Over five million civilians were evacuated in preparation for Hurricane Irma’s path. Predictions for this storm had many people terrified, while some believed it would be the end of the entire Florida state. Shelves were left empty at grocery stores, many feared their mobile homes would be lost. Others who sought for safety by checking into a nearby shelter. Many had the chance to bring their beloved pets to safety, but sadly, not all did.
Despite luckily dropping from a category 4 to 2, and eventually a 1, the storm had strong 100mph winds causing major destruction and flooding throughout the state and the Gulf Coast. Following the disaster, Revolver interviewed Florida-based bands about their recent experience and one of them was Obituary drummer Donald Tardy. His experience involved fighting through the storm while saving an innocent life of an adorable kitten.
“Things never go as planned. The night before the Irma was to hit, we noticed that a house in our neighborhood had a kitten outside. We offered to help trap it for the people who owned the house, but they were not willing. Since they didn’t care about this poor, little eight-week-old baby, I spent two hours with my traps set, waiting for it to come out from under their fence. By 2 A.M., I had to call it off and get home to finish preparing my place for the storm, but laying in bed that night, I knew I had to do something for this little kitten.
So, right as Hurricane Irma was on top of Florida, and just a few minutes before the brunt of the storm was set to be more or less on top of me, I went back in the pouring rain with my net and trap. I snuck up the the front bushes where I thought the kitten would be hiding. I saw it immediately, but it saw me as well, and ran from me. That was when I realized that there was something wrong with the kitten. Its back end was not working right: It had a bad limp, and its back legs didn’t seem to be working properly. I knew right then that this was a serious issue, a much bigger situation I was putting myself in, but I was not going to leave it behind — so I got deeper into the bushes until the kitten was scared enough that it tried to run from me. It came out of the thick bush; because it was either injured or sick, it was not fast enough to get under the fence, giving me my opportunity. I dove onto the driveway, netted the kitten, took it by the scruff of its neck and got it into my carrier.
At this point, the rain and wind were picking up. The trees were beginning to blow sideways. I had to make that decision to go straight home with the kitten, and I put it in a cage ’til the storm passed. I still didn’t know if it was sick or injured — and if so, to what extent.”
The drummer continued to discuss the kitten’s health condition and the steps he made bringing it to the vet. Later he admitted he wouldn’t leave the small baby behind, regardless of Irma’s strength.
“It probably wasn’t my smartest or safest decision I’ve ever made, being outside during a hurricane, but I wasn’t going to ignore the situation, or leave that baby behind.”
You can read the full piece here.