9 Animals With 9 Lives (Who Aren’t Cats)

It’s not entirely clear why cats are thought to have nine lives. Some think it might be due to the worshiping of cats as deities in ancient Egypt. Or perhaps it stems from the remarkable ability that cats have to survive falls from great heights by automatically twisting their heads, back, legs and tail to minimize the impact.

Whatever the explanation, what is evident is that other animals have some pretty amazing survival skills too. Here are a few examples:

1. Salty the Survivor Dog

After being hit by a car on Tuesday, Salty was saved by a truly good samaritan named Steve Hunter who gave the Fox Terrier-Jack Russell mix mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Salty came to and was whisked to Eureka Veterinary Hospital where he was found to have suffered a fractured pelvis and cuts to his face.

He is now back home with his family and while still weak, Salty is eating again and on his way to recovery.

2. Chance, BP Oil Spill Survivor

A two-year-old male dolphin, later named Chance, who washed ashore near Mobile Bay, Alabama, was the first dolphin to be found alive after the BP oil spill.

To put that in perspective, the millions of gallons of crude oil that spilled into the Gulf resulted in the deaths of over 100 dolphins on beaches in Mississippi and Alabama.

In fact two dead dolphins were found within miles of Chance, but somehow Chance pulled through.

When found by rescuers Chance was dehydrated and suffering from cuts, bruises and parasites. He was taken to the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport where he now lives.

3. Max, Hurricane Sandy Survivor

Max was found trapped under a tree besides the body of his owner, Jessie Streich-Kest, and her friend, Jacob Vogelman, after Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast last fall.

A passersby saw Max and took him to an emergency veterinary hospital in Brooklyn; he had head injuries, a broken jaw and lacerations on his mouth. He has now been adopted by his late owner’s parents.

As a family friend said of Max and Streich-Kest, “He was a real comfort and anchor for her. Everyone said the dog thought he was human.”

4. Toto, Miracle Moore Tornado Survivor

During an interview with CBS News, Moore, Oklahoma, resident Barbara Garcia was busy explaining how she had tried to hold onto her dog, Toto, but lost him when the walls of her house fell down when, out of the rubble, Toto emerged largely unscathed.

“Well I got God to answer one prayer to let me be okay, but he answered both of them,” said Garcia of Toto’s survival.

5. Ghosn, the “Surfing Dog”

The tsunami and earthquake that devastated northeast Japan in 2011 left hundreds of pets without owners.

Atsuko Oikawa, a resident of Ofunato, survived but could only locate one of her two miniature dachshunds, Carlos and Ghosn. Both had run from her while she was helping her elderly mother-in-law and she had only been able to find Carlos.

Fortunately, the police found Ghosn near a beach sign, leading Oikawa to wonder if maybe he had, in proper surf dog manner, caught a wave and rode it in.

6. Jared, a Police Dog

On Easter Sunday Jared, a Belgian Malinois police dog assisting in an arrest in San Bernardino County, was thrown out of a second-story window by a parolee, Bryan Bills.

The five-year-veteran police dog landed on his head and was rushed to the hospital (and Bills was arrested).

As Lt. Gary Aulis, head of the Fontana Department’s K-9 program, said “Of the dogs injured in the line of duty, we’ve never had something even remotely like this happen.”

Luckily, Jared survived. More than that, he was soon found to have no broken bones or internal bleeding, and they sent him home with a bandage around his head and some painkillers.

7. Krini, a Donkey in Corfu

Krini was one of many donkeys tourists in Greece pay to ride, but she is one of the lucky ones because she has now been rescued from that miserable life.

Members of Corfu Donkey Rescue (CDR) found Krini back in 2007 in very ill health.

In fact, she was lying down on the ground and near death; CDR offered to take her from her owner, who had simply left her to die.

Krini survived her ordeal and a number of other donkeys have since joined her at CDR, after living for years with little more than mud and moldy hay.

8. Matilda, Saved From the Slaughterhouse

Rescued from a Bronx slaughterhouse, Boer goat Matilda was infested with parasites and stricken with a viral illness — the result of being kept in a crowded pen — when she came to Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary outside of New York City.

Sanctuary workers found that Matilda was not only very sick but also pregnant. Matilda was understandably afraid of humans at first but has gradually learned to trust people.

She has now given birth to a baby boy and, by all reports, is a great mother.

9. Kabang, the Pride of Zamboanga

Kabang has been written about before here on Care2.com but I thought it well to mention her again because his is a remarkable story.

Kabang lost her snout after she jumped in front of a speeding motorbike, saving the lives of two young girls in the Philippines.

Well-wishers around the world raised funds for her to spend eight months in the U.S. to undergo surgery at the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at the University of California, Davis.

She came home to crowds at the airport and has been dubbed “the pride of Zamboanga,” her hometown.

Photo from Thinkstock


Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson4 years ago

good stories. lucky animals

Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla4 years ago


Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)

Eternal Gardener
Eternal G4 years ago

Cool buddies!

Tania S.
Tania S4 years ago

It is nice to hear some good news about these animals.

Loretta P.
Loretta P4 years ago

Awesome stories. Thank you so much.

Manuela C.
Manuela C4 years ago

Great stories, thanks!

David V.
David V4 years ago

Those are some amazing animals.....god bless all of them.

Despina Vekris
Despina Vekris4 years ago


Sjoran Fitzpatrick

Thank you for the good news.... much appreciated.