Monday, February 20, 2012

A Happy Ending Story

This winter has been a mild one in PEI.  Plenty of sunny days and above freezing temperatures.  Rain instead of snow.  But winter has finally set in and with it came the storms.  One week ago we had a blizzard.  The day started out nicely.  Warm even.  So warm we had rain at first.  Then, as the day wore on, the temperatures began to plummet and rain gave way to ice pellets.  Eventually that night the temperature hit -20 and the wind howled turning it to -35 wind chill.  Then it began to snow.  15 cm of snow.  Not a very nice night to be outside.

However, there were two folks outside that night.  These two.

Priscilla and Funnyface last spring
Initially I wasn't worried.  They have an out of the way spot under the porch as well as a straw filled carrier in the garage to hide in.  They would be fine.  However, the next day they were nowhere to be seen.  Not unusual though as the wind was still blowing and they often disappear in these conditions.  Four days later I was worried though, and sick with the feeling that they weren't with us any longer.  There was no sign of them in the garage.  We tore apart the porch thinking they may have frozen under there but we did not find them.  Wherever they went it wasn't somewhere we were aware of.  What were the chances they had survived?  100 to 1 maybe.  Feral cats do not live long lives.  It is to be expected.  The conditions are harsh.

But sometimes a miracle happens.

His toes still look sore but he's quite healthy and happily alive
Watching tv Sunday night I heard a noise.  Likely all in my head but nevertheless I turned on the porch light and looked out as I have done many times this past week.  This time there was a cat.  Just one.  Incredibly dirty, and very skinny, waiting at the door.  He was in one piece.  No signs of injury so I yelled for Jody who ran up from the basement and grabbed some food for this poor soul.  And as we yelled and exclaimed over him another furry face came running up the steps.

Priscilla's cold is back after missing her medication this week but nothing some TLC won't cure.
The family is back together again.  And it really is a miracle.  Today we followed their footprints through the snow trying to discover where they had been.  We found this.


Across the road there is the old Canoe Cove Schoolhouse.  The cats had gone there and crawled under the building.  When the snow blew it drifted up against the sides of the building trapping them.  We know now why Funnyface was so dirty.  I'm not sure how they knew where to dig but it appears they clawed their way through the dirt and a sheet of plastic to escape.  It took 7 days and a whole lot of courage and we're so thrilled to have them back.

41 comments:

  1. So glad your story had a happy ending! Priscilla and Funnyface must have had a harrowing few days, but their survival instincts saw them through.

    Oh my, we've had a little snow and some days of cold temps, but no blizzards this winter, thankfully. Let's hope this was winter's last hurrah!

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    1. me too Rose! amazing what our will to survive will take us through.

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  2. Hooray!!! I'm so happy for you! I once drove all over the neighborhood looking for one of my dogs only to discover she was asleep behind a wing chair. I was worried sick. I'm glad your family is back together. :o)

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    1. LOL, great story. I've gone looking for our housecat on occasion and he's nowhere to be found even though I know there's no way he left the house. Amazing where they find to hole themselves away.

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  3. I'm so glad they're ok Marguerite. That third picture looks like the scene of a battle. They must have worked really hard to get out of there poor things. They are lucky to have you to look after them.

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    1. Jen, it made me a bit sick when we saw that hole under the building but there was no question when we saw those muddy footprints in the snow. They worked very hard.

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  4. Oh I am so glad they were okay. Such brave things to dig themselves out of there.
    My little Xena disappeared for four days several years ago. When she showed up on the doorstep she had a broken tail that had to be amputated. The vet thought she got her tail caught somewhere and pulled till it broke and she got free. They are survivalists.

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    1. I see that you too counted each and every day your girl was gone. It's amazing how much they fill our daily lives and how much we miss them when they're gone.

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    1. Janet, I'm so glad too. It made for a wonderful week.

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  6. OMG, I would have been frantic. So glad the babies are home safe.

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    1. Tufa, part of me was panicked but having gone through this before with previous cats there was also a feeling of the inevitable. So glad I was wrong.

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  7. Good grief. You just never know the goings-on in a cat's world. Thank goodness they escaped. This must happen a lot, though I shudder to think.

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    1. Kim, there's so much to their lives we don't know isn't there. It's rather amazing. but I too wondered how many others we never know about and their fate.

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  8. Marguerite so pleased they are safe and back home, I understand just how you must have felt, one of mine went missing for 4 days once when he finally appeared he was covered in coal dust he had clearly got shut in someones' coal shed,

    wind chill of -35, we have storms here but never that! cold though we have had some ice pellets/hailstones recently but not for long,
    take care all of you, Frances

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    1. Frances, it's always the wind here that makes it so cold. It easily decreases the temperature anywhere from 10 to 15 degrees.

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  9. Hi Marguerite, I am so glad that this is a story with a happy ending! They are two smart and resourceful creatures to have found shelter from the storm.

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    1. Interesting that they went below ground isn't it? Animals have such amazing instincts. I was shocked they didn't even have a trace of frostbite.

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  10. What is that story about the cat and dog that walk miles to get back home to their owners. I know it's called the incredible journey. I'm glad your pets are safe and sound :)

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    1. Melanie I remember reading that book as a kid. Made me cry something fierce.

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  11. Oh, I'm so glad they're fine! What an ordeal they lived through! I'm sure you'll be pampering them for a while now. I'm impressed with their survival skills.

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    1. Lots of ear scratches and multiple meals are definitely on the menu these days :))

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  12. I am a cat person and have had a cat disappear like this. I know how heartsick you felt. Ours came back too and what a joyous day it was.

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    1. Carolyn, sadly this has happened before with former pets. We've had both happy and sad endings to these stories. I'm glad this was a happy one.

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  13. Halfway through reading your account of the cats I had to go back and check the title...phew...I knew a "happy ending" was coming up. Such brave kitties!! Years and years ago I let my two cats out one March morning...one came back and I never saw the other one - I like to think she was curled up in a chair in someone else's house and liked their food better! So thankful for your happy ending!

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    1. Jane, I made sure the title said Happy - didn't want to freak anyone out too much! Sadly we had a similar incident the year before we moved east. Our two housecats went out that morning and only one was there when we came home. Lucy was never found and the hardest part was never knowing exactly what happened.

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    2. We have lost 3 cats. Sad each time, but we do know what happened to them. When I was a child we had a ginger tom who never came home. So glad to hear your brave cats made it home!!

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  14. Marguerite, I'm so happy your kitties are back home with you safe and sound. How difficult it must have been for them and yourselves filled with worry. Pets can amaze us at times, can't they? I love a happy ending.

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    1. Pets can be so extremely resilient, it really is amazing. One really happy story was about 5 years ago our housecat went missing for a month. He came back barely standing he was so thin but recovered fully. How he spent that month we'll never know.

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  15. I rescued my too city cats from outside in winter weather, so I know how you felt. I used to watch for the one for two years, worrying when he went missing, and finally he wormed his way in. Now he never wants to go outside again. Glad you had a happy ending.

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    1. Donna, how I wish I could bring these two in. It would certainly set my mind at ease but having lived their lives outdoors they don't understand being inside as such a great thing.

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  16. I would have been freaking out.

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  17. The weather has been mild here in Maryland this year too. Hardly any snow at all but two years ago we had a blizzard and I had way too much snow to shovel that year.

    I don't see many cats where I live but plenty of wildlife around. They do a good job of surviving harsh winter conditions.

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    1. I think a lot of wildlife do the same thing these cats did. Digging under a building and into the ground seems to be the warmest possible option. We have skunks that winter under our shed and seem to do just fine.

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  18. I am so glad this cat tale had a happy ending...poor things! They are very smart to have found a way out! We, too, have had a mild winter with a few ice storms and dustings of snow.

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    1. Hasn't this winter been odd? A few bad storms thrown in recently but overall it's been awfully warm. Early spring?

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  19. Oh my I'm so glad this turned out to be a happy ending.
    There has been some sad cases lately in the news regarding cats in other provinces. We actually are treating a cat from Newfoundland right now at the vet college. Another happy ending.
    They are so cute and I know you are very attached to them. I would also be worried sick.
    It was family day on Monday when you posted this and they wanted to come home to be with their family!

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    1. I heard about that cat this morning!! What that animal has been through and still has so far to go. It's an absolute miracle he's alive. Here's hoping he makes it through surgery okay.

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  20. OMG Marguerite girl !
    I must have missed the post where you said they were missing .. anyone who is a cat lover (we are BIG softies with our girls) breaths a sigh of relief to read the happy ending to this story .. those poor babies and what they have been through .. and you too !
    I am so happy to see all is well and the cat kids are safe !!
    Joy & the girls ^..^ ^..^

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    1. Joy, I actually didn't tell anyone they were missing. I just couldn't bear to talk about it at the time. It would have meant admitting they were gone and I wasn't ready to give in just yet.

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