Pet Tips 'n' Tales©
Rescued Cat Rescues Human

Courtesy Photo©
Patricia and Myron proudly show off Monty wearing the medal he received during his induction into the Purina Hall of Fame for saving Patricia's life.

What is this world coming to that cats are becoming more famous than their owners (mine included)?!

Patricia doesn't mind that Monty, one-third of her orange kitties' "gang of three" (Monty, Mickey and Max), is more famous than she. After all, he did save her life. So, this past May, (2012), it was the least she could do to accompany her hero on his plane trip to Toronto, Canada to be publicly inducted into the Purina Animal Hall of Fame. Monty is now one of 155 esteemed pets since 1986, to have earned this highest of pet honors.

How did Patricia end up with such a prized cat as Monty? She adopted him from a humane society two years ago to befriend her cat, Max. "Max loved to take camping trips with us, but sometimes we just could not accommodate him, and we didn't want to have to leave him home alone. My idea was to get him a kitten but after seeing then holding, Monty, who leaned into me as I held him, the 'instant bonding' was unmistakable; we definitely belonged together.

When Monty arrived 'home', the usual sniffing, hissing, loud proclaiming of, 'I'll show you who's boss', etc., went on. It was all for 'show', though, because it really didn't matter to them who ended up at the top of our family's kitty 'totem pole'. Soon, both cats curled up to sleep at night with my husband, Myron, and me, as though they'd been doing this forever.

Monty is a 15-pound, bandana-wearing character! He returned home from a vet visit sporting a bandana and objected when I removed it, so hasn't been seen without one of his collection of five ever since."

One night three months into his adoption, gentle Monty underwent a very unexpected purr-sonality change. While Patricia was in a very deep sleep, Monty began biting her fingers, continuing until she finally awakened. Patricia's sleep was deeper than normal because she actually was going into a diabetic coma! Monty sensed this life-threatening emergency and instinctively sensed that he had to wake Patricia up before it was too late. He'd recently been adopted by a wonderful "mom" and was not about to lose her.

Patricia was a "new" diabetic, having been diagnosed in the previous month, so she was still in the process of learning all about this condition with its accompanying blood sugar level fluctuations. On that almost-fateful night, her blood sugar had dropped to a dangerously low level while she slept.

"I continually pushed Monty away as he pestered me", said Patricia. "I was in a fog and upset because he had never bitten me or anyone else before. The more I pushed him away, the harder he'd bite, until I was angry enough to wake up. That's when I knew I was in trouble. I was dizzy, and had blurred vision. Then, I realized that Monty had been biting the fingers on my left hand, my 'blood sugar-testing' fingers!

Rather than wake my 'worry wart' husband, I staggered down the hallway into the kitchen with Monty at my left side all the way. He leaned into my left leg for support with each step I took, and meowed to keep me alert and awake. When we entered the kitchen, Monty did something unfathomable-- he jumped up onto the counter, sat on my blood sugar testing kit, and meowed! He was forcing me to focus on the kit through my 'fogginess'. As I reached the counter, he stepped off of the kit so I could use it. My blood sugar had dropped to 2.7 (normal is 5.0-8.0; my doctor later verified that I was near comatose).

I took some sugar tablets, and then laid down on the living room couch. Every time I started to fall asleep, Monty proceeded to parade up and down my body, meowing and 'punching bread' (kneading) on my chest to keep me awake. After the sugar pills took effect, I retested my blood sugar level and it was normal. So I turned to Monty and said, 'It's good now. Can we go back to bed?' He immediately ran ahead of me into the bedroom. He usually sleeps at the foot of the bed but this time as I slipped under the covers so did he, burrowing down at my side for the rest of the night. I have loved cats throughout my entire life so far, and have rescued many, but to have a cat rescue me was a first! 

How famous is Monty? So famous that he has given 15 radio, TV, newspaper, and pet magazine interviews! Owning a famous cat is time consuming," laughs Patricia, "but I am proud to share him with the world to promote 'adult' pet adoptions from shelters."

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Jeff Wells, D.V.M.'s books, "All My Patients Kick and Bite" and "All My Patients Have Tales" offer a humorous perspective on the ups, downs, and "poop" scoop of his veterinary career, including doctor to pet/client interactions. He writes about pant-tugging puppies, nanny/nursemaid dogs, saving horses in snow storms, and working near a bull who considered it "his" duty to teach the doctor a "lesson". Dr. Jeff and his cat-astrophes rate a "high" on the chucklemeter.

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