NorthWestern Energy Homepage
NWE Contact Bar, in Montana dial 1-888-467-2669, in South Dakota or Nebraska dial 1-800-245-6977
small brandNorthWestern Energy Blog


When a Cat Gets Stuck on a Pole

Feb 16, 2015 |

This wasn'tcat-resscue-2 the first cat to get stuck on a pole and it won’t be the last.  Cats are incredibly resourceful creatures and typically figure out a way to get down on their own.  That’s the best and safest method for all involved – especially the cat.   They have a tendency to jump when the bucket approaches, creating the possibility of injuring the operator and/or the animal.  We’ve had employees badly injured trying to remove critters (cats, raccoons, etc.) from poles. 

Because this was a high voltage transmission line, our crews had to first isolate the line so that it could be de-energized without causing an outage that would’ve affected several thousand customers.  They did this by driving to several substations in the Helena Valley to physically re-route the flow of energy and then doing it all over again to restore power back to normal once the cat was off the pole.  In all, it took several hours to complete the job but the line had to be de-energized for the safety of the lineman and the cat.  We have a responsibility first and foremost to the safety of our employees and our customers, and while the cat isn’t exactly a customer – we chose the safest option for all involved.  Perhaps not the most popular option with some people – but it was the safest one with the highest chance of a successful outcome.

We’re glad this story has a happy ending and that the girl is reunited with her pet, because they don’t always end that way.  Cats will be cats and dogs will be dogs, but the best way to keep your pets safe around electrical equipment is to keep them properly restrained so they don’t get end up getting in trouble in the first place.   Squirrels are by far the primary culprit (and victim) of animal related outages, but cats cause their fair share too. 

Guidelines for Posting

We provide this online forum for customers to exchange ideas and opinions with us about a variety of issues and/or topics of interest. Constructive criticism, critical thinking and diverse opinions are welcome.  Profanity, name-calling, threating language or troll-like behavior is not.  Moderators will monitor comments to maintain the civility of this forum.  All Email addresses, if provided,  will be kept hidden from public view.  

If your comment isn't appearing online, perhaps:

  1. Your comment is in really poor taste (see above).
  2. Your comment had nothing to do with the issue being discussed in the post (i.e. trying to hijack the discussion).
  3. You did not provide the required name and email, used an alias or pretended to be someone that your aren’t.We keep your emails hidden, but we use our real names on this forum and we expect everyone else to do the same.
  4. Your comment is intended to sell or promote a product, service or company.
  5. You used real or implied profanity.(i.e. @#$^).
  6. Moderators haven’t yet reviewed comments for placement.We strive for timeliness, but comments made outside of normal business hours (i.e. nights, weekends and holidays) may not appear until the following business day.
  7. You included an attachment in your comment.We delete those immediately.
Contact Us | Terms of use | Glossary | PO Terms & Conditions | EEO | ©2016 NorthWestern Energy. All rights reserved.