I spent two hours--until midnight--trying to coax her down. Flashing my flashlight down the trunk of the tree, bringing out food, calling to her. She just couldn't figure it out. She cried to me, and walked down each branch, parallel to the ground. My heart sank. I waited for my neighbors to call the police on the hooligan waving the flashlight in the grove of trees behind their house. It became clear to me that short of climbing the tree, that kitten was not coming down. I reassured myself that cats are nocturnal creatures, and that she would be fine during the long night in the tree. Maybe she would come down to eat the food.
Her cries followed me home, and into bed. I couldn't sleep.
And, in the morning, she was still crying. Up in the tree. I won't lie. The term "dumb kitten" definitely escaped my lips. I was tired, and worried, and wondering. How long can a cat survive in a tree? I had never heard of one falling out out of a tree.
My neighbors were divided into the camps of call-the-fire-department, and she'll-come-down-on-her-own. I was of the idea that since I have small children, I might need the aid of the fire department in the future, and didn't relish pissing them off due to a dumb kitten. In fact, they had already come to my aid once. But that is another story, for another post. :)
And, anyway, I had a plan.
I attached a stick to a long rope, and asked my husband to throw it over the branch, much to the concern of the very nice Irish woman who came running out of her house to find out what we were doing to her trees. I was amazed that she hadn't seen me out there the night before, or so early that morning. Once she saw our beautiful, sad kitten, she became our biggest fan.
My husband successfully looped the rope over the branch, and I attached our cat carrier bag to the rope, with the top open. I threw some cat food in there for good measure. Hubby pulled the carrier up to the cat, and like magic, the cat stepped right in. We lowered it to the ground, and I grabbed the kitten out. Finally safe, back on the ground.
The writing lesson for this? Well, you might be stuck right now. Stuck on a scene, stuck in the middle, stuck because you've been writing fast and furious and climbing those branches through NaNo. Wondering whether to call the fire department, or just to wait it out. And my advice to you is that you already know the solution. Your subconscious is working it out. It might not be conventional. But go ahead and think about what tools you have at your disposal, and build that cat elevator for your novel. Save the dumb cat. :)
For your viewing pleasure, here are some pictures: (keep in mind that I was emotionally involved with saving the kitten, and the pictures I snapped off are pretty awful. :))
|See her eyes up there? They haunted me all night long.|
|Pitifully, trying to walk along the branches to safety.|
|Amazingly, she climbed right into her cat carrier.|
|Jelly's personal elevator. :)|
|Safe (relatively speaking), in Superman's arms.|