When Abby and her mother, Nancy, stopped at a gas station near their home in Slidell, they noticed a kitten running loose. It appeared to be homeless, so they decided to take him home with them. He was a friendly boy, and they named him Abu. He happily settled into his new home, and as time went by, Nancy and Abby bonded very deeply with him.

Now, Abu is two years old, and, for reasons unknown, is stuck up in a tree. It took a while for Nancy and Abby to find him in a neighbor's backyard tree three houses down from their own, but when they did, they immediately went into action to get him down. When their own efforts failed, they started calling every person or organization that might be able to help. They kept running into failure after failure and were feeling very distraught and frustrated over their inability to find help for their beloved Abu. On Abu's third day in the tree, they found me, and Nancy called. She sounded so desperate for someone to rescue her cat, that I would have offered to do it even if I didn't know how. Fortunately, I did know how, and I told her I would be there first thing in the morning.

The next morning I arrived and met Abby who led me to Abu's tree. The tree was at the edge of the back yard where it bordered with a golf course. Abu was about 40 feet high and far out on a long limb that arched over the golf course. If he could not be coaxed into coming to me, it would be difficult to go out that far to reach him. Fortunately, Abu is a very friendly and relaxed boy, so I was not anticipating that problem.

I climbed up to Abu's limb and got settled into place. He watched from his safe distance until I stopped fidgeting and making noise, and then just a few minutes later, he decided I was trustworthy and began walking down the limb toward me. He came all the way to my outstretched hand, sniffed it and then let me touch him. He wanted to be touched and petted, and it was my pleasure to do so. He had a sweet face and soft, medium length hair which blurred the pattern of his brown tabby coat. We both relaxed a bit while we visited with each other there in the tree, but then it was time to bring him down.

I reached for the carrier and pulled it up, but Abu began to turn around at his first sight of it. I was not expecting him to have a negative reaction to that, but I put it away and prepared the cat bag instead. Once the carrier was stored away, Abu came right back to me for some more petting. There were several small, annoying, sprouting limbs all over the limb between us, so we had to work around them. I broke some of them out of the way to make sure I had enough clear room to work, and when I was ready, I began to feel for his scruff.

When I started to pick him up by his scruff, Abu grabbed onto the tree very strongly. I had to use the other hand to pick him up from underneath. At the same time, I discovered that his scruff was difficult to hold. In all my rescues, I have found two or three cats that had a scruff that I could not grip. It was as if the scruff were oiled, and no matter how hard I squeezed, it would just slip out of my hand. Abu's was like that. It was not the worst case I have had, but it was one that I could not hold more than a few seconds. I had to act fast to get the bag over him, but at the same time, he was feeling betrayed and began to struggle slightly. I pulled the bag over him but not completely. I still had his rear end sticking out, and I had to work fast to get it completely around him before he escaped. I secured him in the bag just in the nick of time. It was not smooth or pretty, and Abu was not happy, but he was secure just the same.

I brought Abu down and gave him to Abby. She was extremely relieved and grateful to have Abu back down in her arms again. She walked him home while I packed up. She returned a few minutes later to return the empty bag. She and Nancy had suffered much more than Abu did during his stay in the tree, so the relief and gratitude they both felt was very evident. They sent this picture of him to me later that evening to show him settling back into the comfort of a soft bed just minutes after his rescue. After enduring a lot of rain and three nights in the tree, that is just what he needed. Sleep well, sweet Abu.