Cat Hides In Stove To Save Himself In House Fire
Of all the animals rescued from Fort McMurray, Alberta, since a wildfire forced thousands from their homes, this cat might stand the tallest.
Maybe that's because Tux the cat had to rescue himself - with a little help from at least a few of his nine lives.
Tux was left behind by his family, as they scrambled to get out of a house suddenly besieged by flames.
"We gathered for about 15 minutes," Jody Lishchynsky, Tux's owner, told Global News. "We had a nice pile of photos in the kitchen, ready to go."
But then, the wind took an abrupt shift in direction, pushing the blaze toward the family home.
"It came down over our hill in minutes," she recalled. "We had to run. We weren't expecting it at all."
The cat remained behind. But a strange and downright lucky chain of events, not to mention a generous helping of feline ingenuity, may have saved his life.
Firefighters say an explosion inside the house may have blown out the glass on the oven door. Tux appears to have leapt inside. A second explosion knocked the oven on its side, trapping the cat. But the overturned stove also became an unlikely shelter from the raging fire.
The house was reduced to rubble. But while combing through the wreckage, firefighters found the stove intact.
And inside that stove? Tux the cat.
Photos of firefighters cradling a singed cat appeared on social media. And Lishchynsky knew that they had found her Tux.
"Holy smokes," she told the National Post. "He looked so dirty in the picture, and had no whiskers."
But Tux pulled through - and shortly after that, he was reunited with his grateful family.
"I don't know why that fireman looked in that stove," Lishchynsky added. "That's just beyond me. Sure enough, there's the little frigger."
For a complete list of ways to help the animals of Fort McMurray - from how to foster a displaced pet to how you can donate much-needed items like crates to the relief effort - click here.
You can also support the Fort McMurray SPCA's efforts to reunite pets with their owners by making a donation here.