Scarlett has been attentive to her petmom’s needs from the time she was adopted. Now she is being recognized for her service and devotion.
The Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association will induct Miss Scarlet O’Hara the cat into the organization’s Animal Hall of Fame next month, in recognition of her service to her diabetic owner.
Scarlett was a 3 month old kitten with a heart murmur when she was adopted by Wellston, Oklahoma resident Mary Franklin. The kitten was a comfort and a help to her new petmom from the start. Ms. Franklin was healing from surgery and was visited by a nurse every day. Scarlet watched the nurse and tried to help by positioning herself next to a wound related to the surgery.
“She would lie next to the wound, letting her body warm the area and purr,” Ms. Franklin said. “The purring vibrations were soothing to the wound and would soon lull me to sleep.”
Later, Ms. Franklin was diagnosed with diabetes and Scarlett remained attentive to her petmom and changes in her condition. One day her keen attention likely saved her petmom’s life.
Scarlett woke Ms. Franklin one morning, prompting her to do a blood sugar reading, which came out at 40, being 30 to 60 milligrams lower than what is considered normal.
The reading did not indicate a crisis, but Ms. Franklin was not quite right and the cat did not relent.
“By midday, she started vocalizing, as if she was hungry, but her food dish was full. I realized she was getting more intense with her vocalization,” Ms. Franklin said.
When Ms. Franklin tried to stand, she became woozy and nearly passed out. That, combined with the insistent meows from Scarlet, signaled that something was wrong. Another reading showed her blood glucose at 495 – crisis level – and she immediately called her granddaughter for help.
Ms. Franklin says Scarlett is her “wonderful gift from God.”
The Animal Hall of Fame was organized in 1987 to acknowledge animals which show unselfish and courageous service to their owners, the community, and others; animals that have enriched and aided human life in compelling ways to share in the joy of the human/animal bond. These awards are made each year.
There are three categories of recognition: Hero – these animals have saved or preserved human life; Professional – specially trained assistance animals that perform a specific task; and Companion – animals who have enriched the lives of their human companions or their community.
The Animal Hall of Fame is housed at the OVMA headquarters in Oklahoma City.
KFOR Channel 4 news did a story on Scarlett: