A black, white and likely very cold cat is now safely back on solid ground this morning after being stranded atop a hydro pole at Bloor and Dufferin Streets — and it’s all thanks to some compassionate locals who wouldn’t leave its side.
Toronto resident Kristine Williamson first noticed the distressed cat around 8 a.m. on Thursday morning.
“Hi all, I just spotted this cat on top of a hydro poll. I’m on hold with 311. Any idea what else I can do?” she wrote in a post to the Toronto Lost and Found Cats Facebook group.
“Dufferin and Bloor. We’ve called Acer Tree and they’re going to try to find someone to help. Hydro, Animal Services, 311 and Toronto Fire are no help.”
Williamson’s partner, Chris Ball, promptly took to Twitter with pleas for help and live updates.
“This lil guy is stuck at the top of a hydro poll behind my house (not my cat), any help re who we talk to to get him safely down?” he wrote in a tweet addressed to 311 Toronto, Toronto Animal Services and Toronto Hydro.
“He’s scared and very cold.”
It didn’t take long for the message to start spreading widely through social media.
The frightened kitty covered in snow captured the attention of hundreds online who began contacting emergency responders themselves with requests that someone come and save the kitty.
“Animal Services advised, normally cat will come down on its own when left alone. It probably went up because it was frightened,” wrote 311 Toronto in response to Ball’s initial tweet.
“Thanks for that,” the cat’s saviour replied. “They’ve been left alone for hours now and not moving down. High winds up there.”
Toronto Hydro, for its part, wrote in response to another tweet that they “understand everyone’s concerns.”
“We know its cold out today,” wrote the utility provider. “The little one found its way up so we hope it can safely find its way down soon.”
Whether a hydro worker had a stroke of compassion or, more likely, the organization got pelted with requests for help from the public, Toronto Hydro changed its tune soon enough.
As of 11:20 a.m., hydro crews were on site.
A hydro worker was seen cautiously scooping the kitty into his arms, high up in the sky, roughly ten minutes later.
THANK YOU @TorontoHydro and @TOAnimalService also @CP24 @CityNews @globalnews @cmcdonaldglobal @KellyCP24 for helping #hydrocat they’re safe now pic.twitter.com/9Pq4OtH1nS— Chris Ball (@chrisjballTO) February 27, 2020
“The cat is now in good hands,” reported Global’s Catherine McDonald on Twitter after the cat was safely brought back down to street level.
“S/he’s being taken to the veterinarian by @TOAnimalService and may be up for adoption soon. And it turns out #hydrocat wasn’t up a hydro pole after all. Apparently it’s either a Bell or Rogers pole!”
Animal lovers (and city officials, apparently) are thrilled that the cat is okay.
“A purr-fect ending to this story!” wrote Toronto Mayor John Tory upon learning that the kitty had been safely apprehended.
“So many good people in the world still,” wrote one person in response to Williamson’s original Facebook post upon learning that the cat had been saved.
“This post is a good reminder of that. Thanks for caring about this poor baby.”
“Thanks for saving this polecat!” wrote another.
Toronto Hydro workers, who are now being hailed as cat heroes, wrote on Twitter: “We’re happy we could help bring the little one down to safety.”