Scarlett and her five kittens were in an abandoned garage in Brooklyn when a fire started from undetermined causes.
Firefighters on the scene noticed Scarlett carrying her kittens away from the garage one by one.
She rescued her brood from the burning building and, as she could carry only one kitten out at a time, so she must have made five separate journeys into the thick, choking smoke and blistering heat in order to do so.
Her devotion, courage and persistence were almost unbelievable.
Scarlett herself had been severely burned in the process of pulling her kittens from the fire. Her eyes were blistered shut, her ears and paws burned, and her coat highly singed. The majority of her facial hair had been burnt away.
Even though her eyes were blistered shut, she counted her babies by touching each with her nose, making sure all were there, before herself lapsing into unconsciousness.
Scarlett along with her kittens were rushed to North Shore Animal League America, where they were treated for burns and smoke inhalation and placed in an oxygen chamber in intensive care.
As well as her swollen eyes, the mother’s ears were seriously burned, her paws scorched and her fur singed.
Scarlett required continuous care and treatment for her injuries and heart murmur she developed during her time in the Animal League.
One of the kittens succumbed to a virus after a month. The rest of the family recovered after three months of continuous treatment.
Following the recovery, Scarlett and her babies were put for adoption.
Scarlett was adopted by the Wellens family, she received abundant love at home and outside as well.
She continued being in the media limelight and received prestigious honours and titles, made news headlines in various news outlets and also caught Oprah Winfrey’s fancy.
In 2007, at the age of 13, she was diagnosed with inoperable lymphoma and after months of treatment chemotherapy, Scarlett was laid to rest in October 2008 as the family couldn’t see their beloved cat suffer.