When the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Rescue Services responded to a quiet neighborhood in Plymouth this week, Minerva, an indoor/outdoor cat, had been about four stories up in an evergreen tree for four days. Aside from her owners worrying, the cat was scared, hungry, and needed to get back on solid ground.

ARL rescues approximately 200 cats out of trees annually, and each rescue presents unique challenges. This rescue was no different.

With nets, rigging and other climbing gear ready to go, rescue agents ascended the tree to get the nervous but friendly cat safely back to the ground. The climb was smooth, and Minerva came willingly to be rescued. Smooth sailing – until Minerva got closer to the ground.

Not ready for her rescue to be over, Minerva wriggled out of the carrier bag she was in and bolted into a wooded area at the front of the residence. The woods were dense, and the cat had plenty of places to hide.

Minerva’s owner and rescue agents walked through the woods with food and shaking bags of treats, but the cat would not show herself. Adding to the cat’s anxiety were the sounds of a landscaping crew working nearby.

During a final pass through the woods, a rescue agent noticed a hole in the ground at the base of a tree that was about the size of a bowling ball. Fixated on the hole, there was movement, and two green eyes suddenly appeared. Minerva had gone from in a tree to underground!

Calling her name gently, Minerva emerged from her hiding place, took a few nibbles of food and was again placed in a portable carrier. From there she was brought out of the woods to her owner, who gratefully took her inside.

A Vital Resource

In 2017, ARL Rescue Services helped nearly 3,000 animals. As the only animal welfare agency in Massachusetts with a dedicated technical rescue department, these services are only possible thanks to your support.