Minew and his twin sibling just recently joined Newman's family at their rural home near Folsom, and it did not take long at all for Minew to get himself into trouble. We don't know why he did it, but he climbed a sweet gum tree beside the house and got stuck there. Minew was only nine months old, and we don't know much about his short history, but he apparently either missed or failed any childhood tree-climbing lessons. He was now 50 feet high on the highest useful limb of the tree, and he was well beyond the reach of Newman's ladder. He spent three nights in the tree before Newman found me and called. While the weather had been relatively mild thus far, there was now a new urgency to getting Minew down soon, because a severe cold front was due to arrive during the night bringing some rain and freezing temperatures.

No one could be home that afternoon to greet me, but, with clear directions, I was able to find the house, tree and cat very easily. Once Minew heard me talking to him, he talked back to me and appeared to be pleading with me for help. Since Minew was already at the top of the tree, I installed my rope about 10 feet below him and worked my way up to him from there. I was very pleased to see that he appeared to be happy to see me. Once I was within reach, I held my hand up to him to sniff. He sniffed it and quickly let me pet him. Making friends with this sweet boy was no problem at all.

To get closer to him, I needed to place my rope over the same limb on which he was standing. As I shoved the rope over that crotch, Minew appeared to try to bite my hand as if to say he did not approve. I'm not sure precisely what he was thinking or what infraction I had committed, but he got over it very quickly, and I was soon climbing up as close to him as I could go.

Minew's left ear was tipped which usually indicates a feral cat that has been trapped, neutered, vaccinated and returned to his territory. While Minew was clearly not a feral cat, I could assume that he had probably had some unpleasant and scary experiences in a trap or carrier. With that in mind, I decided to use the bag to bring him down rather than risk scaring him away from me at his sight of a carrier.

We spent a few minutes up there in the tree getting acquainted while I planned for the best way to get him. His body was wrapped around a small limb, and I wanted to be sure that limb did not prevent me from pulling him out of the tree gently. When he stretched out toward me, I saw a good opportunity to lift him and pull him out of his position. While his back leg still hung loosely on the limb, he did not attempt to grab it, and that leg easily came free while I pulled the bag over him. He took it all in stride without complaint or struggle.

I took him down to the ground and walked to the back patio to release him there. As he emerged from the bag, he instantly recognized his familiar territory and relaxed. He sniffed around and reveled in being back down again while I prepared some food for him. While he ate the food, I went back to the tree to pack up my gear. A few minutes later, I came back to check on him. While I petted him, he rubbed against my legs and purred as if to say, "thank you."

You're welcome, Minew. While I would prefer that you not get stuck in a tree again, I will be happy to rescue you again, if you need it.