Found Frozen To The Ground In Record Storm, Michigan Cat Is Recovering At Clinic

Elliot the cat was near death when Kelli Vanderlaan found him literally frozen to the concrete in the early morning hours of Dec. 26, during one of the coldest, most severe storms to sweep the US in decades.

Initially unsure whether the white and gray stray was still alive, as his eyes were frozen shut, Vanderlaan wriggled him free and took him to the Big Lake Community Animal Clinic in Muskegon, Michigan. Although barely able to move and unable to vocalize, Elliot seemed to be grateful for the car’s heat.

“You could tell that he was obviously frozen, so he needed warmth and touch and everything, I think he was pretty happy when I got him into the truck,” Vanderlaan told the local ABC affiliate, WZZM.

Elliot the Cat
Staff at Big Lake Community Animal Clinic have been nursing Elliot the Cat back to health. Credit: WZZM

Once Vanderlaan and the stray arrived at Big Lake, staff there immediately began gently raising the little guy’s temperature, wrapping him in warm blankets and giving him fluids.

“We weren’t sure what he’s been through,” said Alexis Robertson, executive director of the local Humane Society. “He’s definitely been out there for a while trying to take care of himself, just trying to survive, but it was at a critical point where he was ready to pass.”

After giving Elliot a veterinary exam, cleaning his eyes and making sure he was snug, the staff at Big Lake Community Animal Clinic monitored him closely overnight. His organs had been dangerously close to shutting down when he was brought in, and he still wasn’t out of the woods yet.

Elliot, who was named after the storm that swept the region over the holidays, has continued to improve in the days since. He’s since been able to stand on his own and has regained his appetite, the clinic’s staff wrote on Facebook.

“We are so happy to say he is doing much better and was monitored during the night,” staffers wrote. “He reaches out his paw to the vet tech that has been caring for him overnight, showing her just how happy he is that he is being helped. He still has a long way to go, but we won’t give up.”

Elliot, who was described as an “older” cat who’s been fending for himself, will come out of the ordeal with his life much improved. After surviving the storm — which plunged temperatures well into the single digits, set record lows across much of the midwest and claimed the lives of at least 56 people across the country — Elliot will be put up for adoption, and the clinic has already received inquiries from people who want to open their home to the little survivor. If his will to live and his gratitude toward his rescuers are any indication, the little guy has a lot of love to give.

“It’s the most heartfelt feeling in the world to see this cat come from basically nothing and being vocal and happy to be touched and fed, it’s just an amazing thing to watch,” Leah Wetmore, the clinic’s manager, told WZZM.

Kelli Vanderlaan was the Good Samaritan who saved Elliot’s live. Credit: WZZM

19 thoughts on “Found Frozen To The Ground In Record Storm, Michigan Cat Is Recovering At Clinic”

  1. That’s so cool!! I just got two fosters (bonded pair), to raise for a fortnight so they gain enough weight to get desexed! Also, to get them used to strangers, and other cats. Any kitten I get the chance to foster also gets collar and harness trained too! They be sooo cute!

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    1. Fostering sounds like a lot of fun, although it must be hard to say goodbye to all those cute kittens. How does your cat get along with the fosters? I joke about Buddy being offended at the idea of having to allow kittens into his kingdom, but in truth I don’t know how he’d react.

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  2. Well Milly hissed and swiped at them for the first week. Then once I started harness and collar training them, she settled down because she remembered they will not stay. She is Queen of her Domain, and it only works cause the kittens are temporary residents. Milly is a one cat household sort of cat. They rent territory off Milly! She then mirns them for 10 seconds when they go back to the shelter and jumps for joy when we get home.

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  3. If there were kitty lottery tickets I’d suggest Elliot get some. I really hope his healing is swift & his journey to a forever home is soon, Kelli is an angel for not writing the little guy off for dead. ❀️ I can’t help but think of all the other Elliot’s that don’t make it. Even if I didn’t live in a place where cats must live indoors, my furry family would always be indoors. I briefly lived in Northern NYS years ago & I spent some time in Maine & Michigan & the cold is brutal & different there. I can’t imagine how anything could survive their winters!?!? When I was commuting to Detroit Metro Airport Bi Monthly, I cannot count how many times I was held up at that airport due to weather & for the de icing of the plane. Still bothers me but the thought of furry homeless kids bothers me more. I hope if you get an Elliot update you & Buddy will update us again. Oh! Happy Early New Years Both Buddy’s! I hope you spend them together & maybe one vegetarian Buddy, can find a smidgen of Turkey for one non vegetarian Buddy????? πŸ˜‹ No matter what be safe & happy togetherπŸ‘£πŸΎπŸΎπŸ₯•πŸ—πŸ₯¦πŸ₯“πŸŒΆπŸ₯©πŸŒ½πŸŒ­πŸ₯‘πŸ”

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  4. Many thanks to Kelli who took the time to get him help, and to the people at the clinic who are helping him recover. Its good to read about a happy ending for Elliot, he (and ALL pets deserve one). When I remember how many do not get that chance to be loved and cared for as they deserve, it make this miracle for Elliot all the more special. I wish him many happy years with his soon to be forever family.

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  5. Much love and many prayers to sweet little Elliot. Please remember, that if you move, take your animals with you. If you can,’t, rehome them. They are living beings that you have made a commitment to. They deserve nothing less than a wonderful life.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. When you see an abandoned animal try to help. If you can,’t, call the proper people to help them. I myself , have rescued a stray off the streets. There us nothing better that to give them a warm loving home. You will get so much in return.

    Liked by 1 person

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