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.
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.
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.