GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — This frigid weather can be brutal on humans, and its effects on animals can be seen in minutes.
On Sunday, a woman found a cat nearly frozen to her tire, and he nearly died until a Grand Rapids shelter stepped in to help.
At Clyde Park Veterinary Clinin in Wyoming, a little guy named Finian is recovering, snuggled up in a sweater.
He arrived at the clinic just a couple days ago. Workers gave him a warm bath, removed crust from his amputated tail and made him feel right at home.
“It’s like having a baby again," says Dr. Jennifer Gillum, "and he’s just gradually made improvements since then.”
But his journey to this point was not easy. In fact, Dr. Gillum thought he might not make it through the night.
“He was probably one of the worst cases that we’ve had,” says Dr. Gillum.
Someone found Finian in Cedar Springs almost frozen to death next to a car. Someone on Facebook contacted Dr. Gillum, and he was brought to Crash's Landing, a nonprofit no-kill cat placement center.
“And he was not moving; he was wrapped up in a blanket in a box," Dr. Gillum tells us. "I couldn’t get his body temperature to register, and our thermometers go to 90 degrees.”
Finian was dehydrated, and his nose was full of pus. His left eye is pushed back so far that it doesn't work, and the right eye was glued shut.
Dr. Gillum thinks he's been a stray all his life. She wasn't sure if he would make it through the night.
“I thought, 'You know what? Even if he doesn’t make it, at least he’s gonna have one night where he’s warm and he’s comfortable and he’s loved.”
The pictures she posted to Facebook are heartbreaking. People all around the world shared the post. Complete strangers prayed for the little guy.
“The fact that it’s so widespread, that his story has touched so many people so quickly...it’s amazing.”
Dr. Gillum is not sure how old he is, but judging by his teeth, he's a senior. He's done nothing but sleep and eat and follow her around.
Their little warrior, so far, has been a miracle.
“Everyone we’ve talked to and everyone that saw his story--and my husband and I were just amazed, you know, that he rebounded so miraculously.”
There have been dozens of people interested in adopting Finian, but right now, Dr. Gillum isn't sure if he will ever be healthy enough for that. Recovery could take months.
If you'd like to donate anything, Crash's Landing could always use the help. You can find them at crashslanding.org.