Thursday, July 16, 2015

Of cats and trees and garages


That’s “Tweak” the cat who has been on our news ad nauseum today.  You know its a slow news day when a cat in a tree leads the news all day.  Tweak’s big accomplishment was spending 4 days in a tree.  I have some experience with cats in trees so pay attention to what I am about to say.  Cats dying of starvation from spending time in trees is not a huge issue in North America.  I’m not qualified to speak of other parts of the world but I suspect the principle may apply.  I point to the marked lack of cat skeletons in trees as evidence of the truth of my statement. 


That’s the only picture I was able to locate on short notice of George I.  Its not immediately obvious that there is a cat in that photo but look closely – he’s definitely there.  Its also appropriate that I should include a picture of my first garage build.  It was a pretty significant structure as well and it is still standing.  You may also note my previous use of raised chord trusses although at the time I didn’t know what they were called – they were just what I ended up building.  But I digress – today’s subject is cats in trees.

George I spent most of his life freely roaming outdoors including the time we lived in Saskatoon.  Nobody thought anything of it at the time – that’s just what cats did.  When we moved to Nipawin he discovered tall trees – jack pines to be precise.  If you know jack pines you’ll know that they typically don’t have many branches for the first 30 or 40 feet.  Occasionally we would notice that we hadn’t seen George for a few days.  Unfailingly this would happen after an extremely windy period.  For some reason when it was windy he would go up a tree and then forget how to get back down.  I’d go out in the forest in the evening when it was quiet and call him – he’d answer with his plaintive “I’m up a tree” yowl.

Unlike Tweak in the hyperlinked story above, I didn’t call the fire department or any professional tree climbers.  And I didn’t stuff him into any bag to get him out of the tree although I would pay good money to watch anyone stuff any cat into a bag high up in a tree. 

If I could find a long enough stick (think dead tree) I’d use that to poke George from the ground but usually I had to drag a ladder out to the bush and climb closer to him before starting to poke him.  He didn’t like being poked – surprise, surprise – but eventually he would lose his balance, fall a few feet and then remember how to climb down.  Usually he’d kind of fall and recover a few times until he got close enough to fall on my shoulders and then he’d ride down with me.  A fire hose would probably have worked better than a poking stick but I didn’t have one of them available.

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