Sam Felstead didn't realise she was having a heart attack until she was suddenly woken up by her cat in the early morning hours because of which she could get immediate medical attention.
Sam Felstead, 42, has a special friend to thank for saving her life. She was asleep during the early morning hours on August 8, at her home in Nottinghamshire, England when she was woken up by Billy, her seven-year-old cat, who was jumping on Felstead's chest and yowling loudly. When she woke up she was not only surprised to find Billy close to her, but she also wasn't feeling fine.
"I was a bit shocked; 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," Felstead said, per India Times. "Suddenly I woke up in the early hours covered in sweat and couldn't move. Billy was on my chest and was meowing loudly in my ear hole."
cat saves owner's life by waking her during heart attack pic.twitter.com/dE3J2W1zfT— Birmingham Live (@birmingham_live) August 21, 2022
When the cat wouldn't leave her side and when she also felt her right side was paining, she asked her mother Karen Felstead to help her. “I was wet through with sweat and had really bad back pain and my right side felt really heavy and strange,” she recalled. “I couldn’t move it. I couldn’t stand up either and was very dizzy when I got up,” per New York Post.
She was then immediately rushed to Nottingham City Hospital where the doctors informed her that she had a heart attack in her sleep. "The doctors said it was a good job I got to hospital in time," she added to BBC. Felstead is very grateful for Billy saving her life. She said, "I do think he saved my life and so does everybody else around me," according to BBC adding, "He was quite clever, bless him." Billy normally is unruffled and "doesn't normally sit with me but he knew something was wrong because he wouldn't leave me alone," Felstead said. She further added, "I was wet through with sweat so maybe that's what he sensed."
Felstead's mother, Karen was also surprised at the cat's behavior because "He doesn't do that normally, he sleeps all day and all night, that's his life. He wouldn't leave me." Billy is closer to Felstead's mother and that made both of them wonder about the cat's behavior even more. "Normally he sits next to my mum all the time, he's not interested in me. He loves my mum and gives her lots of love."
I thought they just ate your face after you died.— Ross Murray (@inlayterms) August 21, 2022
Hero Cat Saves Owner Who was Having a Heart Attack by Pounding its Paws on Her Chesthttps://t.co/ruVXIdZDU2
According to Lucy Hoile, a feline behaviorist, Billy may have become anxious when he probably sensed Sam's physiological and behavioral changes like unusual sweating, movements, noises, distress, or even her odor. "I do believe he probably did save her life, because that's what enabled her to get medical help, but I wouldn't go down the route of saying he did it on purpose. It was him reacting to the situation," Hoile added.
What a happy story to brighten your Sunday morning! “He doesn't normally sit with me but he knew something was wrong because he wouldn't leave me alone, I do think he saved my life and so does everybody else around me." https://t.co/succXJDKo2— Ms. Fran (@Franpianos) August 21, 2022
Linda Ryan, a certified clinical animal behaviorist for cats, says, "It might have been that the cat was startled or distressed. The movement or twitching was attracting its attention, because cats are stimulated by movement," she said adding that it may not have necessarily been "an act of kindness or altruism" since cats are more solitary in nature.
While Felstead has had an angioplasty and is on heart medication, Billy seems to be going about his day unfettered by the situation. "I don't think he has one bit of a clue what's happened," she added. "As long as I feed him, he's not bothered."