Manitoulin cat hero featured in international magazine

Manitoulin’s Ivy the cat was featured as an ‘Animal Hero’ in Woman’s World magazine for her part in the rescue of Tehkummah Reeve Eric Russell last year.

TEHKUMMAH—Ivy the hero cat, who played a key role in the rescue of Tehkummah Reeve Eric Russell last fall, was featured in Woman’s World magazine for the week of January 23.

Under the section ‘Animal Hero’ is a quote from Ivy’s owner Mary Johnston which reads, “This rescue kitty was meant to watch over all of us.” The full-page article written by Bill Holton features a large photo of Ivy, with an inset of Reeve Russell and Ms. Johnston.

“When the garage door broke and Eric Russell was pinned 13 feet off the ground, there was no one around to hear his cries for help,” begins the Woman’s World article. “Nobody but the little rescue cat who lived next door.”

“A researcher for the magazine contacted Eric and I,” Ms. Johnston told The Expositor. “Then a writer contacted us, followed by a person that wanted photos. I’m not sure who told them about the incident, it was out of the blue.”

Ms. Johnston said regardless of how the magazine found out, she and Ivy were flattered by all the media attention around the story (The Expositor broke the story, while the Sudbury Star has done a story as well). “They changed things around a bit—took some creative liberty,” she said of the Woman’s Magazine story. “I was surprised, but I guess they wanted to liven it up a bit.”

“It was great,” said Ms. Johnston of the attention around Ivy. “She is a very interesting animal. I showed her the article and I read it to her, telling her how smart she is. I bet the sales of Woman’s World have gone up like crazy on Manitoulin and Espanola. I bought 10 copies and a lot of my friends and family across the country have bought copies as well.”

As The Expositor has previously reported, Ivy, a rescue cat from Fixing our Felines in Manitowaning, had just moved into her new home with her owner and Mr. Russell’s neighbour, Mary Johnston, a few weeks before the incident.

Mr. Russell was working on the pulley of his garage’s overhead door when screws in the spring came loose, causing the door to come sailing down on him as he was perched on a ladder. The reeve was pinned with his arm ensnared in the door 13 feet up. Mr. Russell called for help several times and was beginning to lose hope when Ivy alerted Ms. Johnston to the emergency and she rushed to the reeve’s aid.

Ms. Johnston was lost in a book and hadn’t heard Mr. Russell’s calls, but Ivy did and began jumping from the couch to the window to her owner to get her attention, leading Ms. Johnston to hear Reeve Russell in distress.

Ms. Johnston called Betty Russell and the two reached out to Don McMurray and Bob Beard for additional help to get the reeve’s arm free. An ambulance was called and Mr. Russell was taken to the Manitoulin Health Centre in Mindemoya where his dislocated shoulder was ‘popped’ back into place. He also suffered some nerve damage, but is recovering from the incident.

Mr. Russell credited his rescue to Ivy and gifted her with a thank you card and gift certificate to a pet store.

The Expositor has also nominated Ivy for the Purina Animal Hall of Fame. As part of the application, articles featuring Ivy were also submitted. Purina representatives review all the submissions, narrowing the number down before reaching out in February and March to further vet submissions before making their final selection.