Miss Kitty is certainly not the first cat to get herself stuck on a limb. But she may be the first feline whose vertical adventures led to a social media campaign and government intervention.
Bill Backhall doesn't know what caused his cat, Missy Kitty, to climb a 60-foot pole in their hometown of Princeton, British Columbia, but he's guessing she might have been running away from another neighborhood cat. No matter her reasoning, Miss Kitty soon found herself six stories in the air, unable to get down. Backhall called the city for help, but he quickly learned that rescuing his pet would be no simple matter.
According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the pole that Miss Kitty had climbed belonged to BC Hydro, the provincial electricity company. The lines that the pole supported were carrying 138,000 volts of electricity to a nearby mine. BC Hydro was unwilling to shut off the power to those lines, and the local government was unwilling to send its rescuers 60 feet into the air in such close proximity to high-voltage wires.
Neither side was willing to budge. And Miss Kitty grew more and more distressed.
That's when social media stepped in to save the day. When community member and cat lover Natalia Bosley heard about poor Miss Kitty's plight, she organized a social media campaign using the hashtag #savetheprincetonbccat to notify locals and put pressure on both BC Hydro and local government officials to find a solution. Even BC parliament member Dan Albas joined the campaign:
As news of Miss Kitty's situation continued to spread, worried neighbors dragged mattresses under the pole and cats around the world tweeted their support.
It took four long days, but Bosley's campaign worked, and BC Hydro sent a special crew to rescue the frightened feline. A collective sigh of relief could be heard throughout Princeton — and the Twitterverse —as Miss Kitty was safely returned to Earth.
As for Miss Kitty, Backhall says he will be keeping her indoors from here on out.