CANADA – An Edmonton train conductor who came to the rescue of a tabby cat who survived an incredible journey from Saskatchewan to Alberta through the snow and frigid cold, will soon be rewarded for his efforts.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has decided to honor Brad Slater with a Compassionate Action Award for his lifesaving actions.
“Brad Slater did everything that he could to save this animal’s life,” Lisa Lange, who is PETA’s senior vice president, stated. “PETA hopes his compassion will remind others that every life is precious and inspire them to act to help any animal in need.”
Slater explained that he was honored when he woke up to the news from PETA Tuesday morning.
“Pretty honored. Pretty warm inside. I didn’t save the cat to receive or get an award or anything. I just did it because it was the right thing to do,” he stated.
“If anything can come of this maybe people will read this story, they hear this story and maybe next time someone walks by a dog outside in the winter or even an animal in a warm car in the summertime, people will take action and help these animals out because they can’t talk.”
Just last Sunday, Slater was checking the engines on a train in Wainwright, Alta. It was then that he heard something unusual coming from underneath one of the train cars.
“I got to the second engine and I heard the saddest cat cry. And I’m looking around and I’m like, ‘What?’ I’m shining my light and I see these eyes… There’s a cat,” he noted.
Slater ended up bringing the cat to his home. He went ahead and bathed and fed the feline, which he named Q199 after the train he rode in on. Slater also took Q to see a vet for a checkup the following morning.
“His heart is good, his lungs are good,” Slater explained in an interview with Global News last week. “For him to survive what he went through, he’s got to have one hell of a good heart.
“Sixty miles an hour at minus 39 is probably minus 55 to 60 and he went all the way from – for sure Saskatoon to Wainwright and… if I didn’t find him, he wouldn’t have made it to Irma, which was the next stop.”
A few days later the cat’s owner, whose name is Lynn Hahn from Melville, Sask., arrived in Edmonton and was reunited with her pet. Hanh explained that the cat, whose real name is Tiger, had been missing since Nov. 25.
“I even said to the husband the day before I got a hold of Brad, ‘I better put the cat bed away because it doesn’t seem like the cat is coming back,’” she went on to say.
Hahn, who is a former CN employee herself, said she found Tiger while working at the train station in Melville back in 2013. She took her cat home Saturday, on a similar journey that he took to Edmonton.
“I come on the VIA to pick him up and he’s going to go back home on the train again,” she stated.
Slater explained that he had mixed emotions about the reunion because he had become quite attached to his “train cat.” He went on to say that it’s been a tough few days without Q but he’s already planning a trip to Melville next summer to visit.
“We’re going to keep in contact. She’s going to send me pictures and videos. Uncle Brad is going to be around forever.”
PETA will soon send Slater a framed certificate and a box of vegan cookies and treats for his other three cats.
While he has no plans right now to add any new pets o his fur family, “I’m never saying never,” Slater concluded.