Tara was going through a difficult time when she found a two-month old, black kitten that was in a bad situation. Tara adopted the kitten, took her home and named her Maleficent. Together they quickly developed a deep and meaningful bond which helped Tara as she worked her way out of her difficulties. Tara had rescued the kitten, but the kitten had also rescued Tara.

Today, Maleficent is six months old, and when she slipped out the door and became missing, Tara sprung into action to find her like any mother searching for her missing child. She soon found her up high in a tree in the back yard of a neighbor a few houses away. Tara was delighted to have found her, but also frustrated that she could not get her down. Tara would not rest until she got her baby down.  She and her boyfriend, Matt, both tried everything they knew to try, but Maleficent was too high and did not know how to come down on her own. In desperation, Tara called Animal Control, and they put her in touch with me.

When I arrived at the site, I found Maleficent, a cute, black kitten, almost 40 feet high sitting on the top of the trunk where the top of the tree had previously broken off. There were few good limbs to use to install my rope, and the only useful one was just under Maleficent. I installed my rope there and began to climb up to her.

Tara had told me that Maleficent could be cautious with strangers but also capable of making friends with them too. Since she was already at the top of the tree, she could not go any higher to get away from me, but she could walk laterally out the only limb that extended from the top. I approached her slowly and carefully in an effort not to do anything that would frighten her. She watched me approach and did not appear to be alarmed. Once I was close enough, I reached my hand out to her, and she sniffed it. I could not reach high enough to touch her at that point, so I inched my way a little higher. Several times, I reached my hand out to her, and she seemed more and more satisfied with each contact.

Maleficent stepped awkwardly down to the next lower limb to be closer to me, but she was not comfortable there on that small limb with her back legs still on the other limb above her. Still, that was a good sign, and it gave me an opportunity to touch her and pet her. I held the carrier up to her to see if she would walk inside, but she pulled back away from it, so I put it away. Even though she was comfortable with me now, she went back up to her upper perch to get in a more comfortable position.

I prepared the cat bag on my arm and encouraged her to come back down to that lower limb again where I could better handle her. She came back down again, and I spent another minute visiting with her and petting her. When we were ready, I picked her up and pulled the bag over her. She took it all in stride with little complaint.

I brought Maleficent back down to the ground, and Tara was there anxiously waiting for her. I handed the bag to Tara, and she gently cradled her baby in her arms and kissed her through the bag. They spent a moment there together getting connected again, and then she and Matt walked her home to release her.

Happy to be home, Maleficent reconnected with Tara, filled her belly with food and water, and then settled in for a very long nap. She had been in the tree only one night, but she slept very soundly the rest of the day.