It's been a pretty cold few days throughout the continental United States. Thanks to a particularly bad Polar Vortex, 250 million people, or roughly 75% of those living in the 48 states, have experienced below freezing temperatures last week and even into this week.
Thousands of flights were cancelled across the nation, and the US postal service had to suspended services in some areas. But it's not just humans who are having to face the cold. An incredibly lucky cat in Montana has used up one her nine lives after she was rushed to an animal clinic when her owners found her literally frozen.
The owners of Fluffy, who live in Kalispell, Montana, found the cat in a snow bank on January 31, when the low in nearby Whitefish was a bone-chilling 8 degrees Fahrenheit.
Dr. Jevon Clark, a vet at Animal Clinic of Kalispell, told ABC News that Fluffy's temperature was so low, it didn't even register on her thermometer, with a bottom range of 90 degrees Fahrenheit. A cat's normal temperature is a toasty 101 degrees Fahrenheit.
Dr. Clark first tried thawing out the cat with warm water and blankets, but after two hours, her temperature was still far too low. Fluffy was rushed to the emergency room, where the vet fought for hours to get the cat warm. After a few more hours, Fluffy finally began to show signs of recovery when she began growling at the team trying to save her life.
On Tuesday morning, the animal hospital shared the news that they had managed to save Fluffy. They wrote on Facebook:
"Amazing success and survival story from this week. Some clients found their injured cat buried in snow. They brought her to us essentially frozen and unresponsive. Her temperature was very low but after many hours she recovered and is now completely normal. Fluffy is amazing!"
And by the looks of this photo, the cat lives up to her name.
Fluffy was discharged the same night, and received a check up a few days later, with everything looking fine. Dr. Clark told ABC that the family had discovered Fluffy crusted onto a hard-packed snowbank, as though the cat had been sitting in one spot for a long time. "She [was] crouched down looking like she's hunting something or something's in the snow bank," Dr. Clark said. "And then they realized 'oh my gosh, she's not moving'."
Dr Clark said Fluffy was 3 years old and has always lived outside the house. The new owners moved in within the last couple of years and decided to adopt her. Dr. Clark said the family did not do anything wrong and he suspected "something traumatic happened" that caused Fluffy to curl up outside.
"Either something fell on her or she fell or something chased her and she got injured … [and ] she couldn't get back to her normal little hiding spots that she goes to," he added.
Fluffy's owners are now planning to keep her inside the house.
The animal hospital's Facebook post seems to have caused some controversy in regards to whether cats should be kept inside.
"Some kitties don’t want to be indoors," one commenter argued, "But that doesn’t mean they aren’t cared for and loved."
While another added: "Cats should be kept inside. Period."