NEW BEDFORD, Mass. – A lucky cat owes one of its nine lives to a firefighter who revived it with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
Al Machado rescued the cat from a burning apartment Tuesday, telling The Standard Times of New Bedford that he saw immediately that it needed air. Machado began performing mouth to mouth on the animal as he carried it outside.
Video shot at the scene shows Machado bent over, breathing into the cat's mouth several times. The cat, a tiger angora, was revived and resting comfortably soon after.
No humans were injured in the fire.
Alvin Warren Niles, 43, and Joan T. Perreira, 44, who live in the apartment, were arrested and charged with arson. Automatic not guilty pleas were entered for them at an arraignment Wednesday and a judge released them without bail and ordered them to see to a probation officer three times a week and undergo a psychiatric evaluation. Niles' attorney, Michael Prevost, said his client denies setting the fire. Police allege the pair set the blaze to cash in on renter's insurance, but Prevost said he doesn't believe they had any.
Two other cats died in their second-floor apartment, but emergency personnel rescued four dogs, three cats, a chinchilla, a ferret and some frogs from the three-story building.
Asked what it tasted like to give mouth-to-mouth to a cat, Machado laughed, grimaced and said: "Like fur."