It was a pretty, Spring day, so Cassidy decided to take her beloved, indoor-only cat, Ladybird, with her to a local park in Baton Rouge. She was careful to carry Ladybird inside her special cat-backpack, and Ladybird was also wearing her harness and leash. Once at the park, Cassidy let Ladybird out of the backpack while carefully holding onto the leash, but something spooked Ladybird, and, in a panic, she used her Houdini escape skills to writhe out of the harness. Cassidy watched helplessly in horror as Ladybird ran across the field and climbed a moderately-sized Live Oak tree. Ladybird climbed as high as that branch of the tree would allow, and she settled there roughly 15 feet high refusing to budge despite Cassidy's desperate pleas.

Cassidy made failed attempts to coax Ladybird down and then made several phones calls in a chain of referrals that eventually led to me, and, by the time she called me, Ladybird had been in the tree only 20 minutes. I think that's a new record for me. Normally, I get calls for cats that have been stuck one or more days or at least several hours, and many rescuers won't consider going out to rescue a cat unless it has been stuck at least one night. But there are exceptions, and this was one of them. If we left Ladybird in the tree overnight, she might come down during the night, as cats often do, and, because she was well out of her own territory, she would likely get lost and possibly never be seen again. Cassidy was right to spring into action so quickly and call me.

Ladybird is a bit on the skittish side with strangers, and she was in the small wood about as high as I dared to go. She was not comfortable with my approach, but she allowed me to get closer only because she could not go much higher. I spent my time with her trying to ease any concerns she had for me, and, over time, she relaxed a bit, sniffed my hand, and let me pet her. She didn't like being touched at first, so I took more time to get her used to that. The only way I could secure her was to bag her. She didn't like carriers, and the carrier would not fit through this dense tree anyway. I could not use the lap bag, because she did not trust me enough to get in my lap, and she did not like to be picked up. I could not get in a position to make a lap for her in this tree anyway. So, once she was comfortable with my petting her on the neck, I grabbed her by the scruff and pulled the bag over her. Ladybird is safe at home now, much to Cassidy's relief, so all is well there again.