If it's true that cats have nine lives, a tabby cat from Brooklyn probably used eight of hers trying to save her kittens from a burning building, according to a report from Sad Useless that went viral on Youtube.

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On March 29, 1996 Hook and Ladder Company 175 of Brooklyn, New York was called to respond to a fire at an abandoned building.  When the first truck arrived, firefighter Dave Gianelli thought he heard animals crying.  Upon entering the building he found a group of kittens, huddled together, and trying to stay away from the flames.  As Dave approached them, he saw the kittens' mother for the first time.  She was horribly burned, far worse than any of the kittens.  Dave realized that she had been reentering the flames to remove her kittens from the building, one by one.  

"It's the first time I've ever heard of a cat going in back and forth to a building so many times," said Gianelli, who personally drove the cat, named Scarlett, and her kittens to the North Shore Animal League hospital for treatment.  "Most of the time, they're running out as we're running in." 

Four out of the five kittens survived the fire, thanks to the efforts of their mother.  Scarlett herself was horribly burned, and had to undergo intensive therapy (some of which has been documented by a German blog).  But with the help of veterinarians, she survived the ordeal. When word of her heroics hit the media, the animal hospital was inundated with calls and letters from people who wanted to adopt Scarlett and her kittens.  

"We went through close to one thousand letters," said Dr. Bonnie Brown of the North Shore Animal League.  "And then we narrowed it down until three homes were chosen."  The kittens were divided into pairs and sent to live with two families, while Scarlett went on to live with a writer from New York who had recently lost a cat of her own.  

Scarlett's new owner says she still requires some extra attention every day because of the injuries she suffered from the fire.  But aside from that, she's a healthy and loving cat.