Unknown Gray Kitty

Kim and her daughter, Kelley, first discovered the cat early Saturday morning. He was crying from 60 feet high near the top of the Pine tree in their Pearl River back yard, and every time someone went into the back yard and talked to him, his crying intensified as if desperately pleading for help. They did not know or recognize this young gray cat, but they felt as much sympathy and responsibility for him as they would their own. So did the neighbors. Every day, they all struggled to find a way to help this little kitty, but all their ideas and calls for help failed to bring any relief to the cat. The burden on Kim, especially, was getting to be too much to bear as the days dragged on with no progress. She began to turn on noises in the house to block the cat's cries at night because she could not sleep thinking about it. After the cat's fifth night in the tree, Kelley found and called me, and I went out there that afternoon.

The only thing I knew about this cat was that he appeared to be somewhat friendly simply by the way he cried to people down below, but all signs of friendliness disappeared when I installed my rope in the tree near him. The commotion I created in that process scared him, and he became totally quiet. I gave him some time to calm down before I began to climb up to him, and when I heard him cry once again, I knew it was time to climb.

My rope was set at the top of the tree where the stem forked to the left and the right. The cat was resting in a crotch about five or six feet out on the left fork, and he watched me as I climbed up to the fork. He spoke to me several times and remained in a relaxed position. He did not walk farther out the limb to get away from me, but he didn't come any closer to me either. He was taking a neutral position until he gathered more information about me. I talked to him sweetly and tried to coax him to me, but he was not ready to trust this strange-looking person.

When I opened a can of food for him, then everything changed. All of a sudden, either I was his best friend, or he didn't care who I was. He came quickly down that fork to the food and began to eat like a cat who has not eaten in five or six days. I had to slow him down and take the food away from him so that I had time to get the cat bag ready. I struggled to get the cat bag ready with one hand while fighting off his advances to the food with the other hand. When I had the cat bag ready, I set the food back in the fork and let him eat some more. I petted him as he ate, and, after letting him enjoy the food for a moment, I lifted him by the scruff and pulled the bag over him.

As I landed back on the ground with the cat in the bag, all the family and neighbors who had been watching and waiting days for this moment broke out in cheers and applause. Kim was especially relieved. With tears of relief, she held him in the bag while I scanned him for a microchip. No microchip was found. We transferred him to a carrier and gave him some more food to eat.

The best part of this rescue for me was seeing so many people of the neighborhood all involved with this cat they did not know. Their expressions of relief, gratitude and appreciation were a joy to see and hear. They had all struggled so long to find help for this cat, and now all the tension and stress they had endured for several days were resolved now that the cat was finally safely on the ground. This is what makes a rescue especially rewarding for me.

Later that evening, Kelley told me that they found the owners of the cat. He belongs to some neighbors who came over there with their children to claim him and take him home. So this little boy is back where he belongs now, and all the neighbors can relax and sleep better now.