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article imageSchnautzie, the cat, awarded The Purple Paw for heroic deed

By Igor I. Solar     Apr 19, 2010 in Lifestyle
Great Falls - A three-year-old female black cat that saved the life of her human family received The Purple Paw Award from the Great Falls Animal Foundation at their Annual Fur Ball.
Schnautzie was only six months old in 2007 when she saved the life of Trudy and Greg Guy from a dangerous gas leak that could have blown their house. On presenting the award at the Fur Ball ceremony on April 10, Sally Cerny of the Animal Foundation's said:
"The goal is to find an animal who in a very, very special way, shows the human-animal bond; there is no more special way to show that than to save your family."
In October 2007, Trudy Guy was sleeping when Schnautzie climbed on her chest and tapped her nose with her paw several times. “…and then sniffed the air like a dog," Trudy said to a reporter in an interview.
Since the cat had never done that before, Trudy felt that something was wrong. She smelled gas, went to the bathroom and found out that a gas pipe had broken three inches above the shutoff valve. She opened the windows and called for help. Responding firefighters told her that the house could have blown up because of the high gas level.
At the time of the event, the Guys were fostering Schnautzie for PetPaw-See, an animal shelter organization in Great Falls, MT, that helps animals find “furrever” homes. The Guys eventually adopted Schnautzie. "She just worked her way into our hearts", Trudy said.
The Great Falls Animal Foundation’s Purple Paw Award is given to “a pet that has made an outstanding contribution to mankind through either a heroic act or other demonstration of the strong bond between humans and animals." Past winners have been a hospital therapy dog, a K-9 Dutch Shepherd police dog, and an abused, but rescued, three-legged cat.
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