We all know how fabulous cats are…but these four famous felines prove it!
Adopted from a shelter by a piano teacher, Nora discovered her natural talent for playing the piano. And we’re not talking about simply walking across the keys – Nora sits on her bench and plays with her front paws, just like her human Betsy’s students did! Nora has made internet fame with her YouTube videos. She’s the official mascot of the The National Music Festival. She’s been seen on Animal Planet, was named the ASPCA’s Cat of the Year in 2009 and has 24,000 Facebook fans. Nora’s catchphrase is, “Practice makes Purr-fect” and she plays only when the mood strikes her, which is usually several time a times a day for short periods!
2. Oscar the Extraordinary Therapy Cat
Oscar was adopted as a kitten from an animal shelter and grew up in the third-floor end-stage dementia unit at Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, Rhode Island. After about six months of living at the facility, the staff noticed that Oscar made his own rounds, just like the doctors and nurses that worked there. Oscar would sniff and observe patients, then curl up to sleep with certain ones. The patients he would sleep with often died within several hours of his arrival.
Oscar’s ability to predict patients’ deaths has been the topic of speculation among the staff at Steere House, veterinarians and animal behaviorists.
Dr. Joan Teno, a professor of community health who cares for Steere House residents and sees Oscar on a regular basis, said: “It’s not that the cat is consistently there first. But the cat always does manage to make an appearance, and it always seems to be in the last two hours.
Dr. Dosa, who is also affiliated with Steere House says that “(Oscar) doesn’t make too many mistakes. He seems to understand when patients are about to die,” speculating “the cat might be picking up on specific odors surrounding death.”
Whether or not Oscar has psychic abilities or his patient visits are merely coincidence, when staff sees the cat curled up with a patient, they will notify family members of the patient’s expected death. Oscar will stay with the patient until they die and then quietly leave the room.
3. Scarlett the Hero Cat
On March 30, 1996, Scarlett and her litter of five kittens were living in an abandoned garage in Brooklyn, New York, when a fire started. The fire department extinguished the fire. When the fire was under control, one of the firefighters on the scene, David Giannelli, noticed Scarlett carrying her kittens away from the garage one by one. Scarlett herself had been severely burned in the process of pulling her kittens from the fire. Her eyes were blistered shut, her ears and paws burned, and her coat highly singed. The majority of her facial hair had been burnt away. After saving the kittens she was seen to touch each of her kittens with her nose to ensure they were all there and alive, as the blisters on her eyes kept her from being able to see them, and then she collapsed unconscious.
Scarlett and her 5 kittens were taken to a local veterinary clinic where all but one white kitten survived. Thousands of letters poured into the clinic offering to adopt the hero kitty and she was eventually adopted by a family in Brooklyn.
Scarlett passed away on October 11, 2008, after leaving a strong example of the power of a mother’s love. The North Shore Animal League has created an award – Scarlett Award for Animal Heroism – in Scarlett’s honor. It is presented to animals that have engaged in heroic acts to benefit others, whether humans or other animals.
4. Winnie the Hero Cat
Winnie was a 14 year old domestic shorthair cat who made headlines in 2007 when she saved her family from certain death by carbon monoxide poisoning.
Eric and Cathy Keesling and their son, Michael were sound asleep at 1:00am when Winnie jumped on the Keeslings’ bed and began frantically meowing to wake them up after a gasoline-powered water pump in their basement caused the odorless but deadly gas to build up.
Cathy Keesling told Fox News:
“It was a crazy meow, almost like she was screaming,” said Cathy, who hesitated to get up until Winnie’s caterwauling and jumping persisted.
When Cathy finally got out of bed, she recalls she was nauseous and dizzy and had trouble calling 911 because she was so disoriented. She was unable to wake her husband. When paramedics arrived, they found 14-year old Michael unconscious on his bedroom floor.
The Keeslings quickly recovered from the ordeal, thanks to the heroic efforts of Winnie, who gave the family a similar warning when tornadoes tore through their area.
Do you have an unforgettable cat, too? Tell us about your kitty by posting a comment below!