Nine Lives Minus One

Routine call from Joe Roche on the assignment desk, cat on a pole in Roxbury, please take a look. When I got there Danielle Genter from the Animal Rescue League was already there, I worked with her two weeks ago on the coyote rescue.

Looking around I saw nothing but her vehicle and the deep snow I thought I was going to have to trudge through to find this kitten.  I looked up there she was, perched on the top of a telephone pole without a care in the world. She was practically doing a ballet dance on her perch. Prancing around, giving herself a bath, not a care in the world.  The only problem it’s owner a sweet elderly woman was just about panicked.

There I was standing and talking to her as she told me Channel Five was her favorite station, the reason she called us for help. She could not understand why the fire department and the Animal Rescue League rescuer would not just climb up the pole and bring her 3 month old kitten “Star” down to safety. Worked out a neighbor dog chased the kitten up the pole the night before.

I know she did not understand when I explained to her the power lines were too dangerous for everyone but an electrical worker.   She wanted no part of my explanation and for the next 90 minutes or so kept complaining. In between explaining and trying to ease her anxiety I was moving the tripod around and taking great video and still photos of the most carefree kitten you would ever want to see, both media produced compelling images, especially if you are an animal lover.

I had given up the wait for NStar and was pulling out of my parking space when I looked out the side view mirror and there was our future hero. The NStar truck pulled up and the technician accessed the situation and went to work.

He first put up the bucket to see if the kitten would just jump into it and when that did not work he got out this extension pole and just kept pulling out section after section after section, till it was long enough to reach the top of the pole. I had no idea what his plan was but I knew I had to grab a spot where I could be sitting down and balance my video camera on my knees so it could look straight up.  I picked the icy stairway leading to the owners apartment tiptoed up and got to work. Bending backwards with the camera on my shoulder and looking up doesn’t work anymore on this old achy body.

The NStar man kept trying to push the kitten off the top and the kitten kept dodging the pole. It went on for a about a minute as the technician had great control of the pole and the cat seemed to keep it’s balance.  All of a sudden the kitten started running down the pole a couple of feet and then leaped for safety. It ended up missing the hardened snow pile but landed first on the Danielle Genter’s shoulder then bounced into the hardened snow bank. Danielle had a blanket with her, grabbed the kitten like she was a shortstop on a baseball team and ran it into the woman’s home, with all of us following her.

The kitten was fine, no worse for the ordeal. The owner was elated and she thanked everyone. The NStar worker told her to call anytime she had a kitten stuck up a tree.

Video Link To Rescue:

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