Rescuers in Minot thought they had saved a wild cat that fell into a heated fish pond and then froze to a rock, but it had to be put down.

Rescuers in Minot thought they had saved a wild cat that fell into a heated fish pond and then froze to a rock, but it had to be put down.

Minot Daily News outdoor writer Kim Fundingsland told the newspaper that he found the animal in his yard early Monday morning and initially thought it was a chunk of ice because the black cat was all white.

He called the animal control officer who used warm water to free its paws and one side that was stuck to the rock.

"I wish I couldn't have found it earlier," Fundingsland said. "People forget how cold it really is and how quickly something can go really wrong."

He suspects the cat had been feasting on his fish because a few are missing.

Minot police Capt. John Klug said a veterinarian examined the feral cat but ultimately decided it had been out in the cold too long and its injuries were too bad to save.

"Here's an animal that normally wouldn't have any problems but unknowingly gets stuck to a rock in a fish pond," he said. "It's an unexpected part of life when it's this temperature."