EMT rescues freezing feline from city dumpster



robin kuniski/for metro calgary


Steve Barahona, an EMS worker who recently saved a cat from a garbage bin, holds some kittens at the animal shelter.

The cat that Steve Barahona rescued is being quarantined for two days.

Steve Barahona is in the business of saving lives — but he didn’t expect he would end up saving the life of a kitten.

The Calgary EMT was about to start his shift on Nov. 30 at the Horton Road #14 Station when he heard a faint meowing from the garbage bin area.

Barahona thought it was strange to hear the cat with the temperatures well below zero — no owner would leave a cat out in these temps, he said — but he quickly found a tiny and frightened kitten buried in the trash.

With his partner shining a flashlight into the deep bin, the 25-year-old, five-year EMS vet tumbled into the mess to retrieve the young cat.

“I told everybody else what I had just done and everybody (in the station) was kind of coming together to warm up the kitten — even the firefighters brought the cat milk,” said Barahona.

The crew feared the tiny furball was in further distress, so they transported it to the Inglewood Animal Care Centre where the cat was treated for mild hypothermia and dehydration before being transferred to the Calgary Humane Society.

Having already struck a survival bond inside the dumpster with the frigid feline, Barahona, who already shacks up with three rescued cats, knew this kitten would also need a home — so he decided to adopt it.

“I definitely have a soft spot for animals, especially when they have been mistreated,” said Barahona, alluding to the fact he believes the animal was just dumped in the garbage bin to die.

The kitten is being quarantined for two days before Barahona can take it home, but adoption papers were signed yesterday at the Humane Society building.