Cat rescued from under Jacques-Cartier Bridge adopted by retired journalist

Louis Lemieux, a retired Radio-Canada journalist, has a new cat after firefighters performed a daring rescue under the Jacques-Cartier Bridge.

Josephine Charlotte the cat rescued by firefighters after getting trapped in underbelly of Montreal bridge

Lemieux named his new rescue cat Josephine Charlotte, or J.C. for short, in honour of the Jacques-Cartier Bridge. (Louis Lemieux/Twitter)

Louis Lemieux, a retired Radio-Canada journalist, has a new cat after firefighters performed a daring rescue under the Jacques-Cartier Bridge.

Lemieux was walking below the bridge on Thursday night when he heard an incessant meowing. 

A small group of strangers had assembled under the steel-truss cantilever structure, peering up at the support beams.

A small grey cat had somehow found her way into the tangle of steel.

Lemieux and his fellow concerned cat lovers called 911, the SPCA, animal rescue groups and every other number they could find. They were told they and the cat were out of luck — that the idea of firefighters rescuing cats stuck in trees was something that only happened in movies.

"Somebody stopped by on a bicycle and went to the firehouse [three blocks away], and he came back and said the firemen can't do it on their own. They need an order," Lemieux says.

Lemieux then took to Twitter to live-tweet the cat's plight. Between that and the number of calls received by 911, he says the firefighters eventually got a request to rescue the cat.

They used a giant ladder to rescue the kitty.

Once back on terra firma, the mouse-grey cat leapt out of her rescuer's arms and hid in the bushes, emerging only when Lemieux called her.

"Nobody said, 'That's my cat,' of course, because it was nobody's cat," Lemieux says. "We picked it up, brought it home, and that's the end [of the story]."

Lemieux says he was impressed by how much people cared about the cat's well-being and that the firefighters made the rescue happen.

As for the cat — christened Josephine Charlotte, or J.C. for short — she's settling into her new home nicely.

"She was really famished. She went through three cans before she could stop eating," he says.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?