Treed and Freed

So yesterday in the Adventures of Angelia…

I got up early yesterday morning because I had somewhere to be and needed to do my chores before I left. As I was getting in my truck to leave, I heard my livestock dogs making a huge ruckus and decided I had better check it out before I left.

Low and behold, they had a kitty cat treed right outside my garage. It was about 25 feet up sitting in the ‘V’ where the tree branched in a fork, and the dogs were at the base freaking out. I decided to pen up my dogs, figuring once the threat was gone and kitty’s heart stopped racing, he would come down and go about his merry way.

Kitty in the tree.

When I got home at 10, however, he was still there. Cats can be…well, cats, so I decided to leave the dogs in the run to give him more time to think things through. I tried calling to him, and he meowed a little but refused to budge. I decided not to check on him too often in case that was making him nervous and causing him to hesitate.

At 1 when my son and I were getting ready to go get groceries, kitty was still there. I took a close look at him (well, as much as I could see from 25 feet down) and was starting to think something was wrong. He seemed to be in exactly the same position he had been in last time I looked. That’s a long time without water and food or moving much for a kitty – even a lazy one. My husband was coming home at 3, so I decided if kitty was still up there by then maybe he could help me get the big ladder out to go up and check on him.

When I got home at 4, the cat was still there and this time I was certain he hadn’t moved at all. He turned his head and called out, but his front and back paws were in the exact same place they were when I left. I knew then that something was really wrong. I thought maybe my dogs had injured him before he got to the tree or something.

My husband getting out the ladder for me

My poor husband who had just gotten home from a trip helped me drag out the monstrosity of an extension ladder we have and work it up into the tree. That ladder weighs a ton. I hate climbing that thing too! It feels all wobbly and sways with every step (*shivers). To top it off, I also wasn’t sure if Mr. Kitty was friendly and going to accept my presence with grace or if he was going to come at me 25 feet in the air with teeth bared and claws flying.

If you watch the video at the end of this blog, promise not to make fun of me! I was really scared. But I was more scared that something was wrong with the kitty. I couldn’t live with myself if he died in that tree because I did try. The crazy things animal lovers do!!

I heard a fireman on a television show a few weeks ago say something I thought was pretty funny. He was talking about cat-in-tree rescue calls and said something like, “Cats can get down. They don’t need help. After all, you’ve never seen a cat skeleton in a tree have you?” Well apparently, they never met this little guy!

Up we gooooooooooo!

When I got [shakily] to the top of the dreaded ladder, I put on leather gloves in case he bit me. I stroked his head and he seemed happy to see me and calm. No biting, hissing or signs of aggression. I reached up and tried to pull him forward out of the tree to my chest and realized immediately that he was going to die there without our intervention. There was no way he could have gotten down by himself.

Somehow when he ran up the tree to what he thought would be a safe crook, the ‘V’ was very narrow and he slipped between the two thick trunks with his front half hanging on one side and his back half on the other. He could not get his feet to the tree to help dislodge himself and was solidly lodged in the V at his middle. Poor baby! He must have been so scared all day.

I tried to pull him gently forward and backwards to get him out, but he wasn’t budging. I wasn’t sure how he would react once I unlodged him or how I was gonna carry a calm cat down the ladder with one arm, let alone if it fought me, especially with my own legs shaking like jello. However, I knew I wasn’t leaving him there to be the first ever cat skeleton in a tree in recorded history. One way or the other I had to save this poor baby.

Because of his awkward position, I knew the only way to dislodge him was to grab his scruff and pull straight up until he was high enough in the V where it was wide enough to pull him forward to me, which meant it would all have be done above my head since the ladder came about 2 feet short of the crook he was in.

Dibs on the Captain

I couldn’t get a good enough grip on his scruff with the gloves on, so I decided to chance it. I took them off and let them fall to the ground, hoping me and kitty cat weren’t soon to follow suit. I reached over his head, grabbed the scruff of his neck really firmly so I didn’t drop him if he struggled and pulled him straight up above my head. It took a lot of force to get him out, as he was ridiculously, hopelessly stuck.

His little legs kind of pinwheeled as I brought him down past my face and into the crook of my shoulder and neck where I could use my arm to encircle him against my shoulder and my neck to secure him as best as possible while still holding the ladder with my other hand. He barely scratched me during the maneuver but quickly snuggled into my body. I think he knew this was his only way down. I couldn’t readjust my grip or reposition him without chancing him freaking out or losing my grip on the ladder or cat, so I knew we were coming down the ladder in this very awkward, uncomfortable position. Thankfully he didn’t complain.

My legs were shaking sooooooo badly as I came down one step at a time. I couldn’t lean on the ladder for support without crushing him either, so I just counted each step aloud to soothe him with a voice and to keep my [remaining] nerves from abandoning me. I kept thinking about the fact that kitty would die if I didn’t save it, and it kept me going one wobbly step at a time. We can probably write fireman or tree trimmer off my list of job skills. Major props to those of you who fearlessly hang from ladders and/or ropes though.

Anyway, we did it! Kitty and I made it to the bottom of the ladder, and I gave him a big hug with a huge sigh of relief. My son videotaped the entire ordeal. It feels like much longer than the 2-1/2 minutes it is. You can see the relief on both of our faces when we get to the bottom. LOL. I’m sure he was like…please don’t drop me, lady!

I look a mess because I hadn’t put on makeup, fixed my hair, or anything else yesterday and my legs are visibly shaking on the ladder, but I’m sharing anyway because it’s not every day you get to rescue a kitty from a tree. You probably also hear me saying, ‘I’m so scared’ several times. Don’t make fun of me. I really was scared! But kitty was more scared, so I did it anyway. For kitty.

There’s no moral to my story (other than maybe don’t get stuck in tree crooks, we all need a little outside help sometimes, and always assist another creature when you are able), but I just thought I would share my day’s adventures with you. I don’t know how I’m always running into the craziest situations…but I am.

As for kitty, he was once treed but now he’s freed. He’s back with his feline family and seemed fine once he got the feeling back in his limbs from the ordeal. But I bet he probably won’t come visit my place again anytime soon!

I love you, aviation family! Kindness matters. Let’s leave the world a better place than we found it, even if it’s one furry little life at a time.

Rescuing Kitty

Angelia (a fellow Pilot Wife)

3 thoughts on “Treed and Freed”

  1. Just have to say that I love that you quoted the guy from Lego Masters😄 And Im glad you and kitty are safely on the ground!

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