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Rescue Cat Turns Overnight Hero for Saving Family by Sniffing Out a Gas Leak

Lilli, a cat with special needs, saved her family by detecting a dangerous gas leak in Oregon, US | Image credit: Reuters (Representational)

Lilli, a cat with special needs, saved her family by detecting a dangerous gas leak in Oregon, US | Image credit: Reuters (Representational)

Lilly the rescue cat was adopted last year just before the pandemic and has ended up saving the lives of a family in Oregon, United States.

A rescue cat in Oregon is being hailed as a hero after she saved her owners when she detected a gas leak at their home. Sandi Martin, a resident of Lake Oswego, said she was playing with Lilly in the living room when the cat stopped to sniff the fireplace valve.

Her behavior struck Martin as unusual who thought it was strange as the cat had never done that before, and she decided to check the valve herself. Sandi also went near the valve to find it smelling of natural gas faintly. "It was very faint so I didn’t really trust my nose," she said. So, she asked her husband Mike to double-check and he smelled it too.

The couple contacted NW Natural, their gas company, whose employee arrived around 20 minutes later confirming their house has a dangerous gas leak from the fireplace. The leak would have caused a fire or explosion if gone unnoticed.

Sandi reveals the company told them to open all the doors, stay out of the room, and not use cell phones or any other electronic device near the place. The company employee tested all sources and cut off the pipe to the gas from outside, shutting down the fireplace. Lilly saved their lives, shared Sandi.

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Sandi adopted Lilly from the Cat Adoption Team (CAT) in Sherwood right before the pandemic. Lilly has 21 toes --a trait considered lucky in cats -- while most of the felines have 18 typically. As per CAT, Lilly has feline leukemia virus (FeLV), an infection that can shorten a cat’s life span.

In addition to the gas leak, Martin shares how Lilly saved her in another way. The cat helped bring her out of the "dark place" she was in due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Martin family is associated with CAT as Sandi is CAT Board Chair and the family has fostered many cats and kittens with special needs and health concerns. Lilly was already in their care before they decided to adopt her.

first published:February 19, 2021, 16:57 IST