A Cat Rescued from an East Boston Fire “Is Doing Just Fine”

Some good news about the internet-famous feline.

Want some good news? Need it, even? Well, get this: The cat rescued from a three-alarm fire in East Boston, a picture of which was shared widely this weekend, has been reunited with its family and “is doing just fine,” fire department spokesman Marc Sanders says.

Thankfully, no one was injured when a three-alarm fire erupted on the third floor of a building on Meridian Street in Eastie on Sunday afternoon. Fire officials estimate the blaze caused an estimated $500,000 in damages and displaced 20 people.

According to Sanders, fire crews working in below-freezing temperatures had been cutting through the building’s walls and attic when something caught the eye of firefighter Dave McSweeney. He’d thought it might have been a stuffed animal, Sanders says, but checked just to be sure. “He reached over and it was a cat,” Sanders says. “It appeared lifeless, but he brought it down and it began to move.”

A photo Sanders snapped of the rescue at the scene, which was shared from the fire department’s official account and has since been retweeted hundreds of times, shows a soggy and presumably very chilly cat resting in McSweeney’s arms.

The pet, he says, was then placed inside the fire chief’s SUV with the heat on to warm up while fire officials tracked down the cat’s family, and later returned it. Its owner hasn’t been identified, and Sanders says he isn’t sure what the lucky feline’s name is. But he says McSweeney and the rest of the department are thrilled the cat has pulled through.

Needless to say, not all animals trapped in a burning building are that lucky. Often, pets suffer smoke inhalation or some other calamity when a home goes up in flames, Sanders says. But not this time. “It was shocking that the animal would survive,” Sanders says. “The cat must have found a corner or something that he or she tucked into.”

The whole ordeal is reminiscent of last year’s devastating 10-alarm fire in Cambridge, after which a woman was reunited with her two cats, Mac and Cheese, and the heart-wrenching moment was caught on camera.

“They say cats have nine lives,” Sanders says. “I guess that’s true.”