I tried to rescue Tigger, but he was just too scared of me to allow that to happen. Kenneth described Tigger to me as a very sweet, loving boy, so I was expecting a more welcoming reception, but the closer I got to this six-month-old orange tabby in this Pine tree, the more distressed he became. I stopped along the way up to him to give him time to settle down, but I apparently did not give him enough time.
Tigger was out at the end of a limb almost 15 feet away from me, and he was about 35 feet high. He could not go any farther out his limb, and I was blocking his escape route at the trunk. He was trapped, and that just added to his distress. I wanted to calm him down quickly, so I called Kenneth and put him on speakerphone so that he could talk to Tigger and, hopefully, trick him into thinking I was Kenneth. That helped some but not enough, and Tigger was still very distressed.
Tigger was trying to inch his way even farther out to the wispy ends of the limb, and I was very concerned that he would fall. I decided to go back down to the ground to relieve him of his perceived threat and give him time to calm down and come back up the limb toward the trunk where he was safer. Since I was not expecting him to be so fearful of me, I did not even bring my net or rescue pole up the tree, so this would also give me a chance to retrieve those from the truck.
Back on the ground, I was discussing Tigger's risk of falling with Kenneth when we looked up at him to see him attempting to turn around and go back up the limb away from the wispy end. I was glad he was trying to go to a safer part of the limb, but it soon became clear that he was losing his footing. While Tigger was struggling to recover his balance and footing, I began to walk back to my truck to retrieve my net so that I could possibly catch him if he fell. I had walked away for only a few seconds when I heard Kenneth call, and I turned around just in time to see Tigger fall to the ground. He landed on the soft, weed-covered ground in proper cat-like fashion and immediately ran into the woods away from us. He appeared to be fine.
Kenneth was very relieved. He knew that Tigger knew the territory well and would come back home just as soon as he felt safe. I, however, felt disappointed that I had not brought him down in a gentle way.
It was about two hours later when Kenneth sent a text message and picture to me to show that Tigger had just come back home and was eating. A little later, he sent this picture of Tigger sleeping with one of his buddies. I am glad to see this picture because that is the only close look I ever got of him. He never let me get close to him in the tree, so I don't have any close pictures of him.