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.

After leaving Ernest, I went to see Laverne, a kitty I rescued once before about two years ago in rural Zachary. She had spent one night in the same tree where I rescued her the first time. Laverne, who is 12 years old now, is much older than the usual one- and two-year-old kitties who I typically rescue in a tree. I clearly remember Laverne's first rescue and the trouble she gave me. I could not get her to come near me, and she had too much tree available to get away from me. After I went back down to the ground, she moved back to her preferred perch next to the trunk, and I decided then to sneak up to her from behind and grab her by surprise. That's what I did then, and that is what I decided to do this time too. By the time she saw me, my hand was reaching for her scruff, and I gave her no chance to escape. She handled it very well and did not throw a fit. In fact, she was quite calm about it. She is safe and comfortable again, and I felt relieved to get that done so quickly and easily this time. Unfortunately, I was so focused on climbing up to her without being detected that I forgot to turn on my camera, so I have no pictures to show.