The Cat Who Saved his Owner from Dying in the Bathtub

Sylvester the cat is being credited with saving the life of his 90-year-old owner, Patricia Kerr, after she was found stuck in a cold bath at her home.

Sylvester, a ginger, part-Persian stray that Mrs Kerr adopted 5 years earlier, turned up at her neighbor's door and began miaowing. A visit by the normally antisocial cat was the first sign to Rotorua couple Shirley and Monte Mason that something was wrong with their neighbour.

Mrs Mason tried calling Mrs Kerr but the phone was engaged so she figured Mrs Kerr was okay, and she and her husband left to go to a funeral. When they returned, the retired couple saw Mrs Kerr had not left her rubbish bag out for Mr Mason to put on the street. The couple tried phoning again, and again the phone was engaged. By now worried, they went next door and walked around the house, calling out to their neighbour of 20 years. When they got no response, they called the police.

Officers broke into the house and found Mrs Kerr stuck in the bath.

It was not known how long she had been there, but the water had gone cold, she was hypothermic and, according to Rotorua's Daily Post newspaper, was "pretty well gone".

The 90-year-old was taken to Rotorua Hospital, where she was recovering but reluctant to talk about her ordeal. However, the Masons told the Herald that if it had not been for Sylvester and the missing rubbish bag, Mrs Kerr might not have been found alive. (June 2007)

From the New Zealand Herald website

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