Lunar the cat, who helps owner Ali Coles from Watton when she suffers blackouts, is nominated for a national award
They say cats are some of the world’s most intelligent animals.
But one Norfolk moggie’s talent is so special she has been able to come to her owner’s rescue more than once - namely that she can predict when her owner is about to fall ill.
Ali Coles, 29, from Watton, has orthostatic tachycardia syndrome - a condition which causes an increased heart rate when sitting up after lying down. She is also diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a genetic connective tissue disorder which causes fragile skin and loose joints.
As a result, she frequently suffers blackouts and can sustain serious injuries if she falls.
Luckily for her, 13-year-old Lunar - who she adopted from Cats Protection in October last year - miraculously can predict when a blackout is about to happen.
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Miss Coles said: “I’m a wheelchair user, so whenever I needed to get up she would get in my way. I thought she was just being annoying. Then I realised she’d do it every time I fainted.
“Whenever I’m about to suffer a blackout, Lunar will come and sit on me in such a way that I can’t stand up. Or if I’m already standing up, she will stand on my feet and refuse to move.
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“It’s the warning I need to get myself prepared for what’s about to happen. If I’m sitting or lying down, then I’m less likely to injure myself when I blackout.”
While some animals can be trained to detect medical conditions, Lunar has received no previous training - making her ability even more remarkable.
Lunar has now been nominated as one of the three finalists in the special recognition award category of the National Cat Awards, organised by Cats Protection. The winner will be announced on August 3.
Miss Coles added: “I can’t tell when I’m about to have a blackout but Lunar most certainly can.
“Our vet thinks that Lunar is able to sense the subtle chemical change which happens prior to a fainting episode.”
Before adopting Lunar, Miss Coles said she used to call paramedics constantly as she would experience multiple blackouts a day and suffer head injuries or fractures which would take weeks to recover from.
Now she experiences fewer blackouts, adding: “Lunar has prevented those kinds of injuries, she’s helped so many times. I fell in love with her straight away, she always wants to be around you.”