The cat's name is Karen, and she is an eight-month-old Siamese kitty who got stuck 35 feet high in a skinny tree at her rural home near the town of Zachary. Kaylyn sent this picture of her to me and said that Karen had been stuck in the tree on a skinny limb with her legs dangling for four nights. I think it is remarkable that a cat can stay on such a small limb for so long without falling, but Karen was tough and determined.

Though Karen was supposed to be a reasonably friendly girl, I was not counting on that. I have recently had a long string of rescue cats who should have been friendly and cooperative but were not, and I have been questioning my cat charming and rescue abilities. When a cat looks at me like I am the cat-eating monster of their worst nightmares, it not only makes me wonder what I am doing wrong, it hurts my feelings. I was hoping that this would be the rescue where I could prove my ability to communicate my friendly intentions effectively and convince Karen that I was worthy of her trust.

It wasn't.

Karen did not trust me one bit. She stayed out of reach on her limb, and nothing I did or said made any difference in her impression of me. My feelings were hurt again. Since she was not responding to me, I decided to turn my back to her and ignore her, so I did just that. After a few minutes, I heard a sound behind me but closer than before, and I was happy to think that Karen might be having a change of heart and coming near me. I looked, and, indeed, she was coming to me. In fact, she was now right there next to me, and I was elated to think that this was the moment I had finally earned her trust.

It wasn't.

It took only a few seconds for me to see that she did not come close to me because she now trusted me. No, instead, she was trying to sneak past me while I had my back to her. If I had been prepared for this, I could have grabbed her and bagged her right then and there, but I still had her bribery food in one hand and the carrier in the other, and I could do nothing but watch as she slipped past me and began to climb awkwardly head-first down the trunk of the skinny tree. She lost her footing, flipped around and caught herself so that she was now holding on vertically with her head up, and if she had continued climbing down backward that way, she would have been fine. Instead, she wanted to go down head first, so she turned around and quickly ran down the stem head first until she lost control and fell the rest of the way to the ground. She ran just a short distance away from the tree, and a minute later, I saw that Shannon had picked her up and was carrying her back to the house.

Karen was fine. Kaylyn and Shannon were happy. But I was still hanging all alone at the top of that skinny tree, and my feelings were hurt.

Well, maybe the next rescue will be better.

It wasn't.