LOGAN SQUARE — Annabelle, a cat badly injured in a Logan Square house fire Saturday, is on the mend thanks to fast-acting firefighters and a local vet who happened to be on the scene.
The blaze started in a residential brick building at Troy Street and Diversey Avenue sometime after 5 p.m., according to Kelly Frederickson, Logan Square resident and co-owner of Boulevard Veterinary, 2740 W. Armitage Ave.
Frederickson and her husband, Dylan, the veterinarian at Boulevard, were driving home from River North when they noticed huge plumes of smoke coming from their pocket of Logan Square. The couple lives a couple blocks east of the intersection.
They raced over to the scene to find firefighters battling a blaze that had spread to at least one neighboring building. According to the couple, the people who lived in the building where the fire started weren't home.
But firefighters did rescue a cat with black, orange and white fur and handed her over to Dylan Frederickson, who identified himself as a veterinarian while he was examining another nearby resident's cats on the scene.
Annabelle was in bad shape. She was not only covered in soot, but also breathing rapidly and squinting, both signs of smoke inhalation, according to the couple.
"I've seen enough cats not make it after this level of exposure," said Dylan Frederickson, who has worked in animal emergency rooms. "It was absolutely vital to get her oxygen therapy."
The couple took Annabelle to an animal emergency center, MedVet, 3130 N. Clybourn Ave., where doctors cleaned her off and gave her oxygen. Once she was deemed stable, the doctors did an X-ray, which revealed that her lungs weren't damaged.
"That was a turning point in terms of the prognosis," Dylan Frederickson said.
Dylan Frederickson holding Annabelle at the scene. [Provided]
The next day the doctors were able to reach Annabelle's owner thanks to her microchip. Without one, the couple said it would've been nearly impossible to find her owner.
The owner, who didn't return a message, told the doctors she was grateful for their attention and care. If the couple hadn't been on the scene, Annabelle may not have survived.
"She said it was hugely helpful in coping with the crisis to know her cat was OK," Dylan Frederickson said of the owner.
Annabelle was doing much better at Tuesday's follow-up appointment. She was diagnosed with a corneal ulcer, but Dylan Frederickson said he expects she will make a full recovery soon.
"She's doing great. She was walking around the exam room, exploring," he said.