William had just come home after spending more than two weeks in the hospital recovering from severe injuries due to a crazed driver who intentionally tried to run over him with his car. William was hit hard three times but managed to keep himself above the car each time. He felt fortunate to survive even though he was now in pain and having to use a walker to get around. Even though William had every reason to think of no one but himself, he could not help but notice the cat in the back yard next door to him crying desperately from 40 feet high in the neighbor's Pine tree. William did not know the cat, and, after talking with his neighbor, Betty, he learned that she did not know the cat either. Betty told him that the cat had been stuck there for two weeks, and she could not find anyone who would rescue the cat. William put out a plea for help on Facebook, and someone referred him to me.
Since he was an unknown cat, I had already made arrangements with the Mobile SPCA to take him once I got him down. They would find his owner or, if the owner was not found, put him up for adoption.
I got into position so that he could step onto my lap, and I was pleased to see that he showed interest in doing just that. I wanted to bring him down in the cat bag so that I could easily and securely check him for a microchip once we were on the ground. I can't do that when he is in a carrier, so I did not even bring the carrier up into the tree with me. Since he was willing to get on my lap, I spread the cat bag on my lap so that I could just lift the sides of the bag up around him. Sometimes, this technique works better in theory than in actual practice, and this was one of those times. He kept moving around and wanting to get closer to me, so I was having trouble keeping his whole body inside the circle formed by the sides of the bag. This sweet boy even gave me some head butts while I was trying to work the bag around him. When it got too awkward, he would step back to the tree, and we had to start all over. He stepped on my lap three times before I was finally able to get the bag completely around him.
On my way back home, I got a call from the owner. Her name is Laura, and she was super thrilled to have found her cat. She said she had already picked it up at the SPCA and taken it home. I was a little puzzled how she knew it was there since the microchip company did not know that, but, it so happens, that Laura is a veterinary technician and a well-known, frequent volunteer with the SPCA, and, when they looked up the microchip number, they recognized her name right away.
Laura told me that her cat had been missing for 19 days, and we know he was stuck in the tree at least 15 or 16 of those days. It's possible he was in the tree the entire time and was not noticed at the beginning, but we can't know that for sure. Laura told me that he is two years old and such a friendly and outgoing boy, he would readily walk into anyone's house or jump into a car of strangers. She did not know it, but he was only six houses down the street all that time. She had been very worried about him those 19 days, but that was all over now that he was safely back in her arms.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarrare ) where you can learn more about him, if you dare. (Warning: not for the squeamish.) Tarrare, the cat, had quite an appetite that reminded Laura of Tarrare, the man, so that his how he got his name.
So this long-distance rescue turned out to be very enjoyable. With all the interesting stories, the sweet cat that had been stuck for more than two weeks, and the wonderful outcome of the rescue, I didn't mind the drive back home at all. It was definitely worth it.