Oh my goodness! That was my reaction to seeing where Oreo was stuck in the tree when I arrived to rescue him. Oreo picked the worst spot to be stuck in this Cedar tree just behind his home where he escaped four days earlier. Cedar trees often have an oversized limb that grows outward and then curves vertically upward like a separate tree in its own right, and Oreo picked that limb and climbed to the tip top where he settled about 50 feet high. The limbs there were tiny, and his position was precarious. His body was draped at the belly over one of those tiny limbs, and his feet barely reached other limbs on opposite sides. If he extended his legs and pushed up, he could relieve some of the pressure of that tiny limb digging into his belly, but he could not maintain that position for long. Imagine being stuck in that position for ten minutes. Oreo was stuck there for four nights.

I climbed up the trunk of the tree until I was roughly level with him. I leaned and stretched out till I was almost horizontal but still could not reach him. I placed a rope around Oreo's stem and pulled it closer to me. That helped pull him closer to me, but he was still just barely within reach. I extended my hand and tried to make friends with him, but he would not respond. He was not sure about me yet and remained cautious. He couldn't go anywhere, so he was trapped and waiting to learn more about me.

Since he was in such a miserable spot for so long, I thought he would welcome the sight of a carrier where he could lie and spread out in comfort, but when I held the carrier in front of him, he was not comfortable with it. I tried opening a can of food, but he was not interested in it. I needed more cooperation from him in this spot, and I was not getting it. I know he was uncomfortable, but so was I. It's very difficult and sometimes painful to be stretched out horizontal like this reaching as far as I can for a long time. I was having no success in earning Oreo's trust, and I needed to get closer to him if he was not going to be cooperative.

I climbed a little higher so I could get my body a little closer to him and extend my reach. I also pulled his limb even closer to me, and now I could touch him. He was still reluctant to sniff my hand, but he eventually did so and allowed me to touch him. I gave him a few pets, and he seemed to be more relaxed now. With that reassurance, I thought he might now go into the carrier, but he still seemed uncomfortable with it. My only option now was to bag him, but I did not think I had enough reach and strength to pull him up and out of the crotch with only one hand while his body was wrapped around the stem between us. I put my hand under his chest and tried to lift him, but I just could not lift him high enough to get him out of the crotch. I was pleased to see that he remained calm and docile while I handled him, so I placed him back down and pondered what to do. I needed to get his back end around the stem, so I pushed up on his back legs slowly and gently to get him to move. That worked. He moved his front legs over to a higher limb, and that turned his body so his back end could be pulled free. I seized the moment and Oreo. I grabbed him by the scruff and lifted him out of his miserable spot, and then I pulled the bag down around him and held him in my arms to reassure him. He handled it very well.

Oreo is safe, comfortable, and happy to be back inside again, and it does my heart good to see him sleeping on a soft bed after being in that miserable spot in the tree for four nights. It did my body good to sleep in a soft bed that night too. I will be sore for a couple days, but I feel good about getting that sweet boy down. He had no other way down. He wasn't bold enough to climb down that scary stem, so he would have eventually fallen. I just don't know how long he would have suffered there before he fell, and the cluster of hard objects on the ground beneath him would have likely injured him severely. Oreo was lucky, but I worry about all the other unknown cats out there in need of a rescue that isn't coming.