3 Ways in Which Some Cats Are Protecting Humans

From detecting cancer to predicting a storm, a cat's instincts can play a major role in keeping people safe.

Cats can display an uncanny ability to pick up on things like impending thunderstorms or disease. By: voght

Not long ago, Haley Wigent’s Boy Kitty began pawing at her sliding glass door. She figured that “one of the resident ferals or the possum who lives out there must be on the porch. I looked out the door, and right next to the house was someone on my porch.”

Wigent called the police, and the danger was dealt with. But her experience led to a fascinating online exchange of stories about how other felines had saved their humans.

Another cat, Pinkers, licked his human awake after she’d passed out cold from carbon monoxide poisoning. And yet another pair of felines refused to let their human into her kitchen…until they killed a pair of copperhead snakes that had somehow slithered in there.

Sometimes, your best watchdog truly is a cat.

1. Predicting the Weather

According to naturalist Konrad Lorenz, cats “see the surface covered with an energy net made by geomagnetic fields coming from the ground.” This makes them naturals when it comes to tracking storms, tornadoes and earthquakes.

The same holds true for less catastrophic weather. One of our cats, Dervish, used to take refuge behind the washing machine when he sensed a thunderstorm coming. We didn’t hear the thunder until it was nearby, but we learned quickly to close the windows as soon as we saw our Dervish head for the cellar. A good part of this seems to hinge on the fact that cats have hearing that is far more acute than our own.

Often, cats will respond also to barometric pressure changes by zooming around like furry, out-of-control race cars.

2. Offing Snakes

Cats and snakes have been at odds with each other since ancient days. Snakes were as much of a threat to the Egyptians’ grain stores as rodents, so any animal who could get rid of both was worthy of godhood in their eyes.

In real life, cats go after garter snakes and the like. That’s not to say they won’t fight the poisonous ones. Their flexible spines and speed definitely give them an advantage — it’s just a deadlier match.

Cats seem to grasp that some snakes may put their humans in danger. By: kaibara

3. Generally Saving Lives

You might have read about Masha, the stray cat who wrapped herself around an abandoned baby boy and kept him from freezing in sub-zero temperatures. Masha even followed the ambulance worker carrying the baby to the car “and pitifully meowed.”

Here are some other instances of astonishing altruism displayed by fiercely devoted cats:

  • In May 2014, Tara, a tiger cat, fought off a dog who was attacking a 4-year-old boy. “People have noted that cats can be protective of another individual, whether it’s…a dog or a cat or a person,” said animal behaviorist Nicholas Dodman. “I thought it did look to me like the cat knew exactly what [she] was doing, and [she] ran in to attack the dog.”
  • In February 2012, Amy Jung and her son Ethan adopted a stray named Pudding. Hours later, Jung went into a diabetic coma in her sleep. Somehow sensing this, Pudding jumped on her human and nudged her until she woke up long enough to call out to her son. The cat then ran into Ethan’s room and pounced on him until he woke up and called for help.
  • In 2009, a cat named Tiger kept climbing into Lionel Adams’s bed and dragging his paw along his guardian’s left side. As it turned out, the man had stage 1 lung cancer. Surgeons ended up removing part of his lung. “I think if he hadn’t done the pawing part, it could have gone on for another 5 or 6 months undetected,” Adams said.

The video below shows Tara fighting off an attacking dog:

Picking Up on Things

It’s all about the energy — that’s the common thread here.

Cats notice shifts in energy around them. They pick up on things such as natural disasters, predators and disease that could hurt their humans and their world — all before we even see or hear them coming. And cats’ altruism in the stories given above endear these protective felines even more to our hearts.

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