Little Bit and Bobbie
It's easy to have a disinterested response to the news of another rescue of a cat stuck in a tree. After all, it happens so frequently, and they are all mostly the same. But to the cat and the owner, this is not routine. This is usually the first and last time, and this is huge. It's dramatic, it's stressful, and there is nothing more important at that moment. As for me, after doing hundreds of rescues, they are common, but each one is certainly not routine. It may be an abstract case of a cat stuck in a tree while I am driving there, but, once I get there and see the cat in a miserable position in the tree, hear his intense cry, meet the owner, and sense the owner's distress and the deep meaning the cat has to her, then it becomes very real. This is important, and that was especially true for these next two rescues.
Little Bit is a two-year-old, pale, flame-point Siamese cat who recently began learning the art of escaping out the door when it is left open a bit too long. His most recent escape attempt was successful, but he soon found himself 35 feet high in a Pine tree on his rural property near Franklinton where he spent one long night. He was hoping to escape out the door into a fun adventure, but this is not what he had in mind. He came to rest on a short limb and froze there, afraid to move or even look around. Little Bit is not "just a cat" to Michelle; this is her beloved baby, and she would do anything to help him. She had already dutifully taken my advice to pile the plentiful pine needles from the numerous Pine trees around the base of Little Bit's tree as well as on the roof of the shed immediately next to it in case he fell. As I prepared to climb the tree, I was touched by the sweet way Michelle talked to Little Bit. She clearly loves her baby. When I climbed up to Little Bit, I was also touched by his paralyzing fear. He didn't know what to think of me, and he had nowhere to go to get away. He seemed to sense that I was friendly, but he was also too afraid to trust me. He hardly moved while he waited to see what I was going to do. After he sniffed my hand and let me give him some reassuring pets on the head and back, he felt better but his body was still stiff with fear. Another minute or two of friendly reassurance gave him the time he needed to loosen a bit more and the courage to step on my lap, but he was still very tense. I had prepared the cat bag on my lap, so, once he was fully settled on my lap, I pulled the bag up around him and took him down. He's a sweet boy, but I never got to see him fully relax. The relief and joy on Michelle's face, however, was very clear and rewarding to see.
The next rescue was for Bobbie, a six-month-old, black kitty belonging to Kathy in Livingston. I have been to Kathy's backyard before, but that was less than two years ago to rescue her neighbor's cat. This time, it's her own kitten, and she was very distressed about it and stayed up most of the night trying to coax Bobbie down. Bobbie was anxious to get down, so she readily came toward me and greeted me. She was not fully convinced of my trustworthiness at first, but a sniff of my hand and some gentle pets for a couple minutes were all it took to get her to step on my lap where I had already prepared the cat bag. I pulled the bag up around her and kept her in my lap for a quick, gentle ride back down to the ground. As I handed Bobbie over to Kathy, I could see all the tension and stress of the night before disappear. Her sweet baby was safe and her family restored. It's such a great feeling for me to be able to have such a powerful and meaningful effect on these nice people and their cats.