Because Rich works from home, he lets the cats roam in the backyard. Throughout the day, he checks on them, giving them kitty snacks when they come when called.
Being "way up North," it doesn’t get dark until nearly 10 p.m. Therefore, at around 9 o’clock last night, I started to round up the cats. They all came except for Lunetta, who normally only comes to Rich.
A petite tortoiseshell, Lunetta was found late one night about three years ago when we lived in Texas. I had gone outside to put the cats away in Annie House (an air conditioned and heated cat house) and could hear a kitten meowing. Thirty minutes later, after crawling around under the motor home, Rich reached up and snatched her from on top of a wheel. She weighed just a pound and was estimated to be 4-6 weeks old.
She’s never lost her voice because she occasionally meowed last night as we madly searched our backyard for her. Our yard has a high fence and backs up to three other houses… all with high fences. The cats enjoy getting on top of the fences and visiting the neighbors. Conceivably, they can visit a dozen or so neighbor’s yards by walking across the fences and jumping down on one side or the other.
From the sounds of her yowls she could have been in several people’s yards. We kept up the search until 11 p.m. with me growing more frantic and distraught, convinced that she was injured or trapped somewhere which is why she wasn’t coming.
I slept fitfully until around 3 a.m. when I woke from a dream in which our fence parted and I reached out and grabbed her. I leapt out of bed and dashed into the backyard, calling her name. This time, she yowled so loud that even Rich could hear her.
A few minutes later, Rich located her… in a large tree towards the back of our yard, She was about 20-25 feet up on a narrow branch. Rich rushed into the garage and grabbed his tallest ladder, but it was at least 10-15 feet too short to reach her.
He then devised a plan. He screwed together two 8-foot long 2-x4 inch boards and nailed a small platform on top. He then cut a scrap of carpet, sprinkled it with catnip and stapled it to the platform. He intended to climb up the ladder with the platform, coax Lunetta onto it then slowly descend the ladder while Lunetta clung to the carpeting.
Amazingly, by the time he got back to the tree, Lunetta had climbed down two branches. Rich was then able to slowly climb up the ladder, reach out and grab her.
It was such a relief when he tossed her in the house! Hopefully, she’s learned her lesson and will stick to fences rather than trees. You can see the size of the tree and our fence in the top picture and the branches looking up.