Missy is not known to be a sociable kitty with strangers, so I knew it would be a challenge to get close enough to this four-and-a-half-year-old to rescue her, and the fairly large tree she was in gave her plenty of room to escape me. I needed to be especially charming to her in order to get close to her, but it became clear right from the start that all my charm was not going to be enough.
When I climbed up level with her, I was suspended immediately next to a large limb, and, roughly level with that limb, was another large limb that extended roughly parallel with the first one. Beyond that was yet another large limb extending from the trunk at the same point as the other two limbs, and Missy was perched about 10 feet out that limb facing me and expressing some displeasure at my presence. The more I talked sweetly to her, the more she told me to shove off. When I opened a can of food for her and reached to place it on the second limb between us, she backed up a few inches. It was clear that any attempt I made to go closer to her would cause her to run farther out that limb where rescue would be extremely difficult.
Missy was feeling threatened, so I decided it would be best to remove the threat from my presence by simply turning my back to her and acting uninterested. So I did just that. I stared out into the woods and noticed some birds and squirrels while I pretended to think of other things besides Missy. Privately, I was thinking to myself that this might be the only time I have ever failed to get a cat out of a tree. I could see from the position of the sun that there was only one hour of daylight left, and I didn't think that would be enough to reign in this mighty Missy.
While I was facing away from her, Missy quieted down and stopped fussing at me. That was a good sign, but we are still a far cry from a rescue. After a few minutes of ignoring her, I turned my head enough to see her out of the corner of my eye, and I was very surprised to see her stand up and begin walking down the limb toward my direction. When she was near the trunk, she stepped over to the second limb and began to walk out that one. When she reached a point about ten feet out where that limb and the first one were close to each other, she jumped from the second limb to the first one which was next to me. Then she proceeded to come toward me.
I was shocked. I have seen cats do something similar before when it appears that they have decided to come toward me to befriend me but, instead, are really just wanting to keep on passing by me on their way to the trunk where they can escape either higher or lower. That was not the case here with Missy. She did not need to pass by me to reach the trunk, but when she came down the limb to where she was immediately next to me, she kept going on down the limb toward the trunk. I put my hand on her back as she passed and gave her a gentle petting. When she reached the trunk, she paused but did not look up or down for an escape path. Instead, she looked back at me, and then she walked back out the third limb to her original perch.
I was befuddled. I was not expecting this and was not prepared for it. If I had known this was coming, I would have had my cat bag ready on my arm so I could have grabbed her as she passed. That opportunity was now gone, but if she did that once, she might do it again. I turned my back to her again and waited while hoping she would do that again. This time, however, I had my cat bag ready.
Sure enough, whatever Missy was thinking the first time, she thought it again. She took the exact same path and again came toward me. As she passed by me, I put my hand on her back for a quick pet and then I grabbed her by the scruff and put her in the bag. I was elated. Just a few minutes before, I was thinking I would never be able to rescue this cat, but now, I had her, and it was easy.
The reunion with her owner, Janet, was emotional as the stress and fears she had suffered for the past nine days suddenly dissipated as I placed the bag with Missy in her arms. Janet took Missy home where there were four other Bengal kitties waiting for her.
I have no pictures or video of the rescue, because I did not want to turn the camera on until I thought something of merit would happen. I certainly have no need for video of my staring out into the woods away from Missy, and when she came to me, I was surprised and not even thinking about the camera.