||May 7, 2012 12:07 PM
Lupine - hero mode engaged
Okay, not really. :p
Got home around 8pm last night, wrapping up a ~5hr drive from Walla Walla. Our neighbor kid was just finishing up taking care of our hordes of animals when we drove in and, after visiting for awhile, he told me a cat was stuck up a tree at another neighbor's house - he'd offered to climb the tree, but that neighbor had said he wasn't willing to trade a human life for a cat's life. So, we mosey over there take a look.
Family is outside, trying to coax the ~3mo old kitten down. Kitten is yowling desperately, not surprising since it had been up there for nearly two days. I can barely make it out, about 100' up in a cedar tree. Cedar trees have great climbing limbs, though this particular tree's limbs weren't very stout, so I figured I could give it a shot. John (neighbor) says he hadn't let the other neighbor boy climb it because he doesn't know him well enough to gauge his skill etc (John just moved in a few months ago). For some reason he is foolish enough to think I'm capable of the climb. I go get an extension ladder to get me past the dead limbs, grab a day-pack, and start climbing - praying the whole way that 1) I'll select the right branches and 2) the kitten won't climb higher in fear.
Not sure how long it took, only felt like 5min or so to get within 5' of the kitten. Cute little black & white thing and it was cool hearing its yowl turn to a more gentle meow, as it tried to descend down to me. I kept talking to it, carefully opened up the day-pack, and was able to pick it up by the nap of the neck and zip it in safely. Yowling returned, but it stayed secure while I slowly made my way back down the tree.
Got to the ground safely, amid clapping & back-slaps. One of their daughters got the kitten out of the pack and gave it food & water. Feels good to be helpful, and hope the kitten learned a valuable lesson about how going up is a bit different than coming back down!