Almost a dozen people in southern France are thanking their lucky stars, and a cat named 'Meatball,' for their lives today after the alert feline woke up her owner who in turn woke ten others to warn them of a house fire.

According to Meatball's owner, Alexandra Marlin, it was the cat - and not her smoke alarm - that woke her from a deep sleep in the early hours of Sunday morning.  Meatball's frantic scratching roused Marlin from her sleep and alerted her to the smell of smoke coming from the attic of the farmhouse where she lived.  Marlin rushed to wake up the other seven adults and three children living in the home and called firefighters.  

In the chaos, Marlin was separated from Meatball and feared the worst.  But fortunately, the cat resurfaced on her own within a few hours.  

As for the neighbors, they are very grateful to Meatball for saving their lives and have offered to supply her with a year's worth of cat treats for her efforts.  

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