Foster cat from a New York shelter saves baby and gets a forever home

Your feel-good story this week comes out of the New Springfield community in Staten Island, New York, where an unwanted shelter cat who was being fostered has proven his worth by saving a life. Because of his good deed, this former death row kitty has found his forever home.


Herbie the hero (Janine DeMartini)

According to Janine DeMartini, Herbie, a black, gray and white tabby, was sitting in the city’s municipal shelter system when she decided to foster him for Staten island Hope Animal Rescue. All she knew about him when she took him home was that Herbie was a friendly cat, but nobody wanted him.

If wasn’t long after Herbie joined the family on a temporary basis that Janine was headed to bed after falling asleep studying. When she closed her bedroom door for the night, Herbie began meowing and running to the door instead of laying calmly at the foot of her bed as he always did. Janine thought he just wanted a snack and wanted to ignore him. When he didn’t stop, Janine decided to investigate.

“Herbie kept pawing at the door and when I opened it, he ran inside and jumped into her crib. Isabella had turned over while sleeping and had pulled a toy blanket over her face.”

Isabella is only six months old and was struggling to breathe as the toy blanket she was holding was wound tightly around her neck and was covering her face. Janine doesn’t like to think of what might have happened had she not listened to Herbie and followed him. She believes Herbie was patrolling the hall making sure everyone was doing well and recognized a member of his new family was in serious trouble.

Janine has five cats of her own, a dog and several foster cats. She says Herbie is extremely close to her daughter Bella, who will be three in December and with her son Giovanni, age six. The family has made the decision to adopt Herbie. Not a bad deal for a cat who almost didn’t make it out of the shelter because no one wanted him.

This amazing cat didn’t surprise Janine with his quick thinking. As a social worker, Janine did an internship at Clove lakes Health Care and Rehabilitation Center using therapy dogs. She’s written countless papers on animals and how they benefit humans.

Thank you SO much for giving this sweet kitty a forever home. Readers, have any of your cats ever alerted you to a dangerous situation? Please sound off in the comments.


Source 1 and 2

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Elisa Black-Taylor

Elisa is an experienced cat caretaker and rescuer. She lives in the US. As well as being a professional photographer, Elisa has been a regular contributor to PoC for nine years. See her Facebook page.

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2 Responses

  1. Dee (Florida) says:

    A cat’s sense for imminent or real danger is unsurpassed.
    I know that there are articles here about cats and storms, and I can vouch for the fact that my cats were on high alert over Hurricane Matthew.

  2. Michael Broad says:

    The story reinforces the value of the millions of unwanted cats anywhere. Those euthanised, unwanted cats are great. I would like to believe that any domestic cat or most domestic cats would do the same. Thanks for the story Elisa. Nice one.

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