20 Jun

From My Heart

Louise Gibson

author of Window Wonders




Love is such a great motivator-
It is amazing what it leads us to do.
We rise up to defend the helpless,
in spite of the danger in view.


I want to share a story with you
that truly touched my heart.
Such love in action was newsworthy,
heart rendering from the start.


Overnight, a scrawny New York City feline
went from anonymous to international fame.
The transformation happened in a “flash”..
A flash of fire gave Scarlett her name.


Her story:


The Cat Who Became An Action Hero


The saga began in 1996, when a blaze consumed an

East New York garage.  As the battle against the fire

wound down, firefighters noticed three four-week old

kittens huddled near the building’s front door crying in fear.

Across the street sat two more.  A badly burned calico female

paced nervously between the two groups.


It didn’t take long for firefighter Davfid Gianellii to figure out what had

happened. Gianellii, whose soft spot for pets earned him the nickname

“the animal guy” in  East New York’s Ladder Company 75, guessed that

during the fire, the mother cat had dashed repeatedly into the blaze

to rescue her kittens. Now she was in the process, in spite of her severe

injuries, of moving them to a new hiding place.


The firefighter scooped up the mother and babies and took them

to the North Shore Animal League.  The staff, sensing a chance

for a little publicity, told the story to a local TV station.  The agency got

more than a little publicity. Everyone from CNN to the BBC picked up the

tale, and soon people from as far away as Cairo and Japan were

writing and phoning the shelter.


The mother was named Scarlett because of the vivid color of her burns.

Sadly, one of the kittens died of an infection.  But the other four made strong

recoveries.  As the family convalesced together, thousands of adoption

offers flooded in from around the world.  Finally, two kittens named

Samsara and Tanuki were given to a Port Washington family; the other

two, Cinders and Oreo found their way to Hampton Bay, New York.


Heroic Scarlett found a home with the Wellon family in Brooklyn.  Her

scars healed and the only remaining signs of her travails were her

rather poor vision and the amputated tips of her ears.  Her new owners

have also helped heal any emotional scars. “She’s a total love machine”

a family member told the New York Times. The former scrawny stray

is also, apparently, an eating machine. After her rescue she ballooned to

seventeen  pounds quite a change from her days as an action hero.


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