Almond, Famed Cat Living In Tree, Takes Tumble

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Almond, the famed Wisconsin cat born in a tree last summer and left behind when mama cat moved her kittens, has continued living in the tree while being cared for by the property owner. Now he has tumbled to the ground and broken his leg.

Almond’s mother gave birth to a litter of kitties last June in the tree on the residential property of Ron Venden, of Exeter, Wisconsin. After mama took the rest of the kittens and left Almond behind, Mr. Venden fed and cared for the lone kitten; building him a straw bed and a platform with decks, and providing a warming and protective roof over the hole in the tree where Almond retired when not sitting out.

We anticipate that many of you may think the same thing we and the members of a Discovery Channel investigative team did – that Mr. Venden ought to have taken Almond from the tree and acclimated him to living either in the house or on the porch.  Mr. Venden chose to allow Almond to remain in the tree, however, and by all reports has been very diligent and attentive in providing care and shelter for him there.

One day earlier this past week, though, Almond fell to the ground, breaking a hind leg, and he is currently in care at the Animal Hospital of Verona. The 11 month old cat injured in the 13 foot fall is shown in the photo at top with Ariel Ruhling, a certified veterinary technician with the animal hospital. He will need expensive specialty surgery and Mr. Venden says he is not sure what he will do about Almond’s mounting veterinary care bill.

Dr. Barney Smith, hospital cheif of staff, says that Almond requires the specialty surgery to properly fix the break in his leg. He also notes that this is the first instance he has seen of a tree-bound cat, and he suggests a change of lifestyle for Almond after his recovery.

The injured cat is having some difficulty standing, possibly due to his painkillers and currently needs some help while doing his “business”, though Dr. Smith feels that may have to do with Almonds change of habitat.

Dr. Smith further goes on to say “He doesn’t really know what to do inside, but we’re not going to take him out and climb up a tree and see if that helps him.”

We certainly hope that one way or another almond receives the care that he needs in order to fully recover from his fall, and that he goes on to live in whatever circumstances are best for him. We think that it may be time for him to come down from that tree.

Earlier video interview with Ron Venden about Almond.

Discovery Channel video on why almond remained in the tree, with a recommendation that Mr. Venden encourage the cat to come down from the tree.

We’ll leave off with this comment from Mr. Venden, which makes us say “ouch” in more ways than one.

“I had built some little decks for him to lay on with carpet. Whether he was sleeping and just rolled off I just don’t know. I should have had a safety rail on there I suppose.”

0 thoughts on “Almond, Famed Cat Living In Tree, Takes Tumble”

  1. I would have not allowed the cat to live up in that tree for so long..Obviously it was not safe for him!

  2. Poor kitty, and poor Mr. Venden as well. I reckon he just didn’t know what else to do, figured the cat was happy and healthy up there so why change it. I think the time has come to make those changes, though. Almond needs to be in a home, safe and warm, maybe with a nice cat tree near a window so he can look outside. If that’s with Mr. Venden, fine, and I hope he can get some help with the vet bills. If he can’t, I hope someone steps up to adopt Almond and take all that on. Kitty deserves it.

  3. I commend him for caring for the cat with food and “shelter”, but seriously….he needs to get a grip and either find a safe home for the cat or bring it inside. Though, the cat will try to escape to the outdoors since that is all it has known. Not feeding it in the tree is a good start. Hopefully he will learn from this cat’s fall and medical bills, which could have been prevented. Duh.

  4. I will never understand how someone FEEDS a cat but when the vet bills come do they don’t know what to do~! If you FEED them then they’re yours to care for in EVERY WAY~! Which in this case includes some common sense. A cat should NEVER be allowed outside because they DIE 40% earlier than they need to because of illness, predators (sadly both human and animals) not to mention auto accidents~! If he would have just brought the cat down and cared for it in the house I wouldn’t be typing now would I~? God bless this cat and I hope he gets ALL the proper vet care he needs regardless of the cost, It certainly isn’t his fault and also an owner that keeps him inside.

  5. Pretty kitty, praying he gets all the vet care he needs and then an INSIDE ONLY home~! :*) God bless Almond~! How did he/she get the name I wonder?????????

  6. Having that cat live in a tree was an absolutely stupid decision. Did you hear the guy say he wanted to see how long the cat would stay in the tree?? How long would that man have stayed in his house, say for example, if he were agoraphobic and didn’t get help???? Yup, people could have brought him food and necessities, but what a lonely existence. I’m just plain angry and upset. I have panic disorder, and without help, I could easily have become agoraphobic. Instead, I have a normal life, worked for the Michgian Supreme Court for 28 years, have friends and love my life. Thank God there were people and medication to help me. I know this may not be a good analogy, but it’s one I could come up with for my own life. That cat needed help to come down from the tree and instead, that man selfishly let him live there and I call that a lonely existence. This cat never got the chance to be a cat and play and have lots of love and human contact. I can only pray it will adapt to a new environment inside a loving home. One of the things almost as horrible as abuse and neglect is human stupidity and ego when it comes to animals. Sorry, but I’m totally upset by this story.

  7. I really hope Mr. Venden has learned an important lesson in the proper care of kittens. This little guy really needed to be brought down to the ground when he discovered him up there. Almond looks so much like my Sammie and I hope he gets to have a terrific life, (on the ground) from his recovery and for the rest of his life.

  8. Has anyone recommended this website to Mr. Venden to help with the veterinary expenses? http://www.chipin.com/ It is a way for people who desire to help out with expenses, can do so. There is even a way for the $ to go directly to the vet designated for the animal’s care.

  9. – Perhaps the added attention (sadly) will get people interested in adopting poor Almond? I don’t think he should “belong” to this man anymore 🙁

  10. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Wisconsin winters are brutal! I’m quite amazed Almond didn’t freeze to death. He must have been very young when his mother carried the others from the tree, and I can only imagine the howling and fear he endured by himself. He should have been in a home by now, and I sure hope that his surgery goes well and he gets a loving home after.
    I also hope we hear the outcome of his ordeal.

  11. He went so far for that cat’s well-being, you have to understand that it’s ridiculous to accuse him of such things when it’s so obvious that it was not the case!!

    Please remain intelligent and don’t reduce yourselves to the level of imbecility of the youtube commenters who scream “abuse!!” at any cat story because of the most inane reasons, always wrong.

    The one thing he did wrong was not thinking that it would be dangerous to install little decks on top of the tree that high up.
    Although we don’t know if Almond fell that way or if there was foul play by someone due to all the attention the kitty has gotten from the media etc.

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