What was that thing bobbing in the water fully three miles into the Gulf of Mexico? That's what Maggie Rogers wanted to know when she was on a scalloping trip with friends. She thought it was probably a turtle. Or maybe just a piece of sea kelp. But curiosity got the better of her, and the boat headed toward it.

Maggie got the surprise of her life: It was a kitten. A tiny, shivering, screeching apricot-coloured kitten who was paddling for its very life, reports The Associated Press.

Maggie Roberts holds Nemo after Nemo was rescued from Homosassa Bay, 45 miles northwest of Tampa, Florida., on Saturday, July 3, 2004. Roberts was out with her husband when they spotted nine-inch Nemo paddling furiously and screaming at the top of his lungs. Nemo was adopted by Rogers' sister-in-law. (AP Photo/Clearwater Marine Aquarium)

If you know anything about cats, you know that water and cats don't mix. They hate water. Just nine inches long, this little kitty was battling not only the waves to stay alive, but also its own innate fear of water. "We scooped him up, and he sat on the boat with me for eight hours," Rogers told AP. When she's not rescuing kitty-cats from the ocean, she works as the finance director at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. "He was exhausted and stressed," she added. "His heart rate was high."

No one knows how the kitten got into the Gulf of Mexico, but there were at least 40 boats in the area where he was found. A quick check-up by a veterinarian pronounced the 10-week-old, 1-pound kitten relatively healthy; other than worms, he was okay. He was adopted by Rogers' sister-in-law and appropriately named Nemo.

 

Thanks to Mike Kolonel, Canada, for this news item.
 

 

 

A Cats Prayer

Lead me down all the right paths,
Keep me from fleas, bees, and baths.
Let me in should it storm,
Keep me safe, fed, and warm.

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