Kayaker Saves Cat from Drowning in Boston's Charles River

07/14/2010 at 07:45 AM EDT

Kayaker Saves Cat from Drowning in Boston's Charles River
Brian Adams/MSPCA-Angell.
Call it the will to survive: One cat is on the road to recovery today after she was left for dead in a pet carrier that was apparently put into Boston's Charles River last week. Nicknamed Grandma Moses by staffers at the MSPCA-Angell, where she's recuperating, her potentially tragic story became a small miracle, thanks to one very good Samaritan.

While kayaking in the Charles with his family last Thursday, a man noticed something bobbing in the water, caught on a branch. "He wasn't sure what the object was, because there was very little of it above water," explains MSPCA-Angell spokesman Brian Adams. "When he lifted it, he discovered it was a pet carrier – with a full-grown cat inside."

The man and his family, who've declined to be identified, took Grandma Moses to MSPCA-Angell, where veterinarians immediately got to work. "She's a rather large girl," Adams says. "So we think she'd been in the water for quite some time, because her body temperature was fairly low."

Staffers warmed the cat, then treated her bloodied paws, which she presumably injured while trying to escape her sinking crate. X-rays showed she'd swallowed large amounts of air, too, while gasping for breath. Now, "she looks great," Adams says. "She's in her own area, resting up, though she's shown interest in visiting with other cats."

As Grandma Moses, estimated to be about 12 years old, recovers, staffers are now trying to figure out who left the cat near or in the river, and why. "Animal abandonment in Massachusetts is considered animal cruelty, a felony," Adams shares. "It can be punishable by a $2,500 fine and up to five years in prison."

But for now, the blissful kitty is exploring her surroundings – and waiting for a loving home. "We're waiting to make sure she's healthy, and want to see what the investigation turns up," Adams explains. "But we've already had several people contact us, expressing interest in adopting her."

Read more about daring animal rescues on PEOPLEPets.com:
Caring Pug Helps Rescue Her Drowning Feline Pal
Homeless Man Rescues Dog Dumped in 6-Foot Oil Pit

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