Kitten stuck on Miss-Lou bridge saved

Published 12:01 am Thursday, September 22, 2011

ERIC SHELTON | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT Margaret Hall, left, and Donna Herndon hold a kitten that was rescued on the Mississippi River bridge Wednesday afternoon. The kitten had been on the bridge for approximately two days, but only received minor injures.

VIDALIA — One lucky kitten was rescued from the Mississippi River Bridge Wednesday after it became trapped on the bridge, above a parking lot at the Vidalia Riverwalk.

Vidalia resident Donna Herndon and her husband, Tim, first heard the kitten crying while walking on the riverwalk Monday night. Herndon said she initially thought the kitten was stuck in the tree, but she realized it was on the bridge when she went back to the riverwalk Tuesday night.

Herndon and Natchez resident Margaret Hall contacted Vidalia Police Department and Vidalia Fire Department. Hall said both departments said they do not respond to animal rescues of that nature.

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Hall called People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Tuesday night and spoke with Kristin Simon, a senior cruelty case worker, in PETA’s satellite office in Memphis.

Hall holds the cat she named Bridget.

“First thing Wednesday morning I called several tree services,” Simon said. “Oddly, none of them were willing to help, which is sad.”

Simon said she then contacted the city of Vidalia, which was willing to lend a bucket truck to assist with the rescue.

Dwayne Thomas, Vidalia animal control officer, said Richard Jones at the Vidalia Utility Department arranged for the truck to meet him at the riverwalk. Thomas said he was lifted up to the bridge in the bucket truck and was able to get the kitten and put it in a pet carrier. Thomas handed the kitten off to Hall.

“I was very nervous because I was afraid it might jump from the bridge,” Hall said.

Simon said she receives several calls each week from people across the country looking for help getting a cat rescued.

“Usually it’s a cat up an electrical pole, stuck in a tree or stuck on a roof,” she said. “I’ve never had a call about a cat stuck on a bridge, though.”

Simon said she encourages people to speak up if they see an animal in trouble.

“Most people say, ‘Oh he’ll come down on his own,’” Simon said. “That’s usually not what happens.

Hall is tending to the kitten, aptly-named Bridget, at her home. She said she believes the kitten has a broken tail and is taking it to her veterinarian, Dr. Robbie Savant, today to get it checked out. Hall said she is not sure how she will afford another veterinarian bill.

“My vet bill is already sky-high with all the rescue animals I have,” she said.

Hall said Bridget is very sweet and she does not believe she is a feral cat.

“She’s letting me pet her,” she said. “She was just so glad to be rescued.”

Hall said she has several rescue pets of her own and is looking for a good home for the 6 or 7-week-old kitten.

People interested in adopting the kitten should call Hall at 870-7282.