Chloe the dog was lucky to survive the fire that ravaged her family home. But standing in the ruins now, owner Christine Marr could see her pet acting strangely. The dog was fascinated by a hole in the floor, so Marr looked inside. What then happened kick-started a chain of events she never thought possible.
Marr and her family are pet lovers through-and-through, so it’s only natural that two of their pets are rescued animals. To begin with, they had two cats – eight-year-old Smoke, and four-year-old Ringer. They also have a five-year-old dog called Chloe.
The Marr family also feed a few local stray felines, so animals fill their property in South Haven, Michigan. But tragedy was about to strike. Because on March 16, 2017, a devastating fire engulfed the Marr family home.
Thankfully, Marr was out of the house at the time, but an eyewitness observed and reported the blaze. As a result of the warning, both the Ganges Township Fire Department and South Haven Area Emergency Services attended. Their prompt actions meant they were able to limit damage to the house.
The fire apparently originated from a heater, and fire services prevented it spreading from the living room. Despite responders’ best efforts, though, the disaster wasn’t without its casualties. To begin with, Marr’s lounge was unsalvageable. But that was the least of her problems.
Several of Marr’s pets suffered as a result of the inferno. Firefighters discovered pet dog Chloe only half-conscious in the bathroom, where they revived her with oxygen. However, she was incredibly fortunate. The two family cats hadn’t been so lucky.
The family’s oldest cat Smoke sadly died as a result of the fire. Meanwhile, their other feline Ringer had disappeared. Rescuers scoured the area, but there was no sign of the missing cat.
Although there was no evidence Ringer had survived, Marr didn’t give up hope. Indeed, according to The Huffington Post, she returned to her home “dozens of times” to look for the missing cat. Every time, though, Marr came away with nothing but disappointment.
One day however, Marr decided to take dog Chloe with her back to the ruined property. By this point, the dog had recovered sufficiently from her ordeal to join her owner. Two months had passed since the disaster, and Chloe must have been missing Ringer. In an interview with the The Huffington Post, Marr explained how close the two animals were.
“They’re buddies, they’ve been buddies since day one,” Marr told the news website. Meanwhile, Chloe had begun acting strangely upon visiting the house. “She’s running around the house and she’s sniffing all the corners,” she added.
Marr continued, “And then she went to another part of the house. And she started licking the floor and scratching at it. I thought, okay, that’s weird.” Furthermore, every time she tried to move Chloe away from the area, the dog went right back to the same spot.
After Chloe returned to the object of her fascination a third time, Marr became suspicious. She subsequently used a flashlight to illuminate an area just under the floor, and received an unexpected response. “I heard a faint meow,” Marr continued to The Huffington Post.
Because her home was somewhat of a haven for homeless cats, Marr passed the visitor off as one of them. “I figured it was a stray,” she said, and she went to find some food to lure it out. When she came back to the spot, her husband was petting the cat.
The most surprising thing, though, was what Marr saw when she looked at the cat’s tail. A band of white fur decorated it, and that’s when she knew the improbable had happened. “I’m like, ‘Oh my God,” Marr told The Huffington Post, “’that’s Ringer!’”
On seeing Ringer, Marr broke down in tears. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing. “This is our missing cat of two months that just came out of a hole in the floor,” she told the news website. Needless to say, the family’s next stop was an emergency room.
The Marr family whisked Ringer away to an animal clinic in Kalamazoo, Michigan. And they were in for a pleasant surprise. A veterinarian told them that Ringer was in surprisingly good condition. “He goes, ‘This cat’s a miracle because [he] is in incredible shape for what he’s gone through,’” Marr recalled to The Huffington Post.
Fire department chief Ronald Wise told UK newspaper Metro how emergency services had looked everywhere for Ringer. “We picked up furniture, looked around beds, looked in every nook and cranny for that cat,” he revealed. So how did Ringer survive for so long under the floor?
Marr believes that Ringer survived off passing insects. As for how he got under there in the first place, she thinks Ringer initially fled the fire. When he returned, builders had begun work on gutting the floor, and accidentally trapped him.
Although Ringer’s condition was remarkably good considering his ordeal, he still required extensive medical help. He was malnourished and weighed half of what he used to. Additionally, he couldn’t eat solid food. But veterinarians provided Ringer with a drip to aid his recovery.
However, the most important thing is that Ringer survived. “I’m just still in awe that he’s back. I got my cat back,” Marr informed The Huffington Post. “That makes all that bad stuff not so bad.” And with the timing of his rescue, Marr considers Ringer her “Mother’s Day miracle.”