PLATTSBURGH — Stacey Pulsifer isn’t sure where Pumpkin came from, but she certainly knows where the kitten has been.
After a long day of driving to Elizabethtown then to Peru and finally home to Plattsburgh — about 100 miles in all — Stacey Pulsifer stopped briefly at a McDonald’s drive-thru for a coffee. Strangely, she was sure she heard “meows” coming from her car.
“I couldn’t figure out where the cries were coming from,” she said.
She drove to her apartment on Elm Street, where she decided to inspect her Jeep for the kitty culprit, who continued to cry.
“I didn’t know what to do so I called my friends to come help,” Pulsifer said. “We literally ripped my car apart.”
Pulsifer, along with friendly reinforcements Jena Patterson and Jodie Ewert, combed over and even climbed under the Jeep, all while wearing fancy dresses from the wedding they had attended earlier that day.
What they eventually found was a frightened 6-week-old female kitten, wedged behind the Jeep’s bumper, unable to move.
“It was pitch black, and you couldn’t see anything. And she is all black, so it was extra hard to see her,” Pulsifer recalled.
A cat-lover, she said she was frantically crying, trying to figure out what to do next.
“We called the police, we called the emergency vet. Who do you call when something like this happens?” she wondered.
With some maneuvering, they finally cut the cat free.
Pulsifer estimates Pumpkin, whom she named after a friend, was lodged in the car for about 22 hours and traveled with her for some 100 miles, mostly on Interstate 87.
During the ordeal, the kitten’s paw got stuck, and her tiny face was lodged in a spot where it was merely inches from the ground.
“She broke her paw in three places,” Pulsifer said.
That front leg was completely useless as a result, but no one told Pumpkin about her new handicap.
The high-energy feline enjoys playfully pouncing on the toys people have been dropping off since Pulsifer decided to keep the kitten.
“She’s perfectly fine. But she will need to have her front leg amputated when she gets a little older,” she said. “But it really doesn’t slow her down any.”
Between vet bills, prescriptions, food and other expenses, Pulsifer has spent nearly $800 to help rehabilitate poor Pumpkin.
She said she could not have helped the kitten without the kindness of her landlords, friends and veterinarians.
“The Fregeaus (her landlords) are the best. They said they knew I would take good care of her and told me to take my rent and put it towards the vet bills,” Pulsifer smiled. “They are just so great.”
She also praised Pumpkin’s vet, Dr. Jacquelyn Bentley at Champlain Valley Veterinary Services, for her help.
“She is fantastic. She took a couple of frantic midnight phone calls from me and even saw (Pumpkin) on a Sunday,” she said.
Not everyone is thrilled about Pumpkin’s arrival.
Pulsifer’s other cat, Lucabella, quietly watches her feisty feline “sister” scamper around with a mix of annoyance and slight approval.
“She’s adapted,” Pulsifer said of Lucabella. “She’s not a friendly cat to begin with, but she is fine with it.”
Pumpkin will have to enjoy her new lease on life with her foot in a pink sling for a few more weeks, until she is old enough and strong enough for surgery.
“You can tell she’s definitely grateful to be alive,” Pulisfer said.
Email Miranda Orso: firstname.lastname@example.org