Retirement and Saving Cats from Trees
Randall Kolb, a retired 64-year-old from Baton Rouge, has been saving cats from tall trees since 2014.
In 2013, three days after retiring, his wife Judy told him that a cat was stranded at the top of a tree a few blocks a way. Kolb, as an animal lover, left the house in order to seek help. Unfortunately, it took Kolb two days in order to be able to find a person fit for the task. According to Kolb, he was really impressed by the man who climbed the tree. He was impressed by the man’s skills. So Kolb, as time went by, decided that he also wanted to rescue cats from trees.
And like Kolb suspected, climbing trees is not easy. So he contacted climbers and learned from them. Kolb trained for almost a year. He learned about climbing gear as much as he could. And he climbed several trees every week. Each time, he mastered different maneuvers and techniques. Kolb, in the end, made the right decision, for the cat rescuer left Baton Rouge. Kolb has rescued over 140 cats. He is constantly contacted by animal control centers.
Kolb uses a slingshot in order to send a weighted bag to a bough. The bag is attached to a cord, and the cord is attached to a rope. Kolb proceeds by moving the rope to a limb of a tree. Then, he uses leg ascenders in order to climb the tree. Kolb is also a keen inventor. He invented a carrier, which is composed of a laundry bag and two gloves. He made a hole in the bottom of the bag and sewed to it the gloves. Kolb, for instance, after putting on a glove, pulls the bag over his arm. Then, once he has grasped a cat by its scruff, inverts the bag over the cat.
Some rescues can take hours; others take less time. According to Kolb, he has even rescued cats in less than 40 minutes. But in the end, it depends on the cat. Some cats are more aggressive or scared. And cats can also climb up to 90 feet. Many people believe that cats can get down on their own. But the reality is different. Cats can stay for days on top of trees. Besides, their claws are made for climbing and not for descending. As a matter of fact, Kolb once rescued an iguana from a pine tree.
Kolb records his encounters with stranded cats. He has a camera attached to his helmet. Kolb continues to rescue cats week after week. He is also available every day, and he does not charge money. Instead, he encourages people to donate money to Cat Haven, a local organization that shelters, cures and neuters cats. Cat Haven wants Baton Rouge to become a no-kill community.