When the frightened, half-frozen cat leapt into his arms, Canadian train conductor Brad Slater knew he had made a friend for life. Slater was shocked to find the male tabby on the frozen engine deck of his train recently on a bitterly cold morning.
“He’s more lovable and cuddly and affectionate than any of my cats I’ve ever had,” Slater told Andrea Ross of CBC News. “He knows who saved him.” Slater named the cat Q199 after the train, or Q for short.
Slater was performing an inspection in the dark with his flashlight when he heard “the angriest, saddest cat cry,” he said. “So I’m shining my light and there I see this little cat underneath the second engine above the wheels on a platform, frozen in snow and ice.”
Slater called over his co-worker, engineer William Munsey, who said he expected the worst. When he saw the cat, he didn’t think it would live. But when Slater called to it, the cat jumped right into his arms.
The men brought the male cat into the train and warmed it with a T-shirt. It was trying to cry, but no sounds were coming out of its mouth, Munsey said. Slater gave the cat water and fed it small pieces of beef jerky. The cat devoured the food and settled into the middle seat between both men for the remainder of the ride to Edmonton.
“Within five hours it was curled up on his lap … he was pushing his face against Brad’s arm,” Munsey told CBC News. “It was almost as if it knew how close it had been to dying and knew exactly which human had saved it.”
Q is now living with Slater, his wife and three other cats in Edmonton. A veterinary checkup showed Q is an older feline, and might lose an ear due to frostbite. Otherwise, he’s recovered and purrs nonstop.