Penny is truly a neighborhood cat. Penny is a very friendly orange tabby boy, and he just showed up mysteriously two weeks ago without explanation in the quiet, close-knit neighborhood in Leesville and very quickly endeared himself to all the children and adults alike. The children named him Penny because they thought his color was like that of a penny. Courtney and her other adult neighbors did their best to find Penny's home, including taking him to the vet to be scanned for a microchip, but they struck out at every turn.

While all the neighbors were happily caring for him, one of them decided to actually adopt him and give him a good home as soon as she returned from her out-of-town trip. While she was still away, however, Penny got stuck in a tree. No one knew why he climbed the tree, but everyone worked to help him get down. It was a great, neighborhood effort, but they were unable to get him down on their own, and they were unable to find anyone else to do it. After discovering me on the internet, Courtney called me to see if I had any ideas. She assumed I was too far away to do the rescue myself, but she was hoping I knew someone close who could do it. Once I hear about a cat stuck in a tree, I can't ignore it no matter how far away it is. This one would be a three-hour drive, which is normally about my limit, and I could not resist agreeing to do the rescue the next morning.

Unfortunately, the weather that day was terrible. A line of thunderstorms was moving through the area that morning, and I could not possibly get there in time to do the rescue before the storms arrived. The forecast predicted that the storms would be over by 1:00 PM, so I timed my trip to arrive there by 12:30. While the rain was falling hard when I arrived, it ended very quickly, and by the time I was ready to begin, it had quit completely.

Poor Penny had spent two nights about 30 feet high on the first limb of the tree, and he was miserable and wet. I climbed up to him while watching his reaction, and he appeared to be as friendly as advertised. He was comfortable with my approach and readily made friends with me. He seemed so friendly, in fact, that I thought he might want to step onto my lap. But he was on a strangely contorted limb that had offshoots in every direction which limited his movement, and stepping on my lap just did not come natural.

I pulled the carrier up for him and gave him a chance to go into it without any food enticement, but he did not fall for that. He had no fear of the carrier and found it mildly interesting, but saw no reason to go inside. So I opened a can of food for him, and he was definitely interested in that. I let him have a few bites and then put the food in the back of the carrier. He stared inside and considered it, and after a minute or so, he stepped inside. When I began to shut the door, however, the entire door came off the carrier, and when I moved the carrier to bring it closer to me, Penny got nervous and jumped back out.

The carrier option was now out, so I prepared the bag on my arm while wondering how I was going to pull him out of this peculiar tangle of limbs. When I got into position to lure him closer to me, he began to show some interest in stepping onto my lap. I was thrilled with that idea, since I would much rather bring him down in my lap than scruff him into a bag. The descent would be easy, he was relaxed enough, and he knew where he was, so I saw no reason not to do it. I encouraged him onto my lap, and he stepped down and settled on my lap as if he had done it many times before.

After enjoying a short visit with him there, I began to descend slowly while holding him in place. Once we were close to the ground, but not close enough, he began to move as if he was ready to jump down, but I held him back. Just before reaching the ground, I relaxed my grip and let him jump down. He walked over to the group of neighbors who had been watching the rescue, and they were all happy to see him. They all spent a long time taking turns visiting with him and feeding him the rest of the food from the carrier. With the weather turning colder, they made plans to keep him warm and comfortable during the night. They were still visiting with him even after I had packed up my gear and was ready to leave.

I enjoyed the rescue because the cat, the tree and the people were all a pleasure. I absolutely love it when a cat is so friendly that I can bring him down in my lap. While the tree had that one weird limb, it was otherwise a very easy tree to climb. And all the people cared about the cat and were very gracious, appreciative and very nice to me, and I know they will take good care of Penny.