Last Thursday morning while out picking dandelions for the rabbit that I swore I wouldn't end up taking care of, I heard a mewing. I thought it was coming from the woodpile. Nope. It was coming from 40-feet up a not very accessible pine tree.
A stray cat with a loud opinion. "I want down!" it's been screaming. I'm about to start screaming, too.
This looks like a nice, friendly, sweet, cautious, stupid cat. She (I have no idea what gender this cat is but it appears to have possibly nursed at some point, hopefully not last week) talks to you and writhes around the tree limbs and trunk. She rubs her head on the branches while she talks to you and looks like somebody I would love to pet. If I had 40-foot arms. I've called a few neighbors and nobody knows whose cat she is.
Every day we try to coax her down. Every day she winds around the tree trunk way up high, sometimes going higher but never going lower. She sleeps in a squirrel's nest.
On Saturday Paul stood a 20-foot-ladder at the bottom of the tree, climbed it, and put up another long ladder. Surprisingly, he had enough sense not to climb beyond the top of the ladder on the ground. The cat will put her paws on the top rung, cry pitifully, and wind back around the tree.
We've rattled food. We've called sweetly. We have considered throwing things but haven't done so. The cat's been up there for over five days. It's been cold, rainy and windy. I'm glad to report that the cat's voice remains strong.
Yesterday I climbed partway up the lower ladder and put out an opened can of tuna. I thought that the smell would travel up the tree and lure the cat down. It didn't work.
I told Paul that I'd put the can there. So, it wasn't my fault, was it, when he climbed the ladder this morning for his daily conversation with this cat and the can of tuna cat food fell off the ladder, tuna-side down, and whomped him in the head. He had just had his shower, freshly washed hair and was dressed for work.
I told him that maybe he would be more successful with the cat since he was fragrant with tuna. He didn't find this funny but perhaps he will one day.
The cat was eager to come down. We must have coaxed and cooed for 30 minutes in the cold. Paul lifted the top ladder right to where the cat sat on a limb. The cat would touch the ladder with her paw, then make another trip around the tree trunk, crying.
I think we were all about to cry.
Then Paul got stuck, and realized that the tree limbs he had used to climb up higher than the bottom ladder were dead..... I thought I was going to have to call the fire department to rescue him, but he got down.
Paul had to take another shower to wash off the tuna. The laundry smells of tuna and I have a load of clothes going. The cat's still in the tree.
The tuna-splattered ladders are still in place. Maybe I'll have good news tomorrow.