She survived six days trapped in the rubble while her owner pleaded for help finding the little cat named Gioia. Joy the cat was found weak and dehydrated but conscious, and firefighters held her head and gave her a drink of water, according to a report in The Telegraph and a video of the rescue posted by The Independent.
The story of the cat’s surprise rescue was reported by The Telegraph as “a rare piece of good news in another otherwise unrelentingly grim tragedy.” Two-hundred-and-ninety-two people died and nearly 400 were injured by the earthquake.
Joy’s owner, Daniela Tursini, lived in the town of Amatrice, which was all but leveled. Tursini never gave up hope that her cat was still alive, and kept up a constant vigil, asking firefighters to help find her pet.
“We were working with bulldozers to move away the rubble,” said Andrea, the firefighter who rescued the Joy. “I went into what was left of the house – there was one room that remained intact.”
According to The Telegraph, Andrea gently extricated the exhausted cat, he then gave it to volunteer vets who set up a tent for the treatment of injured animals. Dozens of cats and animals, including a pair of turtles, have been rescued in the quake zone but none had survived as long as Joy, according to The Telegraph.