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Panicked cat plucked from pole to safety after being stuck for several days

SALT LAKE CITY — A freezing, forlorn feline stranded atop a power pole for multiple days plunged a concerned Salt Lake neighborhood into frustration because at first, no one seemed to want to help.

"I am sure this is a low priority for them," said David Lehman, a concerned neighbor, as he cast his eyes toward the power pole on Tuesday morning. "Poor little dude. I just feel so bad for him."

A Salt Lake Fire Department crew said the rescue was too risky — and access to the power pole posed a problem.

As the hours turned into days, neighbors started pestering anew.

"The fire department actually responded," Lehman said, "Utah Power said they would create a work order and I checked on the status this morning and it was in process. And then animal control said they don't pick up cats unless they are in a container. I guess that is their policy."

Perched high above the ground and no doubt irritated and scared, capturing a cat with a crate hardly seemed a viable option for the worried neighbors.

"He's got to be cold and hungry," said Gail Hunt.

Lehman echoed her concerns, voicing his prediction of what could befall the wayward feline should help remain at bay.

"I am afraid he is going to die of exposure if he is not rescued. I think probably the most likely scenario is that he will get really weak, really cold, lose consciousness and fall off and die. I would hate to see that happen."

But a Rocky Mountain Power worker, armed with special equipment like a can of tuna and cloaked in anonymity, saved the day — and the cat — by shimmying up the pole.

"You are my hero," Hunt called to the utility worker. Someone even asked him if he had a "special charm" that helped make the rescue go more smoothly.

He was quick to shake his head.

"I don't even think cats like me," he said.

And the cat, once returned to terra firma, didn't even linger to say thanks, scampering off to freedom and new ways to find trouble.

Email: amyjoi@deseretnews.com

Twitter: amyjoi16