Rusty the Cat Saves Life of Owner

A 10 year old cat Rusty gave his owner a “cat” scan and saved her life. Claire Nelson adopted Rusty from the Humane Society of Berks County two years ago. No one looked twice at Rusty because he was a little older, but Claire fell in love immediately after they met. One day she was not feeling well but thought it was just indigestion. The normally laid-back and relaxed Rusty became very anxious. “Everytime I tried to sit down or go back to bed and lay down, the cat would jump up on me, put his paws on my leg – pawing at my chest, letting out these horrible meows. It was totally out of character for him,” said Nelson.

Rusty encouraged Nelson to call and visit her doctor, but while she was waiting at the bus station, she knew something was very wrong and called 911 for help. Later the doctor discovered that Nelson just had suffered a heart attack.

“The best thing I ever did was go to Humane Society and adopt this cat. Because at the time I thought maybe I was saving his life, it turned out he saved mine.” In Rusty’s honor, the animal shelter is now offering free adoptions of older cats this summer.

cute cat rusty saves life of owner


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55 Responses to “Rusty the Cat Saves Life of Owner”

  1. Iowacatlover says:

    A great story!! Truly amazing what our pets can sense, even when it comes to a common illness such as the flu, my cat will cuddle up and not leave my side when I am under the weather.

    • caroline says:

      so will my Nana bug, she won't even nip at me when i'm sick, she'll just cuddle up next to me and turn her purr motor on to help me sleep :'( i love her!

    • beckyl says:

      my thorny tempered cat, Little (she hasn't been small for a decade:), refuses to leave me when i'm sick. she's done this since she was a kitten. she will just get on my chest or legs and purr. all day long. i always feel so loved

  2. sea says:

    What a wonderful story!

    Rusty realized something awful was going on. I'd like to learn more about this very interesting topic.

  3. Krystyna says:

    I'm so glad that older cats are being adopted. Everyone loves the kittens, but the older cats just want love from you. I applaud the Berk Human Society for offering free adoptions for older cats. As for Rusty, good job Bud, your a true hero and friend.♥

    • FIV Kittens says:

      You are right! Kittens are adorable, that’s a fact, but older cats are just as wonderful! My oldest lived to be nearly 19, and she was just as great then as she was when she was a baby!

  4. Katie says:

    What a remarkable story, I hope more older cats get adopted, as I'm sure they were once in loving homes, and they all have a story to tell!

  5. Sazza says:

    Hooray for Rusty!

  6. carmela says:

    wow what a awesome cat and story, God bless you both!!!♥

  7. Miranda Lester says:

    Awww… I love the idea of Rusty giving his owner a "cat" scan!! Pets can definitely sense when something is wrong with you. I amo so glad that this heart-warming story led to the shelter he was adopted from to giving away free adoptions for older cats in his honor. Older cats rock!1

  8. LeoMoon says:

    What a beautiful story.

  9. Ingrid and the 4 fur says:

    What a truly beautiful story. And kudos to Rusty's owner for adopting an older cat.

  10. ida says:

    older cats are cute too.

  11. Starla says:

    That's a great story!

  12. Ann says:

    Great job Rusty!! I hope you get extra catnip and lots of snuggles from your Mom for saving her!

  13. Marilyn says:

    Wonderful story!

  14. Nita says:

    My Sadie adopted me from our local shelter when she was 5-6 years old. She's been the love of my life ever since. A Iwonderful story.

  15. Kathy says:

    WTG, Rusty! And Claire, happy to hear you are on the mend. Extra treats for your kitty? I'd say he deserves it :)

  16. Shelly Lyon says:

    Older cats are so very special! They are so loving and seem so grateful. My most recent rescues are both adult males, and now they all snuggle together. So cute!

  17. shoe says:

    :-) More proof of our superior animal companions' abilities to sense positive and negative energies ; total life savers !

  18. Barbara says:

    Okay I’ll admit that I got a little misty. Right on Rusty. I always find it weird when they call animals dumb which they aren’t since they sense things that we can’t.

  19. Momo says:

    Great story! We wish more people would adopt older cats.

  20. ida says:

    once i had a 11-yr old fat cat staying with me for 3 months. he is the most adorable cat. he would jump up (he can't jump very high) and share my small chair (not much room left for me)

    head bump me in the morning to ask me for food.

    love older cats. they get more affectionate at that age.

  21. pumbie says:

    Rusty calling, Rusty calling…SOS…..A very happy end. Love always win!

    Me too, I love old cats. Mine has almost 18!.

  22. Khadijah Zulkifli says:

    amazing cat scan .. :)

  23. pupu says:

    Awesome story!!! I’m so happy for both of them!!1

  24. d hufnagel says:

    Cats know and understand in ways we don't. I continue to be amazed at their perception. Rusty is a beautiful fellow!

  25. Alma says:

    if you really know your pet, it can tell u alot. I couldn't understand why she wouldn't sleep with me. I brought some health issues to my doctor, i went for a test. I knew during the test by the demeanor of the technician the there was something seriously wrong.

    at 53 years old, my diagnosis was epilepsy. in my sleep i had movement that probably scared her off the bed.if i was awake in bed watching t.v. she snuggled no problem.

  26. caroline says:

    ooo Rusty is a lil chunky monkey there! more exercise for Mr R and his mom would probably be a plus (not sure if exercise would help her heart or be an issue due to the stints though)

    • lindal says:

      to caroline from june 28—how calous of you! very not necessary for you to critizise this ‘heart’ warming story!

  27. NAN says:

    Fantastic story… I love happy endings like that. What a little hero!!!

  28. Wayne says:

    Cats are very special in their perceptions. The bond between Clare and Rusty is truly a lifesaving miracle. I'm very happy that they still have each other to love and care for.

  29. Shauna says:

    Such a wonderful story!

  30. Ann says:

    Bless his furry little heart.

  31. beckyl says:

    i adopted an adult cat and it was a perfect fit for me too. my cat hasn't saved my life (in any outright way that i know of) but she's a wonderful pet! I'm super happy for you that your kitty loves you so much and is so tuned in to your body to know you needed help. I wish more people knew that you can adopt an adult cat and still get a great friend and spunky pet. :-)

  32. ilovemygoats says:

    Great story! But you might want to seriously consider putting Rusty on a diet so he can spend many many more years with you. Overweight cats often suffer a myriad of health issues and a shortened life span just like humans do…as a nurse you know this is true….Rusty saved your life…now save his

    • Zoes Ma says:

      So true on Rusty being over weight. I adopted a 15+ year old calico who was horribly overweight with several health problems ( I just couldn't think of her dying in a shelter after surviving this long). She has been wiith me for a year now – she is happy and healthy and has lost a good amount of weight. Long live older rescues.

  33. G says:

    Aww I experienced the same thing with my cat Stray! My potassium count dropped low one time I have a hard time walking or even standing up! My cat kept on watching me, worried. Its like I have my personal cat-nurse! anyways, its a great story and we should be thankful to our felyne comrades!

  34. Jo says:

    What a lovely story. If more people engaged with their cats like we cat lovers do, they would discover just how intuitive they are. Big hugs to Rusty. Yeah he needs to watch that waistline lol.

  35. Revenwyn says:

    She should save her cat again… put him on a diet, he needs to lose about 15 I think.

  36. Winston says:

    what a cute cat!

  37. Gail says:

    What a wonderful hero kitty!

  38. Mary Brooks says:

    How aweso,e !!!!!!!!!

  39. Renate says:

    I hope Rusty will be nominated for the Purina Hall of Fame awards. He deserves to be amongst the list of animal heroes.

  40. Silver says:

    Am I the only one that noticed the color of their fur matches each other? ;) I'd say it was a match made in heaven.

    Good job, Rusty! You adorable puddin' pop, I hope that you continue to guard your Mama!

  41. C says:

    What a cat! Way to go, Rusty ol' boy!

  42. D.E. says:

    I call my girls "nurse cats". Everytime I'm unwell, they are right with me taking care of me. Cats are little angels on earth.

  43. Rory Somerville says:

    (((((((RUSTY))))))). Way to go, Dude!

  44. Iffat says:

    Rusty is a wonder-kitty!

  45. Erin Ashley says:

    This made me tear up.

  46. Sylvia says:

    Way to go, Rusty!

  47. Cats are very sensitive and intelligent. Rusty is so awesome…what a lifesaver he is. I had a cat who lived to age 22 years. I still miss hime so much. Years ago, just before an earthquake, he sat on my daughter’s chest and kept pawing her face, meowing and trying to warn her. I know of so many stories just like this one about Rusty.

  48. Franklin says:

    Oh my gosh!!! So awesome!!

  49. kim froman says:

    this is so awesome …all the furry babies are wonderful and EVERYONE Should adopt just one and help save their lives !!!!!

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