Fluffy the cat was frozen stiff and presumably only minutes from from passing.
The indoor-outdoor cat had strayed out into the chilly Montana air last Thursday while her family was not home, and in the process, she was hurt and unable to return to the warm house.
As she lay in the yard waiting for help, the freezing temperatures gradually covered her body, coating her in thick layers of snow and ice.
Fluffy was unconscious and practically frozen when her owners returned home and discovered her later that day — but due to her quick-thinking family and the Animal Clinic of Kalispell, the cat has made a miraculous recovery.
“They’ve always been fantastic pet owners, so they didn’t hesitate to bring her directly here,” Andrea Dutter, the clinic’s executive director, told The Dodo. “All hands were on deck.
We had both physicians here, and they were thawing the snow and ice off baby with warm water while also blow-drying her and rotating in warm towels from the dryer.”
Fluffy had a heartbeat when she came at the clinic, but her body temperature was too low for the physicians’ thermometers to measure. It took nearly an hour of warming the cat for her to be able to move.
While it’s unknown what happened to Fluffy that left her stuck outside, Dutter believes she was hurt by another animal. She had marks on her skin, but happily, the damage will not have any long-term consequences, according to Dutter.
“She stayed with us here for a few hours and then spent the night being watched in an emergency animal hospital,” Dutter explained. “By the next morning, she was already walking and doing well.”
Fluffy’s family has decided to limit her time outside following her terrifying near-death encounter. While she may miss exploring the yard, she will most likely have lots of opportunity to go out with her family as the weather heats up.
“Her owners are new to the neighborhood, and Fluffy was already an outdoor cat living in the backyard when they initially acquired their property,” Dutter stated.
“She was established out there at the time, but after they started taking care of her, she started living partially indoors.”
For the time being, Fluffy is curled up at home in a lovely warm bed with blankets — and given everything she’s gone through, she’ll probably want to stay there for a long.