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'I didn't know if he was already gone': Woman saves cat found frozen to the ground in Muskegon

Elliot the Cat was found frozen to the ground in Muskegon Monday morning. While there's a long road to recovery, he's doing better every day.

MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. — In his darkest hours, Elliot the cat was found frozen to the street near Laketon Avenue and Wood Street in Muskegon Monday morning.

Kelli Vanderlaan found Elliot on her way to work, wiggled him loose and brought him into her truck.

"At that point, I just had to save him," said Vanderlaan. "At first I didn't know if he was already gone, but I still at least wanted to get him out of the road."

Vanderlaan later brought Elliot to Big Lake Community Animal Clinic in Muskegon. Although heartbroken to find him near death, she's glad that she was at the right place at the right time.

"You could tell that he was obviously frozen, so he needed warmth and touch and everything, I think he was pretty happy when I got him into the truck," said Vanderlaan.

While he's still on a long road to recovery, Elliot is sleeping well at Big Lake Community Animal Clinic, part of the Muskegon Humane Society.

"We weren't sure what he's been through, he's definitely been out there for a while trying to take care of himself, just trying to survive, but it was at a critical point where he was ready to pass," said Executive Director of the Muskegon Humane Society Alexis Robertson.

When Elliot was brought in on Monday, Robertson says his eyes were sunk in and crusted shut, his organs were failing and he could hardly move.

Days later, Robertson said with extra help and love, Elliot has regained some strength, is more vocal and eating.

"It's the most heartfelt feeling in the world to see this cat come from basically nothing and being vocal and happy to be touched and fed, it's just an amazing thing to watch," said Clinic Manager Leah Wetmore.

Robertson adds if Elliot its able to fully pull through, he'll be looking for a new and loving home far from the streets.

"We have had a lot of people interested in giving him that final resting place and forever home," she said.

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