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For the Love of Pets

A Different World of Sense and Instinct

Mar 20, 2012 - 10:47 AM
A Different World of Sense and Instinct

Pudding, the life-saving cat. (Photo from

Have you heard about the cat that saved its owner’s life only hours after being adopted? This heroic cat, Pudding, pulled his new owner out of a diabetic seizure by waking her up and then waking up her son to come help.

Animals have far better senses of smell, sight and hearing than humans. Cancer-sniffing dogs, seizure alert pets and even cats that can prevent you from entering a diabetic coma continue to amaze us. If our pet’s senses are this keen, what else are they sensing that we are not noticing? For me, I always knew when a thunderstorm was coming because my dog, Montana, would begin to pace and pant. Not a sound could be heard, but the change in pressure, or something, was letting her know what was coming. As pet owners, we like to think that we are in tune with our animals. Certainly they know our routines, and we know what to expect from each other, but stories of the amazing things animals can do with their five senses make me realize they are often living in a different world than us.

Montana, the thunderstorm-predicting dog.

What is truly amazing about Pudding, and the many other animals that save lives, is that they seem to be acting on instinct. While I am sure Pudding was happy to be adopted and in a friendly home, he had just arrived and did not know anything about his adopter’s health or typical routine. He just knew something was wrong and acted on it. This is where animals are truly remarkable. They let instincts lead, rather than thinking everything through. Sure, at times these instinctual actions can be problematic, but in cases like alerting us to a seizure, or waking us up from a potentially life threatening diabetic coma, this sense is superior to anything humans can comprehend.

What has your pet done which surpassed what you thought possible? Has it alerted you to an intruder, a thunderstorm, or given you another instinctual warning that something wasn’t right? Or has it always been a faithful companion, perhaps not literally saving your life but enriching it and allowing it to be much fuller? In either case, we know our lives are better when shared with animals.





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