Poled cat lifted to safety after three days
May 8, 2007
What started out as a normal Saturday morning routine for Tiger the cat quickly turned into more than 48 hours of terror for the year-old classic tabby.
He had just been out on his morning walk-about when two big dogs, who had been running loose near his Topaz Ranch Estates home on Granite across from Andesite, spotted him and gave chase. Tiger ran for his life, but he ran in the wrong direction, away from his house, quickly finding himself taking refuge at the very top of a power pole. For the large tabby, there wasn’t a whole lot of room to plant all four paws but at least he was out of reach of the menacing jaws of the two vagrant canines down below him.
It wasn’t long before his precarious perch was noticed by Roberta Cooper, her daughter Debbie Darling and another neighbor, Nancy Clark. The winds were starting to pick up, sometimes gusting to 20 mph. Tiger dug in his claws and refused to come down. Pretty soon more friends and neighbors were trying to entice the cat down. No one knew whose cat it was or where it had come from.
At one point Darling’s nephew, Randy Cooper, pulled his van up to the pole, climbed up on the van’s roof and held out food. Even this didn’t phase Tiger one bit. It was finally decided that, if left alone, Tiger might come down on his own, but Sunday morning and more wind found Tiger, still a mournful sounding “pole cat” atop his perch.
This was all more than the Andesite residents could take and phones at TRE’s Station 4 fire department, Douglas County Animal Control, Sierra Pacific and Topaz Ranch Estates General Improvement District’s Ole Chavez were ringing off the hook about the pitiful plight of Tiger the cat. Still the frightened tabby refused to come down and everyone’s patience was wearing thin.
Darling, an employee at Sharkey’s Casino in Gardnerville, had to leave to go to work, the whole time praying the cat would be down from the pole by the time she returned home.
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“All I could think about was that poor kitty,” Darling said. “When I came home from work that night I even came into Andesite the opposite way, hoping I wouldn’t see it.
“Then the light from my headlights reflected in the kitty’s eyes, glowing all amber, and I knew the poor thing was still on top of the pole. I didn’t know where the cat belonged, but I thought I could see a collar and a tag around the cat’s neck.
“It was just awful,” she said.
Monday morning, Tiger’s resolve remained unbroken, still clinging to his perceived safe haven and the resolve of the Andesite residents had intensified as well. Another flood of phone calls began again in earnest, trying to find someone to come rescue the cat. In desperation, The Record-Courier even received several calls about the stranded cat.
Finally, the perseverance to help the kitty paid off. After several phone calls to the Sierra Pacific office in Yerington, troubleman Jim Richardson, who had been covering the large service area by himself on Monday, was able to break away from other duties to attempt the rescue of the stranded cat.
The Sierra Pacific worker was definitely considered a hero in the eyes of the neighborhood as he ascended to the top of the pole in his bucket and got a hold of the frightened feline, slowly returning him to the ground.
“That Sierra Pacific worker was really a hero,” Darling said, “I wish I had remembered to ask his name.”
Once on the ground, the cat took off running for home. Darling followed the cat, leading her to a home on Granite directly across the street from the entrance to Andesite. There she had the pleasure of meeting the joyful owner who had thought her precious Tiger was gone for good.
Tears of joy began to flow as home-schooled student, Melanie Thoman,13, saw her beloved cat that she had raised from a small kitten. For Melanie, Tiger had been the center of her life.
“I got Tiger from Laurie and Dan Ward. They live on Spring Valley Road,” she said. “I got to pick him out myself.”
Within an hour of Tiger’s safe return, Melanie appeared on the doorstep of the Cooper home, a hand-made thank you card in hand to be shared with everyone who had done so much to save her Tiger cat. As for Tiger, showing his appreciation for being back in his owner’s arms again, a very long nap and a lot of food were definitely required.
All in all, a very happy ending for the caring residents of Andesite, for Melanie and her family, but most of all, for Tiger who was given a second chance to keep on keepin’ on.