The Cats Who Saved their Family from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Shadow is credited with saving Karen and her two young sons (as well as the family dog Duke) on the night of January 16, 2003. The cat's loud meowing woke Karen, who was sleeping in the basement bedroom.

Feeling nauseous and disoriented, and realizing something was terribly wrong, Karen called 911 and then got everyone out of the house. They were suffering from carbon monoxide exposure and were treated at a nearby hospital. Firefighters detected CO levels as high as 300 parts per million at the residence (resulting from a faulty furnace), a situation that could have ended in tragedy but for Shadow's persistent warnings.

Chloe, a cat owned by Prue and Peter Mason saved the lives of her owners, a friend and several other pets that were overcome with fumes from a faulty heating system. Chloe repeatedly screamed and clawed until she aroused Peter Mason who was able to alert the others. (Rocky Mountain House, Alberta)

On March 24, 2007, in New Castle, Indiana, a gasoline-powered water pump in Eric and Cathy Keesling's basement caused carbon monoxide to build up in their home. About 1 a.m., their 14-year-old cat named Winnie began jumping on their bed, nudging Cathy's ear and meowing loudly. "Winnie jumped from her window perch right onto me, meowing like crazy and scratching at my hair and face," says Cathy. "She'd never acted like this. I thought, 'There is something wrong with this cat.' I tried to get out of bed, but the moment I sat up, I felt like I'd been hit with a two-by-four. Then I got dizzy." Cathy fell back into bed, but Winnie kept meowing.  "It was a crazy meow, almost like she was screaming," said Cathy. When she got out of bed she realized she was nauseous and she kept feeling like she was going to faint.

When she couldn't wake her husband, she called 911 but was unable to speak. The police were able to trace the call and get to the Keesling's residence. Paramedics found the couple's 14-year-old son, Michael, unconscious on the floor near his bedroom. The Keeslings were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning and soon recovered.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) named Winnie the "Cat of the Year", and Reader's Digest featured Winnie as a Hero Pet of the Year in 2009.
From MSNBC website

GepettoFrom a tiny orange ball of energetic fluff, Gepetto matured into a quiet, mellow fellow.  But in early December 2009, owner Phyllis Sjogren was baffled by "the terrible sequence of yowls" coming from the top of the basement stairs at six thirty a.m. All the Sjogren's cats are calm and quiet, so the distress in Gepetto's wails was enough to make Phyllis climb out of bed to investigate, depsite having a severe headache.

Phyllis comforted Gepetto until he quieted down and went down to the basement. Now awake, but wanting to go back to bed, Phyllis called her husband to ask about her strange symptoms.

Alarmed, Martin urged her to get out of the house.  Emergency crews learned that the Sjogren's home had filled to a level of 70 percent carbon monoxide.  Phyllis credits Gepetto for raising the alarm and saving her life. (Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Canada)

Corinne Stoltz-Orava, who with her husband owns Cayoosh Expenditions, Inc., in Canada, has decided that cats may be better than carbon monoside detectors. Sylvester lives mostly outside but spends nights and occasional rainy afternoons with them. About 5 am September 24, 2010, Sylvester started jumping on her head. She says, "I was sleeping and having very intense dreams...that I had to get out of the house...but I couldn't wake my dreams I was escaping the house and everytime I did...I was in the tropics."

Sylvester, who is now 2-1/2 years old, had jumped on their heads when he was a baby but had stopped doing that long ago. She says, "That is why that night I didn't understand what was wrong with him...and I felt so weird... he pulled me out of that weird dream. I was actually going to open the door to chuck him out."

Then the carbon monoxide alarm sounded, and Corinne understood what Sylvester was trying to tell her. The two immediately went outside, to safety.

After note:  After the incident (which happened in a little mountain cottage, where Corinne likes to take Sylvester so he goes after mice), they returned home and he started sniffing all the propane outlets to make sure everything was fine...

Info from Corinne

Unless indicated otherwise,
info is from the Purina Animal Hall of Fame

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