Me-wow! Cat Beats Death at Utah Shelter – Twice!
10/18/2011 AT 09:00 AM EDT
The full-grown female kitty survived two attempts to euthanize her in a gas chamber at Utah's West Valley City animal shelter last week.
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."