If you have heard of stories where a cat literally ran up a tree, it seems that trees are no longer the first choice for our feline friends. Maybe it’s the fact that trees are being cut down in favor of building houses, but whatever the reason, cats are now finding utility poles to be their preferred safe haven when in danger.
Take for example what recently happened in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a state that doesn’t get much media attention. News reports tell the story of a cat named Gucci who found itself being pursued by two dogs. So there was this utility pole, as in electric pole, Gucci found to be particularly high – about 40 feet high. Up he went, and he did manage to escape his pursuers but the problem was he apparently was too afraid to make the descent once the coast was clear.
That’s when the Santa Fe first responders went into action. The fire department was called, and Gucci was rescued using a fire truck ladder. After the rescue, kitty was taken to the local animal shelter where he was taken into custody until his family claimed him.
But the next state over in Arizona, yet another cat found a perch on top of yet another utility pole. This cat’s name was Gypsy, and was fondly known as a community cat. Apparently, the people who live in the Phoenix area allow some cats to come and go at their person whim, which seems to be simply letting cats have their own way and stop fighting with them. Various homes provide food for cats like Gypsy, though there is no evidence the local areas are overrun by the cat population.
While no one actually saw Gypsy ascend the utility pole, people around the world followed the rescue mission by a livestream being broadcast by ABC affiliate KNXV-TV. Once social media got hold of the story, people from around the world were following it and the 911 center was flooded with phone calls about the plight of the cat. (We think this is going way too far, but we only keep you abreast of what’s going on around the world.)
But being a livestream event, there was certain to be drama somewhere along the line. The cat rescue attempts dragged on for more than an hour because no effort was made by the fire department to bring Gypsy down. With people following the cat’s every move, reporters were describing the cat’s plight until – the livestream went dark.
When the lights came back on the cat had been rescued by a man who took a ladder and climbed up to bring Gypsy down to earth. There were a number of videos recording the actual rescue that were put up on the Internet shortly after the event.
So what do these two stories tell us about the state of cats in Southwest America?
First, that cats continue to seek out higher ground in the event of an emergency. But it is curious how cats will find themselves up a tree without thinking about how they will get back down. Gucci kept climbing until she was 40 feet up, which must have taken some time to get there. Do they now think they can expect taxpayer dollars to pay for their failure to plan ahead?
Second, how have utility poles now become the preferred choice of things to climb? If a cat runs up a tree there are usually leaves and branches they can hide behind. They seem to think that the climb itself will save them, but what if the two dogs in pursuit of Gucci decided to wait it out at the bottom of the pole? There was nowhere for Gucci to hide – or to run to.
As for the community cat thing, it shouldn’t be a thing. The 911 Center was inundated with calls to the point where local officials had to ask people to stop calling the center. It’s a cat. This doesn’t make us cat haters, but people need to have better things to do with their time instead of watching someone not rescue a cat on a utility pole. Unless they were at work, in which case we understand.