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 be rewarded for his efforts.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is honouring 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, PETA’s senior vice president, said. “PETA hopes his compassion will remind others that every life is precious and inspire them to act to help any animal in need.”
Slater said he was honoured when he woke up to the news from PETA Tuesday morning.
“Pretty honoured. 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 said.
“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.”
Last Sunday, Slater was checking the engines on a train in Wainwright, Alta. when 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 said.
READ MORE: Edmonton conductor finds cat nearly frozen to death under train
Slater ended up bringing the cat home. He bathed and fed the feline, which he named Q199 after the train he rode in on. Slater also took Q to the vet for a checkup the following morning.
“His heart is good, his lungs are good,” Slater said 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.”
Watch below: Brad Slater was at work in Wainwright, Alta. on Sunday. While checking the engines on his train, Slater heard something unusual coming from underneath one of the train cars. It was a cat, who he called Q.
A few days later the cat’s owner, Lynn Hahn from Melville, Sask., arrived in Edmonton and was reunited with her pet. Hanh said 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 said.
Hahn, 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 on Saturday, on a similar journey 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 said.
Slater said he had mixed emotions about the reunion, because he had become quite attached to his “train cat.” He said 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 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 to his fur family, “I’m never saying never,” Slater said.
Watch below: It was an emotional reunion for a number of reasons for the owner of a cat who was found huddled under a train engine near Edmonton. Julia Wong has the details.