"Lucky" the cat warned family of carbon monoxide in house

1:36 PM, Oct 3, 2010   |    comments
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MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) - Often times when our pets make noise, we ignore them. Well, it's a good thing Tara and Joe Clay from Muskegon chose to listen to their cat last weekend, because if they didn't, they might not be alive today.

"It was Saturday morning around 5:30 a.m.," says Tara Clay. "My son was crying and I got up to comfort him. It was cold in the house so I thought to turn on the heat."

It was the first time the Clay's furnace had been turned on for several months.

"About ten minutes after I turned the heat on, our cat started going crazy," Tara adds. "I told my husband I turned on the heat. He said it could be carbon monoxide."

Tara and Joe decided they weren't going to take any chances, especially with their son Austin, and Joe's two children all in the house at the time.

"So we got up and turned the heat off," said Tara. "Within three minutes the cat stopped crying, so we settled back into bed."

Approximately twelve hours later, Tara decided to turn the furnace on again, and the cat started crying again.

"Monday afternoon I was home and my baby felt cold," said Tara. "I turned the heat on and the cat started freaking out. Since I was home alone, I decided to turn off the heat again.'

And within minutes the cat stopped crying.

Tara told her husband about the second incident and he immediately called the gas company. A technician was dispatched Monday.

"He put a machine in our vents and the carbon monoxide levels kept going up," said Joe. "The technician said we definitely had a carbon monoxide problem with our furnace."

The diagnosis was a cracked heat exchanger, leaking carbon monoxide into the house through all the vents. This means Lucky the cat was right.

"I'm so grateful to be alive," says Tara. "I can't believe my cat saved my life. We might have lost our whole family that night."

The Clays were considering getting rid of Lucky a few weeks ago; not any more.

"She [Lucky] has a permanent place forever," says Joe.

The Clays are currently looking into purchasing a new furnace. The family says they saved Lucky's life five years ago  by rescuing her, so it's only fitting that Lucky return the favor.




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