A deadly fire at a lower Manhattan e-bike store left four people dead and survivors walking dazed through the block, carrying their struggling family cat, Sally. The fire broke out spreading extremely fast, and in early in the morning hours. How could this happen though? Within the store, lithium-ion batteries had suddenly ignited. It’s a stark reminder for everybody to carefully store and keep an eye out for defects or heat from such batteries.
Sally was pulled from the burning building and barely moving, struggling to breathe. If she didn’t get help immediately, she wouldn’t make it. But miraculously, that’s what this cat found from total strangers that day.
Walking home, Simon Tung with Meow Parlour saw the dazed family holding Sally and offered help on the spot, with no strings attached. He didn’t know them at all, but he could see this cat needed what maybe only he and his wife,Christina Ha, could provide for Sally.
Veterinary help for the cat would have been hard to find in the neighborhood. And finding it would be near impossible as the family was in shock. Giving them help for Sally would allow them to focus on their own recovery.
Sally Receives Critical Care After the Fire
The first obstacle for Simon was convincing the family that he only wanted to help the cat. Thank goodness, they realized it was a genuine, selfless, kind offer and agreed. Such offers are often met with skepticism and doubt in a world with too many scammers. Yet Simon convinced them, somehow.
After their leap of faith, Sally was able to receive critical lifesaving care. She had inhaled carbon monoxide and who knows what else from the lithium batteries, which could cause brain damage. To breathe, she required an oxygen tent with a slow recovery under expert care. But even though the rescuers have helped countless cats, Sally’s condition was a new one even for them.
“Simon’s been in touch with the family with every step of Sally’s care, so they know the challenges she faces and that she may need to be with us for weeks as she recovers. I’ve never cared for a cat who couldn’t move before, and it wasn’t something I ever expected to do, but Sally’s worth it,” shared Christina.
Videos via Instagram/whiskerstowhiskers
A Great Example of How Resilient Cats Can Be
When Sally arrived, she was petrified and couldn’t use her front legs or the litter box for a week. Few would suspect how far she would come, but slowly, surely, she made a remarkable recovery.
“Since last week, the e-bike fire has reignited 2 more times.
With Sally, it felt like we were racing against the clock by trying to reverse as much damage as possible before it became permanent,” Christina said.
Receiving oxygen therapy right away may have prevented her debilitating symptoms from becoming permanent. At first, she moved awkwardly, running away like “a newborn spider,” but then, she shocked the vets as she regained mobility rapidly with physical therapy.
“Sally’s a great example of how resilient cats and animals can be,” Christina said.
Even better, supporters donated so that the family wouldn’t endure the expenses after losing their home.
Sally Goes Home
After several weeks, Sally was ready to go back home, the result of a caring community, dedicated rescuers, and vets. A special drinking fountain helped them monitor how much water she drank as she regained her strength.
“It’s incredible what a few weeks can do. Since the day we met Sally, she transformed from a petrified cat who struggled to breathe and could barely move into a chatty girl who got to go home. It only took a few weeks of our time to get her there, and it gave her people the opportunity to focus on everything they needed to do after the fire.”
Safely at home now, her owner reported that Sally “has been adjusting and that her tremors have reduced significantly.” Finding help for Sally so unexpectedly that day on the street surely must have helped them all find strength again. Now, they can begin to rebuild a new life together thanks to so many caring people.