A WOMAN has hailed her cat a life-saver after the moggy alerted neighbours when she collapsed at home.
Former nurse Janet Rawlinson, 48, was left in a semi-comatose state for five days after suffering a bad reaction to morphine for her chronic back pain.
But normally timid tomcat Slinky Malinki came to her rescue by tapping on the window of next door neighbours Mel and Stephen Sharp with his paw to raise the alarm.
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Mother-of-one Janet, from Cornholme, near Cliviger, said: “He saved my life. Without him I might not have made it."
Her two-year-old pet has now been nomimated for a hero award at the Cats Protection’s National Cat Awards in London.
Janet said Slinky was usually shy and aloof but his behaviour changed when she needed help.
She said: "I used to be a nurse but after the reaction to the morphine those instincts didn’t work. I was drifting in and out of consciousness for five days. I was almost comatose.
“Slinky was on the fence outside, trying to get the neighbours attention.
"He was tormenting their dog as well to get their attention.
“They realised they hadn’t seen me for a few days so tried the front door with the spare key, but my key was in the door.
“They got in through the back and managed to wake me up. My neighbour said he thought I was dead.”
Janet, a former nurse at Royal Blackburn Hospital who had to give up work due to ill-health, called her cat Slinky Malinki after a children’s book she used to read to her 24-year-old daughter Celia, who now works at Warwick University.
Since the incident Slinky has started to keep a closer eye on Janet.
“He sits on hills beyond the house and he watches out for me going into the kitchen," said Janet.
"If he doesn’t see me go in for a couple of hours he will come into the house and find me, and if I don’t see him he will tap me on the leg or arm until I respond.
“He never did that until the incident with the morphine.
“I’ve just rescued two 12-week old kittens and he looks over them too.”
Slinky is up against two other felines for the award at The Savoy in London on August 7.
If he wins he will also be in with a chance of winning the prestigious title of National Cat of the Year and follow in the paw prints of current holder Jessi-Cat from Manchester, who helps a nine-year-old boy, Lorcan Dillon to cope with Asperger’s Syndrome and selective mutism.
Janet said: “He is like a gentlemanly uncle. That is how he treats everybody. He is both aloof and caring.
“He likes his own space but he is a voracious hunter as well. He brings live mice into the house as well as birds and rabbits.”
The winner will be selected by cat lover Carley Stenson, who is best known for playing Steph Cunningham in Channel 4’s drama Hollyoaks.