I was out riding my newly repaired bicycle when my phone rang.  I stopped in the street and answered the call.  The caller told me her name is Holly and she and some colleagues discovered a kitten stuck in a tree between a street and the parking lot for a large medical clinic where she works.  No one knows the kitten, but Holly said that she would take care of it if I could get it down.  Holly sent this picture of the site to me with her own annotations.  It was exactly one hour before sunset, but I knew the parking lot would be well lit, and Holly and her colleagues wanted to wait there for me to get there even though they had just worked a full day and were anxious to go home.  I rode my bicycle home and packed up as quickly as I could.

When I arrived, I met Holly, and she showed me where the kitten was.  It was hard to find the kitten since she was so small, still and quiet.  If the kitten had not been crying when they were below, it is doubtful that anyone would have ever noticed her.

The kitten was only 15 feet high, but she was near the top of a relatively young, dense live oak tree and resting miserably over the crotch of a small limb.  It is another painfully familiar pitiful sight to see, and I marvel at the ability cats have to stay in such uncomfortable places for so long.  Though she had cried before, she was not crying or moving now, and she appeared to be very tired and weak.  This little girl was suffering, and this suffering has to end right now.

Normally, I use my big sling shot to shoot my line into the tree well above the cat.  In this case, however, there were nothing but thin limbs above the kitten, and the lower limbs were accessible enough that I could just hand-throw my line into the tree and work my way up to the kitten.  I climbed up to her while securing myself as best I could to limbs that were barely large enough to support me safely.  I struggled to get solid footing on somewhat larger branches high enough to allow me to reach her.

The kitten was not happy to see me.  Understandably, she was scared and would have climbed higher if she weren't so exhausted and the limb she was on had been larger.  She was stuck there and could not escape me, so she hissed and even spit at me several times.  I gave her some time to get used to me and feel less threatened by me.  When I touched her back the first time, she let out a loud hiss to let me know she did not like that.  Each time I touched her after that, however, she reacted less and less.  Eventually the hissing and cringing stopped.  At that time, I gently massaged her scruff and then picked her up by the scruff and pulled the bag over her.

While I was climbing up the tree, three female colleagues of Holly’s gathered below to watch, talk about the kitten and lend their support.  When I bagged the kitten, they all cheered, and by the time I came back down to the ground with the kitten, one of the girls, Tina, had already decided to adopt the kitten and was prepared to take her home.  She already had an appointment at the vet for the next morning.  I loaned her a carrier to use to take the kitten home, so we transferred the kitten from the bag into that carrier.

Now, for the first time, we could all get a good look at the kitten.  She is a beautiful, mostly-white calico and, therefore, presumably female.  Of course, after all she had been through and with all of us staring at her, she was scared, so we took her to Tina’s car and covered the carrier to help calm her down.

I am calling the kitten Angel because of the angels Holly, Tina and their other colleagues who found her, found help and cared so much that they stayed hours longer after work to see that she was safely down.  And Tina especially is a saving angel to adopt her into her home as one of her own.  Tina took her home and to the vet the next morning where she was found to be perfectly healthy.  I wish these two angels a happy life together.

I have very few pictures of Angel to share, and the video is of poor quality due to the falling darkness and my poor ability to point it in the right direction.  Nevertheless, I show here what little usable video that I have.

UPDATE -- 12/27/2017:

Tina sent this picture of Angel to me one week later.  Now we can see better just how cute and adorable she is.  They are both doing very well together, and Tina has now named her Hazel.  So, Tina and Hazel, we all wish you the best and a happy new year.