Maybe it was the isolation, the silence. Maybe it was the cold. Maybe he was afraid of not being found. Whatever it was, stuck in a culvert for twelve long days and cold nights was bound to have an effect.
It’s been just a year since Otto, a free-spirited feline who makes his home with Paul and Helen Huber when he isn’t setting out for an adventurous walkabout, was literally flushed out of his cramped confinement. And, in an update provided by his owners, the cat has changed.
“As a quick recap, Otto had been missing in freezing temperatures, only to be discovered by chance stuck in a 70 foot-long/30-degree culvert pipe for 12 days and nights. Paul Huber just happened to be cleaning out the drainage ditch at the bottom of Helen and Paul’s property and heard a very soft meow. The quick-thinking Michel Vis from Orcas Fire & Rescue showed up, and with help from Helen, managed to clear out some major debris at the bottom of the drain pipe. He also suggested forcefully pouring warm soapy water down the pipe. Two buckets later, Otto came squishing out, almost like a second birthing. Weak from his ordeal in the culvert pipe, he could not walk and had taken on an infection. He recovered in about a week’s time.
Now a year later, Otto has put on more than adequate weight, tipping the scale at twenty pounds. But the most remarkable side effect from his time in solitary was his change in demeanor. He went into the culvert as a surly and somewhat aggressive feline. Twelve days later, Otto came out as a sweet, loving and affectionate cat. And officially down to eight lives.”