Showing posts from January, 2016


There are several ways to get a cat out of a tree, most of which involve climbing the tree to bring him down.  Sometimes, however, the cat offers another option as Penelope did on this occasion. Penelope is a sweet and pretty 1-year old calico who climbed a massive live oak tree and became stuck in a large junction of the trunk thirty feet high.  She had been in the tree for three nights before I arrived, and some of those nights had been very cold.  The tree was a huge and very old, moss-laden live oak that inspired in me a sense of awe and admiration.  It would be an honor to climb this tree.  But Penelope never gave me the chance. To install my climbing rope in a tree, I first use a very large sling-shot to shoot a weighted bag, like a bean bag, into the spot I select in the tree.  This bag is attached to a special string and pulls the string into the tree with it.  Once the string is draped over the limb I want, I use the string to pull the climbing rope up into the tre


I have never had a more cooperative cat than Dorito.  He could not wait for me to get up to him, so he came down to me.  He came down only a few feet, but that is a long distance for a cat going straight down a tree.  He got in my lap, crawled up on my shoulder, and, most surprisingly of all, he voluntarily jumped into the rescue bag by himself.  I did not have to stuff him into the bag.  He willingly jumped into it all on his own. Dorito is a 4 year old orange tabby who is an indoor cat, but he slipped out one afternoon and climbed the pine tree in his backyard.    His human family and friends did everything they could think of to help him down.   They even managed to convince the chief of the fire department to come out, but, not surprisingly, he could not do anything to help.   When I arrived, he had been in the tree one very cold night, and I found him almost 50 feet high crying for help. I had a very difficult time getting my rope into the tree.  Every time I shot my throw-l

Midnight 2

Poor, little Midnight.  This black cat had been stuck in the tree next to his house for five nights, and most of those nights were below freezing.  He was cold, weak, dehydrated and tired of being stuck in that tree, and I could hear it in his impatient, raspy voice. Prior to climbing the tree, I was told that Midnight was a very sweet cat who was very sociable with strangers.  That is what I always love to hear, because it usually means that the cat will be cooperative and the rescue will go quickly.  There are no guarantees about that, of course, and Midnight proved to be one of those exceptions. It did not take long to learn that Midnight was not going to be one of those cooperative cats.  He began hissing and spitting at me before I could climb even 10 feet high.  While I have experienced a few mildly hissing cats in my rescues before,  I have never had a cat hiss and spit at me as much as Midnight did.  He made it very clear early on that he did not approve of my encroachm


Gypsy is a sweetie.  She is an adorable 9-month old Siamese munchkin who climbed a tree in her front yard and did not know how to come down.  She had climbed a tree twice before, but her family managed to get her down both times.  This time, however, she was over 20 feet high, and they were unable to reach her.  She had been in the tree only three hours, but it was cold outside and rain was due to arrive very soon.  Fortunately, she was only a few blocks away from my house, so I was able to get there very quickly. Gypsy was a perfect rescue.  She was very comfortable with me and very cooperative.  While she climbed one branch higher before I reached her, she was still within comfortable reach.  She let me pet her while I prepared the bag for her descent.  All I had to do was pick her up to put her in my lap for a moment and then gently place her in the bag.  She handled it all without complaint or struggle. Gypsy was a model rescue.  I wish they were all this easy and enjoyabl

Suffering Sucks

The tragic story of a nameless, homeless, ordinary black cat Suffering is my most hated enemy.  I don’t mean just for me; I mean for all conscious creatures.  Suffering is everywhere.  Some of it we know about; most of it we don’t.  Somewhere at one time or another, people and animals are enduring horrible suffering, and often no one even knows about it or no one is helping.  Suffering can be worse than dying.  When suffering is intense and there is no hope that it will ever end, then death is not an enemy; death becomes a friend. I’m not a gloom-and-doom kind of guy.  I see all the beautiful and wonderful things in the world too.  But suffering holds a special loathsome place in my heart, and after what I just saw, it is weighing especially heavily on my mind right now. On the last day of the year, I rescued a very sweet cat out of a tree.  Everything about it was good:  the cat was super-sweet and cooperative, the family was very supportive and appreciative, and the rescue