Electrocuted and Concussed “Chico” Survives

Last week I shared tales of a few foolish felines who reached heights they could hardly handle. Here’s the story of “Chico”, told by his caring and faithful owner. Fasten your safety belt.  It’s pretty harrowing.

“Chico was chased up this 30-ft utility poll by the neighbor’s dogs. No way he was coming down on his own. After calling animal control, the fire department, and PNM we thought he was doomed since nobody would come to his rescue. After sunset, and nightfall – we said night night to Chico with a flash light. Finally shortly after 10:00 pm, PNM came. We were hopeful, thinking they could use the bucket truck to pluck him safely from the poll, but this was not possible. The workers said they had to knock him off using a really long stick. Apparently these types of rescues have happened before and the cat “usually survives.” What was our choice, leave him up there and let the owls get him? Or take our chances with the fall. We told the PNM workers to give it a try and so they did. On the way down, Chico hit the power line, was electrocuted, and he caught on fire. Miraculously, he survived. He had a concussion and needed stitches, but he recuperated nicely. He is happy as can be today, enjoying his 9 lives! I’m not sure if you can tell that he’s on top of the poll in the picture. You have to look really close to spot him. I wish I would have gotten a better pic, but I had other things on my mind at the time.”

The folks at PNM deserve the gratitude of Chico’s family but this poor cat nearly died from their well-intentioned rescue. An understanding of feline behavior would have served everybody.

Frightened cats dig in with every claw. The physical trauma of pushing Chico off that wooden pole with a stick, let alone the risk of electrocution, fractures, and contusions made this event needlessly dangerous. Lifting/pulling him off while wearing thick leather gloves would have been safer.

You can see photos of Chico on the pole followed by another of him, recovered and relaxing in an easy chair at home. (facebook.com/drjeffnichol). 9 lives indeed.