Laverne defeated me. This stubborn, ten-year-old kitty defied my every attempt to befriend her or get her out of the tree. Laverne has climbed this tree in her yard near Zachary several times, but she always lands on one of the lower limbs and comes down easily on her own. This time, however, she went higher and felt stuck there about 25 feet high. Jean tried to help her get down, but stubborn Laverne stayed put, and, after Laverne's third night in the tree, Jean called me for help.

I should have expected Laverne to be scared of me.  After all, I had had a long string of scaredy cat rescues, and Laverne just happened to live next door to Karen, another scaredy cat I tried to rescue just four days earlier. But, still, I was naively hopeful that Laverne would be sweet and cooperative.

I approached her calmly and gently, but Laverne decided from the beginning that my presence was unacceptable. She didn't fuss or hiss. She just let me know that I was not welcome, and, if I came any closer, she was walking away out to the end of that long limb where I would never be able to get her. It mattered not to her how long I waited. She could wait longer.

Rather than get into a long, losing chase out to the end of the limb or have her jump to all the other long limbs, I decided it was best just to set a trap for her. I put the trap on her limb and set it, and then I left thinking that, in a few minutes, I would get a call from Jean saying that Laverne was in the trap. Those few minutes passed. Then an hour, and another hour. After a few hours, I decided it was time to go back out there and get more aggressive to get that girl down.

When I went back out there, I found Laverne sitting on a different limb, and the trap door was closed. She had eaten the trail of food I left to lead her into the trap, and she had apparently bumped the trap door and caused it to close while she was still on the outside. Well, now it's time to get more aggressive.

I climbed back up the tree, but, this time, she was now on the opposite side of the wide trunk and not in a good position to hear or see me. It occurred to me that I could sneak up to her and grab her before she had a chance to get away. I prepared my cat bag and climbed the last few feet where I could now see her backside. She still did not know I was there. I reached around, grabbed her by the scruff and pulled her off her perch. I pulled the bag over her, set her in my lap for some calming and reassuring pets and then brought her down. That quickly and easily, it was over.

Since Laverne likes to climb this tree often, I suggested to Jean that she try to train Laverne how to climb down backward. With a harness and leash, she could gently tug at Laverne on the side of the tree until she can figure out how to go down backwards on her own. Jean promised to let me know how this works out. In the meantime, she sent this picture of Laverne where she most likes to be: on top of the car.

She also sent an additional picture of Laverne with her canine siblings. Apparently, there is a strict, formal, black-and-white dress code in this family.