CATASTROPHE AVOIDED: ‘Panther’ saved by Aurora firefighters after days-long perch on a pole

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AURORA | Aurora firefighters ended the cold misery of Panther and angst among her owners and neighbors, worried about the cat after it spent days stuck atop a light pole in northeast Aurora.

Firefighters rescued the stuck or stubborn cat Friday afternoon.

Residents in the Norfolk Glen neighborhood in northeast Aurora said they became frustrated as the cat they were trying to rescue became stuck on its perch atop a light pole, apparently for at least two days and possibly four.

“Everybody’s been just like, ‘put food down and it’ll come down eventually,’” Norfolk Glen resident Jessica Meadows said Friday morning, just as the region got its first snow of the year. “That’s not going to happen.”

 

Panther stayed put, owners and neighbors said, even through cold nights and the season’s first snow.

The cat’s owner, Alexis Soberanis, said Panther went missing four days ago. Neighbor say they’d seen the cat atop the pole for at least three days.

After some fast publicity Friday morning, the near catastrophe caught the attention of Aurora Councilmember Curtis Gardner, who turned in a council request for help.

That prompted the city to eventually send out a rescue truck Friday afternoon. After a couple of attempts to get the giant ladder truck in a tight space, firefighters retrieved Panther, who seemed to willingly step into a pet carrier and off her precarious perch.

Panther was handed over to the owner’s family, who said they’d tried everything they could thing of to coax the cat down after neighbors alerted to Panther’s plight. Food, nothing got her off the pole.

The “just wait” advice is standard and most animal experts and electric power officials agree. Given the length of time the cat has been stuck on top of the pole, possibly three days, it’s concerning, however.

“Happily, the vast majority of cats on power poles make their way back down on their own without help or injury,” according to the Sangre de Cristo Electric Association. “The difficulty for pet owners can be waiting for the cat to come down, which can take minutes to hours to days. Understandably, people who love their pets grow increasingly worried about their animal as time goes by, but patience and communication with… line workers is key to a good resolution to the issue.”

Power company officials warn people not to climb any kind of power pole.

Animal welfare experts say cats are well suited to climbing up trees and poles, not down, because they must climb down going backwards, something they’re not accustomed to.

The low temperature last night was 25 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

The stuck cat became a cause celebre among Nextdoor posters, Meadows said.  She and other residents said they had first called the Aurora Fire Department, Aurora animal control and Xcel Energy for help.

“Everyone says they can’t do anything,” Meadows said.

A spokesperson for the Aurora Fire Department said just before noon on Friday it was the first time they were learning of the stuck cat and the department was looking into it.

Kimberly Medina, one of Panther’s owners, said she’s always been a good cat, allowed to go outside.

Not anymore, however.

“Never,” Medina said about Panther’s future outdoor exploits.

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Jennifer S.
Jennifer S.
5 months ago

The poor cat has been up there for 3 days, and this is the 4th day. Literally no one will help: animal control, the fire department, local tree services, Xcel, the property owner. The cat will eventually fall from exhaustion or hypothermia. A lot of people say “it will just come down”, that is a myth, they FALL down. This cat has a caring owner who is scared and distraught due to the lack of empathy and help.

Lauri Brodie
Lauri Brodie
5 months ago
Reply to  Jennifer S.

How incredibly sad no one will come rescue this poor kitty!

Wisewonders
Wisewonders
5 months ago

That is messed up, so what they just going to let it die and fall off???

nunya
nunya
5 months ago

They literally just saved it. Relax folks.

Chuck M.
Chuck M.
5 months ago

If the cat had belonged to someone in city government it would have been rescued days earlier… DISGUSTING…