The Polecat is a cat, sometimes called “pussy,” that is fond of poles, not, however, the kind stuck in the ground.
This pole, back in the fourteenth century, was a French word which, in modern French, is spelled poule.
It means a chicken.
For the polecat is a chicken thief, just as is its American cousin, the skunk.
Incidentally, the European polecat does not have the broad stripe down the back, so characteristic of the American skunk.