Remembering Scarlett, the Heroic Momma Cat Of The 90’s


A few days ago, DognMeows shared the story of one momma cat who braved the fires just to save her kittens. Although Flame the cat wasn’t able to save her litter, she was still lucky enough to have survived and found a forever home. Flame’s story is reminiscent of one momma cat’s from decades ago, who will be remembered for her act.

In 1996, Scarlett was looking after her kittens in an abandoned garage in Brooklyn when the fire broke out. Firefighters who came to the rescue saw the calico carrying he newborn kittens away from the building. The feline mom was badly burned but she managed to line up her babies on safe ground. Unable to see her kittens after her eyes were burned, she only used her nose to nudge on her kittens to make sure that she’s got every last one of them. Scarlett then fell unconscious.

David Giannelli, a firefighter from the scene, took the feline family to North Shore Animal League America where they were treated. A month after the fire broke out, one of the kittens, considered the weakest, died of a virus. The rest of the family continued treatment for three months and the momma cat, who had since been given the name Scarlett, were all good to go to find a new home.

Scarlett went home with Karen Wellen.

Scarlett the cat was remembered for her heroic act.
Karen Wellen

The kittens, four of them left, were successfully adopted out in pairs. Scarlett, on the other hand, went home with Karen Wellen, who stood out among the thousands and thousands of applicants. Wellen lost her cat shortly after she got into an accident that injured her. Wellen wanted to adopt a cat and the Animal League has picked her as the best human for Scarlett since she wants a cat with special needs.

Scarlett the cat with her humom Karen featured in Life magazine.

Life Magazine

Scarlett the cat’s heroic act made her famous in the media; she had been featured in various major news outlets. There were also books made about her and landed a segment on Animal Planet. Scarlett had a second chance at life after the fire. But still, she received ongoing care because of her injuries; she was also diagnosed with a heart murmur.

On Oct. 11, 2008, Scarlett the heroic momma cat whose story received a worldwide acclaim died from her battle with multiple illnesses. Scarlett lived life with her adoptive family for over 12 years.

h/t: Animal League

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