Only today did I come across this story which dates back to 1996, but if anyone deserves an honourable mention it oughtta be Scarlett, period!!!
She might not have the looks of your average cat, but here's the story of why:
Scarlett, an ordinary-looking short-haired cat, was not really noticed at first in the confusion that surrounded the burning building where she had been living with her small kittens. But Scarlett proved to be a devoted mother and hero.
Overcoming every animal’s innate fear of fire, she forced herself to go back into the roaring flames and billowing poisonous smoke of the building and retrieve each of her precious kittens. Five times Scarlett returned to the ferocious heart of the blaze to get each of her babies out.
Scarlett’s fur was singed off and her eyes seared shut by the flames, and yet she somehow managed to carry each tiny kitten to safety across the streets. There she was observed taking a head count by touch because she could no longer see them. Firemen finally found her and realized what had happened. Much of her body had been burned in the course of getting her kittens out. She was taken to the local animal shelter and separated from her kittens because she could not feed them due to her burns.
After a local TV station featured her tale of heroism, the shelter received over 10,000 calls from people wanting to adopt her. A week later, she was reintroduced to her kittens and the joyful reunion was broadcast across the nation. Scarlett had her kittens back and she licked each youngster in turn, purring happily. One of her fireman rescuers who had dropped by to visit said, “Just to see her do that same head count almost made me cry”.
Apparently Scarlett went on to live for another 12 years, thorroughly spoilt by her adoptive family.