At 4:00 a.m. in the morning on Monday, May 14, 2002, Mona Melanson slept soundly in her Châteauguay apartment, while her apartment building was engulfed in smoke and burning down around her. Mona slept so soundly that she did not even hear the fire alarm and only woke up when she heard her four-year-old cat, Beau, hurling her body against the closed bedroom door.
Still groggy, Mona could not imagine why Beau was doing this in the middle of the night, especially as this was behaviour that she had never seen before. Immediately she got up to see what the fuss was all about. She opened her bedroom door to find that her apartment was overcome with such thick, heavy smoke that she could not even see the end of her hallway.
Mona and Beau had no choice but to run out onto their second-floor balcony, as there was no other escape route. They waited in terror, crying for help until the Châteauguay Fire Department rescued them both and took them to safety.
Mona credits Beau with saving her life.