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Cat rescued from power pole

Linda Hiller

When it comes to cats and power poles, what goes up doesn’t necessarily come down.

Tuesday, Gary Riales of Sierra Pacific Power Company and Douglas County Animal Control officers, Rhonda Fingar and Janet Risko, teamed up to remove an orange tabby cat that had been on a pole in Minden’s Winhaven neighborhood since Sunday.

You’d think that after three days atop a 30-foot pole, the frozen feline would have become a plummeting pussycat due to the single digit nighttime temperatures in the Valley. However, neighbor Ginger Easley, who first spotted the cat Sunday and called Animal Control, watched it sit up there for three days.

“We called the fire department and the telephone company and they both said no as far as helping remove the cat,” Fingar said. “Then, we called the power company and they said they were busy, but would try to get to it. By Tuesday I called them back and said ‘I need help!’ and Gary Riales came out to meet us that day.”

After providing Riales with a snare, animal control officers remained on the ground, ready to assist when and if the kicking kitty hit solid ground again.

“This cat was really upset and fighting the snare,” Fingar said. “Finally, when Gary snared her she was moving so much that she dropped to the ground and ran off with it still around her neck.”

At that point, animal control instinct kicked in and Fingar became “airborne,” diving for the snare pole and just barely grabbing it. She and Risko worked with the writhing cat to release the noose, and as soon as there was slack, the cat’s own instincts kicked in, and it frantically fled the scene.

How the cat survived three days on the pole without getting picked off by nearby hawks or owls is a mystery to Fingar. Further efforts to locate the terrified tabby were unsuccessful.

“That was one wild cat,” she said.