• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Hero cat 'Meatball' saves residents from blaze
A hero cat named "Meatball" (not the cute kitty pictured above) is credited with saving the lives of ten residents at a farmhouse in southern France. Photo: Road Traveller/Flickr

Hero cat 'Meatball' saves residents from blaze

Joshua Melvin · 25 Feb 2014, 11:56

Published: 25 Feb 2014 11:56 GMT+01:00

When a blaze broke out in the attic of a farmhouse that had been converted into several apartments in a tiny village in south-eastern France the consequences could have been tragic for the occupants.

But thankfully a cat’s keen senses saved the day as well as the lives of seven adults and three children who lived in the farmhouse. 

Alexandra Marlin was awoken from a deep sleep in the early hours of Sunday morning in La Bégude-de-Mazenc by the sound of her cat “Meatball” (boulette) scratching on the floor of the attic. The woman, half asleep, rolled from bed and went to see what the kitty was up to.

But when Marlin yanked open the trap door that leads to the attic and was just about to yell for Boulette, she noticed for the first time the fire burning in the space above her home. In terror she rushed to call firefighters and thankfully escaped the burning house.

But during the moments that followed owner became separated from her cat.

“After calling the firefighters, I went back in the house to cut off the electricity. Because Boulette is often at my heels I was afraid she got stuck in the house without me seeing her,” Marlin told French paper Dauphiné Liberé.

It was starting to look like, after saving the life of her owner and possibly the neighbors, she was the only victim of the fire. But thankfully , Boulette was fine, she had simply run off during the chaos of the fire.

She finally turned up again on Sunday evening, a bit timid after the ordeal, but otherwise perfectly fine. The events have brought owner and pet closer.

Story continues below…

“The bonds of affection that bind us are even stronger than before. I have more respect for her. To think that she certainly saved my life and that of my neighbors, it will count forever in how I think of her,” Marlin told Dauphiné Liberé.

The neighbors were pleased as well and, via text message, offered free food for life to the hero cat.

“Great, Boulette is back! We will pay for a year of the best cat biscuits. She deserves it!" the text read.

Joshua Melvin (joshua.melvin@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France 'probes new death threats' against Charlie Hebdo

A special French police unit has launched investigations after Charlie Hebdo magazine was subject to new death threats, according to reports in France.

Paris commuters face summer of transport headaches
Photo: AFP

Here are the train lines to avoid this summer if you're in Paris.

What's on in France: Eleven great things to do in July
Check out Provence's Lavender festivals in July. Photo: Ming-Yen Hsu/Flickr

We reckon July is by far the best month to be in France. Here's why.

Brexit
France wants Paris to profit from London's losses
Photo: AFP

Paris must take London's place as Europe's financial powerhouse once Brexit happens, a French minister says.

French foie gras industry warns of shortages
Photo: AFP

The foie gras industry in France is struggling to digest the consequences of the bird flu scare in its heartland.

Paris to honour Ireland's 'wonderful' football fans
Photo: AFP

Fans of the Boys in Green are to be given a special medal for bringing some joy to Euro 2016.

€5 to the coast? Ouibus rolls out new summer lines
Photo: Ouibus

Fancy heading to the coast for just €5 this summer?

Brexit
When France 'ignored' the result of an EU referendum
Demonstrators hold signs reading 'Respect our No, an other Europe is possible' after the EU constitution which was rejected in a referendum in 2005. Photo: AFP

The UK has voted to Leave the EU... but can the Brexit vote simply be ignored? Here's what happened in France's own EU referendum 11 years ago.

Tensions mount as thousands protest France's labour laws
French anti-riot police officers hold a man during a demonstration against controversial labour reforms, on June 28, 2016 on Bastille Square in Paris. Photo: AFP

Police are on high alert as tensions have begun to service during the latest labour reform protest in Paris.

The bright side of Brexit: The 'good news' for Brits in France
Photo: AFP

Well the UK voted to Leave the EU, the pound is tumbling, and stock markets have been in turmoil, but it's not all bad news for Brits living and working in France... right?

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
New app aims to rid Paris pavements of dog poo
Society
No more plastic bags! See what changes in France from July 2016
National
Mixed reaction from the French as UK votes for Brexit
National
How Brexit could now scupper that dream move to France
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Brexit limbo: What happens next for Brits in France?
Gallery
Ten reasons why you should think about becoming French
Analysis & Opinion
Brexit: Life for Brits in France 'will get more complicated'
Culture
20 English words that 'should be banished' from French
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Best Briehaviour: A guide to French cheese etiquette
Features
And the best city in France for expats to live in is...?
Society
Forget bikes, Paris is set to roll out scooter rentals
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
'We fear for our safety': French police feel the strain
Lifestyle
Why Rennes (and not Paris) is the best city in France for expats to live
National
Why are the French losing appetite for baguettes?
Lifestyle
Naturism booms in France as young eager to ditch clothes
Lifestyle
Is working life better in London or Paris?
National
Dear Americans: Please come to Paris
National
It's official (kind of): French work fewest hours in EU
And the best football fans of Euro 2016 in France are?
National
Paris has wettest spring in 100 years and it's hitting morale
Police murders remind France of complexity of terror threat
National
IN PICTURES: Labour law protests in Paris turn ugly
National
Double murder just latest jihadist attack on French police and soldiers
2,736
jobs available