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Cat Detects Dangerous Blood Sugar Levels

A proud Alex holds Mel-O after she is inducted into the Purina Hall of Fame.

When Kianna and Alex Rose’s parents allowed them each to adopt a family pet, Alex could not quite make up his mind. He walked back and forth in the cat room at the Edmonton Humane Society in Alberta, Canada, searching all of the cages. One cage held four kittens, all meowing except one. She just lay there quiet as can be, so Alex chose her immediately. Alex decided to name his quiet and mellow kitten Mel-O.

Mel-O had a bit of a rocky start in her new home. She developed a respiratory virus which required many trips to the veterinarian. Alex was very familiar with trips to the doctor’s office since he has Type 1 diabetes and worried about his new furry friend. Through love and care, Mel-O recovered fully.

One evening, before Alex and his sister were tucked into bed, Alex made a final check on his glucose levels for the night. A while later, Alex’s mother Danielle heard him get out of bed and asked why he was awake. He replied that Mel-O had awakened him by walking on his chest and swatting his face with her paws. This shocked Danielle as Mel-O did not like to walk on people. Alex also slept about 5 feet off of the floor in a loft bed and Mel-O would have had to climb the ladder to reach him; something that she did not do.

Since he was awake, he decided to check his blood sugar levels. Danielle and Mel-O followed Alex downstairs and watched as the 9-year-old checked his glucose. Even though Alex did not feel as if his levels were low, they were, in fact, dangerously low. The family realized that they had only a matter of minutes before Alex would have begun to have a seizure.

The family cannot say for certain what made Mel-O sense that Alex was sick, but now know that the little Calico tabby saved his life. For her outstanding bravery, Mel-O has been inducted into the Purina Animal Hall of Fame, which recognizes cats and dogs that have proven themselves to be true pet heroes.