Mitsu’s owner wasn’t even home when the blaze broke out.
“One of the neighbors of the homeowner saw smoke coming from the house and she called the firefighters and within about 15 or 20 minutes of her seeing the smoke, the firefighters were able to respond and put the fire out,” explains Dr. Kenneth Ransom.
But Mitsu was trapped inside. Firefighters didn’t find the little black cat until after the flames were out. He was saved by the quick thinking of well-trained professionals. “When they pulled him out of the house, he was in respiratory distress and they administered oxygen therapy on the scene, but shortly afterwards, sent the owners to the veterinary clinic to seek treatment.”
Mitsu received emergency care and was transferred to Southeast Veterinary Specialists for burn treatment. However, Dr. Ransom says burns are only part of the equation. “One is the actual smoke itself. If they breathe that in, they’re not breathing in oxygen, so they can have damage to their lung tissues as well as other organs in their body.” And not all dangers from smoke are immediate. Some develop slowly over time. “If their lung function is compromised, they’re at higher risk for developing respiratory tract infections and this may not be seen for several days after the initial injury, but it’s something we have to watch for very closely.”
Right now, Mitsu’s face may look a little like the terminator, “but overall, he’s a pretty lucky cat,” says Dr. Ransom. He’s a cat who’s counting his blessings… and… what’s left of his nine lives!