had to spend a long time with him to earn his trust, but he never quite warmed up to me. Instead, he did the most unusual thing, and I have seen only one other cat do this with me several years ago. He came closer to me by backing up to me. I don't know what he was thinking. Maybe he wanted to back up to where the branch was more level and simply forgot about me or thought I was far enough away. Maybe he wanted to approach me but also wanted to be ready to make a quick getaway if needed. Whatever his reasoning, he backed up like a crawfish until he was just within my reach for the first time. I took advantage of the moment and reached out to let him sniff my hand and give him a gentle pat and scratch on the back. While that seemed to ease his mind a bit, it eased only a little bit, and he was soon making another approach to the scary downward escape route only to stop once again.