Veterinarians in Montana revived a cat named Fluffy that nearly froze to death after being found in a snowbank covered from head to tail in ice and snow.
Dr. Jevon Clark of the Animal Clinic of Kalispell said Thursday that Fluffy was unresponsive and her body temperature didn't register on the clinic's thermometers when her owners brought her in a week earlier.
Staff warmed the cat using towels, cage warmers and intravenous fluids. Fluffy is normally a little crabby, so when she began growling after about an hour, Clark knew she would be fine, he said.
"These crabby cats are survivors," Clark said.
After Clark, Dr. China Corum and their staff picked the ice off Fluffy's coat and she started moving around, they sent her to an emergency clinic to help raise her body temperature. The cat was discharged to her owners the same night, and when Clark checked her on Tuesday, she appeared to be back to normal, he said.
The clinic posted pictures of her recovery on its Facebook page.
The owners came home early last Thursday to find that Fluffy had been crusted onto a hard-packed snowbank, as though she'd been sitting in one spot for a long time while the blowing snow drifted up around her, Clark said.
"She's crouched down looking like she's hunting something or something's in the snow bank," Clark said. "And then they realized, oh my gosh, she's not moving."
It wasn't clear how long the cat had been there. The temperature that afternoon in Kalispell was just below freezing.
Clark said Fluffy is 3 years old and has always lived outdoors. She was living outside the house when new owners moved in within the last couple of years and adopted her.
The owners don't want to be identified. Clark said they didn't do anything wrong, and that he suspects something happened that caused Fluffy to curl up outside like that.
"I suspect that something traumatic happened," Clark said. "Either something fell on her or she fell or something chased her and she got injured. ... She couldn't get back to her normal little hiding spots that she goes to."
Clark said Fluffy's owners plan to try to keep her inside for now. "Well see if Fluffy likes that or Fluffy doesn't like that," he said.