I felt so sorry for Silky when I first saw where she was in the tree. Silky is a one-year-old, long-hair, black kitty who got stuck in a tree on her rural property near Bogalusa. She was 70 feet high near the top of a Sweet Gum tree and about ten feet out on a thin limb that angled upward at a 45-degree angle. It was a very windy day, and she was being tossed around back and forth in long, nausea-inducing curves high in the air with no end in sight. She had been in the tree for three nights, but, fortunately, she was lower in the tree the first two nights, one of which was a long night of very severe weather. Emma managed to find someone at the electric power company to come out there with a bucket truck on Silky's third day in the tree, but Silky was frightened by it and went higher to where I was now seeing her. I could not bear to leave her in that tree any longer.
Unfortunately, the tree was a difficult one to climb. Climbing up the first 35 feet was straightforward, but the rest of it was difficult, strenuous and slow, so it took me longer to reach Silky than I would have liked. It was difficult to find her with all the foliage blocking my view, but her cries helped guide me to the right place, and I eventually reached a position at the stem next to her.
Silky was out about 10 feet away from me near the end of the limb, and the limb angled upward about 45 degrees. I was hoping she would be able to walk down the limb to me, but that angle is about the limit for a cat to walk down in a controlled manner. With the limb so small and the bark so smooth, I had doubts about whether she could do it. The limb was too small to support my weight, so I really needed her to come to me.
I tried to entice her to me with sweet-talk, treats and food, but the only one of those that seemed to influence her was the food. I could see she wanted it, and she tried to come down to get it, but she was not comfortable coming down that limb. After a few attempts to get her to overcome her fears, I finally came to the conclusion that this simply was not going to work. I needed to go to her.
I secured myself to the stem as high as I safely could and then I added another rope out on Silky's limb. I wanted to support her limb so that it could hold my weight and also use it to pull her limb closer to me. Once I did that, I could reach my hand very close to her, and that was enough to encourage her to come down close enough to sniff my hand and let me stroke her cheek with one finger. With that introduction, she felt better about me and took two more steps down to the point where I could just barely reach her scruff. I grabbed her by the scruff and pulled her off the limb while I pulled the bag over her. This little girl was finally secured and ready to go down. I held her gently in my arms and petted her through the bag to let her know she was safe, and then we began our long descent.
Once on the ground, I handed Silky over to Emma who had been anxiously waiting down below with her friend, Jared, for the entire duration of this lengthy rescue. They took Silky home in the bag and released her there. Silky looked fine and began to settle back into her routine. Emma sent this picture of her to me later that day, and I am very glad to see that this sweet kitty is no longer swaying wildly in the wind.