Volgograd, Russia – NEWS AND VIEWS: Well, this is not hot-off-the-press news as it’s about two years old but it is the first time that I’ve seen it and it’s a very tense video. It’s actually quite near the bone in terms of being able to watch it because we are watching a cat that could have died or survived. This cat is on the cusp of life and it looks like it.
The cat’s owner is crying as she watches the firefighter massage the cat’s heart. He also forced some oxygen into the cat’s mouth. It was his version of CPR. The cat looks lost to the world and about to pass away but he doesn’t. He survives. The owner was highly distressed and relieved at the same time. Her mind flooded with mixed emotions.
The fire killed three people but this cat survived. A testament to the resilience of the domestic cat and to the kindness of firefighters. Sometimes they have to risk their lives to pull a cat out of a fire. When domestic cats are treated on an equal footing to people I am delighted. When their lives are of the same value as people it pleases me. This is one of those examples.
At the end the cat’s owner, remains shocked and distraught but her cat looks a more settled. The near-death moment is over. What will his life be from that moment?
Another example of animal rights is the rescue of 4 cats from a sinking boat off the coast of Thailand by the Thai Navy. That video went viral because people love to see cats being rescued by people who consider them worth rescuing. In this instance the sailors had got off the sinking boat and were safely on the navy’s vessel but the navy sailors went back to get the cats and there was a risk in that because the seas were choppy and the boat was going down. It’s a great story.
For the revived Russian cat the moment is dramatic but the long-term prognosis might not be so optimistic. We know that firefighters suffer from a high incidence of heart disease because the heat in which they work damages the heart. I suspect that when domestic cats are pulled from fires they might also have shortened lifespans for the same reason. We don’t know because nobody follows up on the stories and I’m pretty sure there are no studies on this. However, intense heat does damage the circulating system in a mammal and this affects the length of their lives.
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