Update: Hundreds of adoption applications poured in for Ralphie, and after he recovered, the kitten was adopted by a local couple.
A kitten found with his front paws frozen to a metal fence is now recovering, thanks to the help of a good Samaritan.
A Dorchester, Massachusetts, man heard the tiny cat's cries on March 7 and used warm water to free the kitten's paws before rushing him to MSPCA Angell Animal Medical Center.
There, the veterinary team warmed the feline with blankets and hot water bottles and administered pain medication to his blistered paws, which you can see in the photo at right.
"This little guy was extremely lucky to have a kind stranger step in and help because his situation rendered him defenseless against the cold and predators," veterinarian Dr. Meagan Rock said. "And by the time he got to us, he was hypothermic and his legs were swollen."
Rock named the 6-week-old kitten Ralphie after a character in the classic movie "A Christmas Story," in which a character by another name gets his tongue stuck to a pole.
Ralphie spent the night in the hospital and is continuing to recover at home with Rock, who says she expects the kitten to make a full recovery.
And as you can see in the photo to the right, Ralphie is making himself right at home and has even made an interspecies friend.
Once he's healed, Ralphie will be immunized, neutered and microchipped before being put up for adoption in about a week.
Anyone interested in adopting Ralphie can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Cold temperatures can be deadly for strays, and many of those who are rescued must undergo surgery to have frostbitten paws, ears or tails partially removed.
In 2013, a dog named Nakio made national headlines when he became the first canine to receive four prosthetic artificial limbs after he was found frozen in puddle.
Related on MNN:
- What to do if you find a stray kitten
- How to protect your pets in cold weather
- How to care for feral cats during the winter
Photos: Dr. Meagan Rock