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Moments before the 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck New Zealand at 4:35 am on Saturday, Lea Hullet of Timaru said her Siamese cat, Moses (photo, right), had been annoying her and trying to awaken her.

“He normally wakes up at 7am, but on Saturday he just kept putting his paw on my face,” Lea said.

“I kept ignoring him but all of a sudden I was right awake and the whole house was moving.”

Lea then ran to a doorway to ride out the shaker.

In Ashuburton, Penny McMurtrie reported that her cat woke her up by meowing just before the quake hit.

“Just as I was wondering what he was doing, the earthquake started. I was too terrified to move out of the bed.”

Reporter Kirsty Johnston says that there were dozens of reports from pet owners – especially cat owners – who say their animals tried to wake them before the quake hit.

New Zealand’s SPCA is asking anyone in the quake zone whose pets have been missing for more than 24 hours to contact their tracking line: 0900 56-787.

Has your cat ever alerted you to impending disaster? (Running out of tuna doesn’t count.)

[SOURCE: stuff.co.nz]