Sebastian's Second Rescue

It happened again. Sebastian, the sweet Ragdoll kitty of St. Francisville, got stuck in a tree again. Unlike the first time when he got stuck in a tree in his own front yard, this time, he wandered far off before finding a tree to his liking. Because he was so far away, his owners, Devin and Kaitlin, could not find him. While they searched, the people who lived across the street from the tree where Sebastian was trapped eventually heard him cry and tried to find him. Sebastian was not easy to see, because the tree he was in was covered with vines. But they found him and did everything they could to help him down. When all their efforts failed, they published a post on Facebook about him, and that is when Devin and Kaitlin learned where he was. They went over there to check, and, sure enough, there was their Sebastian. By this time, Sebastian had been in the tree for four days.

I was expecting the rescue to be quick and easy, because Sebastian is a sweet, friendly boy with a typical Ragdoll disposition. When I arrived and saw the tree, however, I began to have some serious reservations. I did not like this tree. The trunk rose with a slight lean about 25 feet and then curved sharply to that same side placing the weight of the entire tree all on one side. At the point where the trunk curved there was a large cavity (yellow circle) which weakened the structure at exactly the point where it needed to be its strongest. The upper extremities of the tree hung over the power lines running along the street next to the tree. Someday, this tree will fail at the cavity, and when it does, it could possibly bring the power lines down with it.

Sebastian was 35 feet high (red circle) and well above the cavity. At one point, however, he walked down the sloping trunk to the cavity and stepped inside. He was unable to come down any farther, however, because the trunk was nearly vertical at that point. I was glad when he did this, because that gave me an opportunity to install my rope on the large limb where he had originally been resting.

Once I began to climb up to Sebastian, he began to climb back up as well. He was halfway back up to his original perch when I got level with him and had a chance to re-introduce myself to him. I pulled the foliage of the vines away to see him, and, as expected, he was happy to see me. I climbed all the way up to the top of my rope hoping that he would follow me to that same spot, and I was happy to see that he did. Now were were closer together and both in a more comfortable position to make this rescue happen.

After a brief visit, I pulled the carrier up and placed it in front of him. It was no surprise when he immediately stepped inside. No hesitation. He knew this was his ticket down, and he was not going to miss it. I secured him inside and came down.

Back on the ground, I handed him over to Devin, and Devin drove him back home to release him inside while I packed my gear. I stopped by there on my way out to get the carrier and make sure Sebastian was okay. A little later, I got this picture of a very happy and relieved Kaitlin holding Sebastian, and that is what I like to see. I enjoyed seeing Sebastian again. As long as he is in a reasonable tree, he is always easy to rescue. But I do worry about him. They try to keep him inside, but no matter how good the inside life is, it just does not compete with the exciting stimulation he finds outside. So, every time he sees a chance to sneak out, he goes for it and makes the most of it. He has been lucky so far, and I hope that luck continues. And if he gets himself stuck in a tree again, I will be happy to rescue him.