Pippa’s incredible gift came to light when she crept into Mia’s room and woke her up in the middle of the night prompting the schoolgirl to test her blood sugar levels which showed they were dangerously low.
And when Pippa couldn’t get into the schoolgirl’s room to check she was feline fine, the persistent puss woke up her mum, Laura instead.
Mrs Jansa said: “We quickly realised she was warning us. If Mia didn’t wake up, then she would come to my door and miaow. She comes onto the bed, walks onto my pillow and across me until I wake up. She really makes her presence felt, she won’t take no for an answer. She knows it’s important that I get up and help Mia.”
Mia has type one diabetes, an incurable condition, which she manages by regularly testing her blood sugar levels and injecting herself with insulin. She was diagnosed with the condition at the age of 6 when her parents were concerned that she was eating more than before but not putting on weight.
Mia tests her blood sugar levels between four and six times a day. If her blood sugar levels drop dangerously low she can experience a hypoglycemic episode which could lead to a coma.
As the article says dogs have been trained to detect and warn of dangerously low blood sugar, and many other things, but cats have not.
I am a cat person, no surprise, but I do find service dogs to be awesome. It would be wonderful if we could get more service cats. Though even with my innate cat bias I must admit I am not so hopeful for a huge increase in the number of service cats.
Some cats are used to make people more comfortable with emotional support which is nice but I think stretches the definition of “service animal” to a point at which it is meaningless. Yes, animals that make people more comfortable are wonderful but calling them service animals is pretty silly.
You might as well call dropping a baby in someone’s lap a couple times a day is a service worker. But it isn’t. It would be helpful for many people and even extremely helpful, but that doesn’t make the act an act of service.