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Wednesday Word of the Day—Hero

With all the talk about the fire that destroyed Seabasscat's home and badly burned CJ, and the fact that my life has been mundane these past few days, I thought I'd revisit another hero cat who was badly burned in a fire but lived to tell about it. I'm sure there are readers who might be too young to remember this heroic cat. Her name is Scarlett.

Scalett after the fire.
 Did you hear the one about the mother who raced into a burning building to rescue her babies? The year was 1996 and it was actually a cat named Scarlett  who saved her five kittens. They were living in a Brooklyn crack house when it went up in flames. As the firemen fought the blaze, one noticed the brave little calico that was later named Scarlett. Even though she was badly burned, she went back into the building five times to rescue her kittens. Her eyes blistered shut, she touched each kitten with her nose to make sure she had them all and then she collapsed.

Hero fireman David Giannelli with Scarlett's kits. The white
one didn't make it & the 3rd one went OTRB in 2008
"What she did was she ran in and out of that building five times, got them all out, and then started moving them one by one across the street," said Firefighter David Giannelli, nicknamed "The animal guy." He put mother and kittens into a box and rushed them to a veterinary clinic at the North Shore Animal League, where she remained for three months. Unfortunately, one of the kits was weak and sucombed to a virus  but the other four were adopted in pairs.

After she recuperated, she was adopted by writer Karen Wellen, who's cat had gome OTRB. Wellen had been injured in a car accident shortly after her cat passed and had vowed to only adopt special needs cats. Scarlett was purrfect for her. Scarett lived with her for the next 12 years before her trip the the RB in 2008. Throughout her life, Scarlett equired ongoing care as a result of her injuries in the fire   You can read her complete story elsewhere on the interwebs.There are 2 books about her story, Scarlett Saves Her Family; and a children's book, The Bravest Cat! The True Story of Scarlett. I'm gonna suggest this for Twitter Anipal Read Pawty.

The North Shore Animal League has formed an award named the Scarlett Award for Animal Heroism, in Scarlett's honor. This award is presented to animals that have engaged in heroic acts to benefit other, whether humans or animals.

Best of luck to CJ on his recovery from his burns. I hope he'll have another 12 years left in him, just like Scarlett. You can read updates on A Tonk's Tail on CJ and families' progress as they try to heal and start their lives again. CJ purred while in his Mom's bed this morning. Music to her ears.

Would you like to comment?

  1. Such a sad and happy story at the same time.

  2. She really was a hero and I am so glad you told us about her.

  3. Scarlett was a realy true hero !
    Glad to hear her story !

  4. Thanks for the update CK. Now that you've refreshed my memory, I do remember this story. It was an amazing story, and I think reading the book for Readpawty would be a good idea.

  5. Eyes gushing, mascara running, where's my kleenex! I've never heard of Scarlett of the most amazing stories ever. Thank you for posting this, CK.
    xoxo Glogirly

    Pee S from Katie -
    LOVE the new profile. ; ) Love.

  6. Me remembers that story! Me was so impressed by Scarlett. She was a hero.Thanks for reminding us.

  7. What an amazing kitty. Scarlet sure is a hero and wonderful mom.
    Purrs and prayers for CJ and his family.

  8. Scarlet's a hero mom fur sure! We're saying our pawprayers fur CJ and his mom. It was great to read that he purred this morning, that must have been the best thing his mom heard!

  9. For better or worse, MY Human is NOT too young to remember Scarlett! We are furry happy to read that she led such an excellent life after her greatest adventure! We will go check on CJ now.

    Aggie is the gray kitty & Wally the orange boy.

  10. Scarlett was an amazing kitty, a real hero! I am so glad that CJ is getting better.

  11. Scarlett's story made my peep cry. But that's okay... she's happy that Scarlett saved her babies.

  12. I remember Scarlett and my mom had tears then and she did again seeing that precious momma so badly injured. SO glad her act of heroism for her babies inspired an award.

  13. Wow, what a story. So glad Scarlett and her kitts all got adopted and that she had such a great home. We are purring for sweet CJ, our heart really goes out to him and Kathi.


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