Sugar and Hannah
Normally, I don't even count or report rescues like this, but this one is noteworthy because the tree featured both of my most dreaded hazards: power lines and beehives. The power lines were very close to the tree, and, on the opposite side of the tree was a very busy beehive (yellow circle). If the beehive is well above the cat, then it's not a problem unless the cat climbs higher. This hive, however, was just three feet below the cat (red circle), so I could not reach the cat without going past the hive. These two hazards severely limited my choices for setting a rope in the tree. To stay away from the bees, my rope needed to be on the opposite side of the tree, but that is where the power lines are. While the cat was well below the high voltage lines, the cat was unknown, and I was worried that she might be afraid of me and climb higher and closer to the power lines where I dared not go. I studied the tree for a long time before deciding on the only solution I could find that would allow me to climb up to the cat on the opposite side of the tree from the hive. When I shot my weight attached to a string over the limb I wanted to use to install my rope, I got very lucky. The string got tangled, and that tangle was pulled up into the tree where it stopped the weight from falling all the way to the ground on the other side of the tree. The weight was left dangling several feet above the cat. When I tried to pull it back out, the movement and commotion it made in the foliage terrified the cat, and she decided to bail out of there right away. She headed down the tree trunk head-first but, of course, could not hold on that way and fell about 12 feet where she landed on the concrete pavement. She ran across the street out of my sight but appeared to be fine. I was so sorry she fell, especially on concrete, but I was also extremely relieved that I did not have to climb that tree, and I felt very lucky that it worked out this way. The next day, I learned that this cat lives at the house beside the tree, her name is Sugar, and she is doing just fine. She had been in the tree for six days.
After scaring Sugar down, I went back to Baton Rouge to see if I could rescue Hannah, a very sweet, four-month-old kitty belonging to Sharon and Derek. Hannah is an indoor kitty, but she has been wanting to go outside for a while, and Sharon decided to give her a supervised visit in the backyard. Sharon turned her back for just a minute, and, when she turned back around, Hannah was climbing the tree in the front corner of the yard. Despite Sharon and Derek's efforts to get Hannah down, Hannah settled about 25 feet high in the tree and was stuck there for one night.
Fortunately, Hannah's rescue was fairly easy. Hannah remained very calm and relaxed the entire time and, at times, appeared fascinated by my rope. She readily greeted me in the tree and let me pet her. I held a carrier up to her, and, while it took her a couple minutes to commit to going inside, she eventually stepped inside and sat down while I closed the door. I took her down and handed her to Sharon who took her back inside the house.
Sharon was so grateful to me for rescuing her sweet baby that she gave me one of the medals she earned in the Army before her recent retirement. I feel extremely honored by her gift, but I also feel a bit guilty for taking something so meaningful that represents her achievement and properly belongs to her. Sharon insisted that I take it, so I accept it and hold it in high esteem and honor for her service. Thank you, Sharon.