Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

June 12, 2013

Scooter’s week in the tree

Pat Smith
Greensburg Daily News

Greensburg — Brothers Scooter and Pokey brought a whole neighborhood together as nothing else had done. Sure, the whole neighborhood is filled with interested and interesting people, but what, with everyone being so busy, it’s often hard to get to know our neighbors when we’re running here and yon. Let me tell you what happened in a Greensburg neighborhood.

Marilyn Millis, daughter of Ben Millis and of the late Mary Louise Millis, lives in the family home on North Broadway. She’s the owner of two male cats she raised from kittenhood. The boys’ two sisters got adopted, so she took the brothers home with her and named them Scooter, because he had what might be called a prying mind; he wanted to do anything with the slightest chance of proving interesting.

She named his brother Pokey, because he was shy with never a desire to do risky stuff. Although so different, the brothers, now nine month old, love each other. They’re house cats and not allowed to go outside because of traffic.

Oliver “Ollie,” Marilyn’s dog, loves them too, and helped them become accustomed to their new home. Neighbor Dr. Deanna Pacilio has her chiropractic office and her home on North Broadway close to Marilyn in what many will always call “the Van Batterton home.” Jarred and Allie Sullivan are neighbors on whose property a very tall tree stands. Jordon, Marilyn’s nephew played a part with constant concern and willingness to help, as did many of the neighbors.

One day when the door was opened, Scooter dashed outside, where he was never supposed to go, and was not supposed to ever be. Oh to be free! While enjoying himself immensely and relishing his freedom, he sniffed out the neighborhood, taking his time to mosey about. He was doing what he could to satisfy his curiosity when something must have scared him. Friends speculate he became so frightened, he dashed up the nearest tree. Whatever scared him evidently followed him up, at least part way, because before Scooter understood what was happening, he’d climbed 60 feet up that tree! Jarred Sullivan wanted to climb the tree to get Scooter, but Marilyn wouldn’t hear of that daring but dangerous act.

Marilyn was upset though. Some might say she was near hysteria. She called and called, as did neighbors, but although no one knows for sure how fast Scooter had gone up that tree, everyone would soon know he wasn’t coming down without help from — well, somebody. Back at the Millis home, Pokey Cat and Ollie Dog were mighty disturbed without Scooter and not knowing where he was. Pokey and his inquisitive brother had never before been apart.

Scooter tried, heaven knows he tried, to get down, but 60 feet to a nine-month-old cat that’s never been higher than a chair was so daunting he simply gave up. Oh sure, he tried now and again. He’d climb down, feet first, a few inches and then realize that 60 feet was — yeah, 60 feet. He did the only thing he knew to do: just cry and cry — all night. Neighbors heard cat cries every night for as long as he was up there, which proved a looooong time — one whole week.

The kind neighbors wanted and tried to help. Marilyn called Chief Scott Chasteen of the Greensburg/Washington Township fire station, who told her, due to insurance issues, firemen can’t use fire equipment for such problems; it would put the city (taxpayers) at a disadvantage if a fireman was injured performing such a rescue. But Chief Chasteen was sympathetic, and showed his concern by inquiring about the cat several times. Finally, the Chief called Ralph Wiggins Tree Service. Ralph was in Greensburg doing work for the city. He brought his bucket truck and rescued Scooter.

Poor Scooter was so hungry, so sleepy and so weary, he wanted only to eat and sleep. Pokey wanted to hear all about what his brother had been doing. You’d think Scooter might turn into Grumpy Cat and never again want to venture outside but no, he tries to get out every time the door opens. Marilyn didn’t comment on what she’ll do if Scooter repeats his adventure.

She said she met wonderful neighbors she’d never before had the opportunity to meet. She’s sorry Scooter had such a traumatic experience, but, since it did happen, she’s glad it resulted in meeting such nice people in the neighborhood.