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The Ultimate Cat Scan

The Ultimate Cat Scan

Black and white Fidge was adopted by Wendy Humphries last spring because she could not resist eight-week old kitten cuteness.  Little did Wendy know this little bundle of mewing fuzz would save her life six months later.

It all started when Fidge suddenly initiated a new behavior that at first Wendy thought was just humorous. Midge would leap onto her chest and sit squarely on her right breast every night when Wendy lay on the sofa. This continued for over two weeks, every single night.

Wendy decided to go to her GP and have her breast examined. Sure enough, her doctor found a pea-sized lump in her right breast that was cancerous. Her doctor solemnly informed her that had she not come in when she did, the cancer surely would have killed her.

Did Fidge really sense Wendy’s cancer or was this incident merely a coincidence?

As it turns out there are many such stories of cats and dogs sniffing out illness, disorders and imminent death in humans. Dogs can be trained to predict epilepsy attacks and sniff out cancer.  In 2011, German researchers provided reasonable proof that dogs can reliably sniff out lung cancer just from breath samples of the inflicted.

Cats have been also known to sniff out cancer and imminent death. Oscar, a confident tortoiseshell cat is the resident feline at the Steere House, a facility that cares for people with severe dementia.  He roams the property day and night, but only visits patients in their rooms when they have only hours to live. His predictions have become so accurate that attending doctors and nurses consider Oscar’s bedside presence to be an almost absolute indicator of impending death.

One thought is that Oscar is detecting ketones – distinctly odored biochemicals released by dying cells and Fidge is detecting a different volatile biochemical that is cancer-specific.  Whatever the reason for Fidge and Oscar’s observations, they both really do give the term “Cat Scan” new meaning.

As far as Wendy is concerned, there is no doubt in her mind that Fidge detected her cancer and was an angel of mercy: “She saved my life, definitely. No hesitation at all. I am the first one in my family to have breast cancer. I am so glad I got her.”

Related:
Dog Sniffs Out Cancer
Does Your Pet Know When You’re Sick?

Read more: Behavior & Communication, Cancer, Cats, Feline Muse, Pets, Women's Health, , ,

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Cherise Udell

Cherise Udell is a mom, clean air advocate, anthropologist and feline aficionado with the nomadic habit of taking spontaneous sojourns to unusual destinations. Before her adventures in motherhood, she was an intrepid Amazon jungle guide equipped with a pair of sturdy wellingtons and a 24-inch machete, as well as a volunteer at a rainforest animal rescue center.

141 comments

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3:35PM PST on Feb 25, 2013

I´ve heard of dogs, trained to discover different diseases, especially cancer and epileptic seizures. Never heard of cats. Hope, my two ones got similiar powers!

10:03AM PST on Mar 3, 2012

Cats are so amazing :3 Meoooow:)

4:16AM PST on Mar 1, 2012

Animals are more intuitive and sensitive than most people think.

4:07AM PST on Mar 1, 2012

What can I say another intelligent animal.

9:28AM PST on Feb 28, 2012

WOW!

11:20AM PST on Feb 18, 2012

wow, thanks for sharing this

4:04AM PST on Feb 12, 2012

Wendy is a very lucky lady. She picks out a cutie of a kitten 6 months ago, and and then Fidge turns out to be Wendy's hero for saving her life.

Great story!!! Thanks Cherise for writing about it.

5:57PM PST on Feb 11, 2012

Wow!

11:43AM PST on Feb 8, 2012

Cats are just cool critters. I am happy to see so many people interacting with their cats like people do with their dogs. They are both wonderful friends. To many people failed to treat their kitties the same as their dogs and they never realized just how smart cats really are and how they can be trained to do just about everything you would do with a dog. I have both and they are pretty cool together. I have a cat that fetches his toys when you throw it, one who loads into the car with our problems and I just lost one who shakes, rolls over and stands up on his back legs. They are pretty smart and I figure if I can teach them to do something, it is them who is the smart one. (=*.*=)

5:28PM PST on Feb 7, 2012

I'VE HEARD OF THIS!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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