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Monday, March 14, 2011

She's a lifesaver: Meet Lilly, the cat that can predict epileptic fits


Early warning system: Lilly can sense when her owner, Nathan Cooper, is about to have an epileptic fit

After suffering an unusually severe epileptic fit, Nathan Cooper came within a whisker of death – but was saved by his cat Lilly.

For Lilly is also a highly sensitive medical early warning system.

She can detect the fits her 19-year-old owner suffers on a weekly basis before they happen, and alert the college student’s parents.

‘Normally she’s a quiet little thing, but when Nathan has a fit she starts running up and down the stairs, miaowing at the top of her voice,’ said the teenager’s mother Tracey yesterday.

‘She definitely has some sort of sense that means she knows about them before they happen, and it means we can stop Nathan hurting himself by falling on something or knocking furniture over.’

After one fit she started licking his mouth which somehow started him breathing again and since then she won't leave his side

The family, who live in Bournemouth, have had 14-month-old Lilly for barely a year, but Mrs Cooper, 38, believes the pet has already saved her son’s life at least once, saying: ‘After one fit, Nathan stopped breathing, and Lilly was really worried. Then she started licking his mouth, and somehow it kickstarted his breathing. Now she won’t leave his side.’

Later, hospital staff told Mrs Cooper, a full-time carer for her son and her disabled husband Simon, 44, that it was not unheard of for pets to be able to sense impending epileptic fits.

Some experts have claimed that the acute sense of smell possessed by cats and dogs may help them detect barely perceptible chemical changes within the human body in advance of a fit.

Lilly’s life-saving sixth sense helped her win the cat category in a My Pet Superstar contest, sponsored by worming specialists Drontal.

source: dailymail


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