2012-09-20 / Local & State

Cat Leaps From Burning House

By SCOTT HAMMERS

BEND BULLETIN

BEND, Ore. (AP)– Kasper the cat is lucky to be alive.

Days after a fire tore through the home where Kasper lived with Beau and Diann Hollowell and their 5- year-old son, Tristan, the cat is recovering at the Animal Emergency Center.

He’s undergoing treatment for burns over about 30 percent of his body. The flames burned off nearly all of his hair, and badly blistered the soft tissue on both his paws and ears. Tubes jut from his body – one threaded through a hole sliced in his throat supplies him with food, another provides a morphine drip.

Kasper had been seen hopping out a window – lo cated such that he would have had to pass through one of the hotter parts of the fire – and was found cowering behind a refrigerator in their undamaged carport.

Diann coaxed him out of his hiding place and took him straight to the Animal Emergency Center for treatment.

Last Thursday, the Hollowells visited their cat for the first time since the fire.

“You’re a tough guy, yes you are, you’re a tough guy,’’ Diann cooed, gently scratching Kasper behind the ears.

Kasper likely will spend at least another week at the center. The bandages on all four of his legs need to be changed daily, he’ll need to stay under sedation, and he will require regular blood tests to monitor his progress.

Beau said he and his wife got Kasper as a kitten as a gift for Tristan, and getting him back on his feet should be a big boost for their son’s spirits as the family figures out what to do next.

Beau said he could see a little bit of Kasper’s personality peeking through Thursday at the Animal Emergency Center. Before the fire, they’d come to think of him as “a dog trapped in a cat’s body,’’ Beau said.'

“He’s more of a dog than he is a cat, all in all,'' he said. “He’s more prone to being a dog – he’ll come to a whistle, he’ll fetch stuff, you can throw something and he’ll bring it back to you. It’s kind of cool.”

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