Distraught! 6-18-24

For the past 3 days I have been distraught, terrified, helpless and in tears – Greta climbed 40+ feet up a tree with no lower limbs and was stuck there crying pitifully for us to get her down. Don’t ask me why this happened because I simply don’t know but there she was literally higher than the house and we had no way to help her. We tried everything we could think of to coax her down. We even clamped a long limb in the loader bucket and raised it as high as we could to get closer to her thinking she might be braver to come down on a limb.

I could do nothing but sit in the chair and plead with her to come down. I looked online where there are many instances of cats leaping safely to the ground but just as many who leap to their death.

Last night I left her an open can of cat food on top of the ladder as well as water – the days have been very hot and she hadn’t had anything to drink for days. The ladder was tipped over this morning and the food gone.

We closed all the windows so we couldn’t hear her crying, I went to the sewing room and avoided the porch and I haven’t slept well for several nights.

This morning I simply couldn’t take it any longer and I called a tree service. I couldn’t get an answer – the voice mail didn’t work so I drove to their business north of Garner, Malek Tree Service. In tears I told him what I needed and he said he’d come after he finished the current tree trimming job. I drove home and within the hour, their truck pulled in.

As he parked under the tree I warned him the cat, Greta, would claw and bite and was already terrified but as he pulled on his leather gloves he assured me he had done this before.

As he rose higher and closer to the tree I could see Greta getting nervous and I ran behind the house. I couldn’t look! When I returned 20 seconds later they both laughed when I asked where she was. She was already down the tree and back in the house!!!!! Evidently she was so scared of the truck and the guy coming towards her that she scampered right down the opposite side of the tree in nothing flat!!

Becky dubbed her Little Dumb Ass – here she is tonight.

And here’s the stormy sky earlier tonight – the storm that’s been predicted for days – the storm I dreaded if she were still in the tree.

You can’t make this stuff up, Folks! I was thrilled to post all the pictures the last two days without narrative since I was so worried I could hardly talk. Now I feel as if I’ve just written a book. Sigh.

Reader photos


Farmer Tim’s corn across the road

More corn pictures tomorrow – I think I’m past my limit.

I know I’ll sleep tonight without worrying about Greta in the tree. Honestly, it’s always something, isn’t it? I’ll bet you think I just make this stuff up to entertain you. Haha!

63 thoughts on “Distraught! 6-18-24

  1. Pat Smith

    Still no comment bar at the end of your email post so I’m reading now by just going to the internet and finding your blog. Not as convenient but it works. So glad for the happy ending for the Greta ordeal!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Pat smith – try a reset on your device. Turn it off for awhile

  2. Chris in Alaska

    Wow ! That’s quite a story : maybe a new book in the works ? Glad Greta is ok and you survived too !

  3. Barbara in New York

    Mary , just call the Fire Department if that ever happens again with one if your pets up in a tree. The guys in our town are always happy to help.

  4. Linda

    I had tears reading this post…. Poor Greta and poor you…..How wonderful that everything ended OK…..I would have suffered just like you did….

  5. Joy in NW Iowa

    Mary I am so sorry your were streets overload! Stupid cat!
    The pictures are all beautiful!

  6. Jackie in NY

    Oh Mary! I’m so sorry for the stress you e been under the past few days worrying about Greta. But I’m glad there was a happy ending. The pictures are awesome today! Such beautiful flowers and really lovely patriotic quilts and displays.

  7. San

    I’m so very glad to hear this cat story had a happy ending. I recall a similar amount of worry when my dog disappeared for 3 days back when I lived in Georgia. She finally came home. I believe someone was “keeping” her for me. Boy oh boy,your tree guys are terrific.

    It’s hot and humid here, like the rest of the country. Everyone’s garden should be doing great. The deer enjoyed nibbling on my potted tomato plant last night.

    Stay cool everyone. San / Murphy, NC

  8. Susan in AL

    Well, that didn’t work too well. I guess that it didn’t like the quotation marks. I’ll try again without them:

    The heartwarming true story of a man, his rescue dog, and how they became the UK’s most beloved pair of pet detectives.

    In 2003, veteran police officer Colin Butcher left the force to open the UKPD—United Kingdom Pet Detectives—the only British agency specializes in finding missing pets. When Colin first met Molly the Cocker Spaniel, she was young and inexperienced. But sensing that she had the makings of a valuable partner, he brought Molly on.

    Trained by top canine experts at Medical Detection Dogs, Molly became skilled at find missing cats—those beloved pets who are uniquely skilled at eluding humans. But the work is not always easy. Molly has faced hardships ranging from a near-fatal snakebite to the challenge of winning over Colin’s girlfriend, Sarah.

    Through it all, Colin and Molly developed an enduring love and affection. More than a working relationship, Molly is part of the family. In Molly, Colin recounts their remarkable story.

  9. Susan in AL

    My Word! What an adventure!

    It reminds me of a book that you may enjoy — it’s a true story too!
    It’s called Molly: the True Story of the Amazing Dog Who Rescues Cats by Colin Butcher. This is the blurb from the Amazon site:


  10. Tanya T. in Houston

    I have the comment bar again! Yeah! Glad you and Greta are both safe!!

  11. Vicki Ibarra

    I am glad everything turned out OK with Greta. What a cat story! And I reiterate what others have said – the flag and flower pictures are phenomenal. I am particularly fond of the hollyhock pictures, as they make me recall my childhood on the farm where Mom had them along one fence. I tried to grow them at my current home, without success. So, I will admire the pictures.

  12. Beryl BC

    I wouldn’t have gotten any sleep either. So far, we’ve not had one climb a tree, but we had one once that would escape and stay away for a few days. There wasn’t much sleeping while she was gone. I love the flowers, especially the hollyhocks. The quilts are nice, too. I think I have the Uncle Sam pattern.

  13. Carolyn Rector of Ohio

    Glad there was a Happy ending to that story. I hope she learned her lesson.Your hydrangea s are beautiful against the red barn.Lovely flowers and I always love the decorating with the red, white and blue.
    Time for some porch sitting.
    My day today was giving Buster a bath in the yard. Sat on the porch and brushed him while he dried off. Part Golden Retriever and not too crazy about being wet. Looking forward to my daughter being here with me for a few days.

  14. Pat in AZ

    What a little stinker! So glad it all worked out for you. I’ll admit I laughed at the way it resolved.
    Beautiful flowers especially the zinnias and hollyhocks. I really miss my Pacific NW gardens this time of year.
    Pat in AZ, where it’s supposed to be “cooler” today. Only 108 hahahaha

  15. Sharon F

    Oh Greta! You naughty cat, getting stuck in a tall tree and worrying Mary to death. I wonder if Fluffybun dared Greta to climb the tree, hoping to get rid of her. 😉. I know how stressed out you were; our pets can really put us through the wringer sometimes.

    Thanks for all the flower and flag pictures. They are all beautiful, especially the hollyhocks.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sharon – it entered my mind that FluffyBun. Oils have. Hated her up the tree but I can’t prove it. If I could FB would be gone!

  16. Sue in Oregon

    Little Dumb Ass story is a great one. I know you were very stressed and it was not a laughing matter at the time, but you have to think back and laugh. I really hope she doesn’t do it again, though.
    The flowers and yard photos are stunning, including Keeper and his chickens. So much fun to see them all.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sue – you’re right – I, too, can see the humor. My friend Ginny said I should threaten LDA that the big truck will come back to get her if she doesn’t behave.

  17. Sheila in WI

    Oh, Mary! What an ordeal!
    This post could be titled Beauty and the Beast.
    Hope you have a relaxing, stress free day.

  18. Donna Sproston

    Poor Greta and poor Mary! Loved the photos, and the rescue of Little Dumb Ass was shared with my cat loving husband at breakfast. Happy to be spending a day playing with fabric and avoiding the humidity. We walked at six this morning along with a lot of heavy coated dogs with their tongues hanging.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Donna – I have to go in to the post office but then I’m free to work in the shop – I’ve got patterns for you that should have been posted a week ago!!

  19. Jo in Wyoming

    The comment bar is gone again, so I had to remember how to find it!!
    I amazed that you found Greta with all your trees. Then, the tree company had room to place their truck close enough to the tree.
    She is one lucky cat!!!
    The flowers are spectacular. Beautiful pictures with the chickens out. All the pictures are great today.

    We have frost warnings for tonight is some places? Snow in the high country.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jo – really? I will double check it but I’ve already gotten so many comments that I can’t imagine it’s gone. I’ll look.

  20. Paula

    Whats the name of the plant with the hot pink flowers on it?. Thanks Paula in KY

  21. Fran

    Oh my! Never a dull moment! Happy for you for the outcome!

    Loved the photos today as usual really!

    We got tons of rain last evening. And it cooled down just for a couple of days. I am thinking retreat again as another one starts Monday. So I am in that mode. Never unpacked big stuff from my car from last retreat.

  22. Pamela Dempsey in Northeast Texas 😻

    Oh,Mary, soooo glad Greta is back home safely! Did the guy charge you for scaring her down? You definitely deserve a few “ice teas” 🤭

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Pamela – he said no charge but I gave him what I had in my purse – $75- and said, with thanks, that it was worth every penny! We don’t even have much of a local newspaper but I’d love to print a thank you.

      1. Kathy in NY

        Mary, word of mouth can sometimes be the most well spent advertising money. Do you have a community Facebook page and be sure to tell everyone at church what a good company they provide. You’d be surprised how many answer they never knew a business existed when you share praises.

      2. Donna Jo

        Mary that was very kind of him not to charge you. You could leave a review online too. Great game tonight! Isn’t it so much nicer when we lead the entire game?☺️

  23. Elaine Kopischke-Trejo

    How frightening for both you and Greta! So happy to read you had a happy ending.

  24. Linda in Michigan

    Mary, I felt every bit of the angst you went thru with Greta in the tree. Here’s my story-I was to babysit my daughter’s cat, and she was NOT to go outside, Well, of course she went outside, and of course she disappeared for two days-no sign of her. What was I going to tell the daughter? I go into the back yard and start calling and calling. Off in the distance I hear a cat-could it be “Sweets” answering me? I kept calling, she kept answering, and after crawling thru a thick field, I find her way up in a tree. Took about 15 min. to coax her down but I finally got her and she even let me carry her back to the house. I think she was just exhausted. She never left the yard after that-I really think something chased her and scared her so bad she climbed a tree. I’m glad your story turned out the way it did. As you say, never a dull moment.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Linda – I can understand your story completely! Did you tell your daughter or just let her think everything was fine while she was gone?

  25. Margie

    Just reading the story gives me shivers! We are house sitting this week and dog and cat sitting. The day we were coming down we got a text saying the youngest of 3 cats they have, had a baby. These are indoor cats. However, they moved to this house that needed a lot of work and ms. Bert had gotten out through the roof somehow. That has to have been when she got pregnant. They didn’t know she was pregnant. So here we are taking care of things with a newborn kitty. Thankfully ms. Bert is a good momma. Like you say, we can’t make this stuff up! So glad things turned out well for you. All the pictures are great. Hope you have a stress less day.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Margie – she was likely in heat and would escape in any way she could. Oh my, a kitten!! Have you told the owners?

  26. Donna Jo

    Oh Mary I feel for you and Greta! Glad she is safe and you can finally sleep. Love all the pictures. Don’t forget we have a game tonight.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Donna Jo – yes, game at 6 pm on NBA network which is usually an ESPN channel for me. Don’t you just love how composed Caitlin is after every game? Even a knock down game with Chicago and the thugs!

  27. Barbara Yarnell

    So nice of Greta to wait until she caused all that trouble for everyone before she got herself down. Typical cat! But I love them too. Another great batch of photos today.

  28. Sandra Goddard

    So what we say here on our place is no one would believe it but we live this shit everyday. Always something

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sandra – us, too! I could write several stories a week about what happens here on the farm and few would believe me. Haha!!!

  29. Dee in Ohio

    Was that the plants around the barn that you transported from the sidewalk? If so, wow they look good for being their first year

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      No, those hydrangeas were transplanted several years ago – I think they like their location, don’t you? The ones I transplanted from the sidewalk are all growing but I’m having to weed them this first year. I’m working on another hydrangea bed now – as soon as the lilies are done blooming I’m going to till it up.

  30. Kathy in western NY

    What a little stinker Greta. She put you through that anguish long enough. I’d be worried sick too and not able to write so we can understand. Big KUDOS to the tree trimming man who handled it so well caring for safety of Greta. A very kind sensitive man is refreshing and valuable. Our volunteer fire dept has done some rescues for local families if they are able to. Unfortunately some people tie up volunteers such as something like calling in a water leak in homes and don’t take the time to turn off the main valve first to stop it. Cats in trees are beyond our control but I often question common sense daily on where it went talking to others.
    Gorgeous pictures your amazing readers share with us all. I appreciate the beauty of people’s yards and decorating homes. I recognize the small USA wall hanging as one of your patterns on my UFO list.

  31. Diane, Squeak, Buddy in Central Ohio

    I’m not sure a book publisher would let you use the title, LITTLE DUMB ASS, but it sure fits! I’ll bet we all have “up a tree” cat stories and they are all frightening and scary! I am so glad she is down and you can rest now. I wonder if a large critter chased her up there?
    Gloria in CC, my husband who grew up on a farm always said the same—he’d never seen a dead cat in a tree. But, I still worried until they came down. One of ours who was declawed climbed too high and couldn’t get down. She finally did but backwards! Love the flowers. What are the ones on a stick? Beautiful. And, I want to make all of the patriotic quilts—lol! Already 73* at 7:00am will be 96 today. Ugh

  32. Sue H

    What a great idea to call a tree trimmer. So happy that Greta is safely home and that you can now sleep peacefully. Love the quilt with bow-legged Uncle Sams holding flags. What gorgeous hollyhocks too!

  33. Lynette in Orlando

    Mary, oh my goodness! How our loved pets drive us crazy!!!! We love them so much and then they go and do something crazy. Glad it all was fine in the end. What a sweet tree guy!!! Wonder how many times he’s been the rescuer. Thank you for all the pictures…… lovely!!!!

  34. Gloria from CC

    Good morning Mary – I’m laughing about your cat in the tree story because it reminded me of a story about my Grandpa. My parents were taking care of my cat Heidi while I was living in Guam. One day she decided to climb my grandparent’s tree. My mom was frantic! She called my dad who couldn’t coax Heidi down the tree either. So they called the fire department who came out with their truck and ladders and got her out of the tree. My Grandpa who was famous for his one liners had been quietly watching all the commotion surrounding getting Heidi out of the tree. He looked at my parents and said “have you ever seen a dead cat in a tree?” I’ve told that story many times and the truthfulness of that statement still makes me stop and think.
    Love all the garden pictures.

    1. Rosalie in Texas

      My grandson and his wife adopted 5 feral cats to control the mice a few months ago. They have been living here about 6 months. The littlest one went up a tree and was there about 5 days. No amount of coaxing or aromatic cat food would entice him. Finally a storm was coming and he found the courage to get down. When grandson was asking for ideas to get cat down he was told the line about dead cats in trees.

      1. Mary Etherington Post author

        Rosalie – with the storm we had last night I would have had to leave the farm versus watching her in the tree. Yes, that line is true. I also read you never see cat skeletons in a tree – because they’ve gotten so weak and dehydrated they have fallen to their death.

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Gloria – I read extensively online for ideas to get her down and that line was mentioned. It was debunked when someone pointed out that as they became dehydrated and weak, they fell to their death. And that’s why you’ll never see a cat skeleton in a tree. Yours is a good story however.

  35. Jean

    WHAT a story! I just love cats. Mine always keeps me on my toes!
    Mary I don’t know where you get your blog ideas from but the pics of the flowers and peoples yards are an absolute day brightener. Something to enjoy. The news and state of our world today is very depressing so it’s a joy and very uplifting to feast our eyes on such beauty. I say thank you to you!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jean – my “ideas” are what I’d like to view personally. Like I’ve always said, we’re all very similar.

  36. Patricia

    Oh heavens Mary, how awful and such stress. I’d have been beside myself like you with worry! What I want to know is, Greta was capable of getting down the tree by yourself, why didn’t she do it earlier? Well, she got down. But it was nice to know the tree service was there to assist if necessary. Oh such beautiful flowers. And quilts. Your hens are looking so good. I hope they’ll soon lay eggs. Glad all the worry is over, for now. Pat in Md

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Pat – and that is exactly why she earned the nickname Little Dumb Ass! Why didn’t she come down indeed instead of sitting up there crying?

  37. patti

    a note to comment on all the beautiful flowers and quilts today. what a great show. i love every bit of it, even the bugs on the flowers. congrats and thanks to all who shared, patti in florida

  38. patti

    oh mary, i emphasize with you. i know the feeling well. my cat smokey (may he rip) did the same thing. he was maybe a year old. there was a small playground for the kids on the other side of my back fence with a giant tree in the middle. smokey ran up the tree one day. i was frantic. the more i tried to get him down, the more the kids got excited and tried to help, the higher he climbed. he did not budge until all the commotion died down. sometime in the middle of the night he finally came down (i got smokey when he was four weeks old and he was my baby). facing forward on the way down as i’ve been told they can’t back down because of their claws. i think in your case greta was making sure that you knew she was up there. maybe she wanted praise, who knows the mind of a cat. kinda like when they bring you a gift of a mouse. the lift truck scared her enough to come down. i am so relieved for you. i would still be frantic today if it happened again so i understand, i have learned (with my feral cat, slinky, who has been with me for 8 yrs and is 10) that the more i ignore him, the more he wants attention. it seems to be a feline trait. i know it doesn’t help now but hopefully she learned her lesson. now that you know she really can get down on her own, you won’t be so distraught next time (and there probably will be a next time – so sorry). maybe in a few or ten years you’ll be able to look back and say ‘yes, that greta is a minx.’ may you get some deep sleep tonight, hugs, patti in florida and a sleeping slinky who was way stressed out and hiding from the doorbell and telephone rings today (he still hides from everything).

    1. patti

      maybe if you try to take these things in stride, greta won’t think anything about it and realize she can rescue herself. ‘yes, so you can climb a tree – good for you – you can get down by yourself too and when you do i’ll be here for you.’ patti in florida (i know i’m suggesting something that is innately against our grain)

  39. Jeanie S, Central IL

    Oh my, it is so scary and stressful, when they climb up high and are afraid to come down. Hopefully, she won’t do that again.
    The flower pictures are all beautiful especially the double hollyhocks.
    Sleep well tonight, Mary. You have some catching up to do.
    Thanks 🥰

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