Schnautzie the Cat Saved Her Owners from Deadly Gas
It seems that ever since news got out that his three-year-old feline, Schnautzie, won an animal hero award for sniffing out a potentially lethal gas leak in his house, every reporter in the world has felt compelled to phone him up and pester him with questions. "It could have been bad, real bad," explains Guy when asked what would have happened if Schnautzie hadn't alerted his wife Trudy, 55, that something was wrong.
The story starts back in April 2007 when the couple drove to a local pet shop not far from their house in Great Falls, Mont., hoping to purchase a puppy. But the moment they laid eyes on the tiny black kitten that an area rescue group had brought to the store, they knew they weren't going to be leaving with a dog.
Six months later around 2 a.m. one chilly October morning, Trudy was awakened by Schnautzie. The cat was seated on her chest, patting her nose with her paw. The first time it happened, Trudy went back to sleep. But a few minutes later, she did it again and when Trudy opened her eyes, she watched as the cat began sniffing at the air in the bedroom. "Cats don't normally do that," says Guy. "Or at least not any cat we've ever had."
Moments after being awakened, Trudy noticed a strange hissing sound. She elbowed her husband and asked him if he heard it. "I told her it was probably the neighbor's sprinkler," he recalls. Within seconds, however, they realized that the gas pipe leading into their house had ruptured and was filling their basement with potentially explosive fumes. The couple quickly fled the residence. Firefighters who arrived at the scene told them that if their furnace or water heater had kicked on, the result would have been disastrous.
Afterwards, the Guys rewarded Schnautzie with plenty of treats, but the incident was soon forgotten. Then, several months ago, the Great Falls Animal Foundation caught wind of Schnautzie's heroics and on April 11 they gave the cat their Purple Paw award at their annual Fur Ball.
How is she handling all the attention? "She kind of ignores it all," says Guy. "They had a big dinner for her and everyone wanted to pet her. She didn't like that. She's shy around strangers."
For more information on the Great Falls Animal Foundation, visit their website.
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