British Columbia

Cat stuck up hydro pole for 4 days finally rescued

The owner spotted the one-year old tabby Monday morning 18 metres up and had been trying to coax it down ever since.

BC Hydro crews travelled three hours to save the cat

Bill Backhall holds his cat after it was rescued from a high voltage power pole. (Brenda Engel/Similkameen News Leader)

A cat stuck for four days up a high voltage power pole in Princeton, B.C., has finally been saved. 

The owner spotted the one-year old tabby Monday morning 18 metres up and had been trying to coax it down ever since.

Bill Backhall said it was "a desperate situation," with vultures and a raven flying nearby. 

He thought his cat had been scared and chased up the pole by another cat in his rural neighbourhood.

Video of the little ginger-and-white cat showed it in distress, meowing loudly. Mattresses had been placed around the bottom of the pole in case it fell.

BC Hydro sends crew

Blackhall had been trying since Monday to convince BC Hydro to rescue his cat, but the utility said it would be a tricky job.

According to BC Hydro, specialized equipment was needed on site because the lines near the cat were carrying 138,000 volts of electricity. 

But a persistent social media campaign calling for BC Hydro do something gained momentum, and even local MP Dan Albas took to Twitter demanding action.

Finally on Thursday, BC Hydro tweeted out the information that a crew from Salmon Arm, nearly 300 kilometres away, was enroute to make the rescue. 

Dag Sharman, a spokesman for BC Hydro, said it might be able to rescue the cat without shutting off the power, especially since it feeds into a mine in the area.

He said it's not uncommon that animals climb up power poles, but 99 percent of the time they come down on their own and usually it's not one of these tall high-voltage transmission poles.

As for why the crew came from so far away, BC Hydro says it doesn't have customers in the area. 

Blackhall had said his orange tabby will become an indoor cat, once she is rescued.

With files from Karin Larsen


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