Heroic cat recognized for saving owner from Gatlinburg fires

GATLINBURG (WATE) – The story has come full circle. Mark Burger rescued his pet as a kitten, and a few weeks ago, the cat rescued him from the Gatlinburg fires.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, says it’s also a good example of learning the language our animals speak. PETA recognized Tiger the cat for his actions.

Tiger has been living alongside Burger for the last year, and now they know each other’s behavior traits.

“I can read his meows and face,” said Burger.

Burger knew something was wrong on November 28 when his cat started acting strangely.

“The cat kept running to the window, acting nervous,” said Burger.

Burger went outside to see what was wrong.

“That’s when I saw the flames,” he said.

Burger loaded up his feline friend and headed down the mountain.

“I don’t think I would’ve went outside and yeah, I probably wouldn’t have noticed it.”

“Tiger’s actions and Mark’s actions really shine a light on the importance of having an emergency plan for your animals so that no member of your family gets left behind,” said Melissa WIlson with PETA.

“I think animals sense danger and you got to learn to read them. We just communicate really well,” Burger said.

Being deemed a heroic cat is a wonderful thing, even though Tiger might night realize it. He does realize being back in Gatlinburg is being back to normal.

“This is home and he loves it here,” Tiger’s owner said.

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