SYDNEY — A newly-adopted cat has been credited with saving the home of its new family.
Tilly, a tabby, alerted her owner Matt Clayton to a fire in the roof of the family home in Melbourne, Australia.
Three weeks ago Matt and his family went to rescue an animal from a shelter. There they found Tilly, who was ridden with fleas and a downtrodden mum to four kittens. The decision not to get a much-wanted dog changed his life.
As he was leaving for work later than usual, Tilly refused to move out of his way. Instead she starred at the ceiling, purring repeatedly.
There was a silent, odourless fire in the roof but traces of danger were hidden. At Tilly's insistence, Matt gently touched a down-light and smoke came billowing out.
Firefighters who attended the scene were in disbelief a cat could have such an amazing sense of intuition and praised Tilly for her work.
"If Tilly wasn't there, it would have been a catastrophe for sure," local fire chief Ken Campbell told 7News.
He said the straw insulation would have caught alight and engulfed the entire building in 20 minutes.
Matt is still in disbelief his furry sidekick turned out to be man's best friend and very happy he didn't get a dog.
"I never thought the cat would save the house. Crikey!" Matt said to 7News.
Tags: AUSTRALIA, FIRE RESCUE, HOUSE FIRE, MELBOURNE, TILLY THE CAT, US & World