Oakdale cat fighting for life after being trapped in washing machine

"Felix" survived a 35-minute wash cycle but still has a long road to recovery.
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An Oakdale, Minnesota, family is appealing to the public for help covering vet bills after their cat, Felix, survived a hellish ride in a washing machine. 

According to a GoFundMe campaign set up on his behalf, Felix was discovered in the machine after a 35-minute wash cycle on Wednesday.

"When my mom found him, he was soaking wet and barely breathing, confused and unable to see, with bruises all over his body," the page's introduction says.

Felix was subsequently rushed to a veterinarian, where his injuries were found to be extensive. He had fluid in his lungs, possible hypothermia, and blindness "which could be temporary or permanent."

Because the cat requires an extended stay at the vet hospital, the bills are significant.

"My family is heartbroken and scared, and they'd kill me if they knew I was creating this GoFundMe campaign, but I couldn't not, considering the situation," the page's author writes.

So far, the campaign has raised nearly $3,600 of a $5,000 goal.

As for Felix's current condition, a KARE 11 report shows he's alert and responsive, and even "eating a little":

However, the one-year-old cat is still in critical condition, "and being kept on oxygen support and an IV line in a ICU unit," the station notes.

His family is also hoping their story will help other cat owners avoid such accidents in the future, writing the following on GoFundMe:

To those of you with cats, PLEASE always close your washing machine and dryer doors in between washes, and ALWAYS check your washing machine and dryer doors prior to beginning a wash. You can prevent an accident like this from happening.

The story has caught national attention, with NBC's The Today Show and People magazine covering it. 

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