Tahli's Second Rescue

It was just eleven days ago when I rescued Tahli, and now he needs to be rescued again. In fact, he is in the same spot in the same tree. Same song, second verse.

I was not happy with the way his rescue worked out the last time, because we had some bad luck that scared him and caused him to back away from me in fear. He ended up falling 10 feet into another nearby tree where a good neighbor stood up on a ladder and brought him down. While it all worked out in the end, it was a scary experience for Tahli, and I wanted to be sure I was extra careful with him this time. He is a friendly boy, and I want to be sure that I make friends with him this time and bring him down in a more comfortable and secure way.

At his last rescue, the bad luck started when I shot the weighted bag over the limb I wanted, and it got tangled in the foliage of another nearby tree. It took some noisy and violent pulling to get it free, and that is what scared Tahli. This time, I decided to play it safe and just hand-toss the weighted bag over a limb well below him and slowly work my way up to him from there. Tahli handled the toss of the weighted bag just fine, but when I pulled the rope over that limb, I could hear him getting more nervous. I was beginning to have some doubts about making friends with him in the tree, but I continued to prepare to climb and hope that he settled down a bit.

Since his last rescue was a little traumatizing and so recent, I was worried that he would remember me and get scared just at the sight of me approaching. For that reason, I decided not to wear my helmet as I always do. I wanted to look a little different, and I couldn't change my face, as many have so often wished. So, the only thing I could do to look different was to remove my helmet. There was no dire need for a helmet in this tree, so I would be fine. The only downside was that I would not be able to use my helmet-mounted camera to record the rescue. Getting him down easily and safely is more important than the video and pictures, so it's an easy decision to make.

I climbed up to him very slowly and talked to him all the way. He moved around a little bit, but stayed in the same area. I worked my way up closer to him, and when I was barely close enough to reach my hand up to him, I gave him a chance to sniff my hand. He did so for a long time, and I was so pleased that he was allowing me to be this close. I inched up a little more and reached my hand out to him again. He had moments of nervousness, but he stayed in place and always seemed willing to let me place my hand close to him again. At last, he let me touch his cheek as I brushed it with one finger. Then he let me touch the top of his head. He relaxed a bit, and I felt much more confident that this was going to work out. He was trusting me now, and we were finally friends.

I offered him some food, and he readily took it. I let him lap up some of it and then pulled it away to put in the carrier. As soon as I began moving the carrier up closer to him, I could see that he was getting very nervous about it. I was not going to risk scaring him away now, so I did not pull it up any higher. I put it away and got myself in a better position to use the bag instead.

I prepared the cat bag and offered some more food to Tahli. He ate some more while I petted him. When we were ready, I pulled up on his scruff and began to lift him off the limb. I pulled the bag over him, and he never made a sound. This kitty was in the bag now.

I brought him down and handed him to Kathy. She took him inside and released him there. He went straight to the litter box to take care of urgent business and then he was ready for some good eating. After I packed up, Kathy brought him back outside so I could see him and take this picture. He still let me pet him while she held him. He really is a friendly boy. He just gets spooked easily in a tree.