Cat Awakens Mom in Time to Save Toddler From Python

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By Karen Harrison Binette

Lismore, NSW Australia resident Tess Guthrie had noticed her cat Duchess behaving strangely in the days leading up to a confrontation with a snake. She had even called the vet after several days in which the cat acted skittish, hissed and didn’t eat. At 9:30 pm on Saturday night, Tess was calling the vet about Duchess. By 3:30 am on Sunday the source of Duchess’s strange behavior was revealed.

Tess was sleeping in bed with her 2 year old daughter Zara when Duchess’ hissing woke her up. She was horrified to see a 6ft. python in the bed, wrapped three or four times around Zara’s arm.

Tess told the Herald Sun, “I couldn’t believe it … at the same time I was freaking out at what I was seeing I realized what the cat had been carrying on about for days.”

“In my head I was just going through this unbelievable terror, and my thought was that it was going to actually kill her at first, because it was wrapped so tight,” Guthrie told the Brisbane Times. “Her little arm was bleeding really bad from the bites, and all I could feel was blood and Zara was screaming by that stage, and I was in hysterics because it was such a shocking thing to wake up to. It was just terrifying.”

The 22 year old woman credits growing up in an area where snakes are found, along with her mother’s instinct, for helping her to release her child from the snake’s grip. She pulled the head away, at which point Zara was bitten, and unwound the snake, which she threw across the room.

Tess and Zara went by ambulance to Lismore Base Hospital, where Ms Guthrie works as a receptionist, and stayed the remainder of the night. Zara was treated for her bite wounds and released.

Tex Tillis of Tex’s Snake Removals’ came the next day and removed the snake, which was to be released into the wild. Mr. Tillis said the snake sensed the sleeping mother and child a source of warmth, and had curled up with them for that reason.

Nonetheless, Duchess saved her family from an experience that could have been far worse than it was.

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