When Gary Rosheisen adopted Tommy a few years ago, he really needed a friend. Suffering from osteoporosis and mini strokes, he believed the cat's companionship would enhance his lonely life and lower his stress levels. That it did in ways he never could have envisioned. The living room phone, which has 12 small buttons, was always on the floor and it became a classroom in which Gary tried to train Tommy to push the speed dial button, which was directly above the speaker phone, in case of emergency.(See my article on Sassy the Chihuahua.)
Gary never knew if the training was successful until the night everything happened
Tommy didn't seem too interested in understanding how to use the phone and Gary had no idea the cat had absorbed what he was trying to teach him; that is, until the night he fell out of his wheelchair and was unable to get up. Pain from his recurring medical conditions disrupted his balance and he was helpless. He fell in such a away that he was nowhere near the cord by his pillow that could summon emergency help and he was not wearing his medical alert necklace. But then there was Tommy, his last and only hope. Somehow, some way, the orange tabby hit the speed dial button programmed to contact 911 with his paw. (See my article on Tara the Cat.)
The call reached dispatchers at 911
The call went through, but there was no one on the end of the line and dispatchers were perplexed. There were attempts to redial the number, but the phone just rang and rang. Alarmed, police went to investigate and found Tommy lying patiently by the phone and Gary on the floor near his bed. Gary told Officer Patrick Daugherty the cat must have summoned help, for he could not. "I know it sounds kind of weird," the officer told the press, but there simply wasn't any other explanation.
Cats may have a reputation for being aloof creatures, but their love for their caretakers should never be underestimated. When push comes to shove, cat can be just as heroic and self-sacrificing as other animals even though their personalities may be just a tad more mysterious than other critters. (See my article on Lulu the Pot-Bellied Pig.)
Tommy turned out to be a hero who came to the rescue of his immobilized owner who was unable to help himself. Cats, like other animals, never forget a kindness or a cruel slight and once they bond, they are inextricably linked to their caretakers. Love and loyalty are not limited to species or pedigree; these qualities are either part of the essence of a soul, whether human or animal, or they are not. For Gary Rosheisen, Tommy is his hero as well he should be. (See my article on the Cat Guide Who Saved a Hiker in the Alps.)
Here's to you, Tommy, for taking good care of the one who cares for you!
See also: Bretagne