Friday, July 26, 2013

How Holly The Cat Possibly Saved Our Lives...

I hinted HERE how Holly might have possibly saved our lives. Here's the story:

We normally don't have very many power outages, but for some reason, we recently had 5 within 4 days. All those power outages can really mess with your electronics and a/c units. We always turn our a/c off as soon as the power goes out. I've heard that you should do that because when the power comes back on, if everyone's a/c units automatically start back up, it can cause a surge and possibly another outage. I don't know if this is true or not, but we've always done this. So, the last time the power went out was Monday night. We turned our a/c off and waited patiently for the power to come back on. About 3 hours later at 10:30 PM it did. I waited for a few minutes, then turned the a/c back on. Right after that, we went to bed.

Here's the part where I should explain that Holly consistently sleeps every single night right smack dab in the middle of the hallway by my children's rooms. This puts her halfway between each room. We like to think she's protecting them and also that she doesn't want to show favoritism. :) She sleeps the entire night and every time I get up to check on the kids (yes, they're teenagers, but I still check on them if I wake up) she's always there. She's never gotten up in the night and started playing or anything like that. 

So, like I said, I turned the a/c back on at about 10:30 PM and we went to bed. At 12:15 AM, Holly went into the kitchen and knocked over the paper towel holder. The crash woke me up. I went to investigate and found Holly kind of pacing around. I thought she just wanted attention. I went to check on my kids, and when I walked into my son's room, I could hear the a/c unit running outside. This was weird because I had just walked by the thermostat and I noticed that it wasn't running. I quickly went back to the thermostat to check if it was running and it was quiet, like it wasn't running, or was in its "off" stage or in between cycles. I went back to my son's room and sure enough, the unit outside was running.

Then all of a sudden, I smelled something burning. I woke my hubby up and he checked the air vents and there wasn't any air coming out of them, but the unit outside was still running. He checked the electrical box, then went into the attic to check the a/c unit and part of it was really hot. We could still smell something burning, and figured the recent outage must have blown a capacitor or something and that's why the unit kept trying to click on but couldn't. The burning smell was probably the motor trying to come on and overheating.

That's her paw. She can't stand a closed door. This happens every single time there's a closed door in the house. LOL!

We decided to turn the unit off and go back to bed and try to sleep with no air until the morning when I could call someone to come fix it. Best. Decision. Ever. 

In the morning, I called the repairmen to come fix it. They were already booked up for the morning, but said they could come that evening. That meant we'd have to go all day with no a/c. Keep in mind, it was 100 degrees outside with 80% humidity, and we had turned our a/c off. Ugh. 

About 5:30 PM, the guy came to fix it. We told him what had happened and he went into the attic to check out the unit. When he came back down he said that it's a good thing our cat woke us up and we decided to turn the unit off. As it turns out, the power outage DID blow a capacitor and the unit kept trying to click on, but couldn't. He said if we hadn't been woken up by Holly and had left the unit on, it quite possibly could have started a fire! Oh my goodness. 

I recently dug out this old teepee that used to belong to my kids. Holly sure enjoys it. :)

I truly believe Holly could sense something was wrong, or she smelled the burning smell and purposely woke us up to alert us. Now, of course we have tons of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, but still. She woke us up way before we could start smelling the burning smell. If I hadn't gone into my son's room, I wouldn't have smelled it because the attic entrance is in the hallway by his room and that's where the smell was coming from. If I had just gone back to bed or if we hadn't decided to turn the unit off, well, I hate to think what could have happened. 

So, now we're referring to Holly as "Lassie" ha! Just kidding! She got plenty of treats and even a little chicken the next day. :) Thankfully the new capacitor only cost us $130. Which is a good thing because we just bought that unit four years ago. I hated to think of replacing the whole thing again. By the way, the repair man said that's just what might have happened if we'd left it running all night. It could have burned up the motor and everything. 

She's a girly girl and likes to brush her hair. LOL!
So, the moral of the story is, adopt a cat, it could save your life. :) But really, sometimes if you wake up at night, there might be a reason for it and if you hear a noise (or smell something burning) check it out and it's always a good idea to turn the a/c off if you're not sure what's going on. I also hate to think what could have happened if we were on vacation. We wouldn't have even known the power was out and the unit would have kept on trying to click back on after the power came back on. Sheesh. I don't even want to think about that.



  1. This is an incredible story, Lisa...I'm so glad that all of you came out of it safely. I would bet money on the fact that Holly could smell it, even before you could. She is an amazing kitty, but you already know that! :)


  2. Hooray for Holly! What a fantastic story; thanks for sharing.

  3. Thank goodness for Holly! So glad your story had a happy ending and your family is safe.


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