Curiosity could have killed Fluffy the cat.
The feline is lucky to be alive after nearly being frozen to death about a week ago near her home in Kalispell, in northwest Montana.
Andrea Dutter, the executive director at the Animal Clinic of Kalispell, told HuffPost that Fluffy’s owners came home early from work on Jan. 31 to discover their pet unresponsive in a snow bank with chunks of ice matted in her fur. Dutter noted that the temperature that day was 10 degrees with a wind chill factor below zero.
“We speculate that Fluffy had endured some kind of trauma that prevented her from getting to her safe place,” Dutter said, noting the cat always has access to the house.
The owners contacted the clinic and sent it a photo of snow-coated Fluffy to alert the staff. Dutter said Fluffy was nearly frozen upon arrival, and “all hands were on deck” when she was brought back to a treatment room.
The staff immediately began melting the snow and ice with warm water, using hair dryers and a rotation of warm, dry towels that came straight from a dryer. The staff got a boost of relief within an hour.
“She began groaning sounds, giving us some hope that she could come out of it,” Dutter said.
Yet, after about two hours, Fluffy’s body temperature was still pretty low, so she was transferred to an emergency room. A few hours after that, she began to show signs of recovery.
On Thursday, the animal hospital shared the good news on Facebook: Fluffy made a full recovery and was back home with her owners.
“Kudos to her family for acting so quickly to get Fluffy in to see our doctors right away,” Dutter said. “We — and Fluffy — are grateful for [her] owners for acting quickly in a scary situation.”
“We truly hope that Fluffy’s story can help other pet owners be aware of ways to help their indoor and outdoor pets stay safe and the importance of seeking medical attention right away verses attempting to treat their pets on their own. Our doctors and staff didn’t do anything different than any other veterinarian and team would do.”