Meskie is a 17-year-old Calico-Angora mixed cat whose calm and gentle disposition stole Chyrl Field’s heart the moment she laid eyes on her. Chyrl, a 67-year-old retiree, is a life-long animal lover. Living alone in her New Brunswick home, Chyrl developed some health issues over the years including a bad hip, knee and heart, so it helped having a loyal companion with a soft and tender personality by her side. Though she had owned pets before, Chyrl always knew there was something special about Meskie.
Most nights, Chyrl and Meskie were visited by a friend who would stop by to check in on Chyrl. She would ensure the house was locked and the lights were turned off, before Chyrl would settle into bed.
On the evening of August 8th, 2013, Chyrl fell asleep in a reclining chair after her friend’s regular visit. At approximately 2:00 a.m. Chyrl was startled awake by Meskie who had pounced heavily on her stomach. Meskie was clearly agitated and concerned about something. Once Meskie had woken Chyrl, the cat jumped down to the floor and ran quickly to the kitchen. Chyrl was surprised by Meskie’s actions as she was typically very careful and gentle with Chyrl. Instantly, Chyrl understood from Meskie’s peculiar behaviour that something was wrong and followed her into the kitchen.
As Chyrl approached the kitchen she noticed an orange glow emanating from the windows. As she moved closer, she caught the scent of smoke seeping through her walls and realized the front of her home was on fire.
Scared for her life, Chyrl grabbed Meskie and her purse and dialed 911 for help. With her limited mobility, Chyrl hurried out of her home as quickly as she could, wearing only a nightgown. Chyrl then got into her car and proceeded to pull away from the house. By the time she was able to back her car away, the flames from the house fire were so intense that the paint on her car was blistering from the heat. Chyrl then used her cell phone to call two of her friends to come to the scene and be with her while she waited for the fire department to arrive. When the local fire department arrived her home was engulfed in flames; but thankfully she and Meskie were safe.
If it had not been for Meskie’s extraordinary behaviour that night in alerting Chyrl to the fire, Chyrl believes the pair would have perished. Had Meskie not leapt onto Chyrl when she did, Chyrl may not have awoken in time to escape her burning home.