Thursday, May 30, 2013
Carrollton Boy Scout saves elderly cat trapped in Moore, Oklahoma rubble
It's a case of lucky 13s and a feline with at least two lives.
In tornado-ravaged Moore, Okla., Justin Hulme Rangel of Carrollton was simply wanting to help family friends and earn more service hours to upgrade his Boy Scout rank.
Instead, the 13-year-old was credited with making a discovery that has generated considerable social-media buzz in the past few days.
On Sunday, he found Egor, a 13-year-old cat that had been missing for six days and was presumed lost in the rubble of Geoff and Jo Humann’s home.
While searching through the remains, Justin happened upon a litter box wedged beneath a table.
“I thought maybe she was scared and went to her kitty litter box, so I decided to pull it out,” Justin said.
At first, Justin’s mother, Summer Hulme, said her son warned others not to look, for fear that the cat might be dead.
“I figured after six days, he was gone,” Justin said. “But he started to move and we dug him out.”
In a Facebook post, Jo Humann expressed her appreciation, saying her “family is complete.”
Egor was taken to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Food and Forestry’s pet triage center before ending up at the Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Health Sciences Teaching Hospital in Stillwater.
Dr. Danielle Dugat, the Teaching Hospital veterinarian who has cared for Egor since he showed up at the triage, said the cat should be released Thursday.
She said moisture from rain in the Moore area was the key to Egor’s survival.
“Honestly, he looked good despite the fact he was dehydrated,” Dugat said Wednesday. “He was still looking around and was very bright but very weak.”
Dugat said two other cats were found Sunday and two dogs were uncovered Monday.
“We love these happy stories,” she said.
Hulme and Justin arrived in Moore on Sunday to help out their family friends. “When we got to the road to where it was really bad and it was all flattened, it was shocking,” he said.
The service hours should help move Justin from Star rank to Life, the level just below Eagle.
His efforts were noticed by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forest, which posted news of the discovery on its Facebook page. By midweek, the post had drawn more than 1,040 likes and 60 comments and had been shared 376 times.
“At first, [Justin] … didn’t want to go,” Hulme said. “But once we got there, and had those long pants and gloves on, he got in Boy Scout mode and was ready to go.”
Tommy Cummings, assistant managing editor/digital, can be reached at 214-977-8042.
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