A heroic cat in Queensland has died after protecting two children from one of Australia’s most dangerous snakes.
The beloved feline, Arthur, “jumped into action” when an eastern brown snake entered the backyard where the kids were playing, Animal Emergency Service Brisbane wrote in a tribute on Facebook.
While the domestic shorthair cat killed the snake, in the process he “received a fatal envenomation snake bite” (meaning he was injected with venom when bitten by the snake).
“In the chaos of getting the children out of the yard, no one saw the actual bite, but Arthur collapsed and quickly recovered like nothing was wrong not longer after,” the vet wrote.
“Collapse events like this is a common symptom of snake bites, although not a well-known symptom amongst pet owners.”
AES said Arthur collapsed a second time the next morning, and was unable to get up on his own. He was rushed to the AES’ Tanawha hospital on the Sunshine Coast by his owners.
“Unfortunately, Arthur’s symptoms were too severe to recover. It was with the heaviest of hearts his owners had to leave Arthur after he gained his angel wings,” AES wrote.
“His family, understandably devastated, remember him fondly and are forever grateful he saved the children’s lives. Arthur was always getting into mischief; he had previously visited us before having been in accidents and was very much loved by our team.”
Facebook users and fellow pet owners jumped into the post’s comments to commend the cat’s actions, writing that he was “truly a hero”.
“Arthur will be waiting on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge for his human family,” one woman commented.
“Oh Arthur … what a brave little man! My heart breaks for you and your family. May you Furever (sic) remain young at Rainbow Bridge!” wrote another.