Kevin and Annette Shanahan are really fond of cats, having no less than three in their home in Wisconsin and their care was certainly repaid in full when one of the three managed to save the life of the entire family.
A Night to Remember
Gracie is one of the three cats and she began to make a lot of noise during one night at around one A.M. as if to alert the family that something wasn’t quite right. As Kevin Shanahan remembers in an interview for CBS news: “I got out of bed to stop her from pounding on the door and then I looked to my left and Annette was there in the chair.”
The wife was barely breathing and that was why the cat panicked, trying to attract the attention of Kevin. Annette recalls: “I was hanging on to the arm of the chair and I thought I was dying.” A call to 911 was made and the firefighters discovered that the dose of carbon monoxide in the house was considered at lethal levels. The problem began due to a malfunction of the hot water heater. Both Annette and Kevin had to be taken to the hospital for further observation and were then out of danger.
A Common Problem
On average over 400 people die from carbon monoxide intoxication in the USA alone and thus it is a very good idea to have a CO detector for safety. That is the case if you don’t have a cat like Gracie who managed to alert the owners. In fact, according to Kevin the cats are actually the masters of the home and they are just their caretakers: “We have three cats, and all three of them do run the house. We’re just here to feed them and take care of them.”
Gracie the Hero
The couple consider themselves to be very lucky for this event. “If it wasn’t for the cat, I don’t know how much she was saving our lives, but she wanted to get out of there and she knew enough to know something was wrong”, said Kevin.
Annette commented: “I say saved by grace, saved by the grace of God, because she doesn’t usually sleep with us”. If you think that a CO detector could have saved their life too, you might be surprised to find out that they had one but it was 15 years old and hasn’t been checked in a long time, so it didn’t detect anything. Grace did though and now to prevent future events such as this one, they got four new detectors to keep everyone safe.