Heroic Cat Walks Through Fire to Rescue Her 5 Kittens from Brooklyn Garage Fire

March 3, 2019 Updated: March 4, 2019

When an abandoned garage  caught fire in Brooklyn, what one firefighter witnessed touched the hearts  of thousands—indeed, the heroic actions of a cat demonstrated that sometimes animals have braver hearts than humans!

The fire department responded to the emergency, brought the fire under control, and extinguished the flames quickly. While they were handling the situation, one of the firefighters, David Gianelli, saw a cat carrying its kittens away from the area of the blaze, one by one.

The cat itself appeared to have been very badly injured in the process. Her coat, paws, and ears were badly burned, and her eyes were singed shut. After bringing them to safety, she was seen touching each of the kittens with her nose to ensure they were alive. She then fell unconscious.

A montage of Scarlett's life The bottom right is my favorite, because she was healed and healthy! <3

Posted by Scarlett the cat on Sunday, 15 November 2015

Gianelli was so touched by what he saw that he took the entire family to a veterinary clinic at The North Shore Animal League in Port Washington, New York. Sadly, one of the kittens, the weakest one, succumbed to its wounds and passed away. The cat, now named Scarlett, and her four kittens recovered within three months and were then fit enough to be adopted.

A TBT classic!

Posted by Scarlett the cat on Wednesday, 19 December 2018

The tale of this courageous cat that rescued its kittens went viral, even receiving words of praise from the Netherlands, Japan, and South Africa. The clinic received about 7,000 letters from good Samaritans, who offered to adopt the feline family. The clinic eventually decided to give the kittens up for adoption in pairs.

Posted by Karen Scarlett Wellen on Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Scarlett was adopted by Karen Wellen, who herself had been a victim of a road accident and had lost her cat shortly after. She was only interested in adopting an animal with special needs.

TBT… <3

Posted by Scarlett the cat on Thursday, 16 April 2015

The flip side of the post card.

Posted by Scarlett the cat on Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Scarlett died on Oct. 11, 2008. She was around 13 years old. In her honor, The North Shore Animal League created an award named the “Scarlett Award for Animal Heroism,” awarded to those brave animals whose heroic acts have benefited others. She was also featured as the main character in a book, “Scarlett Saves the family.”

Though it has been a decade since she passed away, Scarlett’s story indeed lives on. It’s taken on a whole new purpose, one designed to remind us how animals, instinctually perhaps, think more often with their hearts and that sometimes we humans need to take a lesson from that, too.

While it is impossible to know how a cat as brave as Scarlett ever came into existence, it’s fair to say that there likely won’t be a bunch more coming around anytime soon. So, even though Scarlett’s legacy is over 10 years in the past, it is still worthy of praise.

Rest in peace, Scarlett! Hopefully, there’s another cat just like you being conceived this very moment.

A little worse for wear (aren't we all?!), this is another of the montages I brought with me to schools to show the kids. 🙂

Posted by Scarlett the cat on Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Soaking up some rays <3

Posted by Scarlett the cat on Sunday, 14 January 2018

Watch the whole story here:

Scarlett The Cat/Inside Edition

Inside Edition TV segment

Posted by Scarlett the cat on Sunday, 20 February 2011

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