As adorable four-legged therapists and nurses, cats have an uncanny ability to detect subtle changes in our emotions and health. Research suggests that their tremendous sense of smell allows them to detect illness in humans, often before we know we’re sick.
The feline olfactory system is 14 times more powerful than a human’s, so cats can detect subtle differences in someone’s scent that can indicate if there is a problem with their health.
An incredible example of this meaning in action comes from Liverpool, England, where a cat named Willow saved her owner’s life by noticing when she was unwell. Amanda Jameson, a 51-year-old diabetic, went to bed one night with dangerously low blood sugar levels. Somehow, Willow noticed something it was wrong with her, so she went to get help.
Willow found her partner, Ray Sherwood, 57, asleep watching television. Willow nipped at Sherwood’s legs to get her attention and wake him up. “I had fallen asleep in front of the TV and then around 4am Willow woke me up by biting my legs and jumping on me,” Sherwood said. The independent.
Cat saves the life of his diabetic owner
“It was very out of character for her and she made me get up to see what all the fuss was about,” he continued. “She was running between me and the stairs, looking at me. I followed her upstairs and she kept looking at me to make sure she was coming.”
When he got to the bedroom, he found Jameson slumped over. She was unresponsive, so she called an ambulance. When she arrived at the hospital, the doctors said that she was about to slip into a diabetic coma. But thanks to Willow’s bravery, he was saved just before his condition worsened.
It is impossible to know how long someone can last in a diabetic coma, but if it is not treated, it can eventually lead to brain damage or death. Jameson believes that since her scare, Willow seems to be worried about her health.
“Willow, the cat who saved her diabetic owner’s life among National Cat Awards finalists https://t.co/wEHsPNO0KZ”
“Since I came home from the hospital, she has become very protective of me. I have noticed how she puts her nose in my mouth a lot. I think she is checking that she is breathing,” she told The Independent.
Willow’s quick thinking has earned her the honor of being one of 12 finalists for The National Cat Awards Sponsored by Cats Protection, the UK’s largest cat charity. Willow is nominated in the moggy wonderland category for those who have shown their “moggy brilliance”.
She is up against two other cats in her category. Beau, who took in an owner with blood cancer, and Dali, who disappeared for a month and was found abandoned on a tiny patch of rocks in the Bradford Beck River.
In the UK, “moggy” refers to a typical domestic cat that’s often mixed race. Similar to how Americans refer to a run-of-the-mill mongrel dog as a mutt.
Whether or not Willow wins the prize, her owner will love her anyway. “I love her more than anything” Jameson told CBS News. “I can’t thank her enough, and she is the world to me.”