PG&E helped get a cat from atop a power pole on Friday morning, a spokesman said.
The power company got involved Thursday night when a resident tagged spokesman Denny Boyles in a Facebook post.
Boyles, who had just gotten home late Thursday after working on the major outage in Fresno caused by a fatal crash that morning, responded to the post saying that if the cat were still there in the morning that they would try to help.
PG&E is usually reluctant to help in these matters, Boyles said Friday afternoon. He said that the best case scenario is that a worker goes up to the top of the pole, gets the cat, and brings it to the ground.
“That rarely is the case. About half the cats jump to their death,” Boyles said.
Cats often get spooked by the workers coming toward them when they’re already stressed from their situation. Boyles said the last attempt they made, the cat jumped off the pole and landed in a yard full of dogs and didn’t survive.
He added that the SPCA says to leave cats alone, and they’ll eventually come down on their own.
The process to get a cat down is an ordeal in itself.
Before PG&E can go up to the cat, they have to turn off the power. Turning off the power means they have to check the records of each home that will be affected to make sure there’s no medical equipment that requires power.
“Troublemen” are PG&E’s first responders and respond to house fires to make sure the scene is safe for firefighters, as well as any car accidents into power pole or towers — like what happened early Thursday morning. And before they can attempt to rescue a cat, Boyles said they had to find “troublemen” to volunteer.
“We can’t order people to do it,” Boyles said. If the cat jumps on them, attacks, urinates, or defecates on a worker, that would be on the company. So cat rescues require volunteers.
Nonetheless, Boyles and two troublemen responded to the power pole in Tarpey Village Friday morning.
Boyles said as the worker approached the cat, it jumped to a transformer and then jumped/fell to the roof of a nearby shed. He said the cat was then taken to a veterinarian by someone at the scene.
A CBS47 viewer sent of the cat, named Pumpkin, and said she was very thankful for Boyles and the two PG&E workers who helped get the cat down.