This cat’s name is Scarlett. Since 1996, brave and courageous animals, who’ve done heroic acts to help humans or other animals are given the Scarlett Award for Animal Heroism, in Scarlett's honor.
And here’s her story.
Scarlett, was a feral cat living in Brooklyn, New York. On March 29, 1996, an abandoned Brooklyn garage in was on fire. Firefighters arrived on the scene fairly quickly, and during the fire one of the firemen - David Giannelli - noticed a cat, who repeatedly returned to the burning garage, pulling out one by one her kittens. The cat had already the burnt paws, ears, and face, her eyes were wet from the fire and she was chocking on smoke, but only after she pulled out from the fire the last of her babies and counted them by touching them with her nose to make sure that all of them were here, she lost consciousness.
More about Scarlett inside the post.
The fireman David Gianelli took the cat with her kittens in a vet clinic at the North Shore Animal League, where the heroic mother with her kittens were treated for burns and placed in an oxygen chamber in intensive care.
The weakest of the kittens, a white coated, died of a virus a month after the fire. However, after three months of treatment and recovery, Scarlett and her surviving kittens were well enough to be adopted.
The story of a heroic cat soon spread throughout the world, calls to offer assistance came from Japan, the Netherlands and South Africa. The North Shore Animal League has received over 7,000 applications from those wishing to adopt Scarlett and her kittens.
The clinic ultimately chose to divide the kittens into two pairs, and the pairs were given over for adoption to residents of Long Island. Scarlett herself was adopted by Karen Wellen. In her letter, Wellen indicated that, as a result of losing her cat shortly after being injured in a traffic accident herself, she had become more compassionate and would take in only animals with special needs.
Scarlett with Karen Wellen
Everything was going well, but on October 11, 2008 Scarlett died while with her adoptive family in Brooklyn. She required ongoing care as a result of her injuries, and shortly before her death, she was diagnosed with a heart murmur and a heartbreaking decision was made to put Scarlett to sleep as she was struggling with multiple illnesses.
What a touching story, what a real hero…