Serviceman Saves Feline
October 2, 2020
Ohio Edison’s Jason Pierson was on his way to restore an outage in Alliance, Ohio, when an unusual call came through from dispatch.
A customer reported a cat was stuck at the top of a utility pole and needed rescuing from a location not far from Jason’s outage assignment. The local fire and police departments had referred the customer to Ohio Edison for help.
Since the two jobs were in proximity, Jason, a line serviceman at the Salem-Alliance Line Shop, finished his outage work and went to examine the situation.
He arrived at the neighborhood to see a crowd of adults and children, gathered in anticipation of his arrival.
“Everyone was pointing up at the cat. The kids were very concerned and quick to ask what took me so long to get there,” Jason chuckled. “I looked and saw the cat, completely still and unanimated. One of the adults said the animal was alive earlier but hadn’t moved in quite a while. Naturally, I thought the feline might be mortally injured and wanted to protect the children from any distress.”
He decided to go up in his bucket truck and give things a closer look.
Jason recalls: “I safely positioned my truck to approach and saw the cat just laying there, motionless, on top of a 50-foot, three-phase pole surrounded by lots of cable and energized wire. Not feeling optimistic, I descended and told one of the adults I didn’t think the animal was alive and that the kids might want to leave the scene. Then, mid-conversation, someone shouted, ‘It just moved its head!’”
The cat was alive.
Jason went back up in his bucket.
“I was within five feet of the cat, when I called out to it. Sure enough, it lifted its head,” said Jason. “The cat had been up there so long, it had fallen asleep.”
Not wanting to startle the feline or make it jump, he carefully moved the bucket in closer. The cat came right into his hands when he reached for it.
“As soon as I grabbed it, there was a big a round of applause from the street,” Jason remembered. “It felt good to help out. I have five kids of my own – all animal lovers – and that was in the back of my mind the whole time. My kids would be proud of me for doing this.”
Once safely on ground, it was revealed the feline was a stray, in need of an owner. A woman came forward and adopted the cat, while Jason offered a fitting name suggestion.
“I mentioned I would name him Sparky, and that’s exactly what she did,” added Jason, who was relieved the ordeal had a happy ending. “I’ve seen lots of squirrels and raccoons climb up utility poles before, usually to their demise, but never a domestic animal. This was a first. This was one lucky cat.”