View Full Version : Frozen cats survive!

01-26-2001, 11:13 AM
Did anyone see this story in the newspaper a couple of days ago? It's amazing! That man and his dog are heroes! I saw the article in the Chicago Sun-Times, from Wednesday, January 24th:

By Peter Maller

Mike Lalley chipped away ice to free a cat he found frozen in a snowbank while walking his dog in 20-degree weather outside Cedarburg, Wis., last weekend.

Lalley said he chiseled the cat from the snow by pounding on the icy crust with his glove. One of the cat's paws was particularly difficult to break free, he said.

"Basically, the fur around her body was frozen into the snow," Lalley said. "She was stuck."

After finally loosening the cat form its icy hole, Lalley discovered four more cats huddled beneath it for warmth.

All five cats managed to survive their ordeal, said Jennifer Pierce-Sylvester, executive director of the Ozaukee Humane Society. The animals are being treated at the shelter for exposure and will likely be put up for adoption, she said.

"It's truly amazing that they lived," said Pierce-Sylvester, whose organization has been caring for the animals since they arrived Monday morning. "We can't find any signs of frostbite."

Lalley credits his dog, Jessie, a yellow Labrador retriever, with saving the cats' lives. The dog started digging after sniffing the buried cats in the hard-packed snow.

"I didn't think the one that was on top was going to live," he said. "The others slept four or five hours, and then they were running around, kicking up a storm."

All of the cats--apparently from two litters--are younger than a year old.

The animals were treated with heating pads and fed warm food at the shelter.

Lalley brought the cats to the humane society after keeping them wrapped in a blanket in the laundry room at home for a day.
--Scripps Howard News Service
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01-26-2001, 11:50 AM
Yeah for the Retriever and his master!!!! I read this story yesterday in our local newspaper. It was a much shorter version, but the main thing is that they were saved! I hope they all find wonderful new homes. I'm so glad you were able to post this, Margaret. http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/biggrin.gif http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/biggrin.gif

You guys know, if you ever read the "dog" side of this BB, that I am a retriever fan, but love my cats too!!

4 feline house
01-26-2001, 10:25 PM
Okay, I hope all y'all yankees forgive this ignorant Texas gal, but what's a snow bank? I'm asking mainly to get a picture of how five cats can get stuck in snow.

01-27-2001, 07:10 AM
See, we love snow so much that when it snows, we bring the extra down to the "snow bank" ... just kidding!

Snowbanks are just big piles of snow, usually the result of plowing or shoveling. Plows just push all the snow from the road itself to the side, so streets end up with continuous mounds of snow along the edges - the more snow, the higher the snowbank gets! It is soft at first, but often temperature warm abit during the day then cool back off at night, and the snowbank can freeze pretty solid.

4 feline house
01-28-2001, 11:38 AM
So, how did they get in there? Does anybody know? It would seem to me that someone would have had to dig a hole, put them in, and then cover them back up. I mean, the cats, en masse, wouldn't have just decided to burrow into a pile of snow, and certainly they weren't all huddled together on the side of a road when suddenly a snow blower came by and covered them up, right? Even if they happened to be all standing on top of each other on the side of a road, aren't snow blowers noisy things that would have compelled the cats to run for their lives? I guess I'm belaboring a question that really doesn't matter since the kitties are alive and well now, but if I have the picture right this sounds like a particularly nasty cruelty case.

01-28-2001, 11:51 AM
4 Feline House......Oh My Gosh! Now that you analyze it, it sure does sound like a potential animal abuse thing, doesn't it? I never thought beyond the fact that they were rescued, safe & warm. http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/confused.gif

01-28-2001, 03:55 PM
Snowbanks tend to build layer at a time - once a storm comes, a snowbank is created, and can be added to with each additional plowing, if the first storm is a significant one, and then with each new storm. The cats could have settled down in a spot in the snowbank, and, probably being weak already, just curled together and fell asleep, and were sounds asleep when the next plow cam. You hear the plow coming for quite a while before it gets to your spot, and maybe they, sleeping were just now awar of how close it was getting. I doubt anyone could have dug a hole and stuffed 5 cats in it, if said cats were awake! You know how hard it is to persuade ONE cat to do something against its will ...

In any case, thanks to that dog, they were found, and are safe now, which is where we should be focusing our attention. http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif

01-29-2001, 03:05 PM
What a happy ending for a story such as this! http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/biggrin.gif How the scenario formed is a bit of a mystery. Maybe there was a hole, somewhat like a cave, and the cats found it and climbed in to block the wind. The snow could have then caved on top of them? http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/confused.gif

In any case! Many purrs to the man and his dog who found them http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif

"In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats." - English proverb

01-30-2001, 10:24 AM
Sorry, but I am still laughing about the "snow" BANK. Coming originally from Ohio, I had to walk to school in that stuff.

A wonderful rescue story always gets to me - thanks for sharing it.