Local family credits cat with escape from fire

- Firefighters from Upper Darby and Drexel Hill made quick work of the wind-whipped blaze that gutted a two-story twin home on the 900 block of Anderson Ave.Wednesday morning

However, for homeowner Bernadette Clark, the real drama was just beginning. Clark, her husband and an adult daughter were at home around 9 a.m.when Bernadette put her 3-year-old female tortoise shell cat Mishka in an upstairs front bedroom to keep her away from the family's 1-year-old male, Casanova. The two cats don't always get along.

A short time later, says Bernadette, "The cat made this crazy Meeooww!! -- deep-throated sound that I've never heard from the cat. It was so amazing that I was compelled to go upstairs."

Bernadette says when she opened the bedroom door, "She ran right out and down the stairs and the room is engulfed."

Both cats scattered and disappeared. The experts from Red Paw Relief were called and Kelly Fay headed for the basement.

As firefighters removed charred debris from that upstairs bedroom, the Clark family waited for news. Finally, more than four hours after the fire was extinguished, a scream of joy from Justine Clark-- she's Casanova's "mom."

"Oh my God we got the cat!  We got the cat!"

Kelly Fay emerged from the basement with the cat-- looking curious but in good shape--- in a pet carrier.
 
"He was just scared," said Fay of the rescued cat.  "Just hiding behind the cabinet. I had to coax him out but I heard a little bell.  He had a bell on his collar. Got him!"
 
"It was the worst today," said Justine Clark.   "And now all the sudden. As long as I have everyone I love and my cat, I'm happy.  It's OK.  Everything else is just stuff."

Still on the loose as of late Wednesday afternoon? Mishka who is believed to be outside somewhere nearby. 
 
"She's the hero of the hour, actually. I love that cat. She needs to get spoiled as soon as I can find her!" Bernadette said.
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