Power utility Eskom on Wednesday called on consumers to switch off geysers, pool pumps and all non-e.
Jason Louis Wilmert is being held in the Kern County Jail on charges alleging animal cruelty and using a pet or domesticated animal for food. Both charges are misdemeanors.
Neighbors called sheriff's deputies when they heard cats wailing and screeching at the 36-year-old's house.
Sheriff's spokesman Ray Pruitt says he has "never seen anything like this."
Pruitt says investigators found evidence that led them to believe "he had the intent to use a cat for food," but he couldn't comment directly on the evidence. The case has been sent to the district attorney.
Wilmert is scheduled for arraignment on Friday.