TWO kittens who used up almost all their nine lives when they were rescued from a house fire in Sheffield will have the purrfect Christmas this year... after being adopted by the firefighter who saved them.
Smokey and Joe were among a litter of 10 kittens found by firefighters in a burning house on Staniforth Road, Darnall, in May.
The other eight little cats did not survive the blaze.
The kittens were just five weeks old at the time of the fire, and were taken initially to the RSPCA in Attercliffe where they were cared for until they were eight weeks old.
But firefighter Trevor Bernard, who was the incident commander at the scene of the blaze, said he could not stop thinking about the duo pulled out of the inferno.
And when the cats’ owners decided they did not want them back, he immediately offered to take the pair in himself.
Trevor said he is now looking forward to having the cats at home with him, his wife and their children for their first Christmas.
“When we arrived at the scene of the fire we found an end terrace well alight with flames shooting through the roof,” he said.
“While we were dealing with the flames I saw a black and white cat going in and out of the house and miaowing, and she brought something – a little kitten – out in her mouth.
“At that stage we had to concentrate on fighting the fire but when we went into the house afterwards to check for hotspots we heard miaowing again.
“We dug out a little kitten from under all the rubble, which was worse for wear but had survived.
“I couldn’t stop thinking about the kitten and as I was travelling away from the incident I received a call to say they had found another kitten alive. The rest of the litter had died.
“I kept thinking about them both and thought after what they had been through and survived they deserved another stab at life, so I went home and spoke to my wife and kids and they said, ‘What are you waiting for – go and get them’!”
He said of his new pets: “They are both really fun and mischievous – very cool cats!”