Of course, in typical feline style, Gracie the eight-year-old Maine coon cat might have merely wished to save herself, but thinking more positively, the moggie did save her humans’ lives. In fact, Kevin and Annette Shanahan are really lucky to be alive after carbon monoxide leaked from their hot water heater.

According to a report by ABC News, the incident happened in Reedsburg, Wisconsin, last month, when Annette awoke in terrible pain. She told ABC News she believed she was suffering a heart attack. Reportedly her head was so fuzzy, she couldn’t think.

She struggled to get up and managed to walk to a chair in the bedroom, thinking she was about to die. Annette said she didn’t even think to wake her husband. It was at that moment that Gracie the cat started pounding the bedroom door with her paws. According to Annette she had fallen asleep and was only awoken again because of the persistent rattling of the door by her cat.

Kevin Shanahan was woken by Gracie the cat

In the next moment, her husband, Kevin, was finally awoken by the noise and found he wasn’t feeling too good either. According to Annette, when he stood up, he soon realized something was very wrong. He also had a fuzzy head. Kevin then went to see if the children were at home, while Annette had difficulty even standing up.

She continued to think she was suffering a heart attack and finally managed to slide down the stairs. Downstairs, Kevin was trying to call the couple’s children, to find out where they were.

Annette dials 911 for help

As soon as the Shanahan’s son got the call, he knew something was wrong, as his father’s speech was erratic and sounded impaired.

Immediately after this, Annette dialed 911, managing to tell the emergency dispatch their address. She reportedly told them she couldn’t breathe. However, the couple didn’t think to leave the home. Their son reportedly arrived at the house before the police did. When the emergency responders arrived, they found a lethal level of carbon monoxide upstairs in the home.

They called in Alliant Energy, who tested the house and found the dangerous levels of the gas. It turned out the problem had been caused by their gas hot water heater, which is tank-less. Apparently, the vent, had iced shut, after everyone showered that night. According to Annette, this sucked up the carbon monoxide, pushing it into their bedroom.

All's well that ends well, thanks to Gracie the cat

Thanks to Gracie the cat, the Shanahans have learned a lesson and have replaced their outdated gas detector, installing four new models. The couple say they are very grateful their hero cat, who alerted them to what could have been a fatal situation.

Kevin told News Channel 3 that the family has three cats and that they run the house, adding they are only normally there to feed and care for them. Seems like Gracie wanted to return the favor. As Kevin says, they were saved by Grace.