Wednesday, a day that will live in infamy, started pleasantly enough. But after chores and supper, the cat had still not come indoors. “Have you seen Smokey?” I asked Hubby.
“I saw him stalking the sparrows,” he replied. Five or six sparrows spend every night with the goats in the barn. Smokey hunts them zealously but has only claimed one casualty in two years.
Perhaps Smokey had been shut up in the barn. I bundled up against the cold and went looking. No cat. An hour later, I searched the place again with a flashlight, calling and calling. No cat. More time passed, but no cat. I was sick with worry, thinking maybe he’d met his Waterloo with a coyote or owl. Hubby went out the next time, taking the big “calving” flashlight. Hubby found the cat right away—on top of the power pole.
For a split second, I was relieved that Smokey was located, until Hubby said the words that turned my blood cold: “If he jumps down on that transformer, he’ll be fried.”
“If he stays up there, an owl will pick him off for sure,” I said. We stood frozen, looking up at the pitifully-mewing cat atop a 35-foot death trap. Then I ran inside and called the electric company.
The lady from the answering service must not like cats. “You want me to send a lineman to rescue your cat?” she sneered. You’d think I’d asked her to send a veterinarian to tend a sick bedbug. Fortunately, the linemen, who left their cozy homes to go to work, pick up the truck, and drive 30 miles to try to save the less-than-smart feline of people they’d never met, were much more gracious than she. “It’ll take us 45 minutes to get there,” one of them said.
As the time crawled by, Hubby and I were so anxious that we could barely speak to one another. After a half hour, I got in the Escape to drive down to open the front gate, which can be tricky to find in the dark. I absentmindedly switched on the radio. “His eye is on the sparrow,” someone—maybe Ethel Waters—sang. I’m not kidding. I was too tense to fully appreciate God’s perfectly timed, wry sense of humor, but I did relax just a bit.
Finally, the angels from High Plains Power Company arrived. After surveying the scene, they decided to play it safe and drive a ways down the canal road to shut off the electricity that comes into the transformer. When the lights went out, Hubby and I sighed in deep relief. After maneuvering the truck around the yard, one of the angels donned a face mask and heavy gloves and went up in the lift. The rest of us chattered nervously below, hoping Smokey wouldn’t panic and jump off or frantically claw his savior, but all went smoothly. “Smokey did good,” the angel announced.
“Smokey’s had some misadventures, but this one takes the cake,” I said later as I crawled into bed. It was late; the alarm would be going off in less than six hours.
“Linda Smith has a cat that went up a power pole—twice,” Hubby announced. I groaned.
“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6-7