- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 8, 2007

NEW CASTLE, Ind. (AP) — A cat helped spare a family from death by carbon-monoxide poisoning by jumping onto the bed and meowing wildly as fumes filled the home, the owners said.

Eric and Cathy Keesling said their 14-year-old cat, Winnie, played a crucial role in saving their lives March 24 after a gasoline-powered water pump in their basement caused the odorless but deadly gas to accumulate.

About 1 a.m., the domestic shorthair began nudging Mrs. Keesling’s ear and meowing loudly.

“It was a crazy meow, almost like she was screaming,” said Mrs. Keesling.

When she finally climbed from bed, she realized that she was nauseated and dizzy and couldn’t awaken her husband. Because he had undergone minor neck surgery the previous day, she decided to call 911 but was so disoriented that she had trouble dialing.

Paramedics found the couple’s 14-year-old son, Michael, unconscious on the floor near his bedroom.

Mrs. Keesling said Winnie acted similarly last summer when tornadoes tore through the area, 45 miles east of Indianapolis.

“I really believe cats can sense these kind of things,” she said.

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