Kitty 3

Cats are not very selective about the trees they climb.  Especially if they are being chased by a predator, the closest tree will do no matter what it's condition.  And so it was with Kitty, the solid white cat.  For whatever reason, Kitty climbed a tall dead tree stump.  The top of the tree had broken off long ago providing a safe cavity in the top of the remaining stem where Kitty could safely perch and not worry about falling, even when she fell asleep.  But she found herself 20 feet high on a post of a tree with no branches, and Kitty did not know how to climb down.

To make matters worse, the tree she was in was dead and rotted to the point that it was just barely standing.  It was clearly not safe for me to climb, but fortunately, there was a healthy, taller tree right next to it that I could climb and use to reach Kitty.  Compared to the view from the ground, I am often surprised at how different things look once I get up into the tree.  Once I was level with Kitty, I found it much more difficult than I expected to reach her.  Gravity interfered with my plans, and I found myself wishing I had set my rope in a different place in the tree.

I decided to place a rope around Kitty's tree and use it to pull myself closer to her.  It was already clear that Kitty was afraid of me, and her cries had a nervous quality to them, but when I used a pole to place the rope around her tree, that was too much for her.  She was not going to wait to see what I had in mind, so she decided it was time to make her exit.  With that extra motivation of terror, she started to go down the backside of the tree head first.  I could not see her at that point and did not know what she was doing, but observers from the other side told me later that she swung her body sideways around so that she was then in a proper butt-first position.  But rather than descend that way, she swung her body back down so that she was in a sideways position.  Then she continued to alternate those positions most of the way down.  Once she safely reached the ground, she ran off to hide.  I was happy to see her safely down, but I hate that I scared her down that way.

As I removed my rope from her tree, I noticed how wobbly it was.  It is a good thing she decided to go down on her own, because I don't think that her tree was strong enough to allow me to use it to pull myself closer.  The whole tree could have come crashing down instead.

It was a few hours later when I got the message that she had come out of hiding and was home and doing well.  It is always satisfying to me to know that the cat is safely down and everybody is happy, but it is also unsatisfying for me to know that I didn't rescue her so much as scare her down.  That often happens in the cat rescue business, but the end result is the same, and I can live with that.

I never could get a good view of Kitty, and I have no recognizable pictures of her.  Even when I was in the tree, I found her obscured by the vines that were growing there.  And since she left by the back door before I could rescue her, I never got a good look at her.  In the pictures I do have, she is just an unrecognizable white blob in the top of the tree.  In the picture above, all you can see are her ears and the top of her white back poking above the tree stump.  Fortunately, Kitty's owner sent me this picture of her resting later that night after getting her belly full of food.  Kitty is doing fine now.