When I first decided to start rescuing cats in trees, I imagined climbing up into a tree, watching the cat come happily toward me from wherever he may be in the tree, rubbing his face on my hand, stepping on my lap, and riding down gently and sweetly to the ground. Most rescues don't come close to that, but that's my dream rescue, and that's exactly how this rescue of an unnamed neighborhood cat in Denham Springs played out.

The young, black cat doesn't belong to anyone in particular, but he makes the rounds to several neighbors, and they all watch out for him. When he got stuck in a tree overnight, one of the neighbors, Lexi, called me for help. When I first stepped into the yard, he walked all the way out to the end of a very long limb toward me and cried out to me. When I walked to the other side of the tree, he walked back along the limb toward the trunk and then onto another long limb leading out in my direction. It was clear that this kitty was looking for help and willing to travel to me wherever I might be in the tree, and that's a good thing in a very large tree like this. Otherwise, this dream rescue could turn into a nightmare.

When I started climbing up to him, he watched me and started walking along the limb back toward the trunk to where he expected me to be. He was there waiting for me once I reached his height, and he was very happy to see me. No introductions were needed. He trusted me right away and was ready to step on my lap as soon as he could. I had to stop him from getting on my lap at first, because I had not planned to bring him down that way and was not ready for him. I have a mental checklist of requirements that must be met before I take a cat down to the ground on my lap, and all those requirements were met except the one about being less than 25 feet high. We were 35 feet high which is bit higher than I like for a cat that is unsecured in my lap, but he was determined to get on my lap regardless of any rules or protocol. Since he was calm and comfortable enough on my lap, I took him down anyway, and it worked out just fine.

Once I get close to the ground, most cats are anxious to jump off my lap to the ground to enjoy the freedom of not being stuck in a tree any longer. Not this boy. He was happier being in my lap, and he lingered there for a long time just soaking up the loving. This gave me an opportunity to examine him more closely, and it was only then that I learned he was an intact male. I also noticed the tip of his tail was broken in two places and a strip of hair was missing at the base of his tail. I suspect he was under the hood of someone's car when they cranked it, and his tail got caught in a fan belt, but that's just conjecture. He didn't want to talk about it, so I'll never know what really happened. I eventually had to force him off my lap, and then I gave him some food. He ate while I packed and then he followed me everywhere as I made trips back and forth. Several times, he even jumped in my car.

After Lexi did a little networking, she found a good, permanent home for this sweet boy where it is certain that he will get all the veterinary care he needs. So two good things resulted from this cat getting stuck in a tree: he found a good home, and I got to live my dream rescue.