Showing posts from March, 2016


Frankie has had a hard life, though she is better off than many of her kind.  Frankie is a Siamese-mix girl who is fortunate to have a home, but because of tension between her and her sibling, Frankie was forced to live in the shed and outdoors while her sibling lived inside the house.  Her family had gone out of town for several days, but Monica, a very nice neighbor, took care of her while they were away.   When Frankie failed to appear for her evening meal, Monica was a bit worried.  It was not until the next day that Monica found Frankie across the street in a neighbor's tree. I arrived to find Frankie resting on a branch less than 20 feet high.  At first I assumed the tree was a live oak because of its spreading shape and the fact that there are several live oaks that grace the front yards of many homes in this area.  It took me a while to notice that this was a very old tallow tree instead.  I have never seen a tallow tree look anything like a live oak before, so perhaps

Abby Kat

Once in a while, I have a rescue case that haunts me for a long time because of the outcome and the way I mishandled it.  This is one of those rescues, and I wish I could do it all over again. Abby Kat is a 10-month old muted brown tabby girl who lives in a rural area with some gentle horses.  She is comfortable with the horses, but one day they surprised her by running up near her.  Abby Kat was so spooked by their unexpected appearance that she ran up a tree at the fence-line near their barn.  She had been stuck there for two full days and nights when I arrived. As I worked to install my rope, I was listening carefully to Abby Kat's cries to determine if she was stressed by my presence and activity.  She sounded fairly distressed, and I was concerned that she would not be a cooperative kitty.  As I began climbing up to her, her cries continued to sound stressed, but her behavior suggested that she was comfortable.  She was not climbing higher, she was not looking for other


Poor Ollie.  This sweet, 9-month old, gray tabby boy got stuck up a tree in an obscure place, and it was a few days before anyone could find him.  When his family finally found him, they were unable to find anyone who could rescue him.  Seven days had passed before they finally found me, so I was anxious to get out there as soon as I could.  When I arrived, I found Ollie 45 feet high and so exhausted that he had draped his limp body over a branch like a wet rag hanging out to dry.  It breaks my heart to see such a pitiful sight like that, but when he heard his family call him, he perked up, stood up on the branch and answered back. After talking with his family about his personality, I was hopeful that he would be a cooperative cat.  One would expect that his extreme length of time in the tree would make it more likely that he would be cooperative, but with cats one can never be sure.  As I climbed up to him, I watched and listened to him to judge his reaction.  At times he seemed

Kitty's Fourth Rescue

Well, there is no polite way around this, so I won't try to sugar-coat it.  I will just come right out and say it:  Kitty is an addict.  Kitty likes to get high by shooting up trees, and this is the fourth time I have had to rescue him. Kitty really is an indoor cat, and his owners have done everything they can to keep him inside.  But Kitty's addiction keeps him feeling desperate, so he is constantly waiting and looking for that one micro-second window of opportunity when the door is open to make his mad dash outside.  Once he gets outside, he doesn't stop running until he finds a suitable tree, so his owners can't possibly catch him before he gets away.  And there is no point in even mentioning Tree Climbers Anonymous because Kitty won't go for it.  From what I hear, the meetings are chaotic because even when you can get the cats to show up, they all just do their own thing and don't even pay attention.  It's like herding cats. So here we are again.

El Gato

I have been dreading getting a call like this one, but I knew that sooner or later it was bound to happen.  This day it did.  The caller, Eve, told me that her dog had chased an unknown cat up a tree in her back yard.  The tree was little more than a dead post, and there were no other trees nearby that were suitable for climbing.  To myself, I refer to this scenario as "Mission Impossible," because I must somehow rescue a cat when I can't climb the tree, and I can't climb any other tree close by.  In cases like this, I have only one option:  the elevator. The elevator is simply a box, basket or some kind of container that can be raised up to the cat where he can step into it and then be lowered to the ground.  I have seen similar cases like this used successfully before, but I have never done one myself.  The success of the rescue depends solely on the cat, because he must be willing to step into the elevator.  I always put a bowl of food in the box to entice hi


Another unknown cat.  This time it was an orange tabby that was stuck about 45 feet high in a backyard and he had been there for 6 days.   The neighbors had been hearing him calling for a few days before they finally found him.  No one knew the cat, if he belonged to anyone or if he was tame or feral, but Tara, one of the neighbors, called me and offered to take responsibility for the cat if I could rescue it. At first I was encouraged by what I found.  The cat's behavior and vocalizations gave the impression that he was tame and eager for human help.  In fact, I was so sure that he would be cooperative, that I did not even unload my rescue pole or net.  When I began climbing the tree, however, his demeanor changed.  Now he was afraid, and he perched about 15 feet out on a long branch. I could have walked out on the branch toward him since it was large enough, and I had good places to tie some support ropes over it.  But that would have just given him more reason to be afraid