Up a tree

We had a little drama last weekend. It was actually in the midst of my curtain-making adventure. I had just put the curtains on the rod, so I could determine the hem length I wanted.

Of course, Relic who was outside, saw me messing around near the door and came around to be nosy. I opened the door to see if he wanted in. Relic, being Relic, decided he needed at least five minutes with the door hanging open to decide whether he really wanted to come in or not.

And while Relic was deciding, Burton ninja-zoomed out of no where (those toe-hawks are adorable, but they also make him super silent.) I wasn’t able to get the door closed fast enough, and out he went.

Now this isn’t the first time it’s happened. Usually he does a quick bolt, then stops one or two units over and waits for Relic and I to catch up.

But not this time. This time he made a bee-line for the box elder tree at the back of our property… and let me tell you – for a mostly indoor cat… this cat can CLIMB!

Before Relic and I reached the base of the tree, he was already up higher than I could reach. I ran back in the house to get some toys and treats and see if I could entice him down.

That didn’t work in the slightest… in fact he kept going higher!


The pics aren’t great, because I was getting a little frantic. The tree is more in our rear neighbour’s yard than ours, and I was worried about him coming down in their yard and running off.

Eventually, he got so high, that he got himself stuck… the tree trunk is a lot steeper coming down than going up. I think this is when he finally realized he was in trouble, because he started pacing on a branch and crying at me.

Not long after, Dave came out… and marveled at Burton’s climbing ability, while calling him a dumbass.


To give you an idea of how high Burt got… he’s that black mass, not far from the top of the picture. Dave is just behind the fence post (and he’s over 6ft tall.). You can also see Relic at his feet, trying to help…

At one point Relic started climbing the tree too. We were hopeful he would show Burt how to get down (Relic is an old hand at tree climbing) but even he was too smart to venture as high as Burton.

Dave went and got the only ladder we have, which is only 6 ft, and a 2×4. He was hoping his could angle it from the trunk to the branch to create a ramp for Burton to come down, at least to grabbing distance, but it was a no go.

About an hour in, Burton was  really showing signs that he wanted out of that tree, so we were hopeful he’d be able to figure out how to get down himself. I got a can of his favourite wet food, climbed the ladder, and put some in a dish on the top rung of the ladder.

It took him about 20 minutes more, but he finally started coming down… butt first. It reminded me of a toddler, learning how to navigate the stairs. I was so mad at him, but it was so cute, and I was so proud, I couldn’t help but laugh.

As soon as he was within grabbing distance, I scooped him up and got him the heck out of that tree and inside.


And yes…. he was completely unrepentant.

Dave now has the number of several tree companies who also list cat rescue as part of their services. But I can tell you, we’re being a lot more careful around open doors now!


8 thoughts on “Up a tree

  1. Burton, you were really high up there. Your mom was probably so nervous for you. Good thing food and treats work to get you down. We are very happy that you are safe and now will think about not going up the trees anymore if you get out. Thanks for the share. Enjoy your weekend.


  2. Shirley

    I had to laugh at this story and it reminded me of my daughter’s first cat. I did have to call my father-in-law to bring down a ladder and get the cat out of the tree Hopefully, this will be your only experience with a cat stuck in a tree. Glad he managed to get down on his own!


  3. You must have been very worried!
    There used to be a TV show on, here in the States, about two guys who rescue cats from trees. The team is called ‘Canopy Cat Rescue’, and I believe that they have a list of arborists who will help rescue treed cats too!


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