I pushed open the door and gave my usual "Tom-Tom! Little Bit" holler; Tom quickly appeared with a big, hungry "Mowel!" I called Little Bit again (I didn't see her all day yesterday so I was little worried.) Well, I heard a little meow from the back so I went to the back. I kept calling her and she kept answering...but she wasn't showing up. Due to the resonance in the back of the barn, I was having trouble locating the direction of that pitiful mew. For some reason, I turned around, took a step backward and looked up.
There she was. Roughly 15 feet in the air on the rafters.
She sure is a smart little cat though and as I told her to start moving and indicating direction with my hand, she followed (I also basically walked underneath her). When we got to the opposite end of the barn, I kept asking her if she could "go over there" (aka...step from her rafter to the door lintel). It took a minute, but she did so. I was trying to get her centered over one of the vehicle roofs hoping she would jump down. Well, she got over the green Ford first...and wouldn't jump. So next I talked her along the wide rafter next to the bee truck. The skinny cross traces where a little scary for her, but she walked across it for a little then backed up again. She kept pacing the fat rafters and I kept trying to get her back onto the skinny rafter over the truck.
"Uh-uh, Big Cat. I ain't doing that! I almost fell off earlier!"
Oh yes, and during this time she's piteously meowling. She really wanted down but was scared to jump. Finally, I got an idea. A can of food! (Prompted by the other day when I used a can of food to temp her down the ladder in the side of the barn loft--what a nut.)
I tried just setting it on top of the box on the back of the bee truck...once again hoping she'd jump. Well, she didn't. She got a little more agitated, but couldn't quite bring herself to make that scary four foot leap of that narrow little board.
Bah. Do I have ladder in here long enough to reach the top of the truck?
Yep. Right there.
So, up I went (I hate ladders). I ended up having to get on the top of the box myself (it's nasty dirty up there). It still took several minutes after that to get her. She wouldn't come close enough for me to reach until I had popped the lid of the can and set it on the far side of the 'V' brace. I kept tapping the can with my fingernail and it finally got to her. She got close and I reached out with my left hand and got a good grip on her scruff and pulled. She dug her claws into the rafters but I got her pulled loose. (Oh yeah, Tom had come up the front of the truck and was pacing around my feet. He was more concerned to get his breakfast than he was the fate of his little sis.) I set Little Bit down and went down the ladder....taking the food with me.
Tom jumped off the box down over the cab and hood...and raced around to their normal feeding spot. Little Bit wouldn't jump. I guess she was still too scared. So...back up the ladder I went, taking the lid completely off the can and held it under her nose. Once again, once she got close enough I took a handful of fur. This time I tossed her on my shoulder and went down the ladder. The last few rungs she was literally standing with her front paws in the small of my back.
I hope Little Bit will learn not to go traipsing across the rafters in future. This morning's adventure is not one that I want to repeat! Particularly on my own empty stomach...