Amazing Rescue Cat Does Amazing Thing With Amazing Consequences


A rescue cat left dumped in a box outside a shop has proved to be the purrrrrrfect pet by raising the alarm when her young owner’s blood sugar levels dip to dangerous levels.

Pretty Pippa was adopted by the Jansa family from Whitstable in Kent who were won over by her friendly nature and gregarious character.Mia_Pippa – compressed.jpeg

Little did they know the black and white RSPCA puss would give them more than just love and cuddles – Pippa appears to have the special ability to detect when her eight-year-old owner is about to suffer a hypoglycemic episode due to her diabetes.

Pippa’s incredible gift came to light when she crept into Mia’s room and woke her up in the middle of the night prompting the schoolgirl to to test her blood sugar levels which showed they were dangerous low.

And when Pippa couldn’t get into the schoolgirl’s room to check she was feline fine, the persistent puss woke up her mum, Laura instead.

Mrs Jansa said: “We quickly realised she was warning us. If Mia didn’t wake up, then she would come to my door and miaow. She comes onto the bed, walks onto my pillow and across me until I wake up. She really makes her presence felt, she won’t take no for an answer. She knows it’s important that I get up and help Mia.”

Beth Hixson, manager of the RSPCA Canterbury and Dover Animal Centre said: “Pippa was dumped in a box outside a shop in Dartford. She has a such a sweet nature but I couldn’t believe it when I heard how she is helping Mia, I got goosebumps, it’s so amazing.

“She is one very special cat, she obviously has a very close bond with Mia.”

Mia has type one diabetes, an incurable condition, which she manages by regularly testing her blood sugar levels and injecting herself with insulin. She was diagnosed with the condition at six years of age when her parents were concerned that she was eating more than before but not putting on weight.

Mia tests her blood sugar levels between four and six times a day. If her blood sugar levels drop dangerously low she can experience a hypoglycemic episode which could lead to a coma. The schoolgirl is prone to suffering hypos at night when she is asleep and does not realise her blood sugar levels are dropping.

Pippa joined the family in August last year (2013) when they adopted her from the Canterbury, Dover and district branch of the RSPCA.

Mrs Jansa said since October the four-legged night nurse has alerted her about 20 times when Mia was in the early stages of having a hypo and now appears to sense when her drop sugar levels are dropping.

Mrs Jansa, who lives with her husband Karl, daughter and son Dylan, 10, added: “I think it must be something to do with her sense of smell, something to do with the chemistry of her blood changing. Pippa hasn’t been trained to do this but obviously senses that there is something wrong and raises the alarm.

“I know there is a charity that trains dogs to detect hypos for diabetics but I’ve never heard of a cat doing it. Pippa is amazing, because she does it of her own accord and without training. We don’t reward her with treats or food because we don’t want to encourage false alarms but she gets plenty of cuddles instead.”

Alice Potter, pet scientist at the RSPCA, said: “Although dogs alerting their owners to medical problems such as epilepsy, cancer and dangerously low blood pressure is well known, the RSPCA is not aware of any evidence in cats.

“Perhaps Pippa will be the cat to inspire new research in this area.”

Mia’s mum added: “We are working with the doctors to stop Mia’s night hypos, but in the meantime I sleep a bit easier knowing that Pippa is around. It is so nice to have that back-up, it’s really reassuring and certainly a bonus we were not expecting.

“It give me extra peace of mind to know someone else is keeping an eye on Mia. It’s helped me sleep better at night.”

She added: “Mia thinks Pippa is pretty amazing, she is very happy to have such a helpful cat, however she doesn’t want to be dependent on Pippa, she knows how important it is to be responsible for looking after her own health.

“Mia calls her ‘my special cat, my little protector’ and she’s got a soft spot for her.”

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  1. Raising public awareness of street cats – Publication of a new book

    Dear Feline Online,

    My name is Dr. Raphaella Bilski and I am the author of a newly published book on street cats in Jerusalem which I believe would be of interest to all cat lovers, particularly to those who want to raise awareness of the situation of rescue cats in their communities. I am writing to you in the hope that we might collaborate in using this book to educate people about caring for street cats. Let me first say a few words about the book and how I came to write it.

    For over 14 years I lived with a community of street cats that established itself in my garden in Jerusalem, feeding and caring for the cats to the best of my abilities. This was a time before spaying and neutering were widely available in Israel, which meant that I had the rare opportunity to observe several generations of cats in their interactions with each other and with me.

    In one sense, then, this book is an ethological study presented in narrative rather than scientific form, and therein lies its uniqueness. While street cats can be seen in many cities around the world, lurking around trash cans and in back alleys, their world remains largely unknown. The book provides a rare look into the lives of these cats not only as individuals, each with his or her distinctive personality, but also as members of a community. As we read of the social life of street cats we encounter their hierarchies and the leaders among them, extraordinary displays of courage and friendship, different forms of motherhood, including joint motherhood, a compassionate attitude to the sick and the dying, cats teaching one another, and much more. No other book on cats offers such a long-term and in depth exploration of the lives of street cats in a communal context.

    The book also examines the complex and problematic interplay between the world of the street cat and our own human world. People often see these cats as a nuisance, at best to be ignored. Through the years I have formed deep bonds with individual cats. In this book, I try to convey to the reader the special nature and depth of these relationships, showing that the street cat can be a warm and loyal friend if treated correctly. I hope that this intimate and emotional encounter with the street cat will transform it from an obscure animal, roaming around trash cans, into a familiar, interesting and sympathetic creature.

    Finally, let me briefly introduce myself. I am a member of the Department of Political Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In addition to my academic work, I was also an adviser to three Prime Ministers in Israel on social and welfare policies.

    My love of animals I learned from my mother who taught me to take care of street cats even as a young girl. The community of street cats started in my garden in 1993, two months after the death of my last dog, and I have been caring for it ever since.

    Following the publication of My Street Cats in Israel, I received many moving responses from readers, not all of them cat lovers. The book was also featured in the media (radio talk-shows and newspaper articles), raising public awareness of the lives and plight of the street cat. My goal in publishing the English edition of My Street Cats is to further raise public awareness of street cats world-wide and promote a more compassionate attitude towards these amazing animals. For that need your help.

    I would be grateful if you would consider reviewing or mentioning the book on Feline Online. I would be happy to send you a complementary review copy in print or in Kindle format and I am available to answer any question that you may have.

    Also, please note that all profits from the sale of the book go towards the continued care of street cats in Jerusalem and the implementation of a TNR program there. At present, there are an estimated 500,000 street cats in the Jerusalem area.

    I thank you in advance for taking the time to consider my request and please don’t hesitate to contact me.

    Kind Regards,

    Dr. Raphaella Bilski




    Blog: For new stories about new cats:

    Twitter: @mystreetcats

  2. Don’t you think its strange to see a bunch of fritus and vegetables on the front of cat food? Cats can’t even digest that stuff, why advertise it? If I were them I’d put lots of meat on the front.What do you think?It’s premium natural cat food by purina that gave me the idea for this question, although I’ve seen it on other products. They have chicken corn salmon peas carrots and berries on the front of their products.The add says eat a variety of wholesome ingredients makes just as much sense to your cat as it does to you

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