Reese is a six-month-old black kitten that lives with Vera at her home which is set next to a 
picturesque creek in a beautiful, remote area of wooded hills near Natchez, Mississippi. For reasons unknown, Reese climbed a large, tall tree at the edge of the creek and got stuck 50 feet high. Vera tried everything she knew to do, but all her efforts and calls to local resources failed to produce any results. With the assistance of her out-of-state family, she was able to find me after Reese had spent five long nights in the tree.

Reese may be only a six-month-old kitten, but she is one tough cookie. Not only did she manage to hang onto that tree for five nights and severe thunderstorms, she also managed to evade my every maneuver to rescue her by climbing higher and higher until she was holding onto the tiny wispy twigs at the tip of her vertical limb.

When I first arrived and began to climb up to Reese, she was about 50 feet high on a limb that angled upward slightly, but when I got too close for her comfort, she began to go farther out on her limb which gradually curved upward. Reese went out a few feet and stopped where she could stand on a limb. I climbed higher up the main stem where I could possibly reach her, but when I stretched and reached as far as I possibly could, I could just barely touch her feet and shoulder. In spite of my best efforts, I simply could not reach her well enough to grab her by the scruff of the neck. I tried to prove to her that I was friendly, but she was not convinced, and she decided she needed more distance from me. She went even farther out the limb which was now vertical, and she climbed upward until she reached the end. She was now about 70 feet high.

I climbed higher up the main stem until I was roughly level with Reese. She was too far away from me to reach with anything other than my rescue pole, so I pulled the pole up to me and prepared to snare her. It was impossible to get in a comfortable and secure position so close to the top of the tree, and I struggled miserably trying to finesse the noose around her and under her front legs without including any of the wispy tips of the tree. When I failed to get it correctly positioned, I had to rest every now and then and catch my breath and then try again. After several minutes of battle, it finally dawned on me that there is an easier way to do this, and I felt so foolish not to have thought of it first.

I put the rescue pole away and put a rope around Reese's limb and used it to pull the limb toward me. Reese was helpless as I pulled her closer and closer to me until she was within reach and I could grab her and put her in the bag. The poor little girl was exhausted from holding on to the limb and fighting the nasty noose I was trying to get around her after spending five nights in the tree. She was resigned to her fate now and settled limply in the bag. I placed her on my lap and petted her through the bag in an attempt to console her and let her know she was safe. I will never know if I convinced her or not, but she remained quiet and still for the entire long descent to the ground.

I transferred Reese to Vera's carrier so she could take her to her veterinarian to get checked out, and by the time I packed up my gear and was ready to leave, they were long gone. The next day, Vera told me that the veterinarian found Reese to be in good shape, and they are both now relieved that she is safe and comfortable at home.

I turned my camera off and on several times during this lengthy rescue but failed to turn it on for the last, critical part of the rescue, so I have no pictures from that portion of the ordeal.