HEROIC CAT HONORED
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1996:
The Illinois Senate and village of Wheeling, a
Chicago suburb, on May 6 commended Brat the Cat,
age one, for “ingenuity and persistence” in saving the
life of Jose Ybarra, 15, early on March 15, when
Ybarra suffered a seizure in his sleep from a sudden
attack of meningitis. Brat, a foundling kitten adopted
by the Ybarra family last July, heard Jose thrashing in
his bed and became alarmed, but couldn’t get through
the bedroom door. Shethen ran to wake Jose’s mother,
Karen Ybarra Hummerich.
“She was licking my mom’s eyelids, scratching
and meowing, doing anything she could,” Jose told
media. Hummerich shooed Brat away, but rose to
investigate when the cat tried to claw her way through
Jose’s door. Jose was by then in a coma.
“Our family physician said that if the cat had
not woken us up, we probably would have found him
dead in the morning,” said Hummerich. For five days it
was uncertain whether Jose would ever awaken––but he
then recovered quickly, and has resumed a normal life.