It was right after I finished setting up for Pepe Lepew's rescue in Slidell that I got a call from Andre to see if I could rescue his cat in Picayune, Mississippi. Picayune is not very far from Slidell at all, so I considered it fortunate timing that I could do both of these rescues in the same trip. I told him I would call him as soon as I finished with Pepe to let him know when I could be there. At that time, I did not know that Pepe's rescue was going to turn into an exhausting, five-hour drama, so, after it was over, I felt very badly that I had to tell Andre that I was simply too exhausted to do another rescue. It would have to wait till the next day, and I would just have to make a separate trip. Andre and his wife, Shannon, were very anxious to get their cat down, but they understood, and we agreed to meet the following morning.
The cat, Midnight, had been stuck in a tree in their backyard for three nights by the time I arrived the next morning. Midnight is a black, one-year-old girl with a small white spot on her chest, and when she saw me approaching her tree, she started crying desperately for help. It was clear she wanted down, and it appeared she would be a very cooperative kitty to rescue. Installing my rope above her in the tree, however, scared her quite a bit, so I decided to get out of her sight and take a break to give her some time to calm down. Several minutes later, she did indeed sound much better, so I prepared to climb up to her.
I climbed up to Midnight slowly and talked to her sweetly along the way. Fortunately, she stayed in the same spot and let me approach her. At times, she seemed comfortable with me, but at other times, she seemed a bit cautious and fearful. I reached my hand out to her, and she sniffed it thoroughly, but that seemed to leave her feeling a bit confused and suspicious. I reached around to her back side and gave her a pat and scratch on her back, and she was fine with that. She seemed to relax a bit more after some friendly petting. I pulled the carrier up and held that out near her. At first, she seemed to be comfortable with it, but then something made her change her mind. She suddenly decided she needed to get away, and she lowered herself backward clinging onto the trunk of the tree. At first, I thought she was going to climb all the way down the tree, but she hung there for a short time and then came back up into the same crotch again. After avoiding that near disaster, I prepared the cat bag and re-established her trust in me with some petting. After massaging her scruff, I lifted her off the tree and pulled the bag over her. She took it very well and did not complain much. I placed her in my lap to get her in a comfortable position and to reassure her for a minute before bringing her down. On the ground, I handed her over to Shannon who took her inside. Midnight is fine now, and all is back to normal in the house again.