Cat rescued in zero or below temperature: ‘I literally belly crawled up to it like a soldier’

The heartbreaking story of Tasha the cat began Thursday afternoon in the Van Singel Farms neighborhood of Byron Township, Michigan when this beautiful ginger tabby appeared to be abandoned by a woman. The temperature outside was zero degrees or colder.

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Rafeal Lael lives in the neighborhood snow blowing his driveway and says he was shocked when he saw what he thought was a woman putting Tasha out on the ground then turning and walking away. He captured the scene on his porch surveillance camera.

After posting the situation on the Nextdoor neighborhood app, Van Singel Farms neighbor Jim Marsh went out to search for the cat.  His entire family loves cats and he was determined to find the poor kitty.

Jim eventually tracked the cat down and spotted in a neighbors driveway. He was about to give up when his headlights reflected off the cat’s eyes but he couldn’t get the cat to come to him. He went home and returned with a can of tuna.

In an interview with WoodTV8 News Jim stated

“My wife said, ‘You have to get (the cat) because if you don’t, it will die tonight. I literally belly crawled up to it like a soldier. I shimmied my way up the driveway with the can of tuna in front of me.”

As soon as Tasha stuck her head into the tuna Jim was able to grab her then contacted Focus on Ferals, a nonprofit shelter that helps 400 cats a year find homes through adoption, as well as doing TNR. Tasha is currently in their care.

The organization operates on volunteers and donations and also provide free shelters for people who look after outdoor cats.

Focus on Ferals volunteer Lori Frey describes what it was like when she heard how Tasha was abandoned in the cold.

“I was literally sick to my stomach. I couldn’t believe that somebody would do that to any animal in the temperatures we had.  She is so sweet. Even after everything that has happened to her, you can pick her up, you can love her, she purrs.”

One theory on how Tasha came to be alone in the freezing cold was posted later by a man claiming to be the ‘womans’ father. The man sent an email to the Van Singel Lake Association Thursday afternoon saying a stray cat had wandered into his garage as he warmed up his car. The family had no idea where the cat came from and wrapped her in blankets and towels to get the cat warm.

The cat wasn’t taken inside the home because the man is severely allergic to cats. Another neighbor saw the post and had an idea which house the cat belonged at. So…

“While walked (sic) with the cat, as she approached the intersection of Pleasant Hill Drive and Van Singel Lake Drive, the cat jumped from her arms and ran… My daughter lost sight of the cat but assumed it recognized its home and returned there. She said multiple homes in that area had their garage doors opening and again, assumed the cat ran home.”

Focus on Ferals gives away these outdoor cat shelters

As it turned out Tasha didn’t have a home but she will in the near future. Lori said Focus on Ferals will make sure of it. They’ve posted on Facebook that details of the story don’t exactly line up, saying

“We’d like to believe this story, and we very much hope it is true. However, the security video (seen in the news segment) doesn’t fully align with the facts as he presented them, but perhaps we don’t have the correct angle – that’s a decision for you to make. In the end, we were not there when the incident occurred, and can only rely on the story from those who were, and those who worked hard to get her someplace safe.

What remains, unfortunately, are more questions than answers. Who’s cat is this? How did she end up in this situation? How was she injured? If the person in the video is, in fact, not Tasha’s owner, then who is and why haven’t they come forward looking for her? Who would just abandon this sweet girl to the elements?”

Some are commenting it looks more like the daughter put Tasha on the ground rather than Tasha jumping from her arms. Regardless, Tasha is safe until a loving home can be found.

If you’re interested in adopting Tasha, you can reach the shelter at or through their website or Facebook page.  Tasha came in with a fresh injury to her leg, which should heal. It’s unclear how she was injured.

You can view the video by clicking here and make up your own mind on what the truth is.

1 thought on “Cat rescued in zero or below temperature: ‘I literally belly crawled up to it like a soldier’”

  1. Poor Tasha, but also lucky Tasha. It has to be a good thing that she is now in the hands of people who really care about her, and will keep her safe.

    Big props to Rafael for saving her.


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