A few months ago, I thought I was going to be adding a 7th cat to the crew and an 11th furry family member. It apparently wasn’t meant to be, but it wasn’t for lack of trying and it doesn’t stop me from wondering and worrying if the little cat is ok out there wherever it ended up.
Morning routine interrupted
This particular late January morning started out as usual, kinda hectic as all the animals got in place for the start of the day. I had stepped outside to let the dogs in/out of the garage before starting my work day. As I was ushering animals (cats also included) in and out so I could get back into the warmth of the house, I heard some crows squawking in some nearby trees in the yard. That alone was strange, but then I noticed something black in the very top of the tree next to where the crows had been raising a ruckus.
As I got to the tree where the object was, I realized it was a cat. A crazy, daredevil one at that. It was at least 30 ft. up at the very, very top, draped between a ‘V’ in the tree. It was so high up, I could barely tell exactly what color it was. Seeing that it was smaller and very dark with what looked like some white on it, I immediately thought it was Cooper or possibly Rosie, so I started calling their names up to it.
Setting the stage for the cat to come down
As my cats all ran out to see what I was calling them about, I quickly realized it was not one of mine. Great. It was one of the worst possible days for a scared new cat to be up in a tree. On top of it being very cold, we had 25 mph wind gusts, and because I had to start work in a few minutes, I had to abandon my efforts before I’d even had a chance to try very hard to get this little cat down.
I made sure I brought all the animals back into the house or garage, so as not to leave any possible reason for that little cat to not come down. I wasn’t sure how long it had been up in that tree, but by how precariously it was perched and how high it was, I knew it had to be very uncomfortable. I moved my work area to the dining room table where I could keep an eye on the little cat for any movement and quickly go outside if it started to come down.
The cat that wouldn’t budge
Every hour, I went out and called to it, trying desperately to get it to come down. Unfortunately, because it was so cold, I could only stand to be out there for about 10-15 minutes before I had to get back inside. I even kept my coat on in the house all day because I was going out so much, I was having trouble warming back up before I went back out again.
Because it had been so easy both times with KK and Julien coming down out of trees when I called to them, I hoped I could do the same with this little cat. Apparently, those times were just flukes because this cat refused to budge. Because this cat was so high up in the tree and it was soooo windy that day, I basically had to yell to be heard. It was such a cold blustery day, my own cats didn’t even want to be outside, and they’re half crazy when it comes to the weather.
The hours keep going by with no rescue
As I racked my brain trying to figure out what might get this little cat down, the hours ticked by. I had called and called and even gotten a meow or two back, but no movement at all from this little cat, other than it turning around on its perch to face another direction.
I took food out as I continued to call, though I didn’t think this cat could even see it, much less smell it, given how high up the tree it was and how windy it was. I even took my cats’ favorite ribbon on a stick toy out and performed a ribbon on a stick dance, hoping this toy that never fails to entice a cat, might miraculously convince this one to come down.
When none of that worked, I called some more. I begged, pleaded, and reassured this cat that it was ok for it to come down. I did everything I could think of doing, other than cutting down the tree or calling in a bucket truck. The bucket truck idea seems great until you consider the cost and the fact that they probably would have gotten stuck in the wet yard.
Reinforcement arrives with a ladder
Will and I had been texting back and forth about the situation and although he was too busy (and too far away) to get off early, he said he’d bring home an extension ladder if the cat wasn’t down by the time he got off. We both had felt sure that without any cats, dogs, or noises of any kind to keep this little cat up the tree, it would come down anytime.
I knew this cat was very high up and possibly that was why it was putting off the inevitable, but after at least eight hours of it being up there, I couldn’t see how it could remain clutched to a spindly little branch while not eating, sleeping or going to the bathroom for so long. And I knew it had to be freezing way up there.
When Will finally made it home with a 12 ft. extension ladder, we quickly set up trying to get the poor little cat down. Unfortunately, the ladder was still about 20 ft. too short, as the cat was just sooo high up the tree. Add that the tree was too small for an adult to climb, it was too windy, and by then, very dark.
A long day turns into a long night
Will and I worked late into the night, piecing two 10 ft. pipes together to try to nudge the cat, tuna tied to the end of the pipes to coax it, and lots of just trying to sweetly talk and call to the little cat. All to no avail.
Will even went so far as to contact a local arborist on Facebook at one point (since it was waaay after hours) to see if he could be of assistance. No response. The whole situation just kept dragging on. It was beyond heartbreaking and frustrating.
At 1:30 am Will finally had to give up and go to bed, since he had to get up early the next day for work. I remained up and online, searching for anything that might help us. Being out in the country and the yard conditions what they were, the typical solutions just weren’t options.
And like that, the little cat was gone
At 3:30 am before finally deciding there was nothing more I could do, I reluctantly prepared to go to bed. Before doing so, I decided to go check on the little cat one last time. It was gone.
The little cat had spent at least 14.5 hours in the top of that tree. I felt so bad for it. After being out in the wind and cold and in the tree that long, I wanted it inside, where I could warm it up and feed it and make sure it was ok.
Random stray cats don’t just show up in trees around here. It’s only ever happened a few times and two of those times resulted in a new cat added to the family. After so many hours of trying to get this cat down, part of me was sad that we couldn’t help it.
Despite continuing to watch out for it, we haven’t seen any signs of the little cat. Maybe it belonged to someone around here and it decided the world was too scary, so it went back home and stayed there. That’s what I want to believe anyway.
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