Monday, 30 July 2012

Crash cat found after two days in Everglades

LAKE WORTH — He's a death-defying cat who stayed put and stayed alive — for two days in the Everglades.
Sam, an 11-year-old gray feline, was feared lost after he ran into the bush after his owner Nikki Saltzburg's minivan was involved in a wreck with another vehicle on Alligator Alley east of Naples Monday.
Now, thanks to social media and the generosity of strangers, the cat will soon be reunited with his owners.
"I couldn't even believe it," Saltzburg said of Sam's rescue. "I said, 'You're kidding, right?' "
On Friday, the Saltzburgs were in Lake Worth visiting relatives and recuperating from their ordeal. They were excited to know their beloved cat was safe.
The crash happened on Monday at about 3 p.m. while Saltzburg, her wife Mara, 40, Sam and their infant son Parker were moving across the country from Los Angeles to Miami. Sam, in his cat crate, was in the front passenger seat. They were driving on Interstate 75 approaching Big Cypress National Preserve when another vehicle collided with theirs, causing Saltzburg to lose control of the minivan.
"It was terrifying," Saltzburg said. "It was really scary."
Saltzburg remembers looking up after her minivan had rammed into a tree off the highway. Sam's cat crate, which had been on the passenger seat, was no longer there. It had been ejected through the window.
After being pulled from the minivan, Saltzburg, who has been a paraplegic since she was only a few days old, saw the broken cat crate in the grass. Sam had dashed off into the bush.
Amid the chaos, Saltzburg was bleeding from multiple cuts and Mara had suffered a fractured pelvis. Their infant son, Parker, was somehow unharmed.
Saltzburg wanted to look for the cat but couldn't. They all needed to be taken to a hospital.
"At that point I was devastated," said Saltzburg, 34, realizing she'd have to leave behind the cat she had since it was an 8-week-old kitten.

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