Mom to the Rescue   Leave a comment

The Stairs by Lady Birchwood
The Stairs, a photo by Lady Birchwood on Flickr.

It has been a long, long time since I’ve had to rescue a cat who has gotten herself into a precarious, dangerous situation and can’t get herself out of it.

I was sitting in our downstairs TV room this evening, watching a DVD while my husband was at a meeting of his Shipwreck Preservation Society buds. I heard an odd clunking sound from upstairs where our recently-adopted 8-month-old kitten, Mia, has been spending all of her time. (She’s afraid to come down to the first floor and enter our 17-year-old tomcat, Bubba’s, territory! She’s ventured about six steps down from the upstairs hallway and will lay there and observe what she can see from that distance.) I paused the DVD which I had just started to watch and went upstairs to investigate what she had gotten into. I got to the top of the stairs and stopped dead in my tracks, dumbstruck at what she had done.

The picture will help you understand what happened. She had jumped onto the low section of wall that borders the upstairs landing by our bedroom. From there, she had ventured out onto the shelf mounted on the stairway wall that holds one of Dale’s ship models. The clunking sound I heard was when she jumped from the end of that shelf, which is not mounted to the metal brackets underneath it. It lifted up off the metal bracket as she jumped off of it and clunked back down.  Where did she go after she had left the shelf in the stairway? Onto the narrow frame of the window that adds a little decorative touch to the top of our stairwell! She was panicked and meowing pitifully, trying to figure out how she was going to get down from where she had gotten. It was a long jump onto a narrow shelf to get back the way she had gotten there, and directly below her was the staircase with the steps a good twelve feet down.

What was I going to do to get her down? I couldn’t reach her! I didn’t want her to jump and risk injuring herself if she took a long tumble down the stairs from a height of twelve  feet. The only thing I could think of was to find a long enough board to reach from the upstairs landing where I was standing out to the window frame, providing a gangplank for her to walk back to safety. I raced down to the basement workshop but couldn’t find anything long enough. I rushed out to the garage, searching for something suitable that I could carry into the house.  Heavy extension ladders were out.  I finally grabbed one of our window screens, a narrow screen that fits into one of our TV room windows during the warmer weather and is probably seven or eight feet tall. It was lightweight and easy for me to carry.

I got it upstairs and reached it out to the window in the stairwell. It wasn’t long enough to go from the landing floor to the window frame but if I stepped down a couple of steps and held it in front of me, I could reach out and rest it on the frame. I did that and then started coaxing Mia to step out onto it. She was scared and hesitant but she finally stepped out onto the screen that I was holding onto firmly and tentatively walked towards me. When she got to me, I wasn’t quite sure what to do to get her off the screen. I couldn’t let go of it or I was going to dump her onto the stairs. I finally lowered my head and rounded my shoulders, encouraging her to climb onto me. She seemed to know what I was suggesting and jumped onto my shoulder and then onto the floor.

Mission accomplished! One cat rescued! Remind me to tell you sometime of the night 13 or 14 years ago when I awoke to the sound of an alarmed Katie-cat who was hanging onto the OUTSIDE of our bedroom screen with a two-story drop below her onto a concrete path. I was a successful cat rescuer that night, too!

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Posted April 5, 2011 by StPaulieGrrl in cats

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