I could tell right away that Mia was going to be a sweet, easy kitty to rescue by the way she looked at me on the ground and begged for help. She clearly hated being stuck in that tree and was very anxious to get down. I was happy to have a cooperative kitty to rescue, but I was concerned about how I was going to reach her safely in this tree.

Mia's age is estimated to be about six months, and she was stuck 35 feet high in a River Birch tree in Denham Springs, Louisiana. While I was on the ground trying to figure out a safe way to reach her, she came down five feet. That actually added more complication to my climbing plan, because I had planned to use the crotch where she was now standing and now I couldn't. This River Birch had three small stems each leaning slightly away from each other. If I installed my climbing rope at Mia's original perch and climbed straight up to her in the usual way, I was afraid that my weight could possibly cause the entire stem to fail at the base. To prevent that, I installed another rope in one of the other stems to direct my weight toward the center of the tree. I had planned to install a third rope up higher once I was in the tree but found that I was close enough to Mia that I could manage without it.

Once I got close to Mia, she voiced her excitement to me with her scratchy meow and was clearly comfortable with my approach. There was no need for any formal introductions as we were friends right away. I was spreading the cat bag over my lap with the intention of picking her up off the limb and then placing her in my lap, but Mia couldn't wait. She jumped down onto my lap before I had finished spreading the bag, but that was fine. I was very pleased to have this sweet girl in my lap and would have enjoyed some bonding time with her there, but I thought it best to secure her as soon as possible. I got her in a better position on the bag and then pulled the sides up around her. She accepted it all just fine as if she knew this was the necessary routine to get back home.

I took her back home and released her inside the house where her owner, Randi, picked her up and held her a few moments. I went back to start packing my gear, and, before I finished, Randi appeared holding Mia in her arms to say, "thank you," one more time.