LOCKPORT, N.Y. — Otto Kurcsics knows about hard work, the hardships of communism and the adventures of escaping to freedom, but his experience with carbon monoxide leaves him most emotional.
An internationally recognized chef, Kurcsics almost lost his life this week when a faulty gas furnace filled his home with carbon monoxcide, a colorless. odorless gas.
It took the heroics of Mookey, a 10-year-old tabby, to save his life, Kurcsics said.
“We went to bed . . . not thinking that we might not wake up in the morning. Then the unthinkable happened,” he said.
Kurcsics said he was awakened by “the most distressing cry I have ever heard.” Feeling paralyzed by the gas, he somehow got up and started to open all the doors and windows.
Found on the kitchen floor, the cat was twisting in pain while his Kurcsics' wife, somehow, managed to call 911.
“He gave his life to wake us, warn us,” Kurcsics said. Mookey was taken to a vet but had to be put down.
Kurcsics grew up in a two-bedroom house made of mud in northeast Hungary, and suffered during the Hugarian Revolution in 1956 as a child.
“The Russians came in and took everything away from the family. It was devastation to sustain life with this many kids. My parents had nothing.”
He was able to escape from that horrific experience, and now thanks to his beloved cat, Mookey, his life continues.
“The greatest cat on earth saved our lives,” he said.
Details for this story were provided by the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal.