Minor acts of pet heroism

I periodically have episodes of sleep paralysis- harmless, but very frightening while it’s going on. I usually try to scream for my mom, but no sound will come out of my mouth.

A couple of weeks ago, I suffered an episode, did the usual “scream for mom”. After a couple of minutes, my cat Conan jumped up on the bed with me. As soon as his little paws touched my leg, the paralysis broke and I was able to relax. I sat up, gave Conan a kiss on his fuzzy little head, and told him he was a good kitty. Then I went back to sleep with Conan curled up against my legs.

So, does anybody else have a hero pet? A dog, cat, bird or goldfish that rescued you from an unpleasant, but not necessarily life-threatening situation?

20 years ago, my afghan hound, a pacifist dog named Siddhartha, held off a vicious german sheperd that was trying to get to my infant nephew, strapped in his stroller. This dog, who would let the squirrels eat out of his food dish, held off a dog that weighed twice as much as he did, taking some bad bites in the process. Not minor, but definitely heroic.


My pit bull Genghis has assisted in the rescue of 2 feral cats. He caught them and brought them to me so I could take them to the animal shelter. OK, he caught them & freaked out both times when the cat latched onto his face. The ex’s house cats had never done that to him.

But he did assist me in getting these 2 feral cats to the shelter. Both were seriously underweight, one had recently lost an eye. I know the cat with the missing eye wouldn’t have survived the winter.

Another time my ex wife was home alone with our two dogs: Genghis the pit bull & Nova, her very sweet rottweiler. Her sister’s boyfriend came to the house. She never liked this guy, so she was talking to him through the door, with the chain latched. The guy tried to force his way into the door. At the time we had a toddler gate to keep the dogs confined to the back of the house. When this guy tried to force the door open, both dogs came through the gate and very eagerly persuaded him to leave.

Not exactly minor…

About eight years ago my best friends house was burned down. Her husband happened to be sleeping in the spare downstairs bedroom because he was on call-out that night and didn’t want to wake her if he had to get up. (He drove a tow-truck.)

It’s a good thing he was on that side of the house because when the arsonist hit, their dog, Bandit, went ballistic. When Gord woke up, he realized the place was in flames and he was able to get out my friend, who was five months pregnant and their three kids. Bandit got out okay too. If he hadn"t barked they would have all died. They never did catch the guy. He torched several houses in a couple of months and then just disappeared.

On the minus side, our huge Rottie, Joe, apparently slept through the stealing of my good bike night before last. At least they left my rusty five-speed alone. (sigh)

When my cat Fluffy was in the hospital for an operation, and we didn’t know if she’d make it, Misty, then still a baby, came up on the bed while I was crying and started licking my face. Fluffy made it through okay, and died in her sleep six months later.

You know, I keep misreading the thread title. Every time I read it, it seems to say “Minor Acts of Pet Hedonism,” which changes the meaning drastically.

That said, my cat, Beru, runs out the front door of my apartment every day when I go get the mail. Presumably, she’s going to protect me from my neighbor across the hall and his dog. However, she will only step outside the door if the neighbor and/or his dog are nowhere to be detected.

I had a cat named Antoine, and a couple of pet rats, Oliver and Stravinsky. Antoine loved to watch the rats. He’d sit by their cage every day and look at them. Sometimes he would put his nose up to the cage and sniff them, and usually one of them would come over and sniff him back, so their noses would touch. He seemed very gentle with them, but you can never be sure of a cat’s motives around small rodents.

One day, Stravinsky let us know that he was a she by squirting out a pile of babies. She could never decide where to put them and moved their nest many times, dragging all the babies to the new location. The babies were about the size of a peanut in the shell, and pink all over. Their eyes were closed. They looked a lot like puppies, shape-wise.

So one day I hear this particular meow. It’s Antoine’s “tattling meow” that he uses whenever one of the other cats did something naughty (like getting out the screen door). I went to investigate and found him in the middle of the floor with a little pink thing by his paws. I thought…oh god…he got one of the babies!

I didn’t want to see the gnawed-on baby, but I knew I had to clean it up, so I moved closer. It actually seemed to be intact. Actually it appeared totally intact. Wait…it was alive! And…totally unharmed! I picked it up and took it back to the cage, where I found that Stravinsky had built her new nest against the corner of the cage and it was taller than the little solid border around the bottom, so the babies were against the wire, and they were small enough to fall through. I put the little guy back in the cage, where mom promptly grabbed him and stuffed him in with his brothers and sisters, and put a sheet of cardboard against the side of the cage to keep the little tykes in.

Antoine jumped back up and took his usual position next to the cage and resumed watching his little pals.

I know a woman whose (late) German Shepherd pulled a toddler out of the path of a train–just like Lassie! Honest.