The firefighters of Engine 22 Ladder 13 Fire Company on East 85th Street in Upper Manhattan are grateful that they didn’t have to add Carlow to the roster of their fallen brethren.
The orange and white kitten apparently escaped the firehouse late Saturday night when firefighters answered an emergency call.
When they realized the cat was missing, the firefighters were initially scared that their fluffy little mascot might have been killed in the hubbub.
“At first we were worried that we had run over him,” said firefighter David Santiago. But they knew the cat’s behavior well enough to know he was too smart to get stuck under a truck’s wheels. The only other option, then, was that instead of running to the back of the firehouse as he usually did when the sirens started, he ran out the door.
How did Carlow — who is named after the company’s favorite local bar — come to be a firehouse cat?
About four months ago, the firefighters were on a run to East Harlem when they found the terrified, dirty, and hungry little guy stuck in a tire rim. After they finished their business, they took the kitten to a Petco, where Angellicle Cats Rescue has a station providing vaccinations to cats in need.
The firefighters didn’t quite know what to do with him at first, but this video provides indisputable evidence that the little guy was already winning their hearts.
Naturally, Carlow won the hearts of the Anjellicle Cats staff and volunteers, too, and when the word went out that the cat had gone missing, they sprang into action. One volunteer designed a poster about Carlow, which was distributed around the neighborhood. Barbra Langlois, another Anjellicle volunteer, had organized a search party to look for the cat.
But the search party didn’t have to be deployed.
A woman who lives in the neighborhood came by the firehouse on Tuesday night with some excellent news: She had Carlow. She had found the cat sitting in a box and taken him home. Then she saw the flyer and realized that the folks at the local firehouse were missing their little buddy.
I ask you, how could anyone say no to a bunch of guys who risk their lives every day for the safety of their neighbors? This woman sure couldn’t — and now, Carlow is back home where he belongs, fulfilling his role of four-legged stress reliever and furry friend.