SASKATOON, Saskatchewan (CTV News) — A family cat in Australia is being heralded as a "four-legged hero" after he died fighting off a venomous snake that slithered close to two young children.
The harrowing tale of the shorthair cat named Arthur was recounted in a Facebook post by Animal Emergency Service, which provides urgent veterinary care in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.
"Heroes come in all shapes and sizes," the group said. "His family, understandably devastated, remember him fondly and are forever grateful he saved the children's lives."
The cat was playfully following around two young children in the family's backyard when they were approached by an eastern brown snake, which Australian Geographic magazine listed as one of the country's top 10 highly venomous snakes. The outlet also said the species are well-known for their aggressiveness and agility.
"Arthur jumped into action protecting his young family by killing the snake. "Unfortunately, in the process, Arthur received a fatal envenomation snake bite," the group wrote in the post.
The post said that in process of getting the children out of the yard, no one had seen the actual bite, only noting that "Arthur collapsed and quickly recovered like nothing was wrong not long after."
Posted by Animal Emergency Service on Sunday, February 14, 2021, Animal Emergency Service explained that animals collapsing after a snake bite is common but isn't a well-known fact for pet owners. A snake bite from an eastern brown snake can cause progressive paralysis and can stop blood from clotting, leading to victims collapsing.
The next morning, when the family found Arthur collapsed again and unable to get up, they rushed him to a hospital in the rural town of Tanawha, 90 kilometres north of Brisbane.
"Unfortunately, Arthur's symptoms were too severe to recover," the group said. "It was with the heaviest of hearts his owners had to leave Arthur after he gained his angel wings."
Staff at the Animal Emergency Service were no stranger to Arthur, calling him "our little hero" who "was always getting into mischief." He'd "previously visited us before having been in accidents and was very much loved by our team."
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