Norma takes care of a few feral cats on her property. She trapped, neutered, and vaccinated them and then released them on her property where she feeds them and watches over them. One of them, a one-year-old, troublesome girl named Bathsheba, got stuck in a tree for two nights, and Norma was worried about her. When Norma called me to see if I could help, she warned me that Bathsheba does not tolerate being touched.

Feral cats can be either very easy or very difficult to rescue. There is no middle ground. Some are so skittish that all I have to do is shoot the weighted bag up into the tree above them and jostle it around to create a commotion in the foliage, and the cat will immediately run down the tree, probably falling part of the way, to get away from it. No climbing needed, and it's done in five minutes. If that doesn't work, however, then, if the tree and cat position allow, I can climb up the tree on the opposite side of the trunk where the cat can't see me and then get above the cat and begin going down toward it causing the same result. If that isn't feasible, as was the case with Bathsheba, I have to climb up as close as I can to the cat and use the rescue-pole.

To my surprise, Bathsheba allowed me to get close enough that I could almost reach her. She didn't like it, and she gave me the evil eye, but she stayed in place and watched me carefully. I was too close to her to use my long rescue-pole, so I went back down, retrieved my short rescue-pole and climbed back up to her. This tree was very busy with branches and vines, so getting the noose around her was very difficult and time-consuming, but I eventually succeeded. When I tightened the noose around her chest, Bathsheba had the reaction that I expect from a feral cat: she had a hissy fit. This kitty, whose sweet-looking face had been perfectly silent up to this point, began screaming unrepeatable obscenities while I moved her into the net. With her secured in the net, I released the noose around her, removed the pole, and brought her down to the ground.

Bathsheba was quiet for the ride down, and we released her at the opening to her safe space underneath the house. She ran under the house, and, after getting settled back into her routine, she got in her soft bed and took a long nap.