Monty Saves Owner’s Life, Joins Animal Hall of Fame

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By Karen Harrison Binette

Monty the cat was one of four animals inducted into the Purina Animal Hall of Fame today after showing great intuition and the drive to help others. The ginger tabby bit his owner’s fingers to wake her before she slipped into a diabetic coma.


In the middle of the night last March, Patricia Peter’s lovable, ginger tabby cat Monty woke her up by repeatedly biting the fingers of her left hand – the only hand she uses to test her blood sugar levels to monitor her newly-diagnosed diabetes. Although this was unusual behaviour for Monty, Patricia tried to ignore it and “shoo” him away so she could go back to sleep. When he persisted, Patricia sat up to push him to the foot of the bed and suddenly felt incredibly dizzy. She got up to go to the washroom and felt weak in the legs, couldn’t focus and felt sick to her stomach. With Monty meowing and rubbing up against her leg, Patricia slowly made her way to the kitchen to check her blood sugar. As she got closer, Monty intuitively ran ahead and sat beside her diabetic testing kit. Sure enough, after testing her blood, Patricia discovered her blood sugar was down to a low of 2.7. Even after she treated the low blood sugar with sugar tablets, Monty was persistent in keeping her awake until she retested at normal sugar levels 15 minutes later. Patricia later told this story to her doctor who insisted that if Monty hadn’t woken her up and prompted her to test and treat her low blood sugar levels, she would have fallen into a diabetic coma or had a diabetic seizure. Patricia always thought Monty was a smart cat, but she now also sees him as her lifesaver, “little hero” and guardian angel.



Fearless, devoted, and intuitive – words typically associated with heroic figures can also be used to describe the 2012 Purina Animal Hall of Fame Inductees – Nanook, Monty, Bree and Titan. Honoured this morning at PawsWay Pet Education Centre in Toronto, the permanent home of the Purina Animal Hall of Fame, these extraordinary animals have gone above and beyond to protect the lives of those around them, proving just how powerful the bond between animals and humans can be.

“Each year, we honour pet heroes and their life-saving acts. Our 2012 Inductees struck us not only by the intuitive sixth sense related to life-threatening medical conditions, but also their incredible persistence to act on that intuition,” said Mary Siemiesz, Executive Director of the Purina PetCare Legacy. “The Purina Animal Hall of Fame is at the heart of who we are as a company and we are incredibly privileged to celebrate these extraordinary heroes.”

Animals are gifted with an extraordinary sense of sight, smell, sound and touch. They also seem to have a sixth sense, or intuition, that allows them to pick up on illness and medical emergencies earlier than humans are capable of detecting. While researchers are at odds about this sixth sense, many argue that the stronger the bond between pet and owner, the more apt they are to notice changes in their smell, mannerisms and appearance. The 2012 Purina Animal Hall of Fame Inductees have shown this intuitive sense, ultimately preventing four horrible tragedies.

As one of the longest running pet recognition programs in Canada, the Purina Animal Hall of Fame has recognized the life-saving heroics of pets and service animals for more than four decades. Since its inception in 1968, 155 animals have been inducted – 128 dogs, 26 cats and one horse. Canadians across the country can visit to read past honoured stories, and learn how to nominate a heroic pet or service animal.

The 2012 honourees were carefully selected from numerous nominations based on their intelligence, loyalty and intuition. “This year’s inductees prove that big heroics can often come in the smallest packages,” said Siemiesz. “They remind us of the important roles that animals play in our lives, and how far they will go to protect the people around them.”

Monty made an impression on the roomful of attendees to the ceremony today, when Patricia tripped slightly on her way to the stage. Monty jumped down and ran off for a moment inspiring laughter when Patricia ad libbed a joke about his Houdini routine.

The cat joined the Hall of Fame as the only feline, along with three dogs, Titan, Bree, and Nanook, all of whom have  similarly inspiring stories.

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