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Joey the (Hero) Cat

Scott White [Instagram]

Joey the Cat is happy, and playful, and likes being around his human family.  And unlike his canine brother, Joey made sure everyone stayed safe when a fire broke out in the middle of the night!  (And yes, he did get extra treats!)


When you hear of a pet who became a hero by saving its family, you might think you’re about to hear a dog story. And it’s true that there are a lot of hero dogs out there. In fact, the American Humane Association has an annual competition to name America’s Hero Dog for the year. But earlier this year, one small black cat became his family’s hero when he saved them from a possible house fire.

Joey the Cat had been adopted by a Canadian couple from an animal rescue two years ago. He was happy in his new home, and even got along with his brother, a young dog named Weston. Little did they know when they saved Joey’s life, he would return the favor in a big way.

Last April, the couple was settling in for the night, having done what a lot of folks do – they put some food in their slow cooker to let it cook overnight. In the wee hours of the morning, they were awakened by Joey, who was pacing on the bed, standing on them, pawing at their faces, and purring loudly, trying to wake them up. Since the cat had never interrupted their sleep before, they knew something was wrong. Then they realized they could smell smoke.

The slow cooker was burning and a smoky haze filled the air. Fortunately, thanks to Joey, they were able to turn it off and douse the fire before any major damage was done.

And remember Weston, the couple’s 10-month-old dog, the one that barked loudly whenever anyone came to the door? He slept through the whole thing.

Black cats often have lower adoption rates than their more colorful cousins, possibly because of superstitions. But one Canadian couple thinks their black cat is their good luck charm!  Check him out on Instagram at JoeytheCat

June is Adopt-a-Cat Month, because more cats and kittens are surrendered to animal shelters in June than during any other month of the year. That makes it the perfect time for you to be a hero and save a life by adopting a new feline family member for your household, when you’re speaking of pets.


Mindy Norton has been “Speaking of Pets” on Alabama Public Radio since 1995.
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