Cat Saves Home From Fire

Cat Saves Home From Fire

by Elisa Black-Taylor

Good morning readers. I just read an enlightening cat story about a cat named Pepper and I want to share it with the readers here at Pepper, a 5-year old feline resident of Tortes, Devon in the U.K. saved his home from fire.

As it turns out, Pepper is quite the escape artist. His owner, Sharon White, says he has become very independent over the past several months. Even though she’s had her cat for over 4 years, he only recently learned to open the downstairs window. This amazing feat is accomplished by Pepper turning the latch 90 degrees with his paws.

Pepper has been known to disappear for several days at a time. He always returns home and comes back in the same window.

It was fortunate for Sharon that her cat was on “fire watch” around 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon. Sharon had put some food in her microwave and turned it on for ten minutes and left the house to go shopping. Something went wrong and the microwave caught on fire. It was at this point Pepper went over to his window and opened it, allowing the smoke to escape. This, in turn, alerted the neighbors to a problem and one of them called the fire department.

Sharon is very thankful to her cat because the officials have already told her without his quick thinking the fire could have done much more that the smoke damage it left behind. As far as she’s concerned, Pepper saved her home from fire.

The phone call about her burning house came to her about two hours after she left. Her sister-in-law, who is also her neighbor, called her while she was out shopping and told her she needed to come home. Sharon had originally left her purse at home, but had decided not to go back and get it. She returned to a smoke damaged kitchen and is fortunate to have a house at all.

I had a cat once who I considered a hero. He alerted my family to a poisonous snake as we sat in the yard swinging. This cat put himself between the snake and my family until my husband killed the snake. You can bet he got extra treats for his bravery. Um…my cat, not my husband. HE was terrified!

As I hope Pepper was rewarded. He’s a very special cat.

I’d like to ask the readers here whether any of you have a hero cat. Has your cat ever done anything out of the ordinary and gone above and beyond the call of duty as a member of your family? Please share a few paragraphs here.

The link below has the entire story as it appeared in the U.K. news, along with photographs of Pepper. Enjoy.



Cat Saves Home From Fire to Home page

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Cat Saves Home From Fire

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Dec 16, 2010
Cats are Super Sensitive
by: Gail (Boston, MA USA)

Sadie saved our lives when she caused a ruckus one day – something she never did. She meowed loudly, was highly agitated and impatient to have me follow her. Because this action was so foreign, I followed her to the kitchen.

The pilot light had blown out on our gas stove. Her actions prevented what surely could have been a tragedy. How do they know?

Dec 16, 2010
They also live for today
by: Elisa

Cats also live in the present. They have no concept of death as to what’s going to happen tomorrow. I think Pepper wanted out and it was lucky the smoke came billowing out for the neighbors to see. Sharon will have a story to tell her friends for the rest of her life thanks to her cat.

My cat “charmed” the snake. It’s the only time I’ve ever seen this. The snake had its head up in the air like a cobra (it was a copperhead) and it’s head didn’t hit the ground or the cat even move until my husband tried to put 4 bullets in it. I don’t know how many actually hit the snake. He was as terrified of snakes as I am and I was standing across from him while he shot it. He was shaking like a leaf. But the cat didn’t even flinch.

I also had a cat when my daughter was a toddler and one morning she wouldn’t let me get out of bed. I used to put my daughter in her playpen while I made breakfast. The cat refused to get off my chest for a full 30 minutes. When I was about to just push the cat aside I heard a loud crash in the living room. A plant pole full of plants had collapsed and landed in her playpen. She would have been seriously hurt if she’d been in there. It was weird. Did the cat know beforehand?

Dec 16, 2010
Hero Cats and other animals
by: Michael

Thanks for the article Elisa. Your post raises an interesting question for me: whether the domestic cat acts instinctively to save him or herself (from the fire in this instance) or whether there is an altruistic motive there as well.

A scientist would probably say that this cat simply wanted to get out and in doing so alerted neighbours to the fire.

As cat and animal lovers we tend to think more widely and see other possibilities.

We see cats as part of the family and cats see us as part of their family (as mother cats). Cats preserve their young when in danger and cats in groups are able to work together for the benefit of the group. I think it is fair to make that point.

On that basis it is not beyond the bounds of possibility for a cat to act altruistically and for the benefit of their mom (the human) and as in this case do something that seems heroic.

Personally I don’t think cats comprehend the concept of heroism. It is instinctive. In fact a lot of people don’t think heroism is actually heroism. When asked people that we call heroes just say they did it instinctively and don’t claim to be heroes.

My cats have never done something that I could call heroic. But one cat that comes in for food (a semi-stray cat) that I call Marty is massively courageous as he has to brave an onslaught of threats from Charlie and I also try to stop him (to prevent a fight with Charlie).

Marty still comes in. And I don’t think it is because he is that hungry. Cats do have huge amounts of courage. The big wild cats come to mind too – the tiger and lion are awesome in a fight. No fear.

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