Pepe Lepew

I would like to think that a very difficult rescue, as I had with Gloria, would be automatically followed by a grace period during which another difficult rescue would be somehow forbidden. Unfortunately, I learned to my great disappointment that there is no such law, and the random nature of difficult rescues struck me again just five days later. This time, it occurred with the rescue of Pepe Lepew, the gray and white boy kitty belonging to Barbara in Slidell.

It's unclear just how long Pepe had been stuck in this Pine tree in his back yard, but we know it was at least two nights. When I arrived, I found him about 55 feet high and was disappointed to see several vines climbing the entire height of the tree. Normally, I would like to install my rope well above him, but I had no good choices in this particular tree and had to settle for a limb below him. After climbing to the top of my rope, I used another rope to work my way higher up to him.

I was happy to see him staying in his original position and even more encouraged by his willingness to sniff my hand when I reached it out to him. Normally, this peaceful greeting gesture is reassuring to most cats, but whatever Pepe smelled on my gloves disturbed him, and, when I made a move to come a little higher, he climbed all the way up to the top of the tree. This was the beginning of a lengthy chase whose details are too many and tedious to be written or read. Suffice it to say that twice we both climbed all the way to the tip top of the tree, and twice I tried and failed to bag him. Pepe is a cat who refused to be contained, and, even though bagging a cat is one of the most safe and successful ways to contain a cat in a tree, Pepe managed to escape both times. In the end, Pepe required that I use the rescue pole to snare him and stuff him in a net. Even then, he almost managed to escape the net, but, fortunately, this time, I was able to keep him secured.

Once I brought him down to the ground and Barbara took him inside to release him, he was back to his usual sweet self and acting as if nothing had happened. I wish I could have seen that sweet side of Pepe in the tree, because that would have shortened this five-hour rescue considerably.