Melissa was in her back yard in Sorrento when she heard a cat crying. After searching for several minutes, she found a solid-white cat about 35 feet high in a Sweetgum tree in her next-door neighbor's yard. She heard the cat crying most of the night, and it was still there the next morning. She and her neighbor did not recognize the cat, so she searched the internet and found me. Melissa kindly offered to be responsible for the cat once I got it down, and I have a huge amount of admiration and gratitude for people like her. I am happy to bring a cat down out of a tree, but there is only so much I can do with it afterward if someone local does not step up and help. Thank you, Melissa.
I never know in advance if an unknown cat is going to be friendly or fearful, but as I started climbing closer, I could tell this one was definitely going to be friendly. She looked and leaned toward me, she rubbed her face on the tree, she sniffed my hand, and she pressed her head and back into my hand as I petted her. She walked excitedly back and forth along the limb as I got into position, and she rubbed her face on my hand and even on my face. Yep, this is definitely not a feral cat. I would expect a cat this friendly to have no hesitation in stepping on my lap, so I spread the bottom of the cat bag over my lap and waited for her to come aboard. When she wouldn't step on my lap on her own, I tried to lure her there, but she still would not do it. Oh well, I can always pick her up and place her on my lap, but some cats don't like that. I always ask the owner about this beforehand, but I can't do that in this case. Still, I knew the odds were in my favor, so I gently picked her up and placed her on my lap. She did not like this at all. It was as if I had placed her in a bathtub of water. She fussed loudly and immediately jumped right back on the limb where, fortunately, she returned to her sweet self.
With the lap bag option now discarded, I was forced to scruff and bag her. I did not bring the carrier with me because I needed her to be in the bag so I could scan her for a microchip. Trying to scan her while in the carrier is risky because she might easily escape, so I bagged her and brought her back down to the ground.
On the ground, I scanned her through the bag for a microchip and, to my surprise, I found one. Hurray! While I began the process of locating the owner, Melissa took the cat in the bag to a safe room in her house to hold until the owner is found. I called the microchip company and learned the cat's name (Meow-Meow) as well as the owner's name (Joel) and contact information. I called Joel, who lives only one block away, and left a message on his voice mail. About an hour later, Joel returned my call, expressed his relief and gratitude, and then went to Melissa's to retrieve his cat. Joel and Meow-Meow are now both safe and happy to be back together at home.
We learned from Joel that Meow-Meow is eight months old and had been missing for three nights. Melissa is certain she would have heard Meow-Meow if she had been in the tree all three nights, but it's entirely possible that Meow-Meow was stuck in the tree for those three nights but was silent until the last two days or cried only when Melissa could not hear her. We will never know for sure. All we know for certain is that Meow-Meow will never say.