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Ovation: Spending A Night In Jail To Save Your Cat’s Life.


Photo Credit: Kristina Clark

I live with a seventeen-year-old yellow tabby cat that has been My Furry Little Roommate all of his life.  He and I have lived in five different homes together and he has slept and shed beneath the warmth of Christmas trees in each of them.  He’s seen me laugh, seen me cry, felt my grief and shared my happiness when love entered my life.  And now he’s beginning to show signs of old age and I’m saddened to admit that it’s time to come to terms with the fact that he won’t be My Furry Little Roommate for much longer.  I’m trying to be more patient with him when his claws dig into my thigh as he walks across my lap or when he consistently pushes open the door to the guest room so that he can lay (and shed a bit) on his favorite comforter and look out the window.  Just last night he made me smile when I suddenly felt whiskers between my lips and the spoonful of ice cream travelling toward them.

There’s really very little that I wouldn’t do for him to make his last years as comfortable as they can be.  But, I’ll admit, I would think twice about a trek through the Alaskan wilderness.

Last month, Kristina Clark of Copper Center, Alaska, had to make a terrible decision when her beloved cat, Ninja, fell ill.  When she couldn’t find a local vet who would treat Ninja without a several-hundred-dollar down payment that Kristina couldn’t afford, she and her boyfriend put the sick cat in a car and began a drive to another vet, one hundred miles away in Valdez, who agreed to help without a deposit.

But before they could reach the accommodating veterinarian, the road on which they were travelling was closed by a series of avalanches.  So they parked their car, wrapped Ninja in a blanket and started out to finish the rest of the journey, forty-two miles, on foot.

“We had to do something and that was the only option.” – Kristina Clark

After hiking for several miles down the highway, passing two avalanche fields, the cat-toting pair encountered Department of Transportation workers who advised them to turn around.  They refused and continued on with Ninja in tow when, not long after, a helicopter stopped and picked them up, carrying them on a five-minute flight into Valdez.  Once on the ground, however, police charged Kristina and her boyfriend with disorderly conduct and obstructing a highway for temporarily halting avalanche mitigation work, sent them both to jail and took Ninja to the local animal shelter.

Kristina, 22, used her one phone call to dial the veterinarian who retrieved Ninja and gave him treatment for what was a life-threatening infection.

“That cat wouldn’t have made it much longer.  I have to commend them for doing something to get their cat help.” – Dr. Kelly Hawkins

After spending the night in jail, Kristina and her boyfriend were released on bond.  “It was worth it for Ninja”, she said.  A small price to pay to save the life of her cat.

The next time I find myself bothered by the fact that My Furry Little Roommate has thrown up during the night, chewed on a houseplant or pushed open a door that he’s supposed to leave closed, I’m going to remind myself that Kristina Clark hiked over two avalanche fields because she loved her cat and I’m going to scratch him behind the ears and tell him that I love him.  Every cat should be loved as much as Ninja.  I know mine is.


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From → Ovations

  1. The things we do for our pets.

    I’d have made that hike, too.


  2. Good story. We love our pets.


  3. I don’t have any animals. I have a hard enough time keeping myself alive lol. However, my parent had 7 cats right now (I believe she’s been cat sitting about 4 of them for her ex girlfriend for the past 5 years though), and a floppy little dog named Harley. And I know that her any my sisters love for these animals are boundless. And my love for them is boundless, which is why I once find myself scared to death speeding to an emergency vet in the middle of the night to put down this one of their cats that was going to surely die within the next 24-48 his anyway. But my sister couldn’t deal with the suffering, and it was wheezing something fierce. And it was terrified, somewhat of the car, but more so because it was dying… It actually died before we made it to the vet. But I just remember that emergency run. When you really love your animal, you’ll do anything, pull any string, to prevent their suffering


    • That must have been a difficult drive. You’re very thoughtful!


      • I’m a sucker when it comes to my family. And my friends. A live animal in my car while I’m driving, especially one that’s scared or that can move at all? Un un, no thanks. But I can’t stand to see my loved ones upset our suffering, so if it means I have to drive with my right eye closed so I can’t see the animal, and pray for the strength and wisdom not to try and crawl out the window, then I suppose that’s a sacrifice I have to make


  4. ka person permalink

    Wow! I need to go give Tar and Abby big kisses right now!


  5. I can’t believe they arrested them…there’s no humanity left in the police force it seems.


    • Apparently, by refusing to turn around and stay out of the way they brought an expensive clean-up operation to a standstill and violated an ordinance of some kind.


  6. I’d do it. But a bit of perspective – it is Alaska. I have a cousin who lives their and had her first child at 40. When the boy was old enough to go to school, she’d have to drive him 5 miles each way on a snow mobile. For them that was probably like walk’n down the road a piece.


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