Too scary!

The Pine Tree by the Pump House

Oh dear me. A very scary thing has happened. Last night, home late after my choir rehearsal - where was Red Fred? Non-Gardening Partner and I wandered around with torches, calling him. Couldn't find him. I went to look behind the cottage, just in case he'd got lost over there.

A cat crying...

I could definitely hear a cat crying, but where was the sound coming from? Behind the pond? No. In the Pump House? No. In next door's paddock? No. I kept calling, Fred kept crying back to me. Finally NGP spotted him, in THE most dreadful place - right at the top of a huge pine tree, possibly stuck, certainly too frightened to come down.

What to do?

What to do? We talked to him, patting the trunk, shining the torches on our faces. 'Come down backwards, little Fred'. But he wouldn't move. We lit up parts of the trunk, so he could see the way. But he wouldn't move.

The ladder...

So NGP brought over the extension ladder, extended it (eek) and climbed up slowly in the dark, as far as the second to top rung. Phew! Fred (still higher up) started moving on down. But then a bad moment - he slipped and fell, self-arresting (so lucky) on a side branch.

NGP to the rescue...

NGP, balancing on the second to top rung of the ladder (eek) managed to scoop him up. 'I've got him!' The best words I could have ever hoped to hear. But then how awful it was, standing at the bottom of a gently bouncing ladder, waiting for partner and cat to get back down safely. Not a happy moment, in the darkness.

 Photo taken next day. Too scary!
Fred Was at the Top Of This Pine Tree

Safe in the house we took the red and black collars off both the Freds. Cats who climb high up into trees might easily get their collars jammed up in branches. So now we identify them by their tails. Red Fred has one full stripe on his lower tail, Black Fred has two. Just takes a moment to swivel them around and check. Hello Fred... counts stripes... Hello Red Fred!

 Red Fred is the cat with his eyes closed.
Two Freds Snoozing

I thought back over my afternoon. Red Fred could have been stuck up his tree for close to six hours. No wonder that after being rescued he ate a good meal, drank his pet milk, and immediately curled up for a sleepy cuddle. What an adventure. Not one that I ever want a repeat of, thank you.