Kitty recovers after freezing to a storm drain

Good Samaritan rescues 11-week-old cat

Good Samaritan rescues kitten

Friday, January 15, 2016 | NHS Staff

Last Sunday morning, during the bitter cold, a good Samaritan looking out of her window, noticed a mother cat working to get something out of a suburban Elkhorn storm drain.

When the cat couldn’t accomplish her task, she stayed by the drain, pacing and agitated. The good Samaritan threw on a coat and went out to check.

"I was horrified!" she said. "The mom’s kitten was dangling in the storm drain by one back foot, which was frozen to the concrete!"

Our rescuer used lukewarm water – a couple of tries because the water froze quickly – to free the back leg, warmed the 11-week-old kitten up and brought her in to the Nebraska Humane Society for emergency care. It was touch-and-go at first, as one front paw was severely swollen with frostbite and the back leg was broken and sustained frost damage. 

When veterinarians X-rayed the back leg today, they determined the break was in a growth plate, so they amputated. Stormy is expected to make a full recovery and should be able to get around on three legs. The swelling in her front paw has gone down.

Stormy’s rescuer and her family adopted the kitten soon after. Sweet little Stormy left the shelter for home on February 8th — just in time for Valentine's Day!

With bitter temperatures all too common during Nebraska winters, this is a dramatic illustration of why pet owners should keep pets safe inside. In year’s past, we have seen cats frozen to bird feeders and other free flowing water facilities, as they look for places to hydrate.

Learn more about cold weather safety »

Additional coverage

WOWT: Stormy the kitty on the mend after storm drain calamity »

KMTV: 11-week-old kitten found frozen to storm drain recovering at NHS »

Omaha World-Herald: Humane Society points to injured cat in warning pet owners about severe cold »

Fox 42: Kitten rescued from frozen storm drain, recovering from frostbite »

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