When John Zucalla, of Dive Time Recovery, was called to recover a small, sunken boat in Lake Havasu in Arizona on Saturday, he certainly didn’t expect to find a stowaway on the boat. He also didn’t expect that stowaway to be of the furry four-legged variety, but that’s exactly what he found when the boat was taken to a mechanic to flush the lake water from it. Tucked into a side panel at the front of the boat was a cat — dubbed River by workers at the Western Arizona Humane Society, and then later renamed Lucky. Lucky was unhappy about her situation, but was relatively unharmed, says Zucalla despite the length of time she spent underwater.
“The cat was trapped, hungry, wet and scared. I’ve been doing this for 15 years, and I’ve never found a live animal on a sunken boat. She was down there for an hour – It’s miraculous that she survived.”
It is believed that Lucky survived on the sunken boat by finding an air pocket in her compartment. Genaro Rudaldava, who owns the boat in question, told Zucalla that his family doesn’t own a cat, and had no idea Lucky had even managed to get on his small boat. Zucalla — who luckily happened to already be on the lake when he was called by Mohave County Sheriff’s Department’s Search and Rescue team — explained the find to Havasu News.
“It was one of those old-style power boats, with a big compartment in the front end. You pack your cooler and all of your supplies into the front end. The cat could have climbed in and gotten trapped there when [Rudaldava] left from Orange County, California on Friday or Saturday. This is a miracle – that we were on the lake when the Sheriff’s Department called us, and we found the wreck in time.”
After the requisite three days spent in the Humane Society’s intake center, and after all attempts to find the cat’s owner turned up nothing, Lucky was made available for adoption this morning, and may have already found her forever home, according to Patty Gilmore, director of WAHS in Lake Havasu City.
“A lady came in after reading the article about Lucky in the newspaper. She asked, ‘Please, may I be first in line to adopt her?’ She said that she cried when she read the article. She will be coming [today] to adopt her.”
After surviving an hour trapped underwater in a sunken boat, Lucky, the cat, will now hopefully stay put in her new home, and steer clear of any water, or boats, from here on out.
[Image Credits: Havasu News]