Quick action by staff at a Shelton veterinary hospital may have prevented a woman from a medical catastrophe.

The woman had brought her cat to the VCA Shoreline Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center on Bridgeport Avenue, after she had accidentally stepped on it.

“She was quite distraught over it and began hyperventilating in our waiting room, eventually being hunched over our front desk and gasping for air [and] turning blue,” according to a VCA official.

A veterinary technician grabbed oxygen and a “cat” mask for the woman, while having a receptionist call 9-1-1. A cat mask is an oxygen mask specially designed for use by pets.

The technician asked the woman about her medical background, and found out she had experienced heart failure.

After several minutes of being on oxygen, the ambulance arrived and rushed the woman to the hospital, where she was kept for a period before being released to go home later that evening.

“Owner and cat were both released from the hospital and are doing well,” the VCA official said.