Category Archives: Animal saints

‘Humanity’ in animals

We humans like to think of ourselves as “like gods” who are superior to the real God’s other creations. We use the word “animal” as an insult, calling the most depraved among us “animals” when it is we “enlightened” humans who consciously and willfully lie, steal, insult, hurt, scheme, plot, plunder, and murder for profit or pleasure. Then to top it off, we use the intelligence that God gives us to justify our deeds with elaborate rationalization.

Saint Bonaventure called animals “creatures without sin” for, unlike humans, they are not born with “the mark” — fomes peccati, tinder for sin.

Saint Francis saw the “humanity” in non-human creatures. He talked to birds and animals, and even preached to them.

Take a look at these pictures. Do you not see their “humanity”? — of intelligence, loving “tolerance” of another species, parental love, unspoken friendship, and quiet companionship . . . .

And then there is their sheer, breathtaking beauty, which no human can match:

Did you know that animals have empathy? — that attribute on which human morality is founded (“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” -Matthew 7:12), but which human narcissists and psychopaths lack. See:

H/t FOTM‘s MomOfIV

~Eowyn

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Dog licks owners’ faces to alert them to fire

Jack, a 2-year-old German shepherd/pit bull mix, is being hailed a hero after he saved his human family from their burning home.

Brandon Longo reports for CBS Philly that on Jan. 18, 2017, Jack licked his owners’ faces to wake them up as flames broke out in the back bedroom of the  Lomax home in the 1400 block of North Alden Street in Philadelphia.

Thanks to Jack, the Lomax family of four adults and five children made it out of the home unharmed.

The Lomaxes credit Jack for saving their lives by waking them up. “The fire was so bad we would have died,” said Aubrey Lomax.

Jack and two cats were also in the home at the time of the fire. Sadly, one of the cats did not survive.

Jack and the surviving cat were taken into the care of Red Paw Relief, an emergency relief team that assists displaced pets and their people.

The cause of the fire was being investigated.

See these other stories of heroic animals!:

~Eowyn

Hero cat pounds on door; saves family from carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon monoxide kills.

Every year, on average, 430 Americans die from carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the CDC.

Although you can’t see or smell carbon monoxide, a Maine Coon cat named Gracie in Wisconsin somehow knew, and saved her human family from carbon monoxide poisoning by pounding on their bedroom door, thereby, waking up the husband.

WREG Channel 3 reports, March 15, 2017, that Annette Shanahan of Reedsburg, Wisconsin, woke up in the middle of the night and thought that she was having a heart attack. Her head all “fuzzy,” she got up, left the bed with her husband Kevin still sleeping, and sat in the chair in the bedroom, feeling like she was dying.

The Shanahans have an 8-year-old Maine Coon mix named Grace.

Although Gracie normally doesn’t sleep with Annette and Kevin, she began “pounding” on their bedroom door with her paw.

Kevin said: “All of the sudden Gracie, I heard she was pounding, knocking, knocking, knocking at the door. And so I got out of bed and to stop her from pounding at the door, and I looked to my left and Annette was there in the chair.”

Annette said she couldn’t breathe: “I was hanging onto the arm of the chair, and I thought I was dying.”

Annette managed to call 911.

When firefighters arrived, they discovered lethal levels of carbon monoxide in the home, caused by a malfunction in the hot water heater.

Annette and Kevin were taken to the hospital, where they spent the night.

Kevin said: “Very lucky. If it wasn’t for the cat, I don’t know how much she was saving our lives, but she wanted to get out of there, and she knew enough to know something was wrong, and she was pounding on the door.”

Annette said: “I say saved by grace, saved by the grace of God, because Gracie doesn’t usually sleep with us.”

Manufacturers recommend that carbon monoxide detectors should be replaced every five years. The Shanahans’ detector was 15 years old. The family now has four new CO detectors of the non-feline non-Gracie variety.

Here’s the video:

See also “Animals who saved human lives: pig, dogs, gorilla, lions”.

~Eowyn

Animals who saved human lives: pig, dogs, gorilla, lions

Here are five cases of animals, including wild creatures — a potbellied pig, a Labrador Retriever, a pitbull, a gorilla, and a group of lions — who saved humans’ lives.

(1) Lulu, the Potbellied Pig

The mom of Lulu’s owner, JoAnn Altsman, collapsed onto the ground from a heart attack. So Lulu risked her own life by going out on the road to summon help. Lulu would lay down in front of oncoming cars. When cars won’t stop, Lulu returned to check on Altsman. The pig did that for 45 minutes until a motorist finally stopped to check on the pig. Lulu led the motorist back home to Altsman. The motorist then called paramedics, and Altsman was taken to the hospital.

Lulu was recognized for her heroism with a medal and a big jelly donut.

(2) Penny, the Labrador Retriever

Penny was walking along the river with her owner, Brenda Owens, when they saw an empty wheelchair along the river bank and an unresponsive woman floating in the river. Brenda told Penny, “Fetch! Fetch!”, and Penny immediately jumped into the fast flowing river and pulled out the unconscious woman. Brenda administered CPR to revive the woman, and called for help. The woman was taken to ER.

(3) Angel, the Homeless Pitbull

In Port Charlotte, UK, Angela was leaving a  playground with her toddler son, when they were accosted in the parking lot by a man with a knife. A stray pitbull charged at the man, growling and baring his teeth. The man fled.

The dog was taken to an animal shelter. If the owner did not come to claim the dog, Angela would adopt the pitbull, whom she named Angel.

(4) Gorilla of Brookfield Zoo

On August 16, 1996, in Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo, 3-year-old fell into the gorilla compound and lost consciousness. That attracted the attention of the gorillas. An 8-year-old female gorilla gently cuddled the boy in her arms to protect him from the other gorillas. She carried the boy 60 feet to the enclosure’s entrance, where zoo workers retrieved the boy. The boy was taken to a hospital, where he recovered fully.

(5) Lions of Ethiopia

In southwest Ethiopia, on her way home from school, a 12-year-old girl was snatched by four men. As the men were pursued by police, they came across a group of lions. The lions chased away the men, stayed with the girl without harming her, until police arrived. A wildlife expert maintained that the lions protected the girl because her cries sounded like the mewing of a lion cub.

Lulu the potbellied pig, Penny the Labrador Retriever, Angel the homeless pitbull, the Brookfield gorilla, and the Ethiopian lions demonstrate that animals:

  • Possess and exercise free will.
  • Have empathy for others.
  • Display a highest form of morality — that of altruism — by acting selflessly for the good of another.

They put some humans to shame.

For more examples of animal heroism, empathy and altruism, see:

UPDATE (March 10, 2017):

I did a net search for “Lulu the potbellied pig” and am happy to verify her story.

Lulu’s heroism took place in 1998 in Beaver Falls, PA. She achieved worldwide fame, reported by New York Times and USA Today, and appeared on Good Morning America, 20-20, National Geographic, and foreign TV. The ASPCA awarded her a Tiffany gold hero’s medal.

Click here for a post-gazette.com article on Lulu!

~Eowyn

Cat’s love helps severely autistic girl

iris-and-thula1

Iris is a severely autistic girl.

She would not speak. She feared water, which made baths difficult.

But it all changed when a Maine Coon kitten was brought home one day.

iris-and-thula

Iris immediately bonded with Thula the cat, and was transformed with Thula’s faithful companionship.

thula-the-cat-and-iris

Remarkably for cats, Thula likes water, and takes baths and swims with Iris.

Here’s the video:

H/t FOTM‘s CSM

~Eowyn

Dog saves her injured human from freezing to death

On a sub-freezing New Year’s Eve in north Michigan, a Golden Retriever named Kelsey used her body heat to keep alive her owner, who had fallen and couldn’t move.

kelsey-and-bob

Jennifer Earl reports for CBS News, Jan. 11, 2017, that on New Year’s Eve, the temperature dropped below in snowy, icy northern Michigan.

A man named Bob ran out of his house in pajamas and slippers to grab another log for his fireplace. But he slipped and fell in the snow, breaking his neck, and could not move.

He screamed for help, but the only one who heard his cry was his Golden Retriever, Kelsey.

Bob said:

“I was screaming for help but my nearest neighbor is about a quarter mile away and it was 10:30 p.m., but my Kelsey came. By morning my voice was gone and I couldn’t yell for help, but Kelsey didn’t stop barking. She kept barking for help but never left my side. She kept me warm and alert. I knew I had to persevere through this and that it was my choice to stay alive.”

The temperature dipped to 24 degrees as Bob lay paralyzed in the snow. Kelsey used her body heat to prevent her human from freezing to death by lying on top of him and licking his face and hands to keep him awake. Eventually, however, Bob lost consciousness. But Kelsey kept barking through the long night.

The next day, Bob’s neighbor found him and called 911.

By the time Bob arrived at the McLaren Northern Michigan Emergency Department in Petoskey, Michigan, he was hypothermic — with a core body temperature under 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Garbed only in his pyjamas, he had beenin the sub-freezing snow for 20 hours. Bob said, “I was surprised to find out that I didn’t have any frostbite. I am sure it was because of Kelsey’s determination.”

Neurosurgeon Dr. Chaim Colen immediately performed spinal decompression surgery on Bob, which was a complete success.

Bob still has a long road of recovery, and hours of physical therapy, ahead of him. Bob said:

“I’m so thankful for my two heroes. Kelsey kept me warm, alert and never stopped barking for help. Dr. Colen saved my life and ability to move. They are truly heroes and I will be eternally grateful.”

Good dog, Kelsey!

~Eowyn

Cat defends baby from babysitter

One of the boons of technology is that we no longer must rely on ethologists (scientists who study animal behavior) for knowledge about non-human creatures.

The widespread availability of recording devices — cell phone and surveillance cameras — now makes possible the collection by everyday people of visual evidence of animal behaviors pointing to hitherto unknown and, in some cases, astonishing attributes.

An example is this video, from a post I’d published two years ago, of a turtle in the Taipei zoo helping another turtle who had been flipped on its back (an act committed by a human?), which is indicative of the turtle’s empathy and compassion.

We tend to think that, among our pets, only dogs are protective of their humans.

Not so.

Here are two videos of cats being fiercely protective of their humans.

You likely have seen the first one because it was all over the news — of a brave cat named Tara who tackled and chased away a dog that was attacking a young boy.

After chasing away the dog, Tara returned to check on the boy!

Below is a video of another fiercely protective cat, who clearly believes the young woman (babysitter?) was harming the toddler.

Watch how the black-and-white cat, with the heart of a lion, repeatedly attacks a human being who’s more than 10 times its size and weight.

H/t FOTM‘s josephbc69

~Eowyn