Delaney's Rescue

Delaney is a ~6 month old, 4 pound kitten who spent an 18-degree night 50 feet above the ground on a dead 2 inch diameter branch.  Her rescue was quite challenging due to the delicate branch she was on and because darkness fell soon after I arrived.  The branch Delaney was on was so dead and fragile that the bark was peeling off.  I was very concerned that my actions while rigging the tree for the rescue could cause it to break so we set up a rescue tarp at ground level held by Delaney's anxious family and a concerned neighbor in case Delaney fell.

I rigged an adjacent tree a safe distance from Delaney's fragile perch and began the climb just as twilight evaporated into night. Unfortunately I didn't have my head lamp with me so I was climbing and traversing over to Delaney by the light of distant street lights and a couple of feeble flashlight beams from below.  This is also the reason that there is no video of the rescue :(

Fortunately, the rest of the tree was healthy and the there was a branch above Delaney that I could use to position myself above her.  I didn't dare put any weight on her branch for fear that it would break.  Just as I was nearing a critical point in the dark rescue, a bright beam of light burst forth from below illuminating the way like a divinely sent beacon.  It turned out that Enrique, Delaney's abuelo, had repurposed an indoor lamp, attached it to a long extension cord, removed the lamp shade, and replaced the 60 watt bulb with an outdoor flood light!

I was able to pick Delaney off her precarious perch without putting any weight on the dead branch, and after a few minutes of necessary rope management, I had her safely down to the ground in the rescue bag.  The short video below was taken as Delaney scarfed down a whole can of her favorite cat food - quite a feat for a 4 pound cat to eat a whole can of food!