Schnautzie the Cat Receives Purple Paw Award


If you’re one of those people who harbors a fear of black cats, this story could make you change your mind.

This week, Schnautzie the Cat received the Purple Paw award from the Great Falls Animal Foundation for saving the lives of Trudy and Greg Guy.

Schnautzie smelled a dangerous gas leak in 2007 as the couple slept. Shnautzie jumped up on Trudy’s chest, pawed her on the nose, then sniffed the air in much the same way as a dog would.

It was the first time Trudy had observed this behavior in Shnautzie.

“It was bothering me … I knew something wasn’t right,” Trudy said.

She walked through the house and identified a “roaring” sound in the bathroom. The gas pipe outside the bathroom had broken above the shutoff valve causing gas to be pumped into the basement.

“I went into the bathroom and opened the window and the gas was just fuming,” Trudy said. “Our house was saturated in a short time.”

It was an unseasonably cold night and the furnace could kick on at any time, shooting a spark that could ignite the fumes.

“If the furnace had kicked on or the hot water heater …” Greg said.
It wasn’t until the next day that Trudy realized how close the family had been to disaster.

“The house could have (blown) up,” she said.

Ironically, Schnautzie was never meant to be the Guys’ cat. At one time they merely were fostering her for a shelter, but they succumbed to her charms, another fostering fail.

“When you held her, she would just cuddle up against you,” Trudy said. “She just (worked) her way into our hearts.”

“The goal of the Purple Paw award is to find an animal who, in a very special way, shows the human-animal bond,” according to Animal Foundation’s Sally Cerny. “There’s no more special way to show that than to save your family.”

Schautzie the Cat, we salute you!

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