When people think about animals that help rescue other people, it’s usually a dog that is involved in the story. Almost everyone is familiar with the television show Lassie, where the faithful dog was constantly going to rescue someone, often alerting another person that an individual was in trouble. At least in part, that show was based on the fact that dogs really do act like heroes sometimes. The thing is, they aren’t the only animals that can help rescue people. That fact was driven home a few days ago when a black cat named Piran helped rescue his 83 year old owner who had fallen down a 70-foot ravine in Cornwall, England.
How did the cat help rescue this poor woman? As it turns out, she had been walking through a cornfield on her property that required her to go through a gate in order to get to the field in question. Unfortunately, the end of that field was marked by a very steep drop down a 70-foot ravine. Walking through the corn, she was unable to see that she was at the edge of the ravine and took a step too far, tumbling to the bottom. The 70 foot fall could easily kill a person, especially someone in their 80s. However, her cat refused to give up hope. Apparently, he knew right where she had fallen and returned to the gate that led into the field in hopes of attracting the attention of would-be rescuers. There was a rescue party looking for her, but many of them were looking in other areas far away from this particular field. The thing that got their attention was that the cat was standing in the middle of the gateway meowing loudly. One of the rescuers even commented that it was the cat’s constant meowing, which only grew louder with time, that made him decide to go through that gate in order to search the field. It didn’t take long after he entered that gate for the cat to lead him directly to the edge of the ravine where he could see the woman lying at the bottom.
Surviving The Fall
Despite the fact that she had fallen 70 feet, the woman was actually in relatively good condition. In fact, she was in stable condition despite the harrowing fall. Nevertheless, it is highly unlikely that she would have remained in such good condition if she had been forced to endure a night at the bottom of the ravine without help. Thanks to the cat, rescuers were able to pinpoint her location and get a medical helicopter dispatched in short order. They then put a medical professional in a stretcher and sent it down to the bottom of the ravine on a pulley. Once at the bottom, the rescuer carefully placed the woman in the stretcher, effectively lifting her out of the ravine. The helicopter then transported her to the local hospital where her injuries were assessed. Medical professionals there were surprised and delighted to see that her injuries weren’t nearly as bad as they had expected them to be. Better still, she was only at the bottom of the ravine for a relatively short amount of time. Therefore, she wasn’t suffering from exposure to the elements like she probably would have been if she had been there for several more hours.
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
As previously mentioned, the rescuers involved give complete credit to the cat. Being there to witness the events themselves, they were somewhat surprised to see the cat behaving in such a manner. Few of them had ever seen a cat pacing about and meowing so loudly. The cat was clearly distressed, almost as if it were trying to communicate directly with them. They are happy to give credit where it is due, stating openly that if it hadn’t been for the cat’s antics, they would have likely looked in other areas, even potentially leaving that particular field until last. If they had actually refrained from searching that field when they did, they fear that things might have turned out quite differently. The nights in Cornwall can get quite chilly. That might not be such a big deal for a healthy person in their prime, but it can become a life-threatening situation for a person in their 80s who has already suffered injuries. The fact that they were able to find her so quickly and get her the medical help that she needed made a great deal of difference in her ability to survive that fall. If it hadn’t been for the cat, it might have been too late when they finally did locate her.
Not Always Bad Luck
The interesting thing about Piran, other than his actions, is the fact that he is a black cat. In many parts of the world, black cats are frowned upon, even feared. People have had the misconception that they are bad luck for centuries. While this is more prevalent in some parts of the world than others, a lot of people still have a tendency to shy away from black cats, no matter where they are from. It’s a good thing that Piran was able to defy the odds. In part, it was his striking appearance that first got the attention of the search party, and his antics that made them pay further attention. He has definitely proven that all black cats are not bad luck. Perhaps he will even be able to help put that superstition to bed once and for all. Obviously, everyone is very grateful to Piran, especially his owner. Falling down a ravine in any capacity can be a frightening experience. Unknowingly stepping off the precipice to fall the distance of 70 feet is a terrifying prospect, to say the least. If it hadn’t been for Piran, who knows what would have happened? The good news is that he was there and instinctively knew what to do. Because of his actions and cat behavior, he and his elderly owner have the opportunity to enjoy more days together, something that makes both of them very happy.