, Wiggles was about 25 feet high on the lowest live limb of a tall pine tree. The limb was fairly long, and I had some concerns that she would react to me by going all the way out the limb or even climb higher. Fortunately, however, when she became frightened by my rope installation, she jumped down slightly lower to a short, but dead, stub which limited how far away she could get from me.
When I climbed up to her, I could see that she was nervous and uncomfortable, but she remained in place and did not panic. I tried my best to make friends with her, but she did not trust me and relaxed only when I scratched her back. She was willing to accept that I was a good back-scratcher, but, otherwise, she still was not comfortable with me there. I pulled up the carrier to see if I could get her to go inside, but as soon as I lifted it level with her, I could see her turn away with fear at the sight of it. I quickly put it away and prepared the cat bag instead. With the bag on my arm, I scratched her back again and gradually moved my hand up to her neck. She was tolerating it very well, so I grabbed her by the scruff, lifted her up and pulled the bag over her. She handled it just fine without any complaint or resistance, but once she found herself settled in the bag, she fought to find her way out. It was a fight she lost, as I had her secured in the bag, but she was not happy about it.
I brought Wiggles down and handed her to Joanie and Mike, and they took her back to her home in the loft and released her there while I packed up. They returned a few minutes later with the empty bag and then thoughtfully offered to let me see her in her loft. The loft is very spacious, and the cats have everything they need to stay comfortable there. Wiggles was getting settled back in and reconnecting with her very close litter-mate sister who missed her while she was gone. After visiting for a little while with these interesting people in this interesting place, I left knowing that Wiggles and all the other cats and dogs in this family are in good hands. Later, Joanie sent these pictures to me to show that Wiggles was fine and everything was back to normal again.