Pet Cat Who Saved Owner from Burning Alive in House Fire Dies from Injuries

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Cat owners are well aware of all the strange shenanigans their kitties can get up to. Rocketing around the house at 3 a.m. is nothing to raise an eyebrow at, and cats seem to relish batting at their owners at random times of the night and day.

Dogs are generally the animals that get credited with life-saving heroics, hence the whole “Lassie” craze, but felines aren’t incapable of their own kindnesses.

In February 2017, a fire started in a trailer home with no smoke detectors in Alberta, Canada. Thankfully, the family did have a smoke-detecting cat, who wasted no time in rousing them when it sensed danger.

The county of Grande Praire fire chief, Trevor Grant, told CBC that he’d heard of canines rescuing people in times of need, but this was the first time he’d ever heard of a cat doing the same thing.

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“The family cat bit the mom on the arm fairly hard and kind of woke her up to make her aware that something was not right in the home,” he said. “It is the first time I’ve experienced a cat waking a family member up.”

The fire chief was impressed with the cat’s loyalty but definitely does not recommend relying on house critters to do the job of safety devices.

“We definitely prefer to have the use of smoke detectors or heat sensors within a residence,” Grant said.

Has your pet warned you of something before you were aware of it?

It’s impossible to know whether the cat was actually looking out for his humans or just scrambling to get out himself, realizing that if he didn’t wake the humans so they could get him out of there, he’d be trapped, too. Either way, they all made it out alive thanks to their four-legged friend.

Thankfully no one was hurt in that incident, and there was only minor damage to the trailer. Not all situations turn out as well.

On Feb. 25 at 6:30 a.m. in Mobile, Alabama, another fire was detected. In this case, it was a two-story house on fire. Two women, a 56-year-old and her 84-year-old mother, were inside.

The younger woman later said she’d been woken up by her cat named Darby, according to WKRG. While Darby did her duty by waking up her owner, the cat did not make it out alive herself.

Few details are known yet, as the owner is in the hospital and the incident occurred Monday morning. The fire was determined to have started in the kitchen, though the exact cause is not known or has not been revealed.

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Mother and daughter are both alive, though they required treatment for smoke inhalation and the daughter sustained “traumatic injury” as a result of escaping from the second story window when she found herself trapped.

Even though poor Darby didn’t make it, her two people are alive because of her valiant efforts.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking