A normal day in any family household
Stefani Carroll-Kirchoff went to get the clothes out of her washing machine after running a 35-minute express wash cycle. She noticed that the clothes were unusually wet. So she thought it would need to be put on for another spin. But as she was closing the door she heard a faint meow and noticed a tiny paw reaching out.
Realising that her youngest cat was in the washing machine, Stefani acted quickly – screaming for help from the rest of the family.
Traumatised by the situation, the family frantically raced the 1-year-old cat to the Animal Emergency department. He was soaking wet, barely breathing, confused and unable to see.
“I probably broke every speeding record in the city to get there” said Stefani’s father Heinz.
Emergency vet to the rescue
Felix was in critical condition with bruises all over his body, fluid on his lungs and hypothermia. On arrival at the emergency veterinary surgery, his heart rate and blood pressure dropped dangerously low.
The family were distraught. Feeling absolutely heartbroken and upset by the horrific accident and desperately wanting their adored cat to survive. But unfortunately, thousands of dollars of vet bills were stacking up so quickly that they were unsure if they could afford the veterinary supervision needed for his recovery.
A quick thinking daughter
So their daughter Asha set up a Go Fund Me page to appeal for help in saving their furbaby. She also started selling family items on Facebook Marketplace to raise money.
Support from hundreds of people
It’s not every day that you hear about a cat in a washing machine – which is why the appeal went viral. Through the generosity of hundreds of people, the family have raised over US$12,000 for Felix’s vet bills. It looks as though Felix the miracle cat will survive. And the family have committed to donating any leftover funds to a charity. Supporting others who also have emergency vet bills.
A word of warning
Felix is being featured in the news all around the world. Whilst his mum Stefani is horribly embarrassed by the story, she recognises that it could happen to anyone. So let this be a word of warning for all other cat parents out there. Double check your washing before putting the machine on!
For other tips on how to pet-proof your house, see our Puppy Guide and our Kitten Guide.
Have you had a close call with your kitty and your washing? Share your story with us.