In Toronto Canada this week, Domina the Cat is being considered for an award to acknowledge her life-saving actions in alerting her owner to a fire and saving three lives in the process. “We are looking at some sort of recognition,” Fire Capt. Mike Strapko said, adding he has to do a little research to determine what kind of award Domina would be eligible for. “We’ve never given an award to an animal before.”
A quick-thinking Domina alerted her owner, Rob Smits, to the 3-alarm blaze that was spreading through the walls of his roominghouse from the vacant house next door. Smits called 911 and woke up fellow tenants Sean Conway and Peter Lam. Once everybody was out of the house, Smits darted back inside to rescue Domina, who broke free outside and ran away.
The 20-lb bundle of love was found later hiding under a neighbor’s porch. A very happy Smits went to the Animal Services shelter to be reunited with Domina. “This cat has given me a lot of joy,” Smits said. “I feel great.”
Smits, who volunteers four to five days a week at the Parkdale Community Food Bank, escaped with only the clothes on his back and Domina. The only photo he has of his birth mother was destroyed in the fire.
Smits was adopted at an early age, and said he shares a “mutual history” with Domina because she was bounced around the Toronto Humane Society shelter before finding a furever home with him.
Sadly, Smits can’t take Domina home because he doesn’t yet have one. Ecuhome has set him up with temporary housing but Smits doesn’t yet know if any of the other tenants are allergic to cats, so Domina can’t join him until those details are hammered out.
If he is unable to take Domina to his new home, he’ll put her up with a friend until he finds his own place. He promised Domina that she wouldn’t have to stay in the shelter longer than a week — if that.