Black cats are bringers of bad luck, superstition tells us.

But the Chappell-Root family will forever feel lucky to have their black cat Luna, who turned out to be an unlikely hero when tragedy threatened their lives.

Source: Fox 46

When Luna first became part of the Chester, South Carolina family, not everyone was thrilled. The mother, Emily Chappell-Root, wasn’t much of a cat person and was hesitant about the adoption.

“I didn’t want a cat. Jericho and the kids wanted a cat,” she told Fox 46, referring to her husband and six children, who range from seven months to ten years old.

But they adopted Luna, and soon enough the family was familiar with her quirky cat behavior.

For instance, Luna had a habit of waking her owners up in the middle of the night with a “present” (a dead animal) from outside, as cats are known to do.

So one Tuesday morning, when Emily was woken up by Luna pawing at and biting her foot, it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary—but Luna was more eager than usual.

“She was insistent: ‘You’re getting up,'” Emily recalled.

She still assumed Luna had woken her up with a “midnight snack,” and since her children were having a slumber party in the living room, she wanted to get rid of the prey before it scared them.

But surprisingly, she didn’t find anything in the living room. She got up to check the rest of the house to be safe.

And that’s when she saw something much, much worse:

The house was on fire.

The flames were already consuming the kitchen. Emily sprang to action, getting the children out of the house immediately. Her 10-year-old son helped by carrying his younger brother. Emily went back and got the three pets to safety. Jericho was at work, and had no idea until he arrived back home.

But there was no home to return to: the fire had torn through the house. Chillingly, it burned through the living room incinerated the bed the children were sleeping in:

Source: Fox 46
Source: Fox 46

The fire was a terrible tragedy. The family lost all of their possessions, and are currently staying with relatives nearby. They have set up a GoFundMe page to help them recover.

Still, it could’ve been much worse. It’s easy to imagine how much more devastating, and fatal, the fire could’ve been had they not been woken up.

The family credits Luna for saving their lives that morning.

“If she didn’t wake me up we may not have all gotten out,” Emily said.

“I am really really blessed to have her and that everyone got out.”

Needless to say, saving the family has improved Luna’s status among the family—especially Emily, who must wonder why she was ever hesitant about owning a cat.

Source: Fox 46

“She will be on wet food for life. Wherever we go has to be a home that will let her go with us,” Emily said.

Likewise, Luna has proudly taken up her role as the family’s protector:

Although the home is now just charred remains, the cat reportedly still sits outside, as if guarding it from danger.

Source: Fox 46