Cleo the cat is very lucky to be alive after being trapped inside her pet parent's basement as a fire took hold of their house. Local firefighters in Ames, Iowa, had to venture into the property twice in search of the little kitty before finally locating her. Cleo was unresponsive and surrounded by thick, black smoke, so rescue personnel and her pet parent assumed the worst.
"I was just like, 'Come on, Cleo. We don’t want to lose you,'" Annie Fangman explained to KCCI. We can only imagine how desperate she must have felt during those 30 minutes in which Cleo was unconscious; it's every pet parent's worst nightmare. Slowly, however, Cleo did start to wake up, thanks to the tiny oxygen mask strapped to her face by kind-hearted officers.
"As time went on [she] started to slowly come to, started meowing, started to breathe on [her] own, started to move on [her] own. So all positive indications that things were working well," Lt. Jordan Damhof of the Ames Fire Department said in a Facebook post.
Cleo was incredibly lucky that treatment could be offered to her immediately, as the fire department was in possession of nine animal oxygen masks, which had been donated some ten years ago. Although used relatively infrequently, the masks are lifesavers.
Now able to breathe, Cleo was rushed to the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine where she received further treatment. "She couldn't stand or walk, [and] wasn't really aware of what was going on," veterinarian April Blong told KCCI. As the story went to press, Cleo was still under the care of the medical team, but we're hopeful that she's now back home where she belongs.
Annie was just glad that firefighters had got to Cleo in time and that her precious cat had been treated at the scene: "I'm really thankful. I can't even put it into words really, what they did for us and saved our cat."
We're heartened to see others work so tirelessly to save the pets we adore so much. Good work everyone!