A bolder cat may have been able to find a way down this tree on his own, but this unknown white cat with brown and black patches was stuck. The tree had a small, vine-covered stem that leaned and curved away very badly, and the cat was settled about 20 feet high at the apex of the curve where the stem was horizontal and tangled in vines. The slope of the stem back toward the ground was not so severe that a bold cat could not have managed to come down on his own, especially with all the numerous small limbs along the way that could serve as footholds. But the vines were an impediment, and the thin, smooth bark of the tree made the footing a bit slippery, so this kitty stayed put even through a night of cold weather with a temperature in the mid-20s.
It wasn't quick and easy to climb up the main tree and get within reach of the cat. His stem was not large enough to support my weight, so I had to support it with a rope connected to the main tree and then break many vines out of the way to create a pathway to the cat. All that commotion I created made the cat a little nervous, but he overcame that when I was finally ready to greet him. He sniffed my hand and let me pet him right away. He actually wanted more petting than I was giving and kept pushing his head into my hand for more. When I held an open carrier in front of him, he would not go inside, but when I offered some food to him and then pushed it to the back of the carrier, he walked inside, and I closed the door and brought him down.
Back on the ground, I checked him for a microchip and was delighted to find one. A quick call to the microchip company gave me the name and phone number of the registered owner, but that contact information had not been updated in two years. When I called the phone number, the call went directly to voicemail, and the mailbox was full. I suspect the contact information may be outdated, so I decided it would be best to take the kitty to Companion Animal Alliance (CAA) and let them work on getting him back home.
At CAA, it was discovered that the cat was originally adopted there at CAA two years earlier, and they had another phone number for the owner in their records. When CAA called that number, the owner answered but hung up as soon as he learned that it was CAA calling about his cat. She never had the chance to even mention that we had found the cat. In case the hang-up was accidental, she called a second time, but that call could not be completed since the owner had blocked CAA's number.
I had hoped to reunite a missing cat with its worried owner, but that was now not feasible or even desirable. This sweet cat deserves much better, and, now, he is in a position to get just that. I really came to love this cat. He was very sweet and gentle with me, and he was even patient with being stuck in a carrier all this time. I wish I could keep him for myself, but I am hoping that he finds a new, caring home with the help of CAA. Please, someone nice go get this cat and adopt him. His CAA impound number is 119006. He is a sweetie and a beautiful gem, and it's time he learns what a loving and caring home is like.