Two abandoned cats formed an ice ball in -10°C temperatures

Manitoba, Canada: the temperature at night was -10°C and with a cold wind it was effectively -19°C. Constable Taylor Burns of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Manitoba was taking his dog Hix for a night walk along a dirt road on which there was nothing else but a cemetery.

Two cats rescued in freezing conditions
Photo: RCMP.
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A cat owner had abandoned four cats in a field beside this dirt track. Two of the cats had died in the cold and the other two had formed an ice ball. Fortunately, Hix, who is a specialist narcotics dog, spotted them. Constable Burns shone his torch on the ice ball and a pair of cat’s eyes reflected the light back.

“It looked like a ball of ice that had fallen off a truck.”

Although Constable Burns told Hix to leave the ice ball alone he would not. When he approached it he heard a faint meowing. He picked up a near frozen kitten and then noticed another. He took them home and ended up finding two more but it was too late, they had died. Next to the cats was a blanket and a bowl of cat food.

“There’s nothing around there. The closest thing is a cemetery… It was really blowing hard and snowing.”

Constable Burns called a veterinary office. It was closed but there was a recording on how to deal with animals suffering from exposure. He wrapped the kittens in blankets and put them in a box which he put near a heater vent in his laundry room.

The next day he took the kittens to his workplace and a colleague, Andrea Shaffer decided to take them home to care for them. She hopes to find a permanent home for them. She’d like to keep them but is unable to. They should be kept together she says.

Hix has been credited with saving the cats’ lives. On social media, he has been heaped with praise. Constable Byrne says that he is a very curious dog. Thankfully he is.

Comment: it is sad to read that four cats were abandoned in such a remote place in freezing conditions where, it has to be said, they were likely to perish.


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