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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Cat's Play 2 - Up the tree

This is my silly kitten.In the dead of the night, she climbed up the tree this high! She knows how to go up, but didn't know how to come down in reverse order. So she was stuck about 11m high (5 storeys high) and was crying out for help. We were brought to the attention by the kitten's mother, who was circling around the kitchen table nervously and calling us to follow her into the garden.
My ladder is only 6m tall. She was another 5 metre above me and it was dark and cold outside. Climbing the almost branchless 5 metre section was too risky. We called the firemen, but their truck wouldn't be able to access our garden. It is also not possible to enter from the forest side. They would have to climb up the extra 5m after the ladder. Sometimes, the fireman might inadvertently frighten the kitten and she may panic and jump to her death. So they suggested that we leave her out there for a night and see what can be done the next day, but no more than a day as she will starve to death.
Meanwhile, we cracked our heads and came up with an idea to tie something heavy to one end of a rope and throw it up over the branch where the kitten was, then lower the heavy object, and attach a basket to it. I tried that but it was too difficult. I dare not throw it too near the kitten in case I smash her face killing her, or scare her and she jumped to death. Besides, it was difficult standing at 6m on the ladder and throwing the dumbell (yes, we use a small one used by joggers!!!) almost vertically. I tried throwing up a few times - the last time it came down and landed on my chin. So now I have a bruised chin and the kitten was still up there crying in desperation.

Next idea: we tied a basket to a fallen tree branch, but the branch was too short... haiz.

.So we extended the length, by with a few of them...

Thus, there I was at the top of the 6m ladder, in the darkness under the canopy of the night forest, straining my arms holding the bottom end of the heavy five metre long stick, moving the basket at the far end till it reaches the kitten. When the basket reached her, she looked into it, but didn't jump!!! URGH!!! My arms were now aching and wobbling, as it was heavy holding the stick with the basket at the far end. Besides, I was recovering from sciatic pains and every stretch of the leg was a stinging pain. As I persisted, my arms and legs shivered. I knew it was a point of no return. If I give up and lower the basket and the kitten happen to jump, she would jump to her death.

After ten more minutes, my persistence paid off. She finally got the hint and jumped into the basket. The sudden weight in the basket at the far end of the long stick threw me off balance momentarily, and I had to grab the tree quickly to keep still. So at last, the rescue is done. I got the basket and saw her. She looked petrified, but relieved.

A few months ago, I had another problem. I dropped my Dopod stylus in between the terrace timber floor boards. The gap is barely 1 cm wide and it is 10cm above a sandy ground below.

See picture below. We managed to rescue the stylus without taking out the floor boards or tunneling the ground. :) Do you want to think about how we did it? :)



Joo Hock (JooHock) said...

If your Stylus is made of metallic elements, then it's quite easy, just attach a small piece of magnet to the ends of a stiff metallic rod wire and lower it between the gap to pick it up.
Otherwise attach a piece of sticky, gooey stuff, like what's that thing called.....suddenly the name escape my mind....ya's BluTack....lower it in and voila your stylus rescued

michael said...

Joo Hock

The stylus looks metallic, but it isn't.

Remember the stylus is resting on sand. Which poses two problems:
1. As you apply pressure so that you want the blutack to stick to the stylus, the stylus sink into the sand.
2. You blutack ends up sticking up a lot of sand and ceases to be sticky after a few tries. :)

Good try! You are getting close!