It was getting close to bedtime. Kitty was shivering from the cold. He had been outside and was now looking forward to curling up in his fluffy blue and green blanket and sleeping the rest of the night away. His bed and blanket always laid in the kitchen by his food and water bowl.
On this night when kitty went to get into his bed, he made a startling discovery, HIS BLANKET WAS GONE! “Where could it be?”, he thought. He searched and searched. No it wasn’t in the living room. It wasn’t in the den or garage. He was almost starting to cry when he remembered! The laundry room!
Off he went, rounding the corner like a streak! He looked up and there it was, neatly folded on top of the dryer. He leaped up with joy onto his blanket. He rubbed his head all around on the blanket and purred. He snuggled down and tried to go to sleep. For a few minutes kitty forgot he was cold. His happiness was keeping him warm. But he couldn’t go to sleep. He raised his head and thought, “I’m cold! I’m going to the living room by the woodstove.”
He nudged his blanket off of the dryer and onto the floor. He jumped down and grabbed the corner of the blanket with his teeth and proudly dragged it into the living room and over to the wood stove.
He could hear the fire inside the stove crackling and could feel the heat. He arranged the blanket just right, settled down and drifted off to sleep.
All of a sudden he realized he was choking. He thought he had been dreaming. “What was happening?!!”, Kitty screamed to himself. His eyes were open, but he couldn’t see very well. The room was full of smoke and fire. HE COULD FEEL THE HEAT! “OH MY”, he meowed as he jumped from his blanket, “my fur is burning.”
Well, kitty did what cat’s do best – – he rolled and rolled and rolled on the floor until his fur stopped burning. He looked all around and all he could see was smoke. He was unsure where he was. “I’ll hide”, he thought, “The couch is here close to me, I know it is. I’ll hide under that couch and the fire won’t find me!” Then he realized, “No – That’s dumb, I don’t want to hide, I want to get out of here. I’ve got to get out.”
The fire was between kitty and the front door, so he couldn’t get out that way. Then he remembered! There is a second way out. The window next to the desk. Kitty stayed low on his belly and started to crawl toward the desk. He was down low enough under the smoke so he could see the legs of the desk, and he knew he was going the right direction. When he got to the desk, he looked up and saw the window. He jumped up onto the window sill and using all the strength he had, got the window open enough to crawl through. He jumped down to the ground and quickly went to the big tree by the street. He laid down happy to be breathing fresh, cool, clean air again, He was so tired he immediately fell asleep.
He awoke to the sound of voices. He saw people in funny looking pants, jackets and boots with big helmets on their heads. They were firefighters talking and working around a big red and white fire engine. Kitty had seen fire engines before, but never up close. He got up and went over to get a closer look. When he got closer to the firefighters, he realized he didn’t feel good. He felt weak and sick. He laid back down and started to meow. Captain Schlaht looked down. “Hey, guys, look. This cat needs help.”
Firefighter Keen remarked, “He’s been burned. He must have been in the fire.” As the firefighter picked kitty up, kitty let out a tiny whimper. Captain Schlaht said, “Well, we’re done here. The fire is out, our job is finished. Let’s take this little guy back to the station and fix him up.”
Back at the station, the nice firefighters gave kitty some warm milk and cleaned him up. His burns weren’t real bad and kitty heard Captain Schlaht say, “With a little milk and good rest, he’ll be fine.” The firefighters laid him onto a soft white towel that had been put inside a cardboard box. He realized he had lost his fluffy, green and blue blanket in the fire, but somehow that didn’t matter. He looked up at the smiling faces of the firefighters and knew he had found a new home.
That night he had a dream, a good dream, about children. The next morning he knew what he had to do. He was the Firehouse Cat now, Jasper the Firehouse Cat. He had responsibilities. He was going to teach all little children the lessons he had learned during the fire. Lessons that could save their lives as they had saved his own.