BARTOW (FOX 13) - Gizmo the calico cat is only 1 year old, but she may have given up one of her nine lives to save her owners when a fire broke out in their house.
Ron Perkins said he was asleep on the couch, but Gizmo was intent upon waking him up. What he quickly realized was an oven mitt, left on the toaster, had caught fire and Gizmo was trying to alert him.
"The cat definitely saved my life!" Perkins told FOX 13 from his back porch.
The porch, and the rest of the Bartow home where five people live, is still standing, likely thanks to Gizmo's persistent meows.
"The cat, Gizmo, the cat had her front paws on the cushion, just meowing. She would not stop," he said. "When I opened my eyes, I realized the house was full of smoke."
He was able to extinguish the small fire before it had a chance to spread. Perkins showed us what was left of the charred oven mitt.
"I thoroughly believe if she hadn't woke me up, I'd have been found dead on that sofa this morning," he said.
Now, Gizmo is being showered with treats by the family she saved.
"I've never heard of this ever in my life, that a cat would save the day, but she certainly did, she saved us all," said homeowner Warren Brown. "I think the cat ought to get an award."
So next time someone says all cats are evil, remember Gizmo, the life-saving calico.
"This cat, I thoroughly believe it gave me one of its own nine lives," Perkins added.