Djamila Grossman/The Salt Lake Tribune
10/17/2011 at 04:00 PM EDT
If cats have nine lives, Andrea the cat has seven more left.
The full-grown female kitty survived two attempts to euthanize her in a gas chamber at Utah's West Valley City animal shelter
The tuxedoed female, scooped up as a stray more than 30 days ago by animal control, was put into a carbon monoxide gas chamber Thursday with several other cats that had been sentenced to death, according to the Salt Lake City Tribune
. Miraculously, she survived.
Soon after that first attempt, shelter staff put Andrea in the gas chamber again. Afterward, following procedure, they checked her vitals and placed the seemingly deceased cat into a plastic bag and then into a cooler. Forty-five minutes later, the unimaginable happened.
"They heard meows coming from the bag she was in," city spokesman Aaron Crim tells PEOPLE. "They opened the bag and there she was – a little bit confused and frightened, and still alive."
There would be no third try; clearly, Andrea was determined to live. "She's definitely an amazing little cat," Crim says. "She's not going to be put down, she's kind of a mascot for cats."
The resilient cat is now resting comfortably in the home of Janita Coombs, a volunteer with the Community Animal Welfare Society (CAWS)
who is fostering her for the time being.
"Thanks to everyone who has expressed interest in Andrea," reads a message on the rescue's website. "She is doing well and we will be adopting her to a CAWS volunteer or prior CAWS adopter after she is spayed."