Gaza is cold at night and with the power outages sometimes we use a gas generator so we can turn on a space heater. Last night we almost lost our lives because of that. I was huddled close to the heater in out bedroom trying to keep warm and my husband was out doing paperwork in another room catching up on news and things. He came to me and said his head hurt and he was dizzy. I thought he was just working too hard and had him sit down next to me to relax. After a few minutes our cat jumped up on the bed and started acting strange nudging his head against my husband’s hand. We ignored him thinking he just wanted more food (he is a little overweight). Then he jumped to the floor and started howling like he was dying. That is when it occurred to me what was going on. We were being poisoned by carbon monoxide! I opened the balcony and put my cat outside and put my husband in a chair and pushed him outside to the fresh air. My cat finally revived but my husband was getting worse. I ran to my neighbour for help to call an ambulance. I was frantic and not thinking straight and my head was spinning because of the gas. Thankfully my neighbour called for me while we worked on reviving my husband. The ambulance came after what seemed like forever (in reality it was only 10 minutes) and they took my husband to AL Shifa hospital. At the hospital they gave my husband oxygen and IV fluids. Thankfully we are all safe now. I have been through natural disasters and wars but nothing was as scary as last night.
I can’t even think of how close I was to losing my family without getting emotional. It makes me angry that this is common problem in Gaza and every year we lose people to this because we don’t have normal electricity. If nothing else we need to make sure every home has a carbon monoxide detector which will help save lives.
Right now I am so thankful to God that we are all alive and my cat is getting extra sardines and plenty of hugs. He is a hero in our family.
A little about my cat.
His name is Kreature after a character in Harry Potter-spelled differently of course. We met in 2005 in Central Park New York City at a cat-adoptathon. He likes fresh Mediterranean sardines and warm milk. His hobbies are sleeping and warming his belly in the sun on the balcony.