Today’s guest story comes from Tyson Matthew P. and tells the story of how his cat Dolly saved his life!
My cat saved my life. I already loved her—and now I am in awe of her.
We adopted Dolly two years ago as an adult cat. It had been a few rough weeks for her. Her former parent was an elderly lady who had gone into hospice. In the meantime, Dolly had been fostering with a kind neighbor who had several pets and couldn’t keep her.
She is—as I’ve come to learn calicos are known to be—a diva. Dolly knows she is beautiful and insists on having things her way. Woe be to the person who does not make the bed and turn down the sheets, just so, before leaving the house! It is frustrating and adorable at the same time.
What I never expected, however, is that she would end up saving my life. But that’s just what happened on Easter Sunday, 2019, when she woke me up during a gas leak in our building.
Dolly doesn’t sleep on the bed—she prefers having her own space and sleeps in the bedroom easy chair, or in the “beach towel” drawer, or on top of a comforter folded on the floor. Typically, she’ll jump up on the bed in the middle of the night, purring and wanting to be petted for a few minutes, and then jump back down and go back to sleep.
That Sunday, she woke me up at 4:00 am. I was extremely out of it and had the worst headache ever, but she was incessant! Not satisfied with just sitting on me and purring, she licked me on the face and lips until I woke and got up. Despite my headache delirium, Dolly insisted I get up. She then led me across the house to her favorite window and pawed to have it opened. I did, took a couple of Excedrin, and went back to bed.
At this point I couldn’t smell the gas, despite it being scented with methyl mercaptan. I guess sleeping in it I had become “nose-blind.” My breath tasted like something had died in my mouth, but otherwise I just felt awful.
Around 7:00 I got up again and forced myself to go to the grocery store to buy ingredients for an Easter dish I was planning to make. I still felt miserable and was at a loss for why. After being out in fresh air, however, when I got home and opened the door I immediately smelled the gas. No wonder I felt terrible! I ran in the house and opened another window, grabbed Dolly, called the gas company and we waited outside.
I’ll never know if Dolly could smell the gas; if she had the same headache I did. But her waking me and insisting I open a window vented enough gas that we were safe. If it hadn’t been for her, the house would have exploded or we would have died from asphyxia in our sleep.
Now, I am in awe of this little, furry 9-pound creature. She is particular. She can be fussy. But somehow, she was aware enough to realize that there was a life-or-death problem and I could take care of it—she just had to wake me up and make me do it.
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