If treatment isn’t sought quickly enough hypothermia kills. But a frozen cat from Montana recently showed vets that it was made of sterner stuff.
Last month Montana and neighbouring states were beset by what was called a polar vortex. The weather system brought heavy snow and dropped temperatures to below -17 degrees Celsius.
It was amid the worst of the storm that a local cat called Fluffy became stranded just yards from her home. She had injured herself and was not able to make it to safety before more snow was dumped on her neighbourhood.
They rushed the cat to the local Animal Clinic of Kalispell vet but were dismayed by the prognosis. The cat was in effect a block of ice. Her body temperature was below 32 degrees: the lowest measure of severe hypothermia.
Technically the cat should have died.
‘She was frozen,’ said executive director Andrea Dutter of the Animal Clinic of Kalispell. ‘So we immediately began to warm her up’.
But as she began to thaw, Fluffy’s growl gave veterinary staff some hope. It was an indication that she was on the mend. Once she warmed up enough to stand up by herself the clinic sent Fluffy to a specialist vet for further treatment.
Fluffy made a full recovery, and is now being cared for indoors by her owners.
Returning home that night Fluffy’s owners were horrified at what they saw: their cat’s frozen body buried in a snow bank.
Animal Clinic of Kalispell later wrote on its Facebook page: ‘Amazing success and survival story from this week. Some clients found their injured cat buried in snow. They brought her to us essentially frozen and unresponsive. Her temperature was very low but after many hours she recovered and is now completely normal. Fluffy is amazing!’