When you show your pet love and affection, love and affection is repaid. This is often even more the case with animals that have been rescued. There are multiple stories about cats and dogs who are rescued that have shown their gratitude to their owners at a time when they have needed it the most. An example of this is the rescue cat that showed her gratitude by alerting her owner to a fire that was putting them in grave peril. USA Today says that Danielle Schafer rescued a kitten at the side of the road five years ago. She had seen a litter of kittens while walking down the road in Ithaca, New York.
All but one of the kittens scurried away into a bush at the side of the road, leaving just one tiny kitten alone. Schafer picked up the kitten and took it home. She called the gray, short-haired cat Kitty, and they have lived happily together ever since. A native of New York, Schafer decided to relocate to Ithaca when she was attending Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine to study for her clinical year of vet school. She made the move in September, and she and Kitty settled into their new first-floor apartment quickly. A fire could have changed their happy new life if it wasn’t for the quick-thinking and brave actions of Kitty.
The day before the fire, Schafer was excited about a new rotation she was starting the next day, and she prepared her hospital scrubs. She went to bed before midnight to make sure she got a good night’s sleep in preparation for the following day. Schafer was suddenly jolted awake at 2 am when Kitty suddenly jumped on top of her. She also heard a loud noise that sounded like someone was battering rams at her apartment door. At first, Schafer thought that someone was trying to break into the apartment, but she soon realized what was happening.
She got out of bed and ran to the kitchen where she was met by a walk of ferocious flames that were covering the entire front wall of her apartment. She then ran back into her bedroom to get Kitty so that she could look for a safe way out for both of them. She panicked when she realized that she couldn’t see her cat. The apartment had filled with thick, black smoke that was clouding her vision. Schafer began to call her cat’s name and attempted to open the bedroom windows to clear the smoke. She can remember beginning to scream, but the apartment was otherwise eerily silent. It later transpired that the banging that she had originally heard on waking was the sound of exploding propane tanks.
Worryingly, none of the fire alarms in the apartment were triggered in the fire. Schafer has described the scene as the perfect, peaceful crackling fire. The smoke was getting thicker, and Schafer knew that she had to get out. She could only hope that Kitty had made her way outside. To escape, Schafer climbed out of her apartment through the patio doors. The family living above her were also trapped in the building because of the fire. Schafer and another neighbor helped them to escape by holding out their arms for them to drop their two small children, who were dressed only in diapers. They then helped the parents down.
In total, 12 people had to escape the building because of the fire, says The Ithaca Journal. Lansing fire department and some neighboring fire departments attended the incident. Fortunately, they were able to extinguish the flames. At this point, all the residents of the building could not return to their apartments, which was a difficult situation for all involved. Everyone from the apartments had also lost all their possessions. Luckily, the Red Cross was on hand to help. They arrived at the scene of the fire with food and clothing. They also offered people shelter for the night.
Recalling the evening, Schafer says that she sat outside the apartments in her pajamas. Although she was injured, she felt completely numb and exhausted. Worse than that, Kitty was still missing so she felt overcome with grief as she believed that her cat was gone forever. Schafer and the other residents were given shelter in a local hotel for the night, so all the residents met up at the hotel and spent the night there. In the morning, Schafer returned to her apartment, which was still smoldering.
Despite the devastation of the apartment building, Schafer was still holding onto some hope that she would find Kitty safe and well somewhere. She was stood outside the apartment building crying and shaking, but she was telling herself in her head that she needed to look for her beloved cat. All the neighbors and the firefighters knew that Schafer was looking for her cat. She still believed that the cat had found a hiding spot in the bedroom and had survived the blaze. However, the firefighters told her that they had already searched her bedroom and found no sign of Kitty. Instead, Schafer began to look in any place she could think of where a cat would hide, such as in the bushes and under cars.
While she was searching, one of the firefighters suddenly yelled out to her. Schafer’s first reaction was to think he was bringing her a dead cat, but he was carrying Kitty, who was safe and well. It transpired that Schafer’s predictions had been correct and that the cat was still in the bedroom. Kitty had buried herself down under the pillows to protect herself from the smoke. She had stayed there until the flames were extinguished and someone had gone to rescue her. Schafer is eternally grateful that her cat woke her to warn her of the fire and that her cat also made it out safely. Although Kitty was treated for smoke inhalation and spent a couple of days in the animal hospital, she has since made a full recovery.