A stranded cat led to an after-hours rescue Thursday when an area woman noticed the feline was in danger.
The cat had found its way to the top of a power pole and was unable to get down, meowing for several days until rescuers arrived.
“I went into town to see my mom and she told me she had been hearing a cat,” Gabrielle Stagner said. “I heard the cat all morning, and mom had been hearing it for two days, but we couldn’t tell where it was coming from.”
Stagner said after searching her mother’s back yard, she looked up and saw a cat, Stoney, on top of an electric pole. Fearing for its safety, she reached out.
“After calling the police, fire department and OG&E, I posted it on Facebook,” Stagner said. “A friend shared it, and I got a whole lot of help.”
Stagner eventually made contact with an OG&E representative, who sent out a line crew to rescue the stranded feline.
OG&E linemen Clovis Drawbaugh, a 11-year veteran, and Jake Roberts, only a few months into the job, were sent out on the call, one neither had anticipated.
“This was my first time (to rescue an animal,)” Drawbaugh said. “I was just trying to save the kitty, hoping he didn’t bail out. He was someone’s cat, he wasn’t a stray, so he was just ready to get down. As I boomed up there, he was trying to get into the bucket with me.”
Linemen typically spend their days repairing the thousands of miles of electrical lines and accompanying infrastructure.
“We are a line crew, so we fix stuff, broke poles, broke cross arms, lines down, we fix it,” Drawbaugh said. “When we got there, the cat was up on the line and the line was hot, so we knew we needed to kill the line incase the kitty got close to the line. We killed the line out (cutting the power), got the bucket set up and went up there and started meowing him a little and playing with him, trying to calm him down and see what he was going to do.”
Drawbaugh said that while uncommon, animal rescues for linemen are not unheard of.
“You never know what you’re going to get in this job, you see all kinds of stuff,” Drawbaugh said. “I’ve seen it in the paper before with other animals getting rescued by other companies. We don’t normally go out looking to get pictures taken, we just take pride in our work, go get it done and go home. We are just glad we could help. We all realize that we are very privileged to have a job here, so we always like to lend a hand, pay it forward.’
Stagner said the area has a noticeable amount of stray cats, adding that the cat’s guardians hadn’t noticed it had gone missing since its food was being eaten.
“It was an inside cat, but it had problems going to the bathroom so it had been outside,” Stagner said. “They didn’t really notice the cat was gone, the cat actually belongs to a relative that lives in Ada.”