As Karen Griffin Allen and her husband Dennis were driving their boat along Clouter Creek in South Carolina after a day on the water, Karen saw something fly off the Mark Clark Expressway bridge and hit the water like a brick.
The Allens investigated and found that the hapless projectile was a wee tabby kitten, now trying valiantly to swim against the merciless current to shore.
Karen grabbed a fishing net and scooped the kitten from the water.
“I didn’t think she was going to live,” she said.
She borrowed some cat litter from a neighbor and set up a makeshift pen for the kitten in her office. The kitten was christened “Splat the Cat.”
Splat was a hit as an office cat, receiving so much attention that she was barely allowed to rest.
“She’s getting lots of visitors,” Allen said.
Allen made some phone calls and sent out emails about Splat, hoping to find her a home.
Although she received more than enough offers to adopt the cat, she felt that Splat needed a medical evaluation and further care before moving to a new home. So she contacted the Feline Freedom Coalition, a 20-acre sanctuary in Ravenel that cares for abandoned, abused and feral cats.
Allen had initially contacted Charleston County Animal Control but decided against turning the kitten over to them after learning it was possible that Splat could face euthanization.
“She already made it this far,” Allen said. “Ought to make it all the way.”
Debbie Williams, a Feline Freedom Coalition volunteer, said the organization has the kitten in its care. She will be there for six weeks while she undergoes a barrage of tests to ensure that she’s in good health before she’s adopted out.
Splat also will go to “charm school” where she will learn to become more suitable for domestic life, although Allen says she has been exceptionally well-behaved.
The kitten was found to be slightly malnourished and tired from her harrowing swim, but appears to have suffered no physical injuries.
After her six weeks at the Feline Freedom Coalition, Splat probably will be placed at the PetSmart in West Ashley for adoption.