This guy is a life saver. He woke me up last week to what unbeknown to me was a heart attack. Thank you to @nottmhospitals ED dept, angio theatres and ACU for saving my life and helping me start my recovery. pic.twitter.com/etHokvg7nC
— sam 🌈 (@samfelstead80) August 14, 2022
Around 4:30 a.m. on August 8, Sam Felstead was having a heart attack in her sleep. Her 7-year-old cat, Billy, woke her up by relentlessly jumping on her chest and meowing. “He was quite clever, bless him,” says the 42-year-old woman. “He wanted to stay beside me all the time.” Because of her feline hero’s determination, Felstead is alive.
Felstead was surprised to say the least. “I went to bed and I felt fine. I'd even been out with [my] dogs, and I didn't feel ill or have any pains whatsoever.” When Billy woke her up though, she was covered in sweat and couldn’t move. Felstead knew she needed help and quickly called her mom. “The doctors said it was a good job I got to hospital in time,” she states.
So how did Billy know what to do? Feline behaviorist Lucy Hoile weighed in on the situation to help shed some light on typical cat reactions. Hoile says that she believes Felstead’s physiological changes, like her sweating, making noises, or moving differently, are what caused Billy to take action. “I do believe he probably did save her life, because that's what enabled her to get medical help,” she states, “but I wouldn't go down the route of saying he did it on purpose. It was him reacting to the situation.” Felstead agrees, pointing out, “I was wet through with sweat so maybe that's what he sensed.”
Felstead was in the hospital for a few days and when she gratefully returned home, Billy was casual towards her. “When I came out of hospital he wouldn't go near me for a good few hours, whether I smelt funny from coming out of the hospital I don't know,” she wonders. Felstead also doesn’t think he knew anything had happened. In typical nonchalant cat fashion, she says, “As long as I feed him, he's not bothered.”
Sam Felstead woke up in the early hours of the night to her cat, Billy, jumping on her chest and meowing.
— sam 🌈 (@samfelstead80) December 10, 2021
Waking up sweaty and unable to move, Felstead knew immediately she needed help. She called her mom and was able to get the help she needed.
Does this funny face count? Xx pic.twitter.com/PYjJVooXH3
— sam 🌈 (@samfelstead80) August 24, 2018
After days at the hospital, Felstead returned home to her heroic feline, grateful for his help. Billy, in typical nonchalant cat fashion, was acting like nothing had happened.
Mum told him it was a lazy Sunday and I think Billy Bobs took it seriously lol X pic.twitter.com/MnHrHFilLM
— sam 🌈 (@samfelstead80) April 17, 2016