Thursday night, I went outside and heard a cat squalling. Got the hand held floodlight, wandered into the woods, and found one of my wife's cats up a tree about 30 feet.
This isn't all that unusual. Most of the time, you go to the foot of the tree and call them, and they'll come down.
Not this guy. He is one of the "twins", born about six or seven months ago. Still pretty young and probably shouldn't have been out in the woods at night.
So, I left him up the tree. Not much else I could do in the dark. Next day, (Friday) I got the wife and we went out and called him, but it wasn't looking good. I got the extension ladder, put it at full stretch, and timorously climbed up with a large extendable painting pole, to which I had taped a basket. The basket just reached him, but the wretch wouldn't climb in. He climbed up further.
I cut down a small tree next to the tree he was in, thinking I could drop it against the larger tree and he could use it for a ladder. My lumberjack skills were not quite up to the job, and the tree I cut just missed "the cat tree" . All that for naught.
It was raining, really cold, and then we had a big thunderstorm. I was sure the cat would come down, but he didn't. Friday night was really bad, and I thought he'd probably be dead from exposure by morning . Saturday he was still up there, looking pretty weak. I told M he would come down on his own when he got hungry enough, but she looked up "how long can a cat stay in a tree" on the internet, and all these vets said that after about 24 hours the cat would not make it. They also said it is a myth that all cats will climb down. My credibility as a savant of cat lore was somewhat tarnished.
So, I told her the only thing I knew to do was cut down the tree the cat was in. If it fell on him he'd be squashed unless he bailed out before it hit, but I couldn't think of any alternatives. Even if I was willing to become the subject of titters and smirks in the county, I wasn't going to call the fire department. Even if they would come up here, which is doubtful, they couldn't get a ladder truck up the mountain and the country doesn't have a real ladder truck anyway.....
So, with me wearing my ridiculous safety helmet (which I scorned until a small branch fell out of a big tree I was cutting and knocked me cross eyed some years back), and with the wife safely away, I cut down the tree. I did better this time, and dropped it so the side that fell was 180 degrees out from the side the cat was sitting on.
About 2 seconds before the dreadful crash, the cat ejected and came down in a tangle of undergrowth, but was unharmed. My wife snatched him up and hauled him off to the house, leaving me to drag the ladder back up the muddy, slippery slope to the barn and haul the tools back to the tool shed.
Today (Sunday) the cat is fine and back to his usual self. Doesn't seem any the worse for wear.
M was happy to get her cat back safe, and I was relieved to have survived another mini-traumatic experience. Living up here is fraught with mini-traumatic experiences. I just hope the cat learned his lesson about staying on the ground.
Remember the old American Survival Guide?
The original American Survival Guide actually started out in 1978 as Shooters Journal. As time passed, the editors included more and more survival and freedom related articles, and by 1981 it was carrying articles like "Insurrection, are you ready?"
By 1983 the magazine had morphed into Survival Guide and in June, 1985 the American Survival Guide title appeared on the cover.
About this time, McMullen publishing company, the original creator, began to run into red ink problems. One of the staff, Ken Yee, bought in as a part owner and the magazine continued to march. Yee died in 1994, and McMullen a year later. Argus bought the company, and American Survival Guide continued to be popular through the 1990's.
PriMedia bought Argus out in 2000, and cancelled American Survival Guide, the last issue coming out in September of 2000.
*note: most of this information, and a good deal more, can be found
in the Feb. 2015 edition of the new magazine.
The "new" American Survival Guide is a good magazine, and I enjoy it. But the readers they are looking for are completely different in virtually every respect from the people who read the old magazine. I always feel like the "old dead white guys" have been supplanted by "the beautiful people." Times change, that' s the way it is.
As I mentioned before, in previous blogs, I had a good collection of the original magazines. Then I used a lot of them in my reading class during my three year experiment teaching 5th graders. Kids that wouldn't touch the official "reader" with stories like Abdul and Mokobomo teach Jane to love nature, wore out the issues of "Guns and Ammo" or "American Survival Guide" I brought. My principal blessed the idea (try getting that from an administrator today!), and the parents all signed parental consent forms, and we were off to the races.
Later, a buddy of mine , a Vietnam veteran , had some health problems and I gave him most of the rest of my American Survival Guide magazines. His family eventually threw them away but he enjoyed them and that's what mattered.
When the internet evolved to the point where people could put up pdf. files, I started trying to restore my collection of the old magazine with digital copies. There was a strange fellow on the net whose nom de plume was "Steve." He had a web site with copies of all kinds of magazines you could download. He needed a donation when you did it, because the bandwidth usage was pretty high, but it was a small price to pay.
Steve died, and it looked like his web page and all the information on it would disappear. But a well off fellow from a gun forum (I think from the Pacific North West), picked up the bill and kept it alive. What happened after that, I don't know but it's still out there .
There is now a CDROM you can buy on Ebay with 65 issues of the old magazine, and I would suspect these are the same ones that were available on the old web site.
I've just ordered it (cost $7.50) , so can't say anything more than it exists. When I get it , I'll be able to tell more. Incidently, the company that offers this has a lot of survival oriented CD's , you can pull up a list on the same page linked above.
As far as I know, I am completely caught up on emails and packages. I mailed some packages on Saturday, so those should get to people shortly although with "book rate" and the U.S. Post Office, nothing is certain. I am caught up on all my emails and have answered everyone I needed to respond to.
I found at least one email address of mine that is not getting through to a friend in Australia, but switched to a gmail account and the emails seem to be getting through fine to him now.
If you wrote me at any time in the past and didn't get an answering email, please let me know. I check my sent folder after I send an email, but I have learned conclusively that the fact something is in the sent folder DOES NOT insure the intended recipient actually got the message.
It's always the things you don't expect that bite you in the derriere.
In line with that, I thought I should mention that you can buy ammo spam can openers from these guys for $4.95 each, plus $13.00 shipping (Fedex).
Over the years, especially when Slick Willie was President and Janet Reno was ruling over Narnia, I bought a lot of ammo in cases.
Inside each case (usually, anyway) are two spam cans of ammo. What IS NOT always inside the case is a spam can opener.
You can open the spam cans with a hammer and a chisel, (or as the guy in the video below says, with a rock and a bayonet) but a spam can opener helps. It's like the nail in the old poem.
For want of a nail, the shoe was lost;
For want of the shoe, the horse was lost;
For want of the horse, the rider was lost;
For want of the rider, the battle was lost;
For want of the battle, the kingdom was lost;
And all from the want of a horseshoe nail.
Spam cans are all pretty much the same, although some of the older ammo has a wire pull tab instead of a can opener.
Seems about right to me: