65: Life Saver

65: Life Saver

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: I Can't Believe My Cat Did That!

Life Saver

Kittens are angels with whiskers.

~Author Unknown

I was in my senior year of high school and we had a new kitten. I had named the kitten Ginger Baker after a drummer in a rock band with similar fluffy, ginger-colored hair. The kitten was frisky, cute, and the pet that I had wanted for so long.

I considered him exclusively mine, although I had five younger brothers, because I named him and he slept in my furry pink bedroom slippers by my bed every night.

I was sleeping peacefully one night when my mother jerked me awake.

“Quick!” she said. “Get up! The house is on fire! The living room is in flames!”

“What?” I stammered, half-asleep, trying to wake up.

“The kitten was crying and crying, and jumping all over me,” Mom said. “I thought I smelled smoke. At first I thought you were in the kitchen baking and had burned something, but the kitty was frantic. Then I heard crackling. Thank God the cat woke me!”

I jumped up and ran behind Mom to the top of the staircase. The stairs led directly into the living room, where the picture window curtains were completely engulfed in flames. We looked down in horror.

We grabbed my two younger brothers from their beds, flew down the stairs, and then woke up my father who was a very sound sleeper. Running barefoot in our pajamas, we woke up the rest of the family and ran outside.

Right after we took a head count and all of us were accounted for, we heard an explosion in the living room. We watched in disbelief and fear as our home and all our worldly possessions burned.

“Thank God we are all alive!” we said to each other.

The neighbors had called the fire department. We waited for the volunteer firemen to arrive, and then watched helplessly as they chopped holes in the roof and poured water into the house for three hours. They tirelessly fought the fire but were only able to save the shell of the house.

We knew we could always rebuild the house. The fact that we were all safe helped our aching hearts, but when the firemen searched for the kitten that had saved our lives, it broke my heart in two. My kitty had gone to the place he felt safe. They had found him seeking refuge in my bedroom slippers, where he died after he saved our whole family.

~Sharon Ann Harmon

More stories from our partners