Colorado grandmother and her cat survive 5 days in freezing car by eating snow and Rice Krispie bar

Mark Piggott
Gypsum Denver Colorado

When 85-year-old great-grandmother Ruby Stein set off home after visiting her relatives near Denver, she took a wrong turn - and ended up sleeping in a freezing car in the wilderness for five days, with only her cat Nikki for company.

Ruby's only source of food was a Rice Krispie bar and a sweet roll, which she rationed. She also ate snow and wrapped herself in all her clothes.

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Ruby had just left the home of her grand-daughter and great-grandchildren in Gypsum on 21 March. She left early because of ominous weather forecasts and was trying to find Interstate 70 ahead of the 240 mile drive home to Akron, CO when she took the wrong turn and began driving up a dirt road.

Then she got stuck in the mud and, despite being a "farm girl", she found herself stranded.

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"I blowed my horn and blowed my horn and flashed my lights until the battery ran down," Stein told the Denver Post. "Then my car went dead. I had a cellphone with me but it wouldn't work."

Ruby fashioned a blanket by attaching her clothes together with safety pins and melted the snow in her cat bowl. Nikki was much better off: she had a plentiful supply of dry food.

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Ruby knew that she could die but was determined to live as long as possible: "I was keeping myself very, very calm. I knew I either had to or it was over with. I have too many great grandkids and grandkids. I didn't want it to be over with."

Finally, Dan Higbee and Katie Preston, who were on their way to a hiking trip, came across Ruby's car in their four-wheel drive. At first they thought it was abandoned, but then Ruby responded to their calls and they rescued her.

Ruby has suffered no ill-effects as a result of her adventure, and Nikki was "lounging" in the back of the car when found, with more food than her owner. Both are now back home safe and well.

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