Have you heard the amazing cat news story about the Maine Coon who saved her family’s life? Kevin and Annette Shanahan of Reedsburg, Wisconsin are lucky to have their cat Grace because she was able to alert them to high levels of carbon monoxide in their home. Grace, nicknamed Gracie, is the family’s 8-year-old Maine Coon mix cat.
Cat Saves Family’s Life
The couple was in the bedroom of their 120-year-old home one night. Annette wasn’t feeling well and fell asleep on a chair in the bedroom, while her husband, Kevin, was asleep in the couple’s bed. Suddenly, Grace started banging on the bedroom door with her paws, causing the door to rattle loudly. The loud noise caused Annette and Kevin to be awoken, both not feeling well at all.
Annette told ABC News, “My husband went and looked to see if our children were home. But I couldn’t stand up. I was thinking in my head I was having a heart attack. I slid down on my side down the stairs and he had gotten my cellphone to call our children to find out where they were.”
They quickly learned that neither their son or daughter were home at the time. Kevin made the call to one of his children, who immediately knew something was wrong because of Kevin’s impaired speech and headed right to his parents’ home. Annette used her phone to call 911, which she had some difficulties with. She stated, ““We didn’t have the presence of mind to think to get out of the house. All I got out was our address. I said, ‘I can’t breathe’ and kept repeating our address.” When emergency responders appeared on the scene, they immediately found the home had unsafe carbon monoxide levels.
Wow! Do you think your cat would rescue you?
Carbon monoxide is a lethal gas that is both colorless and odorless. According to the CDC- Centers for Disease Control, more than 400 people in the United States die from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning each year and over 20,000 people in the U.S. visit the emergency room each year, due to symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, which include headache, dizziness, nausea and confusion.
Alliant Energy was called in to test the home’s levels of carbon monoxide. A home should have a normal carbon monoxide reading somewhere between 0 and 5.5. However, in the upstairs of the Shanahan family home, the carbon monoxide levels were reading numbers into the 600’s. The family had carbon monoxide detectors throughout their home but the problem was those detectors were 15 years old at the time. Most carbon monoxide detectors are meant to last only 5 to 7 years and then need to be replaced. It seems that the high carbon monoxide levels in the Shanahan family home were due to some vents that were located on a tankless, gas, water heater. Those vents were sealed shut with ice. The good news is that the family has installed brand new carbon monoxide detectors.
At the end of the day, the couple can honestly say that they were saved by Grace!