Remembering Scarlett the Precious Heroine Cat
Scarlett whose efforts to save her precious kittens from a fire attracted worldwide media attention back in March 30, 1996. It began when the place (abandoned garage – allegedly used as a crack house) where she and her kittens lived in Brooklyn, New York City caught on fire. The New York City Fire Department were soon on the scene after received a call about the fire and quickly extinguished it. David Giannelli, which one of the firefighters on the scene spotted Scarlett and her two four-week-old kittens huddled together near the garage when the fire was under control, whilst the other three kittens were found just across the street.
Gathering all of them carefully in a box, Giannelli noticed that even though Scarlett in badly scorched with paws, eyes and ears burned, and her coat highly singed, she nudged them with her nose to reassure all her five babies were there safe and sound. Not long after that, she collapsed unconscious.
It is quite remarkable with her devotion and courage, as she could carry only one kitten out at a time in the blistering heat and thick chocking smoke in five separate journeys – she is definitely a brave cat.
She and her kittens were taken to a vet at North Shore Animal League (NSAL) in Port Washington, New York where they were treated with intensive care. However, a white-coated kitten of hers died of a virus just a month after the incident.
Thousands of offers from all around the world being made to provide them home three months later, when Scarlett and her kittens were ready to be adopted. Eventually, her kittens were adopted in two pairs, quite near to NSAL where they had been treated. Samsara and Tanuki were adopted by the Vercillo family in Port Washington, whilst Oreo and Smokey (later called Cinders) were adopted by Debbie Palmarozzo of Miller Place at Long Island. (Sadly, Tanuki died of cancer in September 2008 even though he had been diagnosed a few weeks earlier, nothing could be done as it spread very quickly.) After thoroughly decision being made for Scarlett’s new home, she was returned to Brooklyn and adopted out to Karen Wellen whose story of losing her own cat, shortly after an accident in which herself was injured. She had become more compassionate and would take in only animals with special needs.
Scarlett required ongoing care as a result of her injuries, was diagnosed with a heart murmur shortly before her death. She later lost her battle with multiple of illness after happily living with her adoptive family in Brooklyn, New York for over 12 years.
And even The NSAL has created an award named “The Scarlett Award for Animal Heroism” in her honour. This award is presented to animals that take part in actions that benefit humans or other animals.
She also became the main character of a book “Scarlett Saves Her Family”, and received mentions from CNN and Oprah Winfrey.
And today is the sixth anniversary of the passing Scarlett the Precious Heroine Calico Cat (June or July, 1995 – October 11, 2008).