One night last month Annette Shanahan from Reedsburg, Wisconsin was in her bedroom feeling horrible. She felt like she was having a heart attack got out of bed but sat down and drowsed off lying limp in her armchair. Her husband Kevin was soundly asleep in the bedroom and was not aware of what was going on.
But Gracie their cat felt that something was wrong and she started pounding on their bedroom door really loudly. That woke up Kevin who also felt horrible. Kevin says “I heard the noise and I wanted Gracie to stop when I looked and saw Annette sitting in the chair.” Kevin started calling his children who realized he wasn’t talking coherently and one son came home right away. ‘My son started coming here and he got here before the police. Then my husband gave me the phone and I dialed 911. We didn’t think to get out. All I could say was our address and ‘I can’t breathe’ and kept repeating our address.’
They both didn’t have the presence of mind to leave the house on their own already partially overcome by carbon monoxide poisoning. They were taken to the hospital and it was later discovered that lethal levels of carbon monoxide were found upstairs where their bedroom was due to a malfunction of their tankless shower heater.
The couple commented that “We usually sleep with our door closed and right before we went to sleep she was outside our door meowing which is very unusual,” said Annette. “So I thought, ‘Oh I’ll just let her in. She wasn’t feeling well. She sensed something was wrong before that I guess.”
Gracie also survived and continues to live at home with the owners she saved by the grace of G-d.
They also installed new carbon monoxide detectors as theirs was already 15 years old and manufacturers recommend replacing them every 5 years. The couple doesn't want to think about what would have been if it weren't for Gracie's pounding on the door.