Guest Star: Basil in the Ponderosa Pine Adventure!

Hello everyone,

Today’s post is from Vesta and her Tabby Basil.

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Ponderosa Pine Adventure

My daughter and I had just moved to Flagstaff, Arizona amid the mountains and Ponderosa Pine landscapes, and were looking forward to living in this new area. We had a small backyard that was outlined with a wooden fence that also contained two tall pine trees. The Ponderosa Pines can grow to 30 feet but do not always have a large girth tree trunk. I didn’t give it much thought when I introduced our dog to the backyard nor when I let Basil, our orange tabby, out to investigate the yard under supervision. Basil was not a fence jumper – he tended to crawl under the fence when the opportunity presented itself. For the most part, Basil was an indoor kitty.
It was one day when I had let Basil out in the yard for a few minutes unattended that I heard my daughter calling me and yelling that Basil was in the tree. I didn’t give this a lot of thought, but went to see why she was so excited. When I got to the door, I asked her where is he? She said, he’s in the tree….. look up. When I glanced upward, I saw the problem. There he was about 25 feet up in the air on a small branch looking down at us. All I could think of was ……. what do I do now? We called and tried to coax him down, but from the look of things, he got up there easily but had no idea on how to come down, and he was way too high for my ladder to reach him. My daughter was in a panic. She kept saying, what do we do? I told her to wait till later towards dusk, and we would see if had come down. I knew that hunger or the lack of a litter pan would be motivation for him, but I had no idea when that might occur.
At dusk, he was still way up in the tree, so I told my daughter, we would just have to wait for morning. If he didn’t move downward by then, I would call the local fire department. Gee, I wondered if firemen still rescued kitties stuck up in trees any more.
Early the next morning, before my morning tea, my daughter called to me saying to come quickly. I could hear Basil crying before I even saw him. He had climbed down, but couldn’t figure how to get from the lowest branch to the fence. So here we went out in the yard with my kitchen step stool in our pajamas, climbing up to try and reach our bawling baby. His back end was facing me just out of my reach even when I stood on the top step of my step stool. I kept trying to reassure him in an effort to get him to back up to where my hands were located. I am sure the neighbors were entertained, but I was not amused.
The situation was not moving forward. I was frustrated as I don’t like heights and up on the mini ladder was not improving my mood. Suddently, Basil lost his footing and his back legs and tail went swinging down below the branch accompanied by a panic meow. Reaching as far up as I could manage, I finally got my hands around his body enough to where I could pull him off the branch and into my arms. Once I had Basil in my arms, all I could do was hug him to let him know how relieved I was to have him safe and with me once again.
We were able to all get back into the house without any injuries, other than what Basil’s pride had suffered. Luckily, I am able to report that we endured no further adventures up the Ponderosa Pine while we remained in Flagstaff.

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Story and photos copyright: V B Hutton

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27 thoughts on “Guest Star: Basil in the Ponderosa Pine Adventure!

  1. Basil is just like my cat’s sibling, Tigger. He was a 22 pound orange and white Tabby (maybe not as gorgeous), but he TOO got stuck HIGH up in a tree. He was cute, but not the sharpest cat. YES, after 3 days and NO sign of this cat figuring out HOW to get down, I called the FIREMAN! They laughed and rescued poor, terrified Tigger. His sibling, Ms. Cali (a calico cat) had also gone up in that tree and was able to get down with agility. She was always very fast and hunted well. The coyotes got Tigger, but NOT Ms. Cali! After that, poor Ms. Cali became an indoor cat, though I was convinced she could out run a pack if coyotes. Tigger just FROZE; Cali ran as fast as possible and lives today to tell the story. Tigger was only two when the coyotes got him off the ROOF! Amazing. Basil is just a lovely cat and not the only Tabby that got stuck in a tree!! LOL

  2. Oh, and by the way, Ms. Cali is now close to 19 years old. Tigger could not survive past age 2. Cute, but “dumb” and not too fast…..

  3. This post evoked several memories for me – the first being Flagstaff, AZ. One of my most enjoyable road-trips ever was to Flagstaff, Az years ago – before plenty of WP bloggers were even born! I loved it and always thought about moving there or to Sedona. You no longer live there?

    Second is the kitten in the tree experience. When I was in my mid- 30’s, I could still climb the odd tree now and again to pluck a poor frightened kitten out of a tree – tree climbing and occasionally falling was a forte of mine. At some age in the future, I tried to (in pajamas no less) scurry up in a very small tree with a thick trunk and wide branches and could no longer do so. Kitty eventually got down on his own. I really think the “trauma” of the moment only affected one – and it wasn’t him! Great post!!

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