On his recent visit to the Providence Volunteer Fire Company’s station on Providence Road, Moosecoons BB, a big, friendly Maine Coon cat, seemed disinterested in the miniature oxygen mask that was pressed gently against his face for demonstration purposes.

What Moosecoons didn’t know was that in certain circumstances that mask could save his feline life.

The SurgiVet animal oxygen mask was donated to the fire company by local members of the nonprofit Colonial Annapolis Cat Fanciers’ Association.

“Ironically, a few weeks ago we had a dwelling fire where we rescued two cats,” said Matt Herweck, president of the Providence Volunteer Fire Company. “These would have been ideal then.

“We should have multiple uses for these,” Herweck said. “For instance, when our collapse rescue team responds to a collapsed building or something like that, you never know what you’ll find.”

The animal masks come in three sizes and can be used on cats, dogs and other small, furry critters such as rabbits and ferrets. They are adjustable and also will fit animals with varying face shapes.

Each mask comes with an oxygen bottle and a flexible air bag so rescuers can hand-pump air into the mask, if necessary. The SurgiVet masks cost about $120 for a set of three.

Laurie Coughlan, of Hampton, and Susan Blevins, of Westminster, the breeder and owner of Moosecoons, made the donation on behalf of the Annapolis Cat Fanciers’ Association.

Coughlan said she first learned of the masks a year or so ago at the annual meeting of the New Jersey-based Cat Fanciers’ Association, the parent organization of the Annapolis-based association in which the women are also members. Its Web site says it has the world’s largest registry of pedigreed cats.

“They showed us films of animals being rescued with the masks in emergency situations,” Coughlan said.

About a year and a half ago, the international Cat Fanciers’ Association launched a program through its local chapters to donate the masks to fire companies across the nation.

In addition to the Providence Volunteer Fire Company, other companies in California, New Jersey, Florida and elsewhere in Maryland have received the masks.

In most cases, it was the firefighters’ first introduction to the pet rescue apparatus.

“To be honest, we weren’t familiar with them,” Herweck said. “But we met Laurie at a meeting of the Hampton Improvement Association, and she told us all about them.”

Herweck doubts that the masks will gather dust at his company’s North Towson fire station.

“These can even be used in automobile accidents or floods or anywhere,” he said. “There are multiple possibilities for using them.”