Meet Fluffy the cat. She had an incredibly lucky escape after she was found buried in snow last month.
Fluffy’s owners found their outdoor cat, frozen and stuck, outside their home in Kalispell, Montana, on January 31 and immediately drove her to the local animal clinic. By the sounds of it, they rescued her just in the nick of time.
According to vets, Fluffy’s body temperature had dropped to less than 32°C (90°F). Indeed, she was so cold that the thermometer couldn’t record her temperature and the staff had a hard time establishing the IV drip. For the record, the normal temperature for a cat like Fluffy is somewhere between 37 and 39°C (100 and 102°F).
Andrea Dutter, the executive director of the Animal Clinic of Kalispell, told reporters they tried to raise Fluffy’s body temperature in various different ways, using warm water, a hairdryer, and heated towels that they rotated out.
“And finally, we put her in a heated kennel,” she said, reports The Washington Post – which seemed to do the trick.
When the ice finally melted, the team noticed signs of injury that they think prevented Fluffy from returning home during the cold spell.
The good news is Fluffy only had to spend one night in the animal clinic's ER before returning home with her eight remaining lives intact. One week on and she's fully recovered.
Fluffy wasn't the only animal to freeze during the polar vortex that consumed large swathes of North America last month, causing temperatures to plunge as low as minus 40°C (-40°F), Hell to literally freeze over, and large chunks of Niagara Falls to turn to ice.
Alligators in North Carolina's 65-acre Shallotte River Swamp Park survived the chill by entering a state of torpor, positioning their bodies into an upright pose below the water's surface so that just their snouts poked out the ice.
But even that, as bizarre as it may look, is not as strange as the frozen iguanas that rained down on Florida or the "flash frozen" turtles that took over New England beaches in 2018.