Pets Saving People: Cat's Sixth Sense Warns Pet Parent Of Oncoming Seizure

PetSmart Charities pets saving people cat adoption story BlakeWhen Glen Schallman talks about his cat Blake, it’s as if his pet has a sixth sense.


The 1-year-old cat alerts Schallman before and during his daily seizures, caused by his two potentially fatal and rare brain conditions — polymicrogyria, unilateral schizencephaly —  and a rare brain tumor known as hypothalamic hamartoma.


The day Schallman adopted Blake, the kitten sprang into action as his pet parent went into a seizure.


“I was sitting down watching TV, my arm started shaking, he jumped in my lap and stroked my arm, looked at me and purred,” Schallman said.


But Blake didn’t stop there. The cat bit the 57-year-old’s toes three days later while he was asleep during a seizure, which can be fatal as seizures striking a person while asleep can cause people to stop breathing. It woke Schallman up and he believes saved his life.  


Now Blake can tell when Schallman isn’t feeling well; he’ll pull the cord on the computer when Schallman wants to use it during a time when he could fall ill, and he’ll block the door if Schallman wants to go out but could have a seizure.


PetSmart Charities pets saving people cat adoption story Blake 2Blake has never received any training as a therapy animal, but he has become a necessity in Schallman’s every-day life, which could take a turn for the worse at any moment.


Schallman is the oldest living survivor of his conditions. A trip to a PetSmart store in downtown Ft. Worth, Texas aided in his life expectancy.


“In the cage by the desk was Blake jumping up and down meowing and meowing,” Schallman said. “I asked to hold him and we bonded. I held him for a half hour and put him back and he threw a tantrum. I fell in love with this fur ball.”


It wasn’t the first time cats have helped Schallman get through seizures.


He adopted two cats as therapy pets in 2002. When they were a year old they started to alert Glen and wake him up by nudging him down to the ground and biting his fingers or licking him.


Other cats have been helpful in detecting seizures as well, such as a cat named Pudding who noticed her pet parent having a diabetic seizure in her sleep. The cat clawed at her face and woke the woman so she could call for help.


“Kittens and cats of all ages are great companions and therapy,” Schallman said. “They are easy to take care of and are extremely smart. It is so important to save a fur child, to give them a forever home hopefully to a very loving family.”


Read More Pets Saving People Stories:

Bruce and Chica


Dottie and Pete


Adam and Zephyr


Mis Kyrene and Tobi


Ed and Polly


Daisy – PetSmart Charities 7 millionth pet adoption


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