Top prize for seizure-sensing cat
Published 14/03/2011 | 14:31
A cat has become a real life-saver, detecting when her owner is about to have an epileptic fit.
Nathan Cooper, 19, came close to death during a particularly severe seizure but Lilly stayed by his side, nudging and licking him until he starting breathing again.
Mr Cooper's mother, Tracey, 38, said when he is about to fit, Lilly can sense something is wrong and runs between her and her son, meowing to alert her.
"Lilly has a very close bond with Nathan, he didn't believe it when I told him what she was doing," she said.
"After one fit, he stopped breathing and Lilly started licking his mouth and somehow it kick-started his breathing.
"When he came round, from when she licked him into breathing, and Lilly was right there, he just couldn't believe it.
"I never knew a cat could do this."
The family, from Bournemouth, Dorset, have no idea how she picked up the skill but have been told by hospital staff that animals are sometimes able to detect impending epileptic fits.
Mrs Cooper said Lilly can normally detect an oncoming seizure up to five minutes before it happens.
Mrs Cooper, a full-time carer for her son and her disabled husband Simon, 44, entered Lilly for Drontal's My Pet Superstar competition. Lilly beat more than 6,000 other pets in the UK to be crowned Top Cat.