Scarlett, the Hero Cat, Passes Away
October 15, 2008 – Scarlett the cat, whose story of bravery, uncompromising love and triumph over all odds, has passed on. The heroine calico, who in 1996 made headlines around the world for pulling her five kittens to safety from a raging fire, lost her battle with multiple illnesses this week after living with her adoptive family in Brooklyn, New York for over 12 years.
Back in 1996, Scarlett was tending to her kittens in an abandoned Brooklyn garage when fire broke out. Having extinguished the blaze, firefighters sighted the mother cat, slowly carrying her four-week-old kittens from the building. Badly scorched, her ears radically burned, she lined up her babies. With her eyes blistered from the inferno, she was seen touching each with her nose, to reassure herself that her litter of five had made it to safety. She then collapsed, unconscious.
Firefighter David Giannelli transported the little feline family to North Shore Animal League America where the mother, who was named Scarlett, and her kittens, were treated. The weakest of the kittens died of a virus one month after the blaze. However, after three months of treatment and recovery, Scarlett and her surviving babies were ready for adoption.
I don’t know how famous this was, but in NYC it was huge. I think 8 million people shed a tear or two that night.