Alberta train conductor saves nearly frozen cat. See photos
Tuesday, December 13, 2016, 5:16 PM - This is a story of a cold night and a warm heart.
It was frigid Sunday morning in Wainwright, Alta. with temperatures around minus 40oC with the wind chill when a train crew stumbled across a tabby cat that was nearly frozen to death.
Engineer William Munsey and conductor Brad Slater were inspecting the train during the stop in Wainwright when they found the feline covered in snow and frostbitten under the engine deck.
"All i heard was the angriest, saddest cat cry," Slater told CBC. "So I'm shining my light and there I see this little cat underneath the second engine above the wheels on a platform, frozen in snow and ice."
Slater called out to Munsey to tell him he had found something.
"I thought the previous crew had run over somebody or he found an arm or leg or something," Munsey told CBC. "I've heard that voice before, and it's not very good."
Slater refused to leave the animal and after calling it, the feline jumped right into his arms. The conductor brought the frozen male cat into the cab, cleaned it and wrapped a T-shirt around him.
"It was almost as if it knew how close it had been to dying and knew exactly which human had saved it," Munsey told the news agency.
The cat appeared to be missing a tooth and part of its right ear. After crying for about an hour, the grey tabby ate some beef jerky and tucked itself into the middle seat between the two men for the rest of the trek to Edmonton, Alta.
"Within five hours it was curled up on his lap... he was pushing his face against Brad's arm," Munsey said.
Slater brought the cat home, bathed the animal and called him Q199 (Q for short) after the train. After visiting the vet on Monday, Slater learned Q might have to lose his other ear due to frostbite.
However, despite everything that happened, the cat seems to be settling into his new home.
"He's more lovable and cuddly and affectionate than any of my cats I've ever had," Slater told CBC. "He knows who saved him."
Several people have reached out to Slater since the story was first shared. A couple from Melville, Sask. sent photos of their cat Tiger who went missing in November. While Tiger resembles Q, the conductor has decided to meet with the couple to see if Q199 recognizes them.
While it may be tough, Slater told CBC he is willing to return the cat to its original owners.
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