Today’s post is from Vesta and her Tabby Basil.
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.
Story and photos copyright: V B Hutton