Press-Republican

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September 22, 2013

The stories of curious companions

North Country is home to a variety of intriguing pets

PLATTSBURGH — While many domestic cats are less than enthusiastic about being submerged in water, Connie Marsh’s feline companion, Weasley, doesn’t share their sentiments.

And it’s a good thing too because not long after adopting him from Plattsburgh’s Eagle’s Nest Veterinary Hospital, where Weasley was brought after being rescued by police, Marsh heard a loud crash inside her Cumberland Head home.

Though she’s not certain what caused the noise, it became clear when Weasley began walking funny that he was somehow involved in the incident.

“I did notice his back leg,” Marsh said. “It went askew.”

She and her furry companion returned to the Veterinary Hospital, where Weasley underwent invasive surgery to correct what turned out to be a broken kneecap.

UNDERWATER TREADMILL

Following the operation, Marsh learned of an interesting way in which her cat might rehabilitate his injured limb — Eagle’s Nest’s Ferno-Aqua Paws treadmill, the only underwater treadmill of its kind in the area.

The hospital, however, had only attempted to treat one other cat with the apparatus, which consists of a treadmill enclosed in a glass, water-filled tank that, according to Marsh, “looks like an oversized aquarium.”

And that cat, said Caitlin McNulty, an assistant at Eagle’s Nest, did not take well to the water.

Still, Marsh had a feeling that her inquisitive and joyful Weasley would be different.

“He’s the type of cat that when you’re loading the laundry into the washing machine, you had to hold him back or he would have jumped in,” Marsh said.

So with McNulty’s encouragement and supervision, Weasley braved the tank, submerging all four legs in water.

“It was amazing to me to watch,” Marsh said. “The cat is, like, prancing in the water, and the treadmill is going, and you know it’s helping.”

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