There’s no doubt that some animals are more heroic than anyone would ever expect. A mother cat in Brooklyn proved that when she literally walked through fire to save her five kittens.
Scarlett, the mother, was witnessed by Brooklyn firefighters carrying her kittens out of a flaming garage one by one. Each trip cost her more, and she was seriously injured. She was covered in burns and had lost some fur. Her paws and ears were singed, her eyes were sealed shut, and she was almost ready to faint. But Scarlett held on until every one of her kittens was safe. She touched them each with her nose to make sure they were there and then fainted.
Brooklyn firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze quickly and then get Scarlett and her babies medical attention.
One of the firefighters, David Gianelli, brought the feline family to a veterinary clinic.
Tragically, Scarlett lost one of her babies who was hurt in the fire. But now, she and the four remaining kittens are doing amazingly well. They’ve even been adopted into forever homes.
But they weren’t completely separated. Scarlett and her babies attracted worldwide attention and received letters from all over the globe. People were eager to adopt these sweet cats, but the clinic wouldn’t let them go that easily. They agreed to let them be adopted two by two to avoid splitting up the family completely.
As for Scarlett herself, she found the perfect owner: a woman named Karen Wellen who was no stranger to accidents.
She had been injured on the road, and her struggles made her want to adopt a cat that had been through something similar.
Scarlett lived a long and happy life until she passed away on Oct. 11, 2008. But people still remember her story and take inspiration from it. The clinic that saved her and her kittens, the North Shore Animal League, now has an award for heroic animals entitled the Scarlett Award for Animal Heroism.
What’s more, Scarlett was also depicted in the books “Scarlett Saves her Family” and “The Bravest Cat”.
She also received a certificate of bravery from the British Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. There’s no doubt that her legacy has continued to live on long after she’s gone.
She’s not the only cat who has gone above and beyond to save the day.
Back in 2012, a female cat named Charley saved her owner, Susan March-Armstrong, after she collapsed in the bathroom during a diabetic episode. March-Armstrong’s blood sugar had plummeted, making her fall unconscious. Her husband was asleep in a spare bedroom, so he would not have found her until the next morning — far too late for her to get treatment.
“She is absolutely amazing,” said March-Armstrong. “You hear of dogs that do things like this, but not cats. I have no recollection of what happened after I went to the bathroom, but when I came around, Charley and Kevin were both next to me and she was purring away.”
Charley ran into the bedroom and kept attacking her husband’s face and hands.
When he finally woke up and followed her, Charley ran into the bathroom where his wife was lying unconscious. He was able to give her a glucose injection, saving her life. But it was all because of Charley.
“Kevin explained she had woken him up and raised the alarm and has not left my side since,” said March-Armstrong. “Without Charley, I could have died, or at the very least, ended up in the hospital. She is a very sweet-natured and caring cat, so it does not surprise me that she would be concerned about me. Ever since I got her as a tiny kitten, she’s had an affinity with me.”
But March-Armstrong says she has a theory about why Charley was so intent on saving her.
“She came from a litter of kittens a friend had, but the person who took her sent her back, saying she wouldn’t feed and they didn’t know what to do,” said March-Armstrong. “She was so small she didn’t know how to feed herself. I took her and, I suppose, I saved her life by hand-feeding her until she knew what to do on her own, so maybe she’s paying me back now? Either way, I’m so proud of her. She is my little hero.”
And others agree. Charley was nominated for the Cat Protection League’s Hero Cat Award. She and March-Armstrong attended the awards in London.
From burning buildings to medical emergencies, no doubt cats can be heroes just as much as anybody else.
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