Stella got off to a rough start in life, but she and her three other litter-mates got profoundly lucky when Christie found them and took them all home with her. Christie is an extraordinarily competent and compassionate cat rescuer who has rescued countless cats over many years, nursed them to good health and placed them in good homes. Stella was a cutie -- as can be seen in this picture of her from that time -- but she was a bit of a challenge in that she was the runt of the litter and not in good health. Under Christie's care, however, Stella improved and eventually caught up to her siblings. Stella was the last to be adopted, but she found the perfect home and fit with Liz, and the two of them have bonded very strongly over the past year.

Stella escaped the house recently and quickly learned a very harsh lesson: there is a mean cat out there. That cat lives next door but considers Stella's yard as her own territory and promptly chased Stella up the nearest tree. The tree is right on the fence line, and Stella eventually settled into a large fork in the tree about 25 feet high. Stella did not know how to climb down, and Liz did not know how to get her down. The next morning, Liz called Christie for advice, and Christie referred her to me.

Fortunately, Stella handled my rope installation and climb up to her very well, and she remained relaxed as I approached her. She sniffed my hand and let me pet her, but when I began to bring the carrier up to her, she got nervous and began to look for an escape route. I immediately put the carrier away, and Stella relaxed again. After spending a few minutes visiting with her there in the tree, I prepared the cat bag on my arm and put her in the bag. She was not happy about that, so, with her still in the bag, I placed her on my lap and consoled her for a minute before taking her down.

I gave the bag to Liz, and she took Stella inside to release her. Stella was fine and began to settle back into the comforts of home. Later that evening, Liz sent a picture (last picture below) of Stella to me explaining how Stella had been spending a very long time grooming herself, and Liz had to interrupt Stella's cleaning session for this picture. Apparently, Stella's overnight accommodations did not quite live up to her demanding cleanliness standards, but if that is the worst effect of her misadventure, then I would say she is doing very well indeed.