Whenever I get a call to rescue an unknown cat, I never know quite what to expect. This time, however, I had a good idea that it would be a friendly cat. When Jesse called me for the rescue, he told what he had already done to rescue the cat himself, and the the cat's cooperative reaction to his attempts was a very positive sign.

Jesse and his wife, Nina, had discovered the cat in a large pine tree at the edge of the woods on the property the day before. They did not recognize the cat, but were just as determined to help it as if it were their own. The cat was on the lowest limb of the tree but was still a little over 40 feet high. The limb was partially broken and angled downward several feet. Jesse made a valiant and almost successful effort to climb a ladder as high as he could and use a pool net to reach the cat which came down the drooping limb to get closer to him. The cat actually stepped inside the net with his front paws, but Jesse was unable to get the back legs in too.

I had some trouble getting my rope installed in the tree, but, because it was being set on a limb far above the cat, he did not get seriously frightened. By the time I climbed up to him, he appeared relaxed and welcoming, and I was relieved to see that he would be friendly and cooperative. We made friends right away, and he was happy to have some company and get some loving.

Because of his features, I assumed he was a female at first, and you will hear me refer to him as such in the video. It was later, when we were down on the ground, that I learned that he is a male. From a distance, he appeared to be all black, but now that I was close, I could see a few, small patches of white on his underside. I also saw several blotches of pine sap on his fur, especially on his back. It took me a few minutes, however, to notice his most interesting feature. His front feet were very large, and it appeared that he had two thumbs on both feet. He was a polydactyl cat, and this is the first time I have ever seen one. Since his feet looked like catcher's mitts, I decided to call him Mitt.

After we exchanged our greetings and checked each other out, it was time to go down, and I saw no reason why I could not bring him down in the carrier. I held the carrier up to him, and he looked inside and even stepped inside with his front paws, but he would not go in all the way. I opened a can of food for him to give him a better reason to go in. He was very interested in the food and stepped onto my lap to get a closer look as I opened it. I let him have a few bites, and then I put the food in the back of the carrier. I felt confident that he would go inside now, but, again, he continued to insist on putting no more than two feet inside. I tried to get him to go all the way in the carrier several times, but he never would do so. Since he seemed relaxed and trusting enough, I decided to help push his back end inside. After petting and scratching his rump, I gently lifted his back legs and guided them inside the carrier. He did not complain one bit, and, after tucking his tail inside, I closed and latched the door.

I brought him down and turned him over to Jesse and Nina. They had already been checking all the relevant websites to see if the cat had been reported as missing, but no reports had been found. I scanned the cat for a microchip but did not find one. They will continue to try to find the cat's owner, but as of the next day, the kitty's home still had not been found. If the owner is not found, they will likely try to find a new home for him, since they are unable to keep him permanently. He is a very sweet and affectionate polydactyl cat, so I am sure that it won't be difficult to find someone who will want to adopt this special boy.

Nina sent this picture of him to me afterward, and I am glad she did, because I did not get a picture that showed his feet very well.