Lilo and Stitch

When Chantell came home from work, she found that both her cats, 
Lilo (pronounced LEE-low) and Stitch, were missing. She noticed that a screen had been pushed out of a window, so she guessed they must have both escaped. After searching, she found Lilo up high in a tree in her back yard, but she could not find Stitch. She tried all the usual tips for luring Lilo down from the tree and called all the usual people to get him down, but nothing worked. Her pleas, however, did get the attention of someone who told her to call me, so I drove over there the next morning after Lilo's second night in the tree.

When I arrived, as soon as I got out of my car, I heard cats crying. There was a small, very talkative kitten running at my feet, but I was also hearing an adult cat. The crying seemed to be coming from multiple directions, but that is often the case when a cat cries in a tree. Chantell took me to the back yard and pointed up to Lilo high in the tree. He was about 50 feet high near the end of some small limbs, so it was going to be a challenge to reach him. Fortunately, Chantell said he is very friendly with strangers, so I was counting on him to help me out a bit. I went back to the front to retrieve some gear, and then I heard what sounded like a different cat crying nearby. I walked farther out and followed the sound until I spotted another cat in a tree in the front yard. I pointed it out to Chantell and asked if that was her cat, Stitch. She was surprised to see him and confirmed that that was, indeed, her baby. All of a sudden, I had two rescues to do.

When I climbed up to Lilo, I had trouble getting him to trust me. I was hoping he would readily come straight to me, but he was a bit scared. When the usual charm did not work, I resorted to opening a can of food, and that did the trick. He came to me right away and let me pet him. I held the open carrier up to him, showed him the food, shoved the food into the back of the carrier, and watched as he stepped into the carrier with no trouble at all.  No trouble, that is, except for getting his tail inside so I could close the door.

I took Lilo down to the ground, and Chantell took him inside to release him while I prepared for Stitch. The story I got about Stitch gave me great concern, because he was described as a very skittish cat who could be unpredictably aggressive at times. To make matters worse, he was in a sketchy tree covered with vines. He was only 20 feet high, so I suggested that it would be best if I just scare him down. Skittish cats are often so frightened by my rope installation process that they suddenly get motivated to find a way to get down on their own in a hurry. I intentionally created as much commotion in the tree above him to scare him down, but, while it did indeed scare him, he never made a move to come down. Now, I have no choice but to climb up to him, and I have made matters worse for myself by getting him in a bad mood. I was dreading this.

So imagine how surprised and relieved I was when I saw Stitch acting very relaxed and friendly as I approached him. He acted like a perfectly sweet boy and gave me no trouble at all. Of course, I approached him slowly and carefully, but I began to wonder if trying to scare him down actually made him more receptive to me. I wanted to lure him into the carrier with food, but, while he enjoyed the food, he was reluctant to go inside the carrier for it. Instead, I bagged him, and he handled it just fine without any complaint. I took him down, and Chantell took him inside to release him.

Lilo and Stitch were safely back inside their home now, and Chantell was very relieved. Later that day, she sent this picture of the two of them catching up on sleep after their two-day adventure.