Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Super Hero Felines - Saving Lives One Meow (or roar) at a Time

Studies prove that having contact with a pet has measurable health benefits. Cats, especially, are suited for living in nursing homes because their care and maintenance is considerably less than dogs. They love to curl up in the beds with patients, giving warmth and love. Stroking their furry bodies and listening to their purrs can lower blood pressure and reduce the amounts of medication needed by the patient.

Sometimes the devotion and intuition of cats goes far beyond warmth and a few rubs. Just as we often save our meowing friends from tall trees and snarling dogs, they return the favor in miraculous, unexpected ways.

Recently, in Clearwater, Florida, a cat woke his owner in the middle of the night, alerting him to a fire in the mobile home they shared. The owner escaped but the heroic animal died in the fire that engulfed three homes. Thank God for this cat and her love for her owner.

Last year, Gary Rosheisen fell out of his wheelchair. Due to severe physical problems, he couldn’t reach the call button above his bed. He’d attempted, never really believing it would work, to teach his tabby cat how to dial 911 in case of a problem just like this. He even left a phone on the floor with 911 on speed dial, hoping against hope his training worked. On the day Gary fell, the Columbus, Ohio police received a call but no one was on the line. When they called back and got no answer they decided to investigate. Inside Rosheisen’s apartment, they found Tommy, the tabby cat, curled up by the phone. It was off the hook and the last call placed was to the 911 operator. "I know it sounds kind of weird," Officer Patrick Daugherty said, unsuccessfully searching for some other explanation. Mr. Rosheisen doesn’t think it’s weird. “He’s my hero,” he said.

This protective nature is not confined to domestic cats. In 2005, in Ethiopia, Police say three lions rescued a 12-year-old girl kidnapped by men who wanted to force her into marriage. The lions chased off her abductors and guarded her until police and relatives tracked the child down in a remote corner of Ethiopia. The men had held the girl for several days, beating her repeatedly. Authorities suspect that the lions heard her cries and mistook them for the wails of an injured cub. They came to her rescue, surrounded and protected her for half a day until police and relatives found them. "They stood guard until we found her and then they just left her like a gift and went back into the forest,'' Wondimu, a policeman from Bita Genet, said.

Don’t overlook the strong connection we share with animals, be they domesticated or wild. Being the dominate species and often the only threat to other animals on the planet, we should be cognizant of our power. Animals, especially domesticated cats and dogs, depend on us to be responsible and compassionate to their needs. Within their world there is no malice or ego, they live and help instinctively. Learning to respect that is a huge step in our own evolution process.

Some quick amazing cat facts:

-There are more than 500 million domestic cats in the world, with 33 different breeds.

-The nose pad of a cat is ridged in a pattern that is unique, just like the fingerprint of a human.
Ailurophilia is the "love of cats."

-During her productive life, one female cat could have more than 100 kittens.

-A single pair of cats and their kittens can produce as many as 420,000 kittens in just 7 years.


Sky Watcher said...

thanks for visiting my blog


Lisa McGlaun said...

No problem, Skywatcher. It's interesting stuff.

Anna said...

Very interesting post Lisa. I like cats, unfortunately, don't have any pets. I am never home, it would be not fair for the cats or any pets to be alone all day. I already feel bad for the cat in my neighbourhood that is warming up to me. Thanks for sharing, Anna :)

Lisa McGlaun said...

I think we have too many pets..one dog, two cats, a dwarf hamster and two fish..lol.

Sometimes it's not owning an animal that makes the difference, it's seeing our role in the stewardship of the planet and the animals that live here with us.

Thanks for commenting..be nice to the neighborhood kitty, you never know, it might win your heart..:)


Fruit species said...

I read that lion story with great interest. Somehow strange that those wild lions won't devour her. Miracle!

Lisa McGlaun said...

Isn't that an amazing story. It would make a great movie! I think there is a deeper connection between humans and other species that we tend to ignore. If we acknowledged it then we would have to acknowledge that intelligence and intution of animals we consider ourselve to be superior to.