A tiny kitten who very nearly died in a tragic house fire in Winnipeg in July is now loving life in his forever home with the paramedic who helped save his life.

Erica Ongenae was on standby at the scene of the fire when firefighters found the kitten. He was covered in soot, dripping wet and hiding under a pile of clothing.

“He was so small, so scared. He had soot in his mouth, so we knew he had smoke inhalation,” said Ongenae, “We didn’t think he was going to make it.”

While she used a special pet oxygen mask on the kitten and attempted to raise his body temperature, firefighters returned to look for a mother cat or more kittens but none were present.

After receiving emergency treatment to stabilize him, the kitten — named “Cinder” by rescuers and later “Magnus” by Ongenae — was taken to a vet for further care before moving to the Winnipeg Humane Society. His journey was followed closely by the animal-loving paramedic, who had become instantly attached and was committed to providing him with a home.

This brave kitten had a long road to recovery, requiring surgery and hydrotherapy to heal from his injuries and burns. When he was finally well enough to go to his new home, Ongenae was surprised to pick up an orange cat.

“I thought he was a black or grey kitten because of the soot, but he turned out to be bright orange,” she said.

Well settled into his new home, Magnus now sports only the stump of his right ear, singed whiskers and a crooked tail from where it was broken, but Ongenae loves these quirks because of the special story they tell.

Her seven-year-old daughter has also fallen in love with the gorgeous kitten; the two have become best friends and Magnus even has his own Christmas stocking ready for Santa’s visit.