If you live in the NYC metropolitan area, congestion on the Long Island Expressway is a given. So I wasn't surprised when we found ourselves in stop-and-go traffic while on the way to a program in Long Island 3 years ago yesterday. I was, however, quite taken aback when Maggie abruptly stopped the van in the middle lane and started frantically yelling something as she exited the van. I couldn't really figure out what she said, but figured she must have a good reason for leaving. So I got out too as traffic stacked up behind us and sped by in the adjoining lanes.
The source of her agitation was apparently under the van, so as Maggie looked from the driver's side I looked from my side and was shocked to see a kitten that appeared to be trying to climb into the underside of the van. Maggie had somehow spotted this diminuitive stray in the road and managed to protect it with her quick thinking.
After an agonizing minute or so, she scooped up the kitten and handed her off to me once we were safely in the van. Atka, our ambassador Arctic gray wolf, was completely unfazed by the excitement and his new van-mate, but the kitten's heart was quite understandably racing. Aside from a few burns, she seemed unhurt, but we wanted to double-check. With the able assistance of Lois, another volunteer who was helping with the program, we located a veterinary clinic just a few miles away from our program. The staff graciously rushed the kitten in for an exam, eventually giving her a clean bill of health (and us a ridiculously small bill just for the medications we needed).
|A few minutes after being rescued|
Their generosity and efficiency was greatly appreciated (unfortunately we no longer have their name or we'd definitely mention it); we made the program with time to spare and a great story to share. We also had a name for our new traveling companion, dubbing the kitten Freeway thanks to the suggestions of Kelso, one of the WCC's long-time supporters, and Lois.
A week or so later, Freeway was adopted by a warmhearted friend of a WCC supporter. One hardy kitty, she has grown up to be a healthy, fun-loving, and affectionate cat, much to our delight. We may be the *Wolf* Conservation Center, but we're happy to go out of our way for other species too!
|Lois, Josh, Freeway, and Maggie|