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'Milk' the cat is lucky to be at Dakin

Date: 2/14/2011

Feb. 14, 2011

By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

SPRINGFIELD — "Milk" is one lucky cat.

The stray cat was recently brought to Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society in Springfield with life-threatening injuries brought about by "Milk's" taking refuge from the cold in the engine of a warm vehicle.

Candy Lash, the director of community and media relations at Dakin, explained to Reminder Publications the shelter doesn't see these kinds of injuries very often because the cats and other small animals that curl up in the engine well rarely survive.

"Milk" was emaciated from hunger, her tail was partially cut off, her ears were cut and she was dirty with an oily substance on her paws.

She was so cold her body temperature was 9 degrees lower than the average body temperature for cats, Lash added.

Lash said the medical staff at the shelter didn't know if the cat could recover from its injuries.

Her tail was amputated to a length of 4 inches and "Milk," who was very frightened when she arrived, is now "very affectionate" after more than 10 days at the shelter.

Lash said the foster care provided by the adoption center manager helped socialize "Milk."

The cat will probably be ready for adoption this week.

For the rest of the winter, Lash recommended that motorists knock on the hood of their cars and trucks before starting them to make sure no animals are hiding there.

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