When my daughter was young, we adopted a stray cat and named her “Whiskers.” Her white coat of fur was laced with shades of brown. The stray in her loved the outdoors but she enjoyed the comforts of home during the winter.
Whiskers was an experienced cat in the usual hunt but after having a few litters of kittens her speed and stamina were not that of a young feline. If there is one lesson I have learned about cats is they are resilient and long suffering. Our Whiskers was no different even being an older cat.
It was June 1994. We lived in the mountains of WNC in a basement apartment. It was a very secluded area with much wildlife and foliage. My daughter was visiting relatives.
The empty lot beside our house had pine trees that seemed to reach to Heaven. Before I left for work I called Whiskers. There was no sign of her.
Making my way to the empty lot next door I heard a faint cry. Looking up, Whiskers was sitting in a tree that must have been between 50-75 feet tall. She wailed as I called her name.
Overcome with fear as to what to do I called the fire department. Laws prohibit them from rescuing animals. They did tell me she probably climbed the tree to escape being caught by a wild animal. The next 2 days I spent countless hours calling out her name only to hear her wailing become weaker and weaker.
My young daughter would be home soon. I had to get that cat out of that tree alive!
God answers our prayers. Maybe not as fast or the way we would like, but he is faithful.
As I stood calling her on the 3rd day a friend of mine drove by and asked what I was doing. He got out of his truck and looked up to see my “Whiskers” in this very tall tree.
Almost in tears I told him what had happened. He looked at me and said, “Cathy, I am a tree climber. ”I said “What?” “You climb trees?” “Tall Trees?”
He said, “Yes, quite often. I can get your cat down in no time.”
Before I could fall on my knees thanking God he headed for his truck to get his equipment. I called my office and told them I would be late. God had sent someone to save my cat.
As I prayed for his safety, I watched him climb up this tree with boots, ropes and a pillowcase in hand.
He made it up to the limb “Whiskers” was perched on. The closer he got to her, the more she moved away from him. It was like watching a movie with a true life cliffhanger. This rescue had drawn a crowd.
Finally, “Whiskers” realized she could not go any further out on the limb, so she started back towards him and he grabbed her. Crying as he placed her in the pillowcase, he began to climb back down.
Once he was a few feet from me, he dropped her gently into my arms. As I opened the pillowcase and took her out, I hugged her like she was my child. It was apparent she was grateful to be safe again. After a check up, some much needed rest and food, she was back to normal.
The local newspaper got wind of this “great cat rescue” and she and my friend made the headlines. My friend became an instant hero.
Whiskers lived a great life with us and brought us much joy. I can’t wait to see her again in Heaven!
One moral to this story is you never know what people can do even if you think you know them. There are hidden talents in all of us.
The other moral to this story is that God cares about our pets. I had never met a tree climber before. It was no coincidence this friend of mine who just happened to be a tree climber shows up exactly when I needed one. Go figure.