Some cats are cooperative, and some are not. Graybone was one of the latter, but I don't blame him. This four-year-old, sweet kitty in Independence, Louisiana was simply scared and generally not very thrilled about strangers. He was 45 feet high at the top of a Cypress tree where comfort could not be found anywhere except in his dreams of his soft bed at home. Footing was precarious, and the risk of a fall was high, but Graybone held on through two nights. He was feeling tired, grouchy, and very vulnerable, and then this stranger showed up there in the tree with him. Little wonder he was not happy to see me.

There was no place for Graybone to go, or so I thought, but he walked out on the top limb when I got too close. He was beyond my reach, and I was as high as I dared to go in this tree. I tried to use food to lure him down, but when I held it on a pole in front of him, he was actually frightened by it. That worked to our advantage, however, because as he backed away from the food, he came back down closer to me. When he reached the stem, he walked out a short limb on the opposite side. He was closer now but still out of reach. I tried to soften him up, but he was too afraid to trust me at all. I reluctantly pulled up the rescue-pole, practiced the maneuvers, slipped the noose around his chest behind his front legs, and began to lift him off the limb. He held on to the limb very tightly, but, with difficulty, I managed to pull him free. I slipped him into the net I had waiting beside me and secured him inside.

After I took him back down to the ground, I handed him to Josie and Randy, and they took him inside. Graybone had suffered greatly in that tree, but I think Josie suffered more. When I first arrived, she was tense with two days of stress and worry, but when I left, her face was so relaxed and relieved that I hardly recognized her. The gratitude and appreciation that she and Randy both expressed was overwhelming. Sometimes, the rescue is more for the cat, and, sometimes, it's more for the owner. This time, it was for both, and it felt good to drive away knowing that Josie, Randy, and Graybone were all at peace again.