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Cat Saves Owner's Life!

Persistent feline earns place in Hall of Fame

Cat keeps his dying owner awake long enough to call 911


From The Province; The Canadian Press

Tyson is a Siamese cat who is getting the royal treatment after his licks saved the life of his owner.

We're talking a sheepskin-lined carrier, limousine rides, a medal, a certificate, a place in the spotlight and all the cat food he can eat for a year.

Eight-year-old Ty is deservedly enjoying all the pomp and circumstance that comes with being inducted into the Purina Animal Hall of Fame, said his owner, Myrna Birch of Trail.

"I've sailed the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean, survived a shipwreck in the Red Sea, also survived a plane crash on the island of Crete," Birch said. "But nothing has compared with the emotion I have felt of this guy having saved my life."

From the ceremony in Toronto yesterday, Birch recounted the July night last year that earned Ty his place among animal heroes.

Birch, a retired industrial nurse, said she woke up at midnight and bent to put crunchies down for Ty "and the lights went out. I lost consciousness.

"I kept coming in and out of consciousness because Ty was licking my face and my eyes and my nose and screaming in my ear, just hollering his head off. I would come to and then I would hear this horrendous roaring in my head and then I would pass out again."

Birch, suffering heart failure and fading in and out of consciousness, remembers telling her cat she would die if she wasn't able to reach the phone. After many attempts, she grabbed the cord, yanked the phone to the floor and phoned 911.

"When the paramedics got there, I had zero blood pressure and my heart rate was 20 beats per minute," said Birch, who hours later had a pacemaker installed in hospital.

Birch is sure that if it weren't for Ty, whom she rescued from a Vernon animal shelter, she would be dead.

"He recognized right away that there was something horrendously wrong. If he hadn't been persistent and kept at me, I would have just slowly slipped away. He kept me going," she said. "He is a love muffin. We're having a hoot, indeed."


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