Chevrolet Motor Division / General Motors Sales Division
Synopsis: A collection of news stories compiled by Chevrolet includes a dressing room on wheels, a police safety car, a model airplane air derby, a method for photographing possible oil deposits, a car converted into a boat and Mickey the firefighting cat.
Reality Cat: The final segment of this newsreel focuses on Mickey the pole cat, a cat which lived in Minneapolis Fire Station Number 10. It is explained that Mickey likes to watch his fellow firemen playing dominoes.
But when the firebell rings, Mickey springs into action and slides down the pole with the rest of the crew. It’s hard to tell if Mickey jumps on the pole of his own volition; frankly it looks as if he is tossed there.
But Mickey does an admirable job of sliding down the pole and lands nicely.
Mickey rides with the chief in his car and seems to be panting, which would indicate he is stressed or maybe even excited. Either way, he seems to be used to riding on the back of the front passenger seat.
The newsreel narrator asks Mickey where his hat is and in the final shot Mickey is seen wearing said hat.
Mickey was a celebrity back in 1936, appearing in syndicated news stories. One story was published in the Milwaukee Journal on April 5, 1936:
If Mickey actually chose to slide down the pole on his own that’s one thing, and indeed there are several stories about firehouse cats over the years doing just that. But it seems an incredibly unnatural thing for a cat to be doing. And unfortunately Mickey’s life came to a very sad end. According to the Southeast Missourian published on August 25, 1937:
Mickey has answered his last fire call.
‘Killed in the line of duty’ is an epitaph prepared for Mickey — a two-year-old cat mascot which slid down the brass pole with fireman.
He leaped for the pole and missed, falling 16 feet and breaking his neck.
They’re going to bury Mickey with his tiny fireman’s hat.
Final Mewsings: No cat should die sliding down a fireman’s pole. Period.