Railway worker saves frozen cat, loves him but must give him up to owners

A Christmas cat rescue happy ending story from The Dodo. A stowaway tabby cat in Canada found himself under the engine of a train. He may have travelled about 350 kilometres under the engine and above the wheels of the train (Saskatchewan to Wainwright, Alberta). He was found there by a Brad Slater, a railway worker who was inspecting the locomotive, number Q199.

Brad Slater and Q199 rescued
Brad Slater and Q199 rescued
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment written by visitors. It is a way visitors can contribute to animal welfare without much effort and no financial cost. Please comment. It helps this website too which at heart is about cat welfare.

The temperature was -40 degrees (Fahrenheit or Celius – it is the same at that temperature). So, it was extremely cold and the cat was covered in ice and snow. The cat was vocalising distress. In other words he was in real discomfort and in need of help.

When Slater saw him he thought he’d run off. That’s the normal reaction for a cat. Not this time.

“I thought I would have to get a broom and kind of scare him out,” Slater explains. “I knelt down and said, ‘Come here buddy,’ and he jumped down, walked through the wheels and jumped into my arms.”

He was desperate for warmth and comfort. And he got it it spades. Slater could not leave the cat there (comment: a lot of people would have I regret to say). He took him into the cab.

He fed him beef jerky and water which he wolfed down. Slater named him after the train: Q199. He took Q199 home. A part of his right ear is missing and the left is frostbitten apparently, although in the pictures it looks okay. His paw pads were injured.

“He’s got little black cuts all over the pads of his paws.”

Q199 loves Slater. They seem to have a bond. However, they may have to part company because a family in Saskatchewan heard about the rescue on Facebook and contacted Salter. They claim that Q199 is theirs. I think I’d check the claim if I was Slater. The family claims his name is Tiger.

Slater and Q199 - cosying up
Slater and Q199 – cosying up

Tiger or Q199 is a standard tabby. However, his damaged right ear would be a good identification marker. I’d ask the “owners” to produce photographic evidence that they own him.

Personally I slightly favour Q199 staying with Slater. They have a bond. He saved him. However, Slater is prepared to give him up:

“I’m just happy he gets a second chance in life,” Slater says. “Not too many animals do.”

Here is a short video of Q199.


6 thoughts on “Railway worker saves frozen cat, loves him but must give him up to owners”

  1. I am shocked that cat survived. I have actually experienced temperatures close to minus forty and that is simply brutally cold. I’m thinking the coldest temp I have experienced firsthand was about thirty below. It was so bad that I could only stand to be out there about three minutes and that with being all bundled up. (My car engine had actually overheated from a stuck thermostat, so I was not getting any heat inside the car. I remember standing there with the hood open staring up at the stars thinking that it was beautiful out there and terrible because I was in a situation where I could actually die. This was long before the days of cell phones.)

    Just shows what amazing creatures cats are– they so often show that they can survive conditions that would kill a human. A human exposed to what that cat endured would have died.

      • My husband says to wish you a Happy Christmas as well and a Merry New Year.

        Monty is busy ignoring a new thing we put up for him. I noticed him reaching up and trying to scratch on the wall above one of his cat trees, so I had Jeff tack some carpet up there. Now Monty can actually hook his claws into the carpet and pull against the resistance instead of his claws just sliding on the smooth surface of the wall. But he won’t. It is like he is going out of his way to ignore the carpet strip. What is it about a cat that they cannot allow you to see them enjoying something you made for them? And the more they know you cannot wait to see them using it, the more they will avoid it at all costs, at least when you are looking. He will come around eventually. I think it was a few weeks before he would let me see him using the window seat I bought for him.

        • 🙂 That sounds like my cat. Happy Christmas and the all the best for the New Year to you all, Ruth. Let’s hope it is a good one. Let’s hope the terrorism stops or is cut back. We are all getting used to it. It is a way of life and it should not be.

  2. Unless Q199 has a chip of indisputable evidence that he belongs to someone else, I’d tell hem to go fly a kite. The bond between a human and another animal is to be treasured. Keep Q199 until they prove otherwise!

  3. Unless there is a chip or clear pictures I’d tell them to go pound sand. I know it’s possible that the cat got out and lost. As much as I love mine and would demand them back I would sincerely look at the cats current living situation and be prepared to let go if I thought it was in the best interest of the cat itself. Not everything has to end in a cage fight.


Leave a Comment

follow it link and logo