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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Pet Talk: Fearless felines

  • We regularly hear stories about dogs doing heroic deeds. We know canines have instinctive skills at detecting danger to their people.
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  • We regularly hear stories about dogs doing heroic deeds. We know canines have instinctive skills at detecting danger to their people.
    We are amazed they can recognize the potential risk and then know what action to take. They persist in staying at the scene until their person is safe. They sometimes receive serious or fatal injuries themselves.
    We rarely hear about cats being heroes who save lives and warn people of danger, yet there are many instances when a cat was equally as brave and heroic as dogs have been.
    Cats may be limited by their smaller size, but their heroic deeds are equally as remarkable. Cats have saved people from fire, toxic fumes, snakes, dog attacks, low blood sugar, impending seizures and more.
    A woman was paralyzed by a diabetic seizure and unable to move or even call out for help. Her cat roused her by pawing at her face, the woman uttered her son's name and the cat reacted by going to his room and waking him up from a sound sleep. Another cat named Mel-O, the pet of a 9-year-old diabetic child, persisted in pouncing on his chest to alert him to impending diabetic shock.
    In Lansing, Mich., a man attempting sexual assault was attacking a 7-year-old girl. The child's pet cat jumped on the assailant and pummeled him vigorously enough that he was distracted and the girl was able to escape.
    The headline read, "Cat saves owner from bath death." The story tells of Sylvester, a cat credited with saving the life of his 90-year-old owner. Sylvester had always been very antisocial, so when he turned up at a neighbor's door meowing it caused some concern.
    They telephoned and the phone was busy so they assumed all was well. Later, they noticed that the woman had not put her garbage bag out. This fact, combined with Sylvester's unusual visit, resulted in their decision to go to her house.
    They called out and knocked, but got no response. The police broke into her house and discovered that she was stuck in the bath, hypothermic and barely responsive. Rescuers believe that she would not have survived much longer if it were not for the antisocial cat and the missing garbage bag.
    Someday, maybe I will tell the story of my Aunt Nelly, who also was stuck in the bathtub and was rescued by firemen after her family was unable to get her out. Her cat was no help at all.
    There is a cat in Alaska who alerts her family to the presence of bears. It was becoming risky to venture outdoors for fear of meeting up with bears that had been intruding into neighborhoods looking for a free meal. When the owner would prepare to go outside, if there was a bear in the area, KittyBaby would block the way.
    Page 2 of 2 - He also would growl near the cat door flap if bears were around. When the owner returned home from work, if the cat was waiting at the end of the driveway, she knew that no bears were around. If the cat was not there, the woman stayed in her car until the cat came out when the coast was clear.
    The owner said he had been trying to train the cat to call 911 and it is possible that the cat used the speed dial button to call for help.
    Cats are wonderful pets. Not only do they add so much fun and joy into our lives, they also do incredible things to get us out of trouble and even save us from danger.
    Anne Divine is a long time member of LAWS and has volunteered at Animal Control for 18 years. She can be reached at: adivine@kc.rr.com.
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