Las Cruces cat rescue captivates country

LAS CRUCES (KRQE) – When the Eason family found their kitten, Athena, up on 60-foot power pole, they feared the worst.

One step onto the live power line, and that would be it.

When the Las Cruces family got the sense that El Paso Electric wasn’t going to risk their own safety to help, they watched helplessly.

“I felt bad for her and I figured she must be clawing on for her life because it was pretty stormy,” said 16-year-old Bethany Eason.

Father David Eason told the Las Cruces Sun News that he was ready to shoot Athena so she wouldn’t have to starve or be electrocuted.

But Athena’s ordeal sparked a campaign with Facebook users sharing her picture.

That’s when Doña Ana County said they would do the rescue as long as El Paso Electric agreed to turn off the line and provide the cherry picker.

The utility company agreed saying it’s not their normal policy to shut off power lines.

Athena’s rescue mission started three long days after she first got stuck.

“Scared-wise, I didn’t even think about it,” said Lt. Mary Lou Ward, Animal Control Supervisor with Dona Anna County. “I didn’t realize how high up it was or anything like that. I was just concentrating on her, trying to calm her down so she wouldn’t jump down on us.”

Now Athena is down and safe. Her ordeal has captured the attention of everyone from the UK Daily News to Fort Wayne Indiana. It was even part of the New York Post’s “The Day in Photos” feature.

But the Las Cruces family might not even know they’re in the spotlight. They’re too busy paying attention to more important things.

“Hopefully cuddle her and try to get her looking back to a healthy cat,” Bethany Eason said.

Once Athena was on the ground she was checked out by a vet and given IV.

The family says the outdoor cat seems to be doing okay and will now be an indoor cat.

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