Jamie Hall, Edmonton Journal
It was perhaps fitting that after Patricia Peter gave Monty the cat a new lease on life, he should return the favour and save hers.
It was little more than a year ago, three months after she adopted him from the Edmonton Humane Society, that the lovable, 15-pound ginger tabby awoke the Camrose woman from a deep sleep, alerting her to a medical emergency that could have killed her.
Diagnosed with diabetes only months before, Peter’s blood sugar had dropped to dangerously low levels as she slept. When Monty woke her up by repeatedly biting the fingers of her left hand – the one she uses to test her blood-sugar levels – she at first pushed him away.
“He had never bit me before, but he was so persistent,” Peter said. “I kept pushing him down and he kept coming back, and each time he bit my fingers a little harder.”
When she finally sat up to put him at the bottom of the bed, she knew something was horribly wrong. She felt dizzy and disoriented, and her vision was blurry. She got out of bed and slowly made her way down the hall. Monty walked by her side, meowing and rubbing against her leg. When they got to the kitchen, he jumped up on the counter and sat next to her diabetic test kit.
“I tested my blood sugar and it was really low, down to 2.7,” Peter said. “My doctor told me later that if it had kept dropping, I would have gone into a diabetic coma.”
She took some sugar tablets, knowing she had to test her blood again in 15 minutes. When she laid down on the living room couch, though, she started to nod off again. Monty would have none of it. He kept meowing, and walked up and down her body, gently kneading her with his claws.
“When I tested again, everything was fine and I said to him: ‘OK, is it all right if we go back to bed now?’ ” Peter said. “He ran ahead of me down the hall into the bedroom and jumped up on the bed. He laid down right beside me and stayed there all night. He never left me.”
Monty’s heroics were recognized Monday when he was inducted into the Purina Animal Hall of Fame in Toronto. Since it began in 1968, the national pet program has recognized the life-saving heroics of 155 pets and service animals.