Cat Versus the Polar Vortex | Veterans Today

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Luckily, Fluffy’s owners brought her to the animal clinic before she froze to death.
Credit: Animal Clinic of Kalispell

Health Editor’s Note:  With the frightening frigid temperatures a good portion of the U.S. is currently experiencing it is not wise to allow any animal outside which can/should be kept inside.  Even those relegated to the pastures and barns need extra measures taken to keep fresh, unfrozen water available and a place to get out of the wind.  While we do not have weeks long stretches of this unusually frigid weather, we currently have it and need to take extra steps to keep animals safe. Animals are as prone to frost bite and hypothermia as we are.  No access to fresh, unfrozen water supply is also very harmful.  While I do not advocate feeding deer, because up here in Michigan people feed/bait deer to hunt them, if you are concerned about deer that normally visit your area, put out bale(s) of hay.  Feeding deer corn in these frigid temperatures, after they have been on a limited diet due to the decreased availability of natural vegetation, will harm them, not help them. Basically deer cannot properly digest the corn as they can in warmer times of the year. Also, do not forget the birds that have not flown to warmer climes for the winter season. Then again there is the invincible tardigrade..Which needs to help from humans at all….Carol    

Not all heroes wear capes. Some wear ice-encrusted fur.

by Tia Ghose Associate Editor for Live Science

Fluffy, an adorably resilient cat recently survived a brush with the polar vortex after her owners found her covered in chunks of ice and snow.

The owners (who were not identified) rushed Fluffy, who looked more ice-ball mop than feline, to the Animal Clinic of Kalispell in Montana, where veterinarians essentially defrosted the cat more than a week ago, according to news reports.

Fluffy wasn’t frozen solid, Andrea Dutter, executive director of the Animal Clinic of Kalispell, told the Washington Post. But her temperature was well below 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) — the lower limit on the hospital’s thermometers. Cats normally run temperatures a few degrees warmer than humans’ average body temperature of 98.6 F, according to PetMD. [Gallery: Freeze-Dried Pets]

“We immediately began to warm her up,” Dutter told the Post. “Warm water, heating pads, hot towels . . . within an hour she started grumbling at us.”

Fluffy is normally an indoor-outdoor cat who knows her way back home, but was likely immobilized outside after an injury — which doctors discovered after they warmed her up, according to the Post.

Unlike frogs, which can freeze solid over the winter, only to croak back to life when spring returns, there’s nothing unusual about cat biology that would allow them to survive being buried in snow. Rather, Fluffy’s owners caught the situation before Fluffy froze solid. (Humans can also be reanimated after spending days or hours in sub-freezing temperatures, as long as their cells don’t completely freeze and burst, Live Science previously reported.)

“Fluffy was used to living outside,” the clinic told Live Science in a Facebook message. “But really it’s mostly that the owners found her quickly and rushed her in for us to start caring for her.”

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