When Christine Marr’s house caught fire, she lost her home and two cherished cats. So it must have been painful for her to return to the wreckage two months later. But when her dog started digging in the ruins, it gave her a glimmer of hope.
Marr and her family live in South Haven, Michigan. In early 2017, the family shared their home with two cats and a dog named Chloe. However, little did they know that by March, a disaster would have torn their lives apart.
That’s when their home caught fire, with the Marrs’ pets still inside. Luckily, firefighters were able to rescue Chloe from the blaze and save her life using an improvised oxygen mask. But unfortunately, the family’s cats were not so lucky.
One of the felines perished in the fire. Meanwhile, their second cat – whose name was Ringer – went missing. With no sign of her beloved pet anywhere, Marr began to fear the worse – that he too had succumbed to the inferno.
Given the damage their home had sustained in the fire, the Marrs had to vacate the property for some time. However, two months later, they made the hard decision to take Chloe back to visit the wreckage.
Considering the distressing ordeal Chloe had suffered at the property, her owners had no idea how she would react. So when the dog started scratching and digging at the floorboards, it probably worried the Marrs.
However, as they watched their pet, they realized she was digging with quite some determination. Not only was she interested in the floor, but she also started sniffing around a hole in the wall. Then Marr heard an unexpected noise.
The sound was that of a cat meowing. So, naturally, Marr was concerned that an animal may have become trapped in the wreckage of her home. Writing on her Facebook page in 2017, she explained, “Heard a cat meowing so we got food to coax it out.”
When it finally emerged, it was clear to see that the animal was in a bad way. Just by looking at it, Marr could see that the creature was underweight. In fact, it looked as though the feline may have been homeless for some time.
Upon closer inspection Marr realized that the animal in question wasn’t any ordinary cat. It was her pet Ringer, who had been missing since the fire. Amazingly, he’d somehow survived for two months among the ruins of their burnt-out home.
Later, Marr described finding Ringer alive as her “Mother’s Day miracle.” Describing the moment they managed to persuade the cat out of his hiding place, she added, “Out came Ringer our cat that we thought perished in the fire.”
In her Facebook post, Marr continued, “Not completely sure on [the] story on how he ended up in this hole in the floor. He’s been down there for two months with no food and water. Very skinny but doing well.”
After his ordeal, Ringer’s family took him to the Animal Hospital in Kalamazoo, MI. There, the cat astonished staff with his impressive tale of survival. According to them, the fact he was still alive was a “miracle.”
To aid his recovery, vets fitted Ringer with a feeding tube so that they could slowly reintroduce him to food. However, the cat’s prospects were looking up. “[He’s] very sick, lost half his body weight but he’s going to live,” Marr wrote on YouCaring in 2017.
As word of Ringer’s re-emergence spread, it took many people by surprise, not least of all the firefighters who had tried to locate the cat in the wake of the inferno. But they were delighted that Chloe the dog had been able to sniff Ringer out.
Speaking to FOX17 in 2017, Chief Ronald Wise of the South Haven Area Emergency Services said, “We picked up furniture, looked around beds, looked in every nook and cranny for that cat. To know that Chloe had found the cat, that’s amazing.”
Continuing to sing the dog’s praises, Chief Wise credited Chloe with saving the life of her fellow four-legged friend. “She’s a true hero, she is,” he said. “To get that cat, you wouldn’t think the cat would live that much longer.”
To get him fighting fit, Ringer would require weekly check-ups at the animal hospital. He also needed to be fed every four hours to build his strength. As a result, the Marr family were facing a $1,000 vet bill just for Ringer, with an additional $600 for Chloe.
To help them pay for her pets’ medical bills, Marr set up a crowdfunding campaign on YouCaring. On her page, she kept donors updated with Ringer and Chloe’s progress. So in August 2017 Marr revealed that both animals were “doing amazing.”
So even though Ringer appeared to be putting his trauma behind him, his owners will likely never forget his fighting spirit. “We’re assuming he was eating bugs and spiders and stuff under there,” Marr told FOX17. “I think he used a bit more than just nine lives.”