Bacon Shows His Appreciation and Love for His Rescuer by Awakening Her from a Burning Apartment
"I'm just glad my cat's alive."
-- Kristen Eliasson
Twenty-six-year-old Kristen Eliasson was sound asleep in her one-bedroom apartment on Somerset Street in Ottawa on the morning of August 16th when the building went up in flames. She did not hear either the sirens emanating from the fire trucks and emergency personnel outside in the street or the alarm bell ringing in the hall.
Worst still, the smoke detector in her flat was on the fritz. Fortunately for her, about four months ago she had taken in from the street a black and white cat named Bacon who cruelly had been left to fend for himself when his callous owners had relocated elsewhere.
Being both a light sleeper and a quick study as all cats are, Bacon immediately knew what was happening. Without a minute to spare, he jumped in bed with Kristen and began loudly meowing in her face until she finally woke up. By that time, thick black smoke was billowing into the apartment and it was getting difficult for both Bacon and her to breathe.
She quickly got to her feet, wrapped a blanket around herself, and somehow made it downstairs with Bacon in her arms. "I couldn't see anything at all," she later recalled for The Ottawa Citizen on August 17th. (See "Tenant Credits Her Cat, Bacon, for Alerting Her to the Inferno.")
The fire not only completely destroyed her building but an adjacent one as well. All totaled, thirty-one people were left homeless by the fire.
Although the conflagration not only robbed her of a place to live but all of her belongings as well, Kristen is not complaining. From her temporary abode at the Lord Elgin Hotel, she said simply, "I'm just glad my cat's alive." (See photo above of the happy pair.)
Some cynics maintain that no good deed ever goes unpunished and while that sort of misanthropic thinking may have some small measure of currency in human affairs, it is totally spurious when it comes to animals. They do not play by those rules.
"A cat has absolute emotional honesty," Ernest Hemingway once commented. "Human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not."
The particulars of this story are unique to Kristen and Bacon, but the phenomenon of rescued cats and dogs returning the favor by saving the lives of their guardians is fairly common. It is almost as if they take it upon themselves to become their rescuers' guardian angels for life.
Photo: The Ottawa Citizen.