he saved her life.
When Jung and her son went to the Door County Humane Society a couple of weeks ago, they had no intention of bringing a cat home. But then, the giant long-haired orange furball lounging on the shelter’s front desk won her over.
That’s the way it always happens, isn’t it? You go out on a perfectly normal day to do some perfectly normal things and then, with no warning at all, a cat adopts you!
The Jungs ended up adopting Pudding and his buddy, Wimsy, and bringing the cats back to their Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, home. With classic ginger-cat confidence, Pudding scoped out his new domain and settled in.
When Jung went to bed around 9:30, she had no idea that an amazing thing was about to happen.
About an hour and a half later, Pudding, who weighs in at a strapping 21 pounds, was sitting on her chest, swatting her face and biting her nose.
Why was this extraordinarily mellow cat freaking out on his new caretaker? Jung was having a seizure due to an insulin reaction (she’s had diabetes since age 4), and Pudding was doing everything he could to help her.
The cat’s ministrations got her coherent enough to call for help. But when her son Ethan didn’t respond, Pudding ran to his room and jumped on his bed.
Twenty-one pounds of mancat hunk landing on my bed in the middle of the night would be enough to get my attention, that’s for sure. And it had the same effect on Ethan, who then probably heard his mother’s calls and did what he had to do in order to bring her around and get the medical attention she needed.
Now Jung has discovered that Pudding is even more competent than she’d thought: He sits at her feet and meows when her blood sugar is low. She’s now registering her new adoptee — who had been surrendered to the humane society in 2008 because his owner’s allergies made it impossible to keep him — as a therapy animal.
Who knows how animals figure out that something is wrong? Is it something about how we smell when we’re in a health crisis? Is it some vibe we give off? Is it some subtle change in our body language? Perhaps it’s all of the above.
I can imagine that as Jung’s body chemistry changes as a result of low blood sugar, she might start smelling different.
I’ve read that people about to have seizures have changes in their vision or feel strange sensations that could certainly change their nervous system in a way that produces strange body language or changes in a person’s “energy field,” so to speak.
I know a lot of service animals are trained extensively in order to be able to detect and react to their caretakers’ health crises. It’s nothing short of amazing that Pudding seems able to figure it all out on pure instinct.
Amy Jung and Pudding, I hope you have many happy — and healthy — years together.