Tabby cat survives 79 days trapped in deserted Lac-Megantic home

79 days after the Lac-Megantic railway disaster, a cat was found in a deserted home. (Handout photo)A remarkable survival story has come out of Lac-Megantic — weeks after the train derailment destroyed much of the town's core.

On September 22, 79 days after the Lac-Megantic railway disaster, a cat was found in one of the town's many deserted homes.

A worker named Mario spotted the male tabby cat's silhouette in the window of the house.

Francoise Belle-Isle, of a local animal refuge, lured the cat out of the house with a cage trap.

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According to Save Wicca, "Francoise is the local animal control/shelter person for Lac Megantic. She worked 14hrs a day following the derailment helping displaced families with pets and those looking for their missing pets."

The cat had been holed up without food, water or companionship for more than seven weeks — media reports haven't determined how the cat survived for so long, other than assuming he "used up all nine of his lives" — and was suffering from such extreme dehydration that the veterinarian considered putting him down.

But the cat, now called Mario after the man who first spotted him, defied expectations. In the days since his rescue, he has shown remarkable improvement thanks to a protein-rich diet supplemented with iron-enhanced baby cereal.

"(The vet)...expressed surprise at the good results, given his long time in seclusion," Belle-Isle told QMI Agency.

"The cat has more energy. He gets along well with cats and dogs in the house."

The cat should be "back to normal" in a few weeks. A Lac-Megantic woman has offered to adopt Mario once he's fully recovered.