20 amazing stories of rescued cats. 
source: http://lovemeow.com/2011/01/20-amazing-stories-of-rescued-cats-from-2010/

Jack Tripper the Eyeless Wonder 

cute kitten born without eyes Jack Tripper

Jack Tripper

This is an amazing story of a cat who was born without eyes, but never considers himself any different from other cats. To Jack, life is good and he surely lives it to the fullest. Click here to check out the story.

Man Built Sanctuary for Homeless Cats (Caboodle Ranch) 

caboodle ranch sanctuary for homeless cats
Craig Grant and his rescued cats

Craig Grant was interested in cats until he started looking after his son’s cat. Through that experience, he learned so much about cats and fell in love with these wonderful creatures. Craig started rescuing homeless cats and decided to build a cat sanctuary for all his rescues. Check out the hero behind Caboodle Ranch.

Kitties Rescued by US Marines in Afghanistan 

cute rescued kitten and US marine in afghanistan
Simba & Timothy Kuklis

Three US marines, Brian Chambers, Chris Berry and Aaron Shaw, started a mission to help bring home the kittens they befriended while serving in Afghanistan. For soldiers who are on duty overseas, often time the only chance they get to cuddle is when they meet these stray animals. Check out this incredible story.

cute feral ginger cat meatie
Meatie the feral

When Caroline met Meatie for the first time, he was starving and needed help. As a feral cat, Meatie was not willing to trust humans and kept his distance. It took Caroline arduous work and patience to finally earn his trust. The process was long and difficult, but it was so rewarding at the end that it made everything worthwhile. Check out this heart warming story.

Kitty the Backpacking Cat Travels with French Couple

cute rescued kitten kitty backpacking cat
Kitty the Backpacking cat

Kitty was rescued while a French couple was embarking on a journey to travel from Miami to Argentina. They found the  little homeless kitten and took her with them. Kitty bonded with the couple and became the first backpacking cat who travels across the borders with her humans. Click here to read more.

Ulysses the Feral Cat Found Haven

cute rescued black feral cat Ulysses
Ulysses the ex-feral

Before Ulysses was rescued, he was living near the highway for a long time. He got his name because of the trials he had gone through. When Linda Hill found the little black panther, she made up her mind to get him into a loving home that he deserved. Check out this amazing rescue story and how Linda won the trust from this ex-feral cat.

Friendship Between Sophie the Kitten and Simon the Dog 

cute calico kitten and welsh corgi pup
Sophie the kitty and Simon the dog 

Little Sophie was found foraging for food in the garbage and was brought to a loving family where she met Simon a lovable Welsh Corgi. Soon after they met, Simon fell in love with the little Calico kitten and the rest became history. Check out this adorable friendship between Sophie and Simon.

Rescued Bengal Mama and Son 

cute rescued bengal mama and kitten
Rescued Bengal Mama Zoraline and kitten Ziggy

Cat mama Zoraline and her baby Ziggy were rescued from being put down by Kimberly Jennery who took them into her home and gave them a second chance at life. Check out this heart warming story.

Jimi the Amazing Cross-Eyed Rescue 

cute cross eyed rescued cat Jimi
Jimi the rescue

Jimi was found in a feral/stray cat colony behind a restuarant and brought to an animal hospital where Kelli was working on her internship. “I was first captivated by his cute little crossed eyes, and then I got to know his sweet nature and just had to bring him home.” Check out this adorable story.

Two Rescued Tabby Kittens

cute rescued tabby kittens
Rescued tabbies 

Nao-chan found two teeny little tabby kittens in a box near a pond while she was out on a jog. As an animal rescuer, it was second nature for her to bring these kittens to safety. Since then the kittens’ new life has begun. Click to read more about this heart warming story.

The Eyeless Wonder, Gumbo 

cute eyeless rescued orange cat
Gumbo the eyeless wonder 

Gumbo is an absolute treasure. He is an amazing boy who time and time again demonstrates that cats have ADAPTABILITY not DISABILITIES. Check out this incredible story.

Sicca and Her New Forever Home 

cute rescued tabby kitten
Sicca the little rescue 

Sicca may have had a rough beginning to her life, but she is blessed with a loving family and an angelic face that surely melts hearts. Check out this adorable story.

Rescue Story of Stitch and Mallow 

cute rescued cats
Stitch and Mallow 

Heather spotted tiny squirmy kittens in an abandoned building. It took her several days until she was able to trap them and bring them into a warm and loving home. Check out this beautiful story.

Momo the Kitty with a Big Purrsonality 

cute rescued kitten

Momo was found in a parking lot and when Anna saw him, he reeked the smell of a skunk. However, that did not bother Romeo, a loving fatherly cat who took to him right away and started washing him like a father to a son. Check out this adorable story.

Story of Lacey the Fluffy Himalayan Rescue 

cute rescued fluffy himalayan cat
Lacey the fluffy rescue 

Lacey was found wandering on the street, pregnant. She was brought into a shelter where she awaited her loving home. When Rose saw met her, she knew she would take her home. This is her sixth year at her forever home. Lacey surely has flourished. Check out this lovely story.

Ginger Kitten Gained a Second Chance at Life 

cute rescued ginger kitten
Little ginger rescue 

Little ginger baby was rescued from the rain. She was very cold, but was warmed by her new dad, a cat (who is also a rescue) and a dog. Check out this amazing story.

Mina a Rescued Cat Becomes a Foster Mom 

cute rescued gray kitten Mina

Mina was found in the laundry room by herself. She was born to love. Her family has fostered many rescued kitties and Mina is a great helper who always keeps on an eye on the kittens and makes sure they are safe and clean. Check out this lovely story.

Rescued Cat Mishka Lives a Happy Life 

cute rescued fluffy cat

Mishka is one of the 95 cats rescued by a local animal shelter and now he has blossomed into a sweet fluffy boy. Check out this beautiful story.

Story of Sonny the Stray 

cute rescued ginger cat Sonny

Sonny showed up at Tina’s house when she just started her treatments for cancer. “He needed me as much as I needed him.” Check out this beautiful story.

Story of Chihiro the Rescued Tabby 

cute rescued tabby kitten Chihiro

Chihiro, a cat that came from nothing, now thrives as the head of the household. Her hooman calls her the “wild one” because there is still a lot of feral cat in her, but Chihiro is also a lucky one. Check out this amazing story.

How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy
source: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/03/how-your-cat-is-making-you-crazy/308873/

Jaroslav Flegr is no kook. And yet, for years, he suspected his mind had been taken over by parasites that had invaded his brain. So the prolific biologist took his science-fiction hunch into the lab. What he’s now discovering will startle you. Could tiny organisms carried by house cats be creeping into our brains, causing everything from car wrecks to schizophrenia?
Share8 By
Michal Novotný

No one would accuse Jaroslav Flegr of being a conformist. A self-described “sloppy dresser,” the 53-year-old Czech scientist has the contemplative air of someone habitually lost in thought, and his still-youthful, square-jawed face is framed by frizzy red hair that encircles his head like a ring of fire.

Certainly Flegr’s thinking is jarringly unconventional. Starting in the early 1990s, he began to suspect that a single-celled parasite in the protozoan family was subtly manipulating his personality, causing him to behave in strange, often self-destructive ways. And if it was messing with his mind, he reasoned, it was probably doing the same to others.

The parasite, which is excreted by cats in their feces, is called Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii or Toxo for short) and is the microbe that causes toxoplasmosis—the reason pregnant women are told to avoid cats’ litter boxes. Since the 1920s, doctors have recognized that a woman who becomes infected during pregnancy can transmit the disease to the fetus, in some cases resulting in severe brain damage or death. T. gondii is also a major threat to people with weakened immunity: in the early days of the AIDS epidemic, before good antiretroviral drugs were developed, it was to blame for the dementia that afflicted many patients at the disease’s end stage. Healthy children and adults, however, usually experience nothing worse than brief flu-like symptoms before quickly fighting off the protozoan, which thereafter lies dormant inside brain cells—or at least that’s the standard medical wisdom.

But if Flegr is right, the “latent” parasite may be quietly tweaking the connections between our neurons, changing our response to frightening situations, our trust in others, how outgoing we are, and even our preference for certain scents. And that’s not all. He also believes that the organism contributes to car crashes, suicides, and mental disorders such as schizophrenia. When you add up all the different ways it can harm us, says Flegr, “Toxoplasma might even kill as many people as malaria, or at least a million people a year.”

An evolutionary biologist at Charles University in Prague, Flegr has pursued this theory for decades in relative obscurity. Because he struggles with English and is not much of a conversationalist even in his native tongue, he rarely travels to scientific conferences. That “may be one of the reasons my theory is not better known,” he says. And, he believes, his views may invite deep-seated opposition. “There is strong psychological resistance to the possibility that human behavior can be influenced by some stupid parasite,” he says. “Nobody likes to feel like a puppet. Reviewers [of my scientific papers] may have been offended.” Another more obvious reason for resistance, of course, is that Flegr’s notions sound an awful lot like fringe science, right up there with UFO sightings and claims of dolphins telepathically communicating with humans.
But after years of being ignored or discounted, Flegr is starting to gain respectability. Psychedelic as his claims may sound, many researchers, including such big names in neuroscience as Stanford’s Robert Sapolsky, think he could well be onto something. Flegr’s “studies are well conducted, and I can see no reason to doubt them,” Sapolsky tells me. Indeed, recent findings from Sapolsky’s lab and British groups suggest that the parasite is capable of extraordinary shenanigans. T. gondii, reports Sapolsky, can turn a rat’s strong innate aversion to cats into an attraction, luring it into the jaws of its No. 1 predator. Even more amazing is how it does this: the organism rewires circuits in parts of the brain that deal with such primal emotions as fear, anxiety, and sexual arousal. “Overall,” says Sapolsky, “this is wild, bizarre neurobiology.” Another academic heavyweight who takes Flegr seriously is the schizophrenia expert E. Fuller Torrey, director of the Stanley Medical Research Institute, in Maryland. “I admire Jaroslav for doing [this research],” he says. “It’s obviously not politically correct, in the sense that not many labs are doing it. He’s done it mostly on his own, with very little support. I think it bears looking at. I find it completely credible.”
What’s more, many experts think T. gondii may be far from the only microscopic puppeteer capable of pulling our strings. “My guess is that there are scads more examples of this going on in mammals, with parasites we’ve never even heard of,” says Sapolsky.

Familiar to most of us, of course, is the rabies virus. On the verge of killing a dog, bat, or other warm-blooded host, it stirs the animal into a rage while simultaneously migrating from the nervous system to the creature’s saliva, ensuring that when the host bites, the virus will live on in a new carrier. But aside from rabies, stories of parasites commandeering the behavior of large-brained mammals are rare. The far more common victims of parasitic mind control—at least the ones we know about—are fish, crustaceans, and legions of insects, according to Janice Moore, a behavioral biologist at Colorado State University. “Flies, ants, caterpillars, wasps, you name it—there are truckloads of them behaving weirdly as a result of parasites,” she says.

Consider Polysphincta gutfreundi, a parasitic wasp that grabs hold of an orb spider and attaches a tiny egg to its belly. A wormlike larva emerges from the egg, and then releases chemicals that prompt the spider to abandon weaving its familiar spiral web and instead spin its silk thread into a special pattern that will hold the cocoon in which the larva matures. The “possessed” spider even crochets a specific geometric design in the net, camouflaging the cocoon from the wasp’s predators.

Flegr himself traces his life’s work to another master of mind control. Almost 30 years ago, as he was reading a book by the British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, Flegr was captivated by a passage describing how a flatworm turns an ant into its slave by invading the ant’s nervous system. A drop in temperature normally causes ants to head underground, but the infected insect instead climbs to the top of a blade of grass and clamps down on it, becoming easy prey for a grazing sheep. “Its mandibles actually become locked in that position, so there’s nothing the ant can do except hang there in the air,” says Flegr. The sheep grazes on the grass and eats the ant; the worm gains entrance into the ungulate’s gut, which is exactly where it needs to be in order to complete—as the Lion King song goes—the circle of life. “It was the first I learned about this kind of manipulation, so it made a big impression on me,” Flegr says.
After he read the book, Flegr began to make a connection that, he readily admits, others might find crazy: his behavior, he noticed, shared similarities with that of the reckless ant. For example, he says, he thought nothing of crossing the street in the middle of dense traffic, “and if cars honked at me, I didn’t jump out of the way.” He also made no effort to hide his scorn for the Communists who ruled Czechoslovakia for most of his early adulthood. “It was very risky to openly speak your mind at that time,” he says. “I was lucky I wasn’t imprisoned.” And during a research stint in eastern Turkey, when the strife-torn region frequently erupted in gunfire, he recalls being “very calm.” In contrast, he says, “my colleagues were terrified. I wondered what was wrong with myself.”

His bewilderment continued until 1990, when he joined the biology faculty of Charles University. As it happened, the 650-year-old institution had long been a world leader in documenting the health effects of T. gondii, as well as developing methods for detecting the parasite. In fact, just as Flegr was arriving, his colleagues were searching for infected individuals on whom to test their improved diagnostic kits, which is how he came to be asked one day to roll up his sleeve and donate blood. He discovered that he had the parasite—and just possibly, he thought, the key to his baffling self-destructive streak.

He delved into T. gondii’s life cycle. After an infected cat defecates, Flegr learned, the parasite is typically picked up from the soil by scavenging or grazing animals—notably rodents, pigs, and cattle—all of which then harbor it in their brain and other body tissues. Humans, on the other hand, are exposed not only by coming into contact with litter boxes, but also, he found, by drinking water contaminated with cat feces, eating unwashed vegetables, or, especially in Europe, by consuming raw or undercooked meat. Hence the French, according to Flegr, with their love of steak prepared saignant—literally, “bleeding”—can have infection rates as high as 55 percent. (Americans will be happy to hear that the parasite resides in far fewer of them, though a still substantial portion: 10 to 20 percent.) Once inside an animal or human host, the parasite then needs to get back into the cat, the only place where it can sexually reproduce—and this is when, Flegr believed, behavioral manipulation might come into play.

The parasite T. gondii, seen here, may be changing connections between our neurones, altering how we act and feel. (Dennis Kunkel Microscropy, Inc./Visuals Unlimited/Corbis Images)
Researchers had already observed a few peculiarities about rodents with T. gondii that bolstered Flegr’s theory. The infected rodents were much more active in running wheels than uninfected rodents were, suggesting that they would be more-attractive targets for cats, which are drawn to fast-moving objects. They also were less wary of predators in exposed spaces. Little, however, was known about how the latent infection might influence humans, because we and other large mammals were widely presumed to be accidental hosts, or, as scientists are fond of putting it, a “dead end” for the parasite. But even if we were never part of the parasite’s life cycle, Flegr reasoned, mammals from mouse to man share the vast majority of their genes, so we might, in a case of mistaken identity, still be vulnerable to manipulations by the parasite.

In the Soviet-stunted economy, animal studies were way beyond Flegr’s research budget. But fortunately for him, 30 to 40 percent of Czechs had the latent form of the disease, so plenty of students were available “to serve as very cheap experimental animals.” He began by giving them and their parasite-free peers standardized personality tests—an inexpensive, if somewhat crude, method of measuring differences between the groups. In addition, he used a computer-based test to assess the reaction times of participants, who were instructed to press a button as soon as a white square popped up anywhere against the dark background of the monitor.

The subjects who tested positive for the parasite had significantly delayed reaction times. Flegr was especially surprised to learn, though, that the protozoan appeared to cause many sex-specific changes in personality. Compared with uninfected men, males who had the parasite were more introverted, suspicious, oblivious to other people’s opinions of them, and inclined to disregard rules. Infected women, on the other hand, presented in exactly the opposite way: they were more outgoing, trusting, image-conscious, and rule-abiding than uninfected women.

The findings were so bizarre that Flegr initially assumed his data must be flawed. So he tested other groups—civilian and military populations. Again, the same results. Then, in search of more corroborating evidence, he brought subjects in for further observation and a battery of tests, in which they were rated by someone ignorant of their infection status. To assess whether participants valued the opinions of others, the rater judged how well dressed they appeared to be. As a measure of gregariousness, participants were asked about the number of friends they’d interacted with over the past two weeks. To test whether they were prone to being suspicious, they were asked, among other things, to drink an unidentified liquid.
The results meshed well with the questionnaire findings. Compared with uninfected people of the same sex, infected men were more likely to wear rumpled old clothes; infected women tended to be more meticulously attired, many showing up for the study in expensive, designer-brand clothing. Infected men tended to have fewer friends, while infected women tended to have more. And when it came to downing the mystery fluid, reports Flegr, “the infected males were much more hesitant than uninfected men. They wanted to know why they had to do it. Would it harm them?” In contrast, the infected women were the most trusting of all subjects. “They just did what they were told,” he says.

Why men and women reacted so differently to the parasite still mystified him. After consulting the psychological literature, he started to suspect that heightened anxiety might be the common denominator underlying their responses. When under emotional strain, he read, women seek solace through social bonding and nurturing. In the lingo of psychologists, they’re inclined to “tend and befriend.” Anxious men, on the other hand, typically respond by withdrawing and becoming hostile or antisocial. Perhaps he was looking at flip sides of the same coin.

Closer inspection of Flegr’s reaction-time results revealed that infected subjects became less attentive and slowed down a minute or so into the test. This suggested to him that Toxoplasma might have an adverse impact on driving, where constant vigilance and fast reflexes are critical. He launched two major epidemiological studies in the Czech Republic, one of men and women in the general population and another of mostly male drivers in the military. Those who tested positive for the parasite, both studies showed, were about two and a half times as likely to be in a traffic accident as their uninfected peers.

When I met Flegr for the first time, last September, at his office on the third floor of Charles University’s Biological Sciences building, I was expecting something of a wild man. But once you get past the riotous red hair, his style is understated. Thin and slight of build, he’s soft-spoken, precise with his facts, and—true to his Toxo status—clad in old sneakers, faded bell-bottom jeans, and a loose-fitting button-up shirt. As our conversation proceeds, I discover that his latest findings have become—to quote Alice in Wonderland—“curiouser and curiouser,” which may explain why his forehead has the deep ruts of a chronic worrier, or someone perpetually perplexed.

He’s published some data, he tells me, that suggest infected males might have elevated testosterone levels. Possibly for that reason, women shown photos of these men rate them as more masculine than pictures of uninfected men. “I want to investigate this more closely to see if it’s true,” he says. “Also, it could be women find infected men more attractive. That’s something else we hope to test.”

Meanwhile, two Turkish studies have replicated his studies linking Toxoplasma to traffic accidents. With up to one-third of the world infected with the parasite, Flegr now calculates that T. gondii is a likely factor in several hundred thousand road deaths each year. In addition, reanalysis of his personality-questionnaire data revealed that, just like him, many other people who have the latent infection feel intrepid in dangerous situations. “Maybe,” he says, “that’s another reason they get into traffic accidents. They don’t have a normal fear response.”

It’s almost impossible to hear about Flegr’s research without wondering whether you’re infected—especially if, like me, you’re a cat owner, favor very rare meat, and identify even a little bit with your Toxo sex stereotype. So before coming to Prague, I’d gotten tested for the parasite, but I didn’t yet know the results. It seemed a good time to see what his intuition would tell me. “Can you guess from observing someone whether they have the parasite—myself, for example?,” I ask.

“No,” he says, “the parasite’s effects on personality are very subtle.” If, as a woman, you were introverted before being infected, he says, the parasite won’t turn you into a raving extrovert. It might just make you a little less introverted. “I’m very typical of Toxoplasma males,” he continues. “But I don’t know whether my personality traits have anything to do with the infection. It’s impossible to say for any one individual. You usually need about 50 people who are infected and 50 who are not, in order to see a statistically significant difference. The vast majority of people will have no idea they’re infected.”

Still, he concedes, the parasite could be very bad news for a small percentage of people—and not just those who might be at greater risk for car accidents. Many schizophrenia patients show shrinkage in parts of their cerebral cortex, and Flegr thinks the protozoan may be to blame for that. He hands me a recently published paper on the topic that he co-authored with colleagues at Charles University, including a psychiatrist named Jiri Horacek. Twelve of 44 schizophrenia patients who underwent MRI scans, the team found, had reduced gray matter in the brain—and the decrease occurred almost exclusively in those who tested positive for T. gondii. After reading the abstract, I must look stunned, because Flegr smiles and says, “Jiri had the same response. I don’t think he believed it could be true.” When I later speak with Horacek, he admits to having been skeptical about Flegr’s theory at the outset. When they merged the MRI results with the infection data, however, he went from being a doubter to being a believer. “I was amazed at how pronounced the effect was,” he says. “To me that suggests the parasite may trigger schizophrenia in genetically susceptible people.”
Blind cat's story strikes a chord in tough economic times 

source:  http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/stories/blind-cats-story-strikes-a-chord-in-tough-economic-times

Gwen Cooper wrote a best-selling book about her energetic cat, Homer, who had to have both of his eyes removed. TOKYO - Homer started out with a lot against him. Abandoned as a tiny kitten, a virulent infection meant he had to have both eyes removed to save his life.

His fortunes changed when he was taken home by Gwen Cooper, an avid cat lover who was instantly charmed by the kitten's energy and enthusiasm for life despite his problems. She christened him "Homer" for the blind Greek poet who wrote epic poems such as "The Odyssey."
As the sleek black feline grew from impetuous kitten into energetic cat, leaping around her apartment and rarely falling despite not being able to see, Cooper found her thinking changing. Eventually she wrote a book, "Homer's Odyssey," about what Homer taught her about trust, love and taking risks.
In Homer's case, this included leaping five feet into the air to capture flies and once scaring off an intruder who had broken into Cooper's apartment.
"I was living with a cat who was not supposed to be able to live a normal life and was not supposed to be able to do things that other cats do. No one ever told him that he couldn't do these things, so he just went ahead and did them," Cooper said in a phone interview from her home in New York.
"I talk a lot in the book about blind leaps of faith. There are some things in life that are really worth getting that you're not going to get unless you take that leap and tell yourself that no one else can tell you what your potential is."
Deciding to move into writing as a full-time career was one of the leaps that Cooper took, first with a novel and then with the book about Homer, who so charmed all who met him that one of the complaints of boyfriends she broke up with was: "You mean I won't be able to see Homer anymore?"

Cooper confessed to a bit of surprise at the success of her book, which has hit the New York Times best-seller list in both hardcover and as the recently issued paperback, but admits that she may have accidentally hit it lucky by bringing the book out in economically challenging times.
"When I started working on the book, the world was a great place. It was only a couple of months before I finished the manuscript that things started falling apart," she said.
"I do think that it does strike a chord about perseverance and about carrying through tough times that might not have been as resonant if things were as good as they were a couple of years ago. But I don't really know."

This popularity, which has resulted in a deluge of cat toys, blankets and other presents for Homer and Cooper's other cat, has also begun to change how Cooper, long a volunteer for animals and other causes, views her relationship with Homer, now a spry 14.
"We've sort of entered a different phase where Homer is kind of the world's cat," Cooper said.
"I now think of Homer more in terms of what he can do for other cats like him, who may be having a hard time finding homes or being euthanized in shelters because they're not 'perfect....' I see he has potential to do a great deal of good."
(Editing by Stephen Addison)
Copyright 2010  Reuters Life! Online Report

Cat Saves Owner's Life Just Hours After Being Adopted.
source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/22/cat-saves-womans-life-hours-adopted_n_1293820.html 


 A newly-adopted cat repaid his owner's loving gesture earlier this month by saving her from a medical emergency just hours after he was brought home, the Green Bay Press Gazette reports. 

Amy Jung and her son Ethan stopped into The Humane Society near their home in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin on Feb. 8 to play with the cats, but one feline -- a 21-pound orange-and-white cat named Pudding -- stood out to the pair. Jung learned that the laid-back cat had been in and out of the shelter since 2003, and made an impulsive decision to adopt him and his friend Wimsy.

Jung said the cats wasted no time fitting into their new home when they arrived. But just hours later, the Jungs' happy day took a turn for the worse. Soon after going to bed, Amy Jung, who has had diabetes since childhood, started having a diabetic seizure in her sleep.

That's when Pudding sprang into action. The fast-acting feline sat on Jung's chest in an attempt to wake her up and when that didn't work, he nudged and nipped her face until she briefly returned to consciousness.
In that moment, Jung was able to call out to her son Ethan, but he couldn't hear her calls. Luckily, Pudding darted into Ethan's room and pounced on the bed until he woke up and was able to call for help.

Jung told the Press Gazette that she believes she wouldn't have made it through the night without Pudding -- an opinion her doctors share. Pudding is now being registered as a therapy animal, and has learned to sit by Jung's feet and meow when he senses that her blood sugar is low.

There have been a number of reports of dogs sensing impending seizures, but the same behavior in cats is much rarer, according to doctors who spoke to the BBC for a story about a cat who predicted a number of deaths at a nursing home.

The cat, Oscar, made headlines in 2007 after he "predicted" 25 deaths at a nursing home by showing affection for sick patients right before they passed away. Animal psychologist Roger Mugford said that although cats have been known to pick up on illnesses, they do so much less frequently than dogs because they are more withdrawn.

"Dogs are very good at picking up on emotional changes and when people are depressed and inactive they are very good at comforting them in these circumstances. Elephants show the same altruistic tendencies, but not cats, they are very much more selfish, solitary creatures," he said.

Nevertheless, cats have been the heroes of a number of rescue stories in recent years. In May 2011, the Atlanta Humane Society reported on a cat who could predict his 19-year-old owner's seizures minutes before they happened.

In July 2011, a Pennsylvania cat helped save its owner's life by pawing at her when she was feeling unwell, compelling her to take her condition seriously and call the doctor. She later learned that she had suffered a heart attack.