The Cats Who Saved their Owner After a Heart Attack

Ty, named after boxer Mike Tyson, was an eight-year-old Siamese cat who earned his tough-guy reputation when his owner, Myrna Birch, collapsed with heart failure at her home in Trail, B.C.

It was around midnight, and the air conditioner was struggling against a heat wave. Restless, Myrna got out of bed to feed the cats. Suddenly she felt dizzy. Then everything went black. And she hit the floor.

She doesn't know how long she lay there ... maybe two hours ... drifting in and out of consciousness. She only remembers that each time she passed out, Ty would yowl in her ear, bat her with his paw, and lick her face until she regained consciousness.

The big Siamese simply would not give up. He kept screaming, licking her with his raspy tongue until he was able to rouse her. Somehow, she managed to grab the phone cord by her side, pull the phone to the floor with a crash and dial 911.

When the paramedics found her, Myrna's heart rate had plummeted to 20 and her blood pressure was almost nil. She was rushed to Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital where, 4 hours later, she had a pacemaker implanted in her chest.

For Myrna, there is no question. If it hadn't been for Ty, she would have quietly slipped away. She owes her life to his loyalty and persistence.

Baby, a deaf-mute cat, is credited with saving the life of her owner who had suffered a heart attack. Baby woke the man's wife by repeatedly throwing herself on the lady's chest. When she awoke, she discovered her husband had collapsed in another room. (St. Boniface, Manitoba)

Nemo, 21 pounds of affectionate black and white cat, was used to awakening owner Peter Papadimitriou for breakfast in the morning.  But on September 1, 2008, Nemo awoke Peter's wife Angela instead.  Nemo's actions were persistent: meowing and swatting to get her attention.  Angela turned to Peter to complain about Nemo's behavior and was alarmed to discover that she could not awaken him.  He appeared not to be breathing and she couldn't detect a heart beat.

Angela called 911, and the operator instructed her to begin CPR.  An ambulance arrived shortly, and the paramedics were able to get Peter's heart started.  He was rushed to the hospital.  Eventually, Peter had heart surgery and his condition stabilized.

Nemo is their hero and best friend.

From the Purina Animal Hall of Fame

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