Man Had to Think Fast to Save Kittens Stranded in Ice

16 min

When Canadian oil patcher worker Kendall Diwisch was making his rounds one January day, he noticed something odd in the middle of the open, snowy road. At first, he just thought it was a small pile of garbage, but when he realized it was an animal stranded in the ice, he knew he had to act fast.

Without hesitation, he ran to its help, only to realize that the problem was much bigger that he first thought. With the ice-cold temperatures and no tools, Diwisch had to turn to unconventional methods. Will they work?

Screenshot via Kendall Diwisch / Facebook

Driving Around Drayton Valley

It was just your typical cold, wintery January day when local oil patch worker, Kendall Diwisch, headed out for work that Wednesday. As he was making his rounds around the Drayton Valley area, he never would’ve expected his normal day on the job to turn into one of the most important ones of his life.

But while driving around the oil wells in the deserted tundra of Edmonton, he noticed something in the snowy distance that, normally, he wouldn’t think twice about.Driving Around Drayton Valley

Illustration. Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter / Pixabay

Canada’s Cold Winters

Kendall was a dedicated work and a family man who was local to the Drayton Valley area. And for anybody who’s spent some time in Canada during the winter, then you know just how cold it can be! Thankfully Kendall had his car to make his rounds at the different oil wells in the area.

Just as you would imagine, the area is located in the idle of snowy woodsy nowhere land. However, right there, in the middle of the winter wonderland, Kendall spotted something a bit unusual up ahead.Canada’s Cold Winters

Screenshot via Kendall Diwisch / Facebook

A Pile of Litter

While checking in on the oil wells, Kendall saw something a bit peculiar up ahead on one of the roads. At a first glance, it looked like there was just a pile of trash dumped on the floor.

While it’s never pleasant to see a pile of litter on the ground, it didn’t seem like that big of a deal. But Kendall couldn’t shake off the feeling that maybe it was something else located down the road.

It seemed like no harm to take a closer look.A Pile of Litter

Screenshot via Kendall Diwisch / Facebook

Frozen Garbage on the Ground

Located around a dead-end road, the area was pretty much fresh with snow powder all around. So how would a random pile of trash end up right there in the middle of nowhere?

But in any case, Diwisch thought he could at least help the community out by cleaning it up. If the area wasn’t typically accessible to many people, then there’s no use leaving frozen garbage on the ground to be hidden away under the snow for months and months. Right?

Little did he know, that he was about to stumble upon a pile of litter, just not in the way he thought.Frozen Garbage on the Ground

Screenshot via Kendall Diwisch / Facebook

A Different Kind of Litter

As Kendall got closer and closer to the pile, he started to think that maybe this wasn’t a pile of litter, after all.

It was when he parked his car and got out of the vehicle that he suddenly realized what was going on. He never would’ve suspected that this dirty, gray pile of garbage would end up being litter—a litter of kittens, that is!

That’s right, apparently this little bundle of kittens was just huddled up together in the middle of the street. But why, though? What was going on?A Different Kind of Litter

Screenshot via Kendall Diwisch / Facebook

What Was Going On?

Can you imagine what Kendall must’ve been thinking? He went from seeing a harmless pile of garbage on the ground, to not one, not two, but three little kitties cuddled up together. But the closer that Kendall got to the pile of kitties, the more and more nervous he got.

What were these baby animals doing in the middle of this winter wonderland on a day like this with temperatures below freezing? Surely, something must’ve been going on.What Was Going On?

Screenshot via Kendall Diwisch / Facebook

Shivering Kitties

As Kendal approached the cats, he was absolutely shocked by what he was seeing. “They were shivering a bit,” Kendall revealed to CTV News.

And it looked like the kittens weren’t just huddled up together for warmth, but they actually were stuck in the snow. The closer he got, the more he could hear their sad little meow cries for help. How heart-breaking!

A range of emotions ran through Kendall, but he had to put them all aside in order to focus on what to do next.Shivering Kitties

Screenshot via Kendall Diwisch / Facebook

Sweet & Sad Meows

There’s no doubt that a million questions raced through Kendall’s mind as he approached the pile of frozen kittens. How did this even happen? How were the kitties still alive? What was Kendall meant to do?

He whipped out his phone and started filming the poor little kittens. Their sweet meows broke his heart. He knew he needed to help them, and began by trying to free them with his own bare hands.

And even though ice might not seem to be all that strong, it’s not always so easy to break through it.Sweet & Sad Meows

Screenshot via Kendall Diwisch / Facebook

One Down, Two to Go

The cats were all somehow frozen together under the ice by their tails. Kendall began by trying to break away at the ice and release them with his own bare hands. There was one kitten that didn’t seem to be as stuck as deep as the others, and it quickly broke free as soon as Kendall pulled its little, fuzzy tail out of the ice.

However, the other two were still quite stuck, and didn’t seem like they were going anywhere soon.

So what was Kendall going to do next?One Down, Two to Go

Screenshot via Kendall Diwisch / Facebook

What to Do with No Tools?

What would you do in Kendall’s situation? The poor worker’s heart had broken just by seeing these cute kittens stuck in the ice. And as he heard their sweet, innocent cries for help, he absolutely lost it! He wasn’t sure what these little kittens were doing all the way out here, but he wasn’t going to abandon them here in the open cold.

Unfortunately, Kendall didn’t have any supplies to help out with breaking the ice, which meant that he needed to get creative with his rescue mission.What to Do with No Tools?

Screenshot via Kendall Diwisch / Facebook

Freezing Cold

The province of Alberta, Canada has a reputation for being one of the coldest areas around. But to put things into perspective, temperatures can reach way below freezing, averaging out to the minus teens or 20s on a typical January day.

The highs for that day ranged right around six degrees Fahrenheit, while the day before was a whopping one degree! And since it always gets colder as the sun goes down, during these last couple of nights, it got as cold as -16 degrees Fahrenheit. Yikes!

Kendall wasn’t sure how long these kittens were actually trapped, but he was certain that he needed to act quickly.Freezing Cold

Illustration. Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter / Pixabay

Break the Ice

Based on the fact that their tails were frozen down below the ice was a good indicator that the sweet, innocent felines had been stuck there overnight. The temperatures were absolutely freezing at this time, and he didn’t want these poor baby balls of love to have to suffer even another second of this cold, harsh winter weather.

Kendall knew that he had to get resourceful with this rescue mission, so he immediately ran to his car and grabbed the one thing that he knew for certain would break through the ice without hurting the kittens.Break the Ice

Screenshot via Kendall Diwisch / Facebook

Racing to the Car

Kendall was so quick to act on everything, that when he left his car to scope out the scene, he didn’t even get a chance to turn it off or close the door.

This was fortunate as the fact the door was open saved him the extra few moments he needed to save these kittens—when it comes to potential for hypothermia, every second counts.

As he ran back to this car, he quickly searched the warmest thing that he could find in his car that would help melt the ice.Racing to the Car

Screenshot via Kendall Diwisch / Facebook

Calm & Confident

Without hesitation, Kendall grabbed what he needed from his vehicle and calmly made his way back to the kittens. After all, he didn’t want to scare them even more than they already were. They were still crying their little hearts out with their tiny meows, and struggling to make it out of the ice.

But Kendall wasn’t just calm about everything, he was totally confident. He was hopeful that his resourceful and creative thinking was going to help get the kitties out.Calm & Confident

Screenshot via Kendall Diwisch / Facebook

The Knight’s Weapon of Choice

So, what exactly was it that Kendall grabbed from his car? The knight in windchill-proof armor decided to bring out his big mug of coffee to battle out the war against the ice!

Kendall gently poured the lukewarm coffee above the ice that trapped the kitties’ tails together, carefully making sure that it was melting the ice in the safest way possible. But it was what happened next that truly melted Kendall’s heart, in a way that he never saw coming.The Knight’s Weapon of Choice

Screenshot via Kendall Diwisch / Facebook

Melting Ice and Hearts

Kendall poured his delicious hot cup ‘o Joe on the ice, and waited for the heat from his beverage to melt the ice. But as the ice was melting, the little kitties weren’t trying to escape the area.

At first, the poor shivering kitties sniffed around this pool of mocha liquid that surrounded them—which didn’t seem to be that unusual since cats are known to be curious. But then the little dehydrated and hungry kittens started to lick it. How hilariously heart-melting and precious!Melting Ice and Hearts

Screenshot via Kendall Diwisch / Facebook

Part One Accomplished

As the little kitties started to excitingly drink the fresh, warm coffee, Kendall saw this as his opportunity to set them free. He grabbed their tails and started to tug a little to help set them free from the frozen ice, before the coffee got too cold and froze over itself.

His plan was a success and the freezing, fuzzy felines were finally set free! Kendall quickly scooped them up so they couldn’t run away, and take them straight into his car to warm them up. But this was still just the beginning of the rescue mission.Part One Accomplished

Screenshot via Kendall Diwisch / Facebook

Time for Part Two

Part one of the rescue mission was over, but these kitties still needed a little bit more saving. Kendall was able to set them free, but now it was time for part two of the mission—tending to their health.

He took the three little kittens back home to his family, and made sure to give them food and water.

As cute as these kittens were, Kendall knew that he wasn’t going to be able to take care of them forever. So, he came up with another way to help the kittens out.Time for Part Two

Image via Kendall Diwisch / Facebook

“These Three Fellows”

The loving father and dedicated worker decided to turn to social media for a little bit of help.

“So today I found these three fellows on one of the back roads near one of my wells. Most likely dropped off. Poor things were frozen into the ice so they had to have been there all night … If any friends are looking to have a new addition in their family, let us know as they will need homes. All three look to be males, and we also gave them dewormer,” Kendall wrote on his Facebook page.

The reactions that Kendall got left him absolutely speechless.“These Three Fellows”

Screenshot via Kendall Diwisch / Facebook

Going Viral Overnight

Before Kendall knew it, his Facebook post had gone absolutely viral over night! Many people of the community immediately reached out, including one of the local Drayton Valley animal shelters. They happily offered to help out and treat the kitties if they have any intense health concerns or frost bite from the incident. How sweet!

The kitties proved to be quite resilient and healed up in no time overnight. “Good thing it wasn’t last week when it was -30C, otherwise it would be a different outcome,” Kendall further revealed to CTV News.Going Viral Overnight

Screenshot via Kendall Diwisch / Facebook

Time for Part Three

Part one of the mission was to rescue the kitties from the ice, while Part Two was making sure that they were nursed back to a stable state. And now that both of those were taken care of, it was time for Part Three of the mission: finding these felines a forever home.

And while many people are quick to adopt a cute kitty, Kendall didn’t want to separate these little fellas—especially after such a traumatic incident. So, would he be able to find someone who would take all three felines at once?Time for Part Three

Image via Cause for Critters / Facebook

“They’re Pretty Good Cats”

Not only were they stranded and stuck in the ice overnight, but they were clearly abandoned, too, and separating them seemed like the last thing that should happen.

Kendall happily admitted to CTV News that “they’re pretty playful, they’re pretty good cats, they’re already using the litter box.” Especially since his story went viral overnight, he wasn’t going to give up on this trio of fuzzy felines, and would make sure he’d find them the perfect forever home.

And with the help of Cause for Critters, pretty soon Kendall would find out that the story of these kitties touched one particular family more than others.“They’re Pretty Good Cats”

Image via Kendall Diwisch / Facebook

24 Hours Later

As we mentioned before, Kendall posted his story on Facebook. And along with the story, he added a video recording that he personally documented during the rescue.

There was one family looking to add some cuddly cats into their lives. And Thanks to the wonders of social media, they learned about the cite little kittens and were more than happy to welcome all three of the kittens into their home. Without hesitation, they reached out to Kendall within a day.

You can imagine just how overjoyed Kendall must’ve been to have found them a family home in less than 24 hours!24 Hours Later

Image via Cause for Critters / Facebook

48 Hours Later

These sweet little felines might’ve started out with some rough luck by getting abandoned and stranded in the ice overnight in the middle of nowhere, but it’s safe to say that they’re luck completely changed as soon as Kendall spotted them. It just goes to show how much can happen within just 24 hours, let alone 48!

Thanks to his ingenious and resourceful creative rescue plan and his immediate post on social media, these cats are set for a better life filled with warmth and love.

But the humble and modest Kendall made sure to spread his appreciation right back to the community.48 Hours Later

Screenshot via Cause for Critters / Facebook

Boomeranging Inspiration

Kendall’s story didn’t just go viral because of how sweet and sad his story was, but because people were so touched and inspired by this heroic act. But the fact that people immediately stepped up and reached out to help in any way that they could inspired Kendall right back.

Kendall joyously added to his original Facebook post, “All three little rascals went to their new home today where they get to be together instead of separating them. All three are eating and drinking and very energetic. Thanks for everyone’s consideration and offering to take them very appreciated.”Boomeranging Inspiration

Screenshot via Kendall Diwisch / Facebook

Be Safe and Smart with Wild Life

Thankfully, Kendall was able to think quickly on his feet and save these sweet little stray animals. Whether it’s a stray domesticated animal, like a cat or dog, or a more exotic wild animal like a fox or deer, it’s important to make sure that you’re approaching them with safety and precaution.

Domesticated or not, it’s always tricky to tell how an animal will react, especially if they’re in a distressed state. If you’re not a trained professional, then you can always contact the local animal shelter in the area for help if you see an animal in distress.Be Safe and Smart with Wild Life

Image by Victoria Yanchevskaya / Pixabay

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