Cat up tree. Seriously.

Meyow meyow…MEYOW!

I’m getting in my car to go to work when I hear pitiful cat sounds coming from above my head. Waaaay above my head. 33 feet above my head. I know this because it is exactly eight feet taller than our tallest ladder. Which I got out when I realized that this was the same cat I had heard outside the previous day. Making his total time up in the tree at least 32 hours. Making me worry that he would starve to death up there. Making me get out the ladder.

I get out the ladder, some cat food, and my best kitty-calling voice, but nothing works. I fall off the ladder and land on my back in a pile of leaves. Cat food flies everywhere. The cat is still meyowing, and I’m late for work.

I call the Cayuga Heights fire department’s non-emergency number and am connected with a sympathetic woman in the village office. A few minutes later the fire department shows up. I spend about five minutes apologizing for bringing them out on such a dumb call, but they appear excited. One of the guys has a digital camera and takes photos as they lash my ladder to the tree and climb up to rescue the cat.

The cat is rescued. A kind neighbor calls around and finds someone who might own him. I stuff the cat into our cat carrier and haul him down the street. In spite of his ordeal, this cat is still seriously overweight. The nutball potential owner has apparently forgotten that his similar-looking cat DIED A YEAR AGO and sends me on my way. I haul the growling cat back down the street and put him in our downstairs office. I feed him. He eats faster and more heartily than any cat I’ve ever seen.

Anybody want a cat?

11 Replies to “Cat up tree. Seriously.”

  1. I searched frantically looking for help getting my 4 month old Jo Jo out of
    a 80 or so foot tree last night. I read your articles. Thank you!!!!! At
    first I thought yeah okay I’m never going to get him down. My husband and I
    found him at 9:00pm. He had been missing since 5:30. It was getting cold, he
    was scared and wouldn’t come down. After hours of shaking a food cup under
    the tree, calling, pleading, shining a light on branches and at him, we gave
    up. Today husband continued calling etc. He left for work. My 12 year old
    son spent two or so hours pushing little trees close to him pushing log
    branches up, trying to coax him closer to us and finally I got a big
    sheet,tied two ends to two trees and we held the other two ends. I poured a
    handful of dry cat food in the center of the sheet. He tried to climb down a
    branch or two and slipped, hanging on with front paws, crying, we pulled the
    sheet tight-just in time, my son yelled go this way mom and splat- there was
    Jo Jo safe in the middle of the sheet (shocked-he was). He was glad we
    caught him. High fives to all. Just a sheet and a little food can save a
    cat? Fell from 50 feet- didn’t hit one branch. He was too tired to hold on
    any longer and trusted us enough to try. I was glad he survived the freezing
    night. Thank you soooo much!!!!

  2. Our cat was stuck up a very high tree for almost two days. We called the fire department … no go. We called truck places to find a cherry picker, and we were looking into tree services. The solution was one tree service that said they could call a “tree climber” who had dealt with this before. The climber came out, rapidly climbed the tree to near the cat, but of course, the cat began to back away. As he (the cat) began running out of branch, the climber told us to get ready with a blanket to catch the poor kitty. Three of us stretched out a blanket, the tree climber began shaking the branch and further freaking out the cat, but this did cause him to go out so far on the branch that he simply ran out of things to hold on to. Down he came, tumbling into our blanket. Of course, when he hit the blanket, he shot away as fast as he could, but he definitely didn’t hurt himself. Needless to say, the three of us were in shock after seeing a cat falling through the air into our awaiting blanket from somewhere around 40-50 feet. Whew! Quite the experience, but the moral of the story is … CALL A TREE CLIMBER!! When you call a tree service, ask specifically if they have tree climbers. In the metro Washington, DC area, the folks at JL Tree Services helped us, and the tree climber guy was amazing. He climber the tree in no time in a very Spidermanesque way. He earned every penny, and frankly, it wasn’t even outrageous. Also, there is a web site for the International Treeclimbers Association at, and the friendly folks there actually returned my phone call on a Sunday morning to make sure that we had gotten the cat out of the tree. WHAT AN AMAZING WEEKEND!

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