Simon's Second Rescue

My favorite way to bring a cat down from a tree is on my lap. That is the simplest, most natural and most pleasant way to bring a cat down, but it's rare that I get to do it. Most of the time, it's simply not feasible or suitable, usually because it would not be safe, so to determine when it is appropriate, I have a checklist of requirements that must be met before I will consider it.

When I arrived to rescue Simon near Bunkie, it was clear that this would be one time when a lap rescue might be appropriate. He was only 20 feet high in a tree that is easy to climb, and as I walked around the tree, he followed me and walked out long limbs to get as close to me as he could. Knowing this seven-month-old, part Maine coon is fond of sitting on the laps of his family, I was pretty sure he would want to step on my lap as well. Even as I was installing my rope in the tree, I was already going through my checklist:

Cat does not need to be secured for any special reason. Check.
We are less than 25 feet high. Check.
The descent path is straight down and free of significant obstacles. Check.
The cat is in his own familiar territory. Check.
The ground is clear of any threats to the cat. Check.
The cat is calm, relaxed, and comfortable in my lap. To be determined.

Simon had been stuck in the tree for one night, and he was desperate for a rescue. W
hen I rescued him the first time just over two months ago, he was so desperate that he came down a long, scary, steep branch to get to me when I climbed up to him. No scary heroics were required of him this time, however. All he had to do was wait, and he wasn't particularly patient about it. When I climbed up to him, he readily greeted me, sniffed my hand, let me pet him, and, after that, he was ready to step on my lap. He was calm and comfortable on my lap, so I took him down while cradling him with one arm. Once we were three feet off the ground, he wanted to jump down, so I let him. He wandered around enjoying his freedom again, and then his family took him inside. He didn't know it then, but that is supposed to be his last time ever to be outside.