Kini (pronounced keen-ee) is a mostly-indoor, mostly-black cat who got herself in trouble when she, unknown to her family, hid in their truck while they drove a few blocks from home early one morning.  When the truck stopped, she jumped out and found herself facing a very unfriendly dog.  Kini ran up the nearest tree and escaped the dog, but she found herself stuck in a tree in a foreign territory.  Kini's owner, Marie, tried to coax her down, but she just could not manage it.  Marie was worried that if Kini managed to come down on her own, she would not know where she was or how to get back home.  So Marie sat with her all day long to be sure she would be there when or if Kini came down.

It was late that afternoon when I got the call, and it would take me at least an hour and a half to get there, probably longer given the Friday afternoon rush-hour traffic.  Normally, I would have offered to go early the next morning, but when I learned that Kini was well out of her own territory and Marie planned to keep her vigil with Kini all night long, I figured I had to act now.  What concerned me was that I was told that Kini normally runs away and hides from strangers when they come to her house.  If Kini was not going to be a cooperative cat, then the rescue could take much longer than usual, and I expected to have only an hour and a half of daylight to work.

I quickly packed up my gear and headed out.  The traffic I expected turned out to be not a problem, and I made it to the site ahead of schedule.  There I found Kini about 20 feet up a tree at the corner of the property where two fences and a ditch all intersected.  I could not stand next to the trunk of the tree unless I stood in the water in the ditch.  But the tree appeared sound and safe, and I found a good tie-in point high above the cat.

I watched Kini very carefully while I set my rope in the tree.  Cats are often scared by all the activity and the movement of the ropes in the tree, and I expected Kini to react with fear as well.  To my surprise, however, she was curious about it all and seemed to enjoy watching as the throw-bag passed by her.  That was a good sign, but I still expected her to be stressed as I approached her.  Again, however, to my surprise and great relief, she showed no fear of me at all as I approached her.  I climbed slowly and talked to her all along the way, stopping every now and then to give her time to get used to me.  Her vocalizations were all perfectly normal small talk, and she never appeared nervous at all.  I climbed up level with her, held out my hand to her, and she sniffed it with no sense of fear or caution.  This was such a relief to me.  I opened a can of food and offered it to her.  She was very interested, and I let her eat a few bites.  Then I placed the food in the back of the carrier and held it up to her.  She looked inside, sniffed, and very slowly walked into the carrier to finish her meal.  I closed the door and brought her down.  This rescue that I was expecting to be long and difficult turned out to be very short and easy instead.  This is one time when I was glad that my prediction and expectations were wrong.

It was not until a few days later that I learned how Kini got her name.  I assumed that there must be a story or reason behind it, and, indeed, there is.  During the rescue, I never did get a good look at her belly side.  I noticed some white color, but it was not until I got this picture that I saw the full view showing her unusual and hilarious markings that look like a bikini.  Then I understood how she got her name.  And now you do too.