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Carlton Fire Company, National Grid both say they will save cats

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 December 2013 at 12:00 am

However, both say they won’t put personnel in danger

Photo by Tom Rivers – Nora the cat was perched on top of a telephone pole with numerous wires and a transformer for about three days before being rescued on Saturday morning in Waterport.

WATERPORT – If a cat is stuck in a tree in Carlton, residents are welcome to call the Carlton Volunteer Fire Company.

Firefighters will try to get the cat as long as the firefighters aren’t in a dangerous situation, Carlton Fire Company President Jim Tabor said.

“In most situations would be more than happy to rescue the cat,” he said. “But when there are live power lines involved we just can’t put our people in jeopardy.”

Some community were upset when Nora, a cat owned by Venita Nauden, was stuck on top of telephone pole in the freezing cold for nearly three days. Carlton firefighters declined to try the rescue. The pole had numerous wires and a transformer attached to it.

“We are not equipped to deal with live power lines regardless of the situation,” Tabor said. “If someone has a motor vehicle accident and there are live power lines involved, we would still need the power company to cut the power before we can perform any life-saving measures.”

Tabor has volunteered in the fire service for 25 years. He doesn’t recall Carlton firefighters rescuing cats, but he said the group would happily try as long as there aren’t power lines in the way.

Jeremy Arnold, owner of JG Tree Service in Holley, uses a bucket truck with a 60-foot-ladder to get to that cat.

National Grid also was contacted by one of Nauden’s neighbors to help get the cat, but the company allegedly declined. Company spokesman Steve Brady said he wasn’t aware of the situation on East Avenue in Waterport.

“I’m not sure what happened in this case, but we have rescued an assortment of animals from our facilities (including, recently, someone’s pet lizard),” Brady wrote in an email. “I can’t say we will rescue every animal or respond to every call – a lot will depend on crew availability, of course – be we have responded to such requests.”

Brady believes time is often the best course for getting an animal to come down.

“We often find that when an animal gets hungry enough, they will find their way back down the pole,” he said. “I know that’s of little solace to the pet owner but it would be quite unusual for animal to be able to climb up and not be able to climb down.”

One of Nauden’s neighbors used a ladder on Friday and nearly got to the top of the pole to get the cat, but Nora wouldn’t get close enough to jump into a basket.

Jeremy Arnold, owner of a tree service in Holley, arrived Saturday with a bucket truck with a 60-foot-ladder. He was able to scoop up the cat and reunite it with its owner.