Hero cat pounds on door; saves family from carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon monoxide kills.

Every year, on average, 430 Americans die from carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the CDC.

Although you can’t see or smell carbon monoxide, a Maine Coon cat named Gracie in Wisconsin somehow knew, and saved her human family from carbon monoxide poisoning by pounding on their bedroom door, thereby, waking up the husband.

WREG Channel 3 reports, March 15, 2017, that Annette Shanahan of Reedsburg, Wisconsin, woke up in the middle of the night and thought that she was having a heart attack. Her head all “fuzzy,” she got up, left the bed with her husband Kevin still sleeping, and sat in the chair in the bedroom, feeling like she was dying.

The Shanahans have an 8-year-old Maine Coon mix named Grace.

Although Gracie normally doesn’t sleep with Annette and Kevin, she began “pounding” on their bedroom door with her paw.

Kevin said: “All of the sudden Gracie, I heard she was pounding, knocking, knocking, knocking at the door. And so I got out of bed and to stop her from pounding at the door, and I looked to my left and Annette was there in the chair.”

Annette said she couldn’t breathe: “I was hanging onto the arm of the chair, and I thought I was dying.”

Annette managed to call 911.

When firefighters arrived, they discovered lethal levels of carbon monoxide in the home, caused by a malfunction in the hot water heater.

Annette and Kevin were taken to the hospital, where they spent the night.

Kevin said: “Very lucky. 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, and she was pounding on the door.”

Annette said: “I say saved by grace, saved by the grace of God, because Gracie doesn’t usually sleep with us.”

Manufacturers recommend that carbon monoxide detectors should be replaced every five years. The Shanahans’ detector was 15 years old. The family now has four new CO detectors of the non-feline non-Gracie variety.

Here’s the video:

See also “Animals who saved human lives: pig, dogs, gorilla, lions”.



16 responses to “Hero cat pounds on door; saves family from carbon monoxide poisoning

  1. An heroe !

    Better ( the cat ) than the politicians in the West!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Pingback: Hero cat pounds on door; saves family from carbon monoxide poisoning — Fellowship of the Minds | boldcorsicanflame's Blog

  3. Liked by 2 people

  4. If only the creepy pols had the loyalty of Gracie , we all might be a whole lot better off .

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Grace of God indeed! What an uplifting story, especially in this day of constantly depressing news.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I love stories like this! ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  7. The 4 legged creatures we love are given more instincts by God than most people realize…love one of them, and they’ll return it 100 fold. God bless them all.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. I love this story! I had a gorgeous, enormous Maine Coon named SugarPuss. He was the best cat we ever had. Thank you for the sweet memory. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I first sang this when I was three years old, seeing Gracie’s story instantly brought it mind:

    “All things bright and beautiful,
    All creatures great and small,
    All things wise and wonderful,
    The Lord God made them all.

    Each little flower that opens,
    Each little bird that sings,
    He made their glowing colours,
    He made their tiny wings.

    The purple headed mountain,
    The river running by,
    The sunset, and the morning,
    That brightens up the sky.

    The cold wind in the winter,
    The pleasent summer sun,
    The ripe fruit in the garden,
    He made them every one.

    He gave us eyes to see them,
    And lips that we might tell,
    How great is God Almighty,
    Who has made all things well.”
    ― Cecil Frances Alexander

    And this, from James Herriot “If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.”

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you for the James Herriot quote! I’ll be using it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • filia…so much thanks for bringing these words to light….this is a hymn in our Presbyterian Hymn book….I learned to play it on piano so our (former, isolated congregation in Utah) could sing it….XXOO….a favorite…

      and….when we lived in the Utah wilds and high altitudes…having moved there from the East coast….I had NO IDEA about the flora and fauna of the high altitude, intermountain desert. One night, not long after our move there in 1980’s, our middle-aged rescue cat (who’d never lived outside the state of Maryland until then) began an incessant crying/yowling…running back and forth in front of our (then) youngest child’s bedroom door (he was aged 3) in the middle of the night. We tried to “shush” her…at maybe 10 years old or more….never having been in the West or experiencing the flora and fauna of the West..our beloved “MOTHER CAT” (she never had a litter…we spayed her…BUT…she was the MOTHER OF OUR HOUSEHOLD IN REALITY)…running back and forth over and over again across the threshold of our baby’s bedroom door….We finally investigated after much “shushing” & searched deeper to find that she was keeping a scorpion from entering the bedroom….poor thing…she had been doing this for so long before we figured out what the danger was…we, who did not know the “West”. …learned a little bit that night due to the instincts of our old calico rescue cat…who more than this once …. rescued us.

      Liked by 2 people

      • All creatures great and small – those words have never left me. Ms. Calico saved the day. Amazing – when we finally accept they’re speaking to us…and we’re too dumb to realize it half the time. What an inspirational tale you have. a sound reminder to all. Thanks for sharing.


  10. Hoorah for the cat. They are remarkable animals…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. They were definitely saved by Grace…

    Cat rescues Reedsburg couple from carbon monoxide


    From the article… 😱

    The Fire Department found 620 parts per million (ppm) of carbon monoxide on the second floor of the home. Normal levels vary from .5 to 5 ppm, or 5 to 15 ppm for dwellings with gas stoves, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Poisoning symptoms begin around 70-ppm mark.

    Readings showed 240 ppm on the main floor of the house and 150 ppm in the basement, according to the police report. Alliant Energy was called to assist.

    According to the report, carbon monoxide built up due to a frozen flap on a vent to the hot water heater.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Great story. My kitty cat once notified us when a BBQ heater was accidentally plugged in while leaning on a ceiling beam. After much meowing and door pounding and crying and starring (by this kitty Oreo) I finally let him out and he led me to an already smoking old 6×6 beam in the basement entrance area. He saved us and our house from a nasty fire. He has also let me know when a leak started under a sink. We let him patrol the grounds and he watches over us and our home daily. We call him the firefighter and our plumber. Amazing kitty.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Great story! I love Gracie! Cats personify NOBILITY!!!


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