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Gritty Kitty Found Alive (Ground Zero WTC)

By Kieran Crowley of the New York Post.

2nd October 2001

D.J. Kerr & PreciousPrecious Life: D.J. Kerr thought her beloved Precious was a goner amid the Twin Towers collapse, but the feisty feline has nine lives.

October 2, 2001 - Meet the miracle kitty who survived 18 days without food amid the debris of ground zero. Emergency workers rescued Precious the cat from the debris-covered roof of a damaged apartment building across from the World Trade Center.

The 9-pound Persian suffered eye injuries, burns to her paws and smoke and dust inhalation.

But the feisty feline was able to stay alive by lapping from puddles of contaminated rainwater.

"It's unbelievable. It's a miracle. I can't believe she's alive," said D.J. Kerr, who owns Precious.

She and her husband Steve were out of town when the Twin Towers collapsed, blowing out the windows in their loft and filling it with flying glass, metal, dust and smoke.

A house sitter had been due to arrive at 10 a.m. that morning to take care of Precious, who had never been outside before.

The Kerrs figured Precious was a goner - especially since their seven-story building at 114 Liberty St. was damaged and will be unfit for occupancy for at least nine months.

But Saturday night, rescuers, responding to a report of a cat crying, used a recovery dog to corner the injured and terrified animal on the cluttered rooftop.

They then brought her to the nearby Suffolk County SPCA van, which had been treating rescue and search dogs for exhaustion and exposure.

Suffolk SPCA chief Roy Gross called Precious' survival "miraculous."

"This is the first good story we've heard," said Gross. "She has sores on her mouth from drinking out of puddles. She's dirty and dehydrated and her eyes were injured, but she's going to be OK."

He said Precious is alive because she was apparently able to "drink dirty water out of puddles."

Kerr said Precious needs more treatment for her eyes but is expected to make a good recovery.

"She lost two pounds and her little paws are burnt on the bottom because the top of the building was so hot, but she's going to live," Kerr said with a smile.

"I gave her her favourite food - sliced turkey. She was eating so fast because she was starved to death and she's drinking a lot of water, but she's so happy, she's just purring," Kerr said.

Mobile pet hospital rescues 150 animals in Manhattan:

More than 150 pets affected by the Manhattan terror attack have been treated at mobile animal hospitals.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals rescued the pets from homes evacuated after the disaster.

The Animals, including cats, dogs, rabbits and reptiles, are being treated primarily for shock, dehydration and breathing problems.

The group has also set up a pet rescue hotline for worried owners and offers a counselling service for people who lost their pets in the tragedy.

Pets found without identification tags have been microchipped.

ASPCA has now moved its emergency centres back into its headquarters in Manhattan, where its rescue efforts will continue.

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