Ernest and Laverne
No, it's not the name of a new TV program. These are the names of the cats in the next two rescues I did immediately after rescuing the unknown white cat. Ernest and Laverne are not related, but their rescues were very similar. In both cases, I broke my usual protocol of going up to them slowly, earning their trust, and making friends with them before securing them. Instead, I stealthily climbed up to them, surprised them, and grabbed them quickly before they could escape. So why was I so rude and forceful with them when I could have been polite and gentle?
Ernest is an eight-month-old, gray-and-white tabby boy who normally runs away from strangers, and he was stuck in a tree immediately behind his backyard fence in Baton Rouge and had spent one night there. On the other side of the tree trunk was another fence which bordered a yard containing a very large dog with a rather intimidating appearance. Ernest was perched about 25 feet high, and there was at least 30 feet more of the tree above him. I didn't want Ernest to go higher and make this a very difficult and risky rescue, and I didn't want him to go down either and risk falling onto either fence or into the yard with the scary dog. To prevent him from going in either direction, I chose to climb up to him where he could not see me until I was even with him. I didn't want to startle him, so I gently revealed myself to him and introduced myself with a gentle touch and back-scratch. He seemed pretty calm about it, but he didn't trust me completely. I grabbed him by the scruff and put him in the bag before he had a chance to change his mind. He handled it beautifully without complaint, and I took him back down to the ground.