A cat miraculously survived being stuck inside a washing machine during a wash cycle, and veterinarians are warning other pet owners about the dangers of not paying attention, Fox News reports.
Felix, a 1-year-old cat, was hanging around while his owner, Stefani Carroll-Kirchoff of suburban St. Paul, Minnesota, was loading her washing machine. She took her eyes off of her machine for "a few minutes," as she describes it, to fold clothes. During that time, Felix jumped inside, with Carroll-Kirchoff unaware of what happened. She then started the cycle with Felix inside.
Stefani's daughter, Asha Carroll McCullough, described what happened next.
"All of a sudden she heard a meow and saw a little white foot. The way she describes it was she was just in shock and she immediately phoned my grandpa and said, 'come with me to vet,'" she said.
According to a GoFundMe page set up to cover Felix's vet bills, the injuries the animal suffered were pretty gruesome.
WARNING: the following paragraph contains content that may be disturbing to some readers.
Felix had been inside the machine for 35 minutes, during which time he nearly drowned, and was flung about due to the motion of the machine. He had fluid in his lungs and multiple bruises; his family describes him as being "confused" and "barely breathing."
They took Felix to an area emergency animal clinic and immediately were told that the prognosis wasn't good.
"It's rare that cats make it through something like this," said Asha, and indeed, Felix was in critical condition.At the veterinary clinic, Felix was given an IV and placed in an oxygen chamber at a cost of $1,000 per day. However, his owner said that she would do anything to help Felix, so she chose to go the expensive route instead of having the feline put down.
It's been several days, and now Felix is on the mend. His vision is returning and he's starting to eat again. Veterinarians say, however, that his recovery will likely take weeks.
Meanwhile, the GoFundMe page set up to cover Felix' veterinary bills currently has, as of this writing, raised over $12,000. That's more than enough to cover the animal's bills, and the family intends to use the extra money to provide a fund for other families facing expensive veterinary bills.
It's not clear how often cats, and other pets, die or are injured via washing-machine accidents. However, PetMD warns that cats are curious critters that like to know what's happening around them and that they seek out confined spaces, an equation that makes washing machines irresistible to some felines. Pet safety advocate Lindsey Wolko reminds all pet owners to check their washing machines (and dryers) thoroughly for any pets before starting the cycle.