I made a mistake in the rescue of Diamond, the sweet, ten-month-old, gray-and-white tabby girl. Diamond was stuck in a Pine tree near her rural home, and she had been there two nights when I arrived to rescue her. From the description of her personality and the way she was talking to me below as I prepared to climb up to her, I could tell she was going to be receptive and cooperative. And I was right. She did not appear frightened by me, and she happily greeted me and readily sniffed my hand. She looked like an easy rescue, and, because I knew she was an eager lap-sitter, I was anxious to get my lap up to her level and get her to step on it. That is where I made my mistake. With no other introduction besides my quick greeting and a hand-sniff, I began to climb up higher to get into position to get her to step on my lap. What I had not done was earn her trust which I usually accomplish with some gentle touches and back-scratches to prove my friendly intentions. I do this in a position that is lower than the cat so the cat feels that it is in a more advantageous position. Getting in a position above the cat without first gaining its trust can feel intimidating and frightening to the cat, and that is the mistake I made. It's possible that it was something else that frightened Diamond. Maybe I was just unaware of a movement or noise I made that scared her. Maybe she was slow to process the scent of something on my glove which she did not like, even though the glove was clean. I can't be certain, and Diamond didn't want to talk about it afterward. But, whatever it was, Diamond decided it was time to get away from this guy any way she could, and the way she chose was to jump to the nearby Pine tree. She leaped and actually reached the trunk of the tree, but she was unable to hold on. She slid down the trunk of the tree a bit and then fell free. She landed on soft ground below and quickly ran home.

Diamond is fine, and her family is relieved and happy, but, in my overly confident rush to enjoy an easy, sweet-kitty rescue, I failed to remember a lesson I have learned before, and that is to  take the time to fully earn the cat's trust before attempting the rescue even if the cat already appears to be, or is expected to be, friendly. I am showing the uncut video of the critical moment so you can see and judge for yourself. Perhaps you will notice something I missed which will provide a more accurate explanation for her desperate and daring escape.