Unknown Gray Tabby

Not every rescue I do is a "feel good" rescue, and this rescue of an unknown gray tabby was one of those. Most of the time when I rescue an unknown cat, it turns out to be a sweet, tame kitty, but, this time, I think she was feral. Feral cats often can't be rescued in a controlled way. They are so determined to get away from me that they would rather jump than allow me to get any closer to them, and that is what happened this time.

The strange thing about this rescue is that this is the second time in a row that I had to rescue a cat on the top of a utility pole. Like the first one, this pole did not have any dangerous high-voltage distribution wires attached to it, but it did have a service drop wire to a house in addition to telephone and cable TV wires. The top of the pole was hollow where it had rotted over the years leaving only the outer shell. Since the cat could not get comfortable there, she rested on top of the service drop wires while using the dense poison ivy vines to keep her balance.

I knew I was going to have a tough time making friends with this cat when I noticed she never made a single vocal sound the entire time I was there. Still, I had to try to break through that tough shell of hers to see if I could connect with her. I did not want her to jump to get away from me. I wanted to bring her down in a safe, contained way, not only for her safety, but also to bring her to the local shelter where she could be spayed and returned.

I tried using my charm and bribing her with food, but she just continued to stare at me with icy eyes. She usually had no reaction to my offers of friendship, but when she did, it was to move away from me. So I was surprised when, after several attempts to let her sniff my hand, she finally reached over to sniff it. I was grateful for that one concession from her even though it appeared to have no effect on her opinion of me.

When I opened a can of food for her and reached it out to her, she backed away in fear. Even though I knew what her reaction would be, I decided to hold an open carrier up to her to see if she would be attracted to the much more comfortable accommodations inside. Before I could get the carrier close to her, she started turning away, so I put it away.

The only option I had at that point was to try to bag her, but the tiny touches I had given her tail, were unappreciated. Still, I did not know what else to try but to get her habituated to my touch. I prepared my bag on my arm, but when I reached my hand up to her with the bag on my arm, she recognized that as something different and not to be trusted. This time she jumped down from the top of the pole to the wire below and began to walk away. She went out of my reach, looked down at the ground and jumped to a soft, grassy area and then ran under the house for safety.

I was glad that she was down and appeared to be fine, but I was disappointed that I could not bring her down safely and take her to the local shelter. Sometimes, that's the best I can do, so I left hoping this cute girl has someone who feeds her so that she can recover from her long and miserable eight days on the top of a pole. And I hope that whoever feeds her can get her spayed if she has not been spayed already. Though, I suspect she has not, and that is the reason she climbed the pole.