When Everyone Else Was Deaf to His Plaintive Cries for Help, Ivy Came to the Rescue of a Reeve Who Had His Arm Entangled in a Garage Door
|Ivy Is the Toast of All of Manitoulin Island|
"Then she walked back over and jumped on me. It was like, 'Hey, pay attention'."
-- Mary Johnston
Not all that many people are familiar with Manitoulin Island, located on the Canadian side of Lake Huron, and that is even more so the case with its tiny municipality of Tehkummah. All of that is about to change now thanks to the heroics of a recently adopted two-year-old rescue cat named Ivy.
The chain of unfortunate events that catapulted the blue-eyed, part-Siamese female to international stardom began innocently enough one day back in late September while she was hanging out at home with her owner, Mary Johnston, who had adopted her two months previously from Fixing Our Felines in Manitowaning, twenty-one kilometers northwest of Tehkummah. In addition to her fondness for felines, Johnston had added Ivy to her family in order to help her to socialize her other cat, a Maine Coon named Nellie, that she earlier had found roughing it in a woodpile.
It therefore could be argued with some force that what transpired back in September was not all that surprising given that Ivy seems to always have had a mission in life. Nevertheless, absolutely no one could have predicted just how huge a role that The Fates would one day assign to her.
The day in question began pretty much like any other in the small town of four-hundred-six souls and, being one of a handful of individuals on the planet who does not own a télé, Johnston was ensconced in a book when Ivy abruptly left her side and bounded to the windowsill. "Then she walked back over and jumped on me," she related to The Sudbury Star of Ontario on November 11th. (See "Ivy the Hero Manitoulin Cat to the Rescue.") "It was like, 'Hey, pay attention'."
Like just about all humans, Johnston still was too thickheaded in order to realize that something was sorely amiss. "When I got my nose out of my book, I heard a noise," she added to The Sudbury Star. "I didn't realize it was a person at first. It sounded more like a cat when they do that deep, growly yowl."
She eventually realized that the cries of distress were not only human but that they were emanating from a garage across the road. Upon investigating, she discovered the town's reeve, sixty-nine-year-old Eric Russell, stranded thirteen feet above ground on a stepladder with one of his arms entangled in the garage's door.
"The cable had come off the one pulley and I was just trying to level the door off. I loosened the one pulley and the one at the other end didn't hold the spring," he later explained to The Sudbury Star. "The spring just unwound, and I had my coat up over the shaft and the friction made a tourniquet around my arm."
With no time left to waste, Johnston quickly rounded up neighbors Don McMurray and Bob Beard who were able to free the reeve's arm. An ambulance was summoned which sped him to the Manitoulin Health Centre in Mindemoya, twenty-five kilometers to the north, where he was diagnosed to have sustained a dislocated shoulder as well as unspecified nerve damage.
Compounding matters further, it appears that his recovery is going to be protracted affair that could drag on for as long as two years. Specifically, he still does not have any movement in his injured wrist and his shoulder, although back in its socket, is not properly functioning. What effect, if any, his injuries are having on his ability to fulfill his duties as reeve, the political equivalent of being a mayor, has not been specified.
In spite of all of that, Russell is not singing the blues. "I could have lost my arm," he declared to The Sudbury Star.
That certainly is true enough in that his doctors have speculated that if the thirty minutes that he spent with his arm entangled in the garage door had been prolonged for as little as a quarter of an hour they would not have had any choice but to have amputated. He therefore has pretty little Ivy to thank that he is still in possession of both of his upper appendages.
As a show of appreciation, he bought Johnston a gift certificate at a local pet store and she put it to good use by acquiring a cat tree for Ivy and Nellie. "It's got a little house on the top and the two of them play in it and fight in it and have a great time," she confided to The Sudbury Star.
Not only is Ivy reported to be making progress with Nellie but through her rescue of the reeve she has more than repaid Johnston and the community for providing her with a home and a chance to go on living. Kindhearted souls, such as Johnston, who not only take in homeless cats but ransom others of them off of death row at shelters are true heroes in their own right even though none of them ever would admit to such; au contraire, they consider themselves to be the lucky ones.
Deservingly so, Ivy's heroics have not gone unnoticed outside of Tehkummah. For instance on November 9th, Alicia McCutcheon, editor of The Manitoulin Expositor of Little Current, sixty-two kilometers to the north, formally nominated her for induction into the Purina Animal Hall of Fame in Toronto. (See "Expositor Nominates Tehkummah Hero Cat for Purina Animal Hall of Fame.")
Regrettably, her chances of being selected do not appear to be all that promising considering how biased Purina is against felines. For example, over the course of the forty eight years that it has been in existence, the Hall has only inducted a minuscule twenty-seven cats as opposed to a whopping one-hundred-forty-four dogs.
Based upon its miserable track record in that regard, the only logical thing to conclude is that Purina either does not think very much of cats or it never has broken so much as a sweat attempting to locate and subsequently recognize those such as Ivy that have rendered invaluable service to mankind. It is, after all, an indisputable fact that hero cats are to be found almost everywhere.
|Möhre and Dirk Prager|
For instance, Winnie saved her family from a carbon monoxide leak. (See Cat Defender posts of April 23, 2007 and November 12, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Winnie Saves an Indiana Family of Three from Dying of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning" and "Winnie Is Honored as the ASPCA's 'Cat of the Year' for Saving Her Family from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.")
Bacon and Cuddles likewise have alerted their guardians and other family members from potentially deadly fires. (See Cat Defender posts of October 31, 2007 and November 30, 2007 entitled, respectively, "Bacon Shows His Appreciation and Love for His Rescuer by Awakening Her from a Burning Apartment" and "Cuddles Saves Saskatchewan Family from a Blaze in a Faulty Fireplace That Destroys Their Home.")
Others such as Tiger, Suma, and Fidge have alerted their owners to the presence of previously undetected cancers. (See Cat Defender posts of April 11, 2009, March 27, 2010, and April 20, 2012 entitled, respectively, "Tiger Saves His Owner's Life by Alerting Him to a Cancerous Growth on His Left Lung," "Taken In Off the Street by a Compassionate Woman, Sumo Returns the Favor by Alerting Her to a Cancerous Growth on Her Bosom," and "Grateful for Being Provided with a Loving Home, Fidge in Turn Saves Her Mistress's Life by Alerting Her to a Malignant Growth on Her Breast.")
Elijah, Pudding, and others assist their owners in their struggles with diabetes. (See Cat Defender posts of May 18, 2009 and April 21, 2012 entitled, respectively, "Elijah Teaches Himself to Detect Low Blood Sugar Levels in His Guardians and Others" and "Adopted from a Shelter Only Hours Previously, Pudding Saves His Rescuer's Life by Awakening Her from a Diabetic Seizure.")
A cat named Blackie even helps his owner to cope with emphysema. (See Cat Defender post of April 18, 2009 entitled "Blackie Stays Up Nights Monitoring His Guardian's Breathing for Emphysema Attacks.")
Aside from its unforgivable snubbing of so many truly deserving cats, Purina's attitude is all the more deplorable given all the millions of dollars that cat caretakers pour into its coffers each year. In that light, perhaps it is high time that they considered switching their allegiance to other cat food manufacturers.
For her part, Johnston fully realizes that the deck is stacked against Ivy ever becoming part of Purina's class of 2017. "I'm just happy we were able to get Eric out," is how she summed up the situation to The Sudbury Star.
It also is more than just a little suspicious that the reeve's wife, who was at home when the mishap occurred, failed to hear his cries for assistance. Although there is absolutely nothing in the public record to suggest any sort of marital discord, there likewise is not any mention of her being as deaf as an adder either.
Be that as it may, the reeve would be well advised as a cautionary measure to immediately get rid of her and in her stead to acquire a cat. In fact, it is a wonder that he has made it this far in life without having one to guide and watch over him.
That is because no cat is about to stand idly by while a garage door chews up its caretaker's arm but it is an entirely different story with some women. For instance, unintended slights, such as either a forgotten anniversary or a subpar performance in the sack, have been known to bring on sudden attacks of deafness at the most inopportune times even in the best of women. By getting a cat, however, a man can thus avoid being left to the mercy of such mercurial creatures.
In addition to their even temperaments and total lack of malice, cats also possess many virtues that are denied to the tender gender. For instance, although they have notoriously poor eyesight, their hearing is especially keen and that is precisely what allowed Ivy to detect the reeve's cries for help even though he lived across the road.
Press reports fail to disclose whether or not Johnston's windows were open on that fateful day but in all likelihood it would not have made much difference even if they had been closed because a cat's auditory skills do not loose very much of their acuity even when sounds are filtered through bricks, mortar, and wood. They also can hear nails coming loose from their moorings long before the photographs and paintings that they have been supporting come crashing to the floor.
Even when intruders are careful so as not to make a sound, cats have the ability to either smell or sense their presence from as far away as one-hundred yards. For example back on April 13, 2006, then thirty-five-year-old Dirk Prager of Köln in Nordrhein Westfalen was sitting in his kitchen having coffee at 5 a.m. when his resident tom, Möhre, inexplicably began meowing and scratching at the front door.
Looking out his window, Prager saw something on the doormat that at first glance appeared to be another cat. Once he had ventured outside he was shocked to discover that the object was not another cat but rather an infant boy wrapped in a white blanket.
Although he was only a few hours old, all of the blood had been wiped away and his navel had been tied off with a clothespin. Taken by ambulance to a hospital on Amsterdamer Straße, the boy was pronounced to be in good shape in spite of suffering from a mild case of hypothermia.
A nurse at the hospital identified only by her first name as Monika subsequently christened him as Simon Sonnenschein. "Weil er überlebt hat, steht Simon auf der Sonnenseite des Lebens," she explained.
Considering that the overnight temperature in Köln was 0° Celsius, Simon surely would not have lasted much longer under those conditions if Möhre had not intervened. "The cat is a hero," Uwe Beier of the Kölner Polizei later declared. "Its loud meowing got the attention of the homeowner and saved the baby from suffering life-threatening hypothermia."
In a classic case of Glück im Unglück, Simon was cruelly abandoned in the cold but saved by an attentive black cat. By this time he would be ten years old and he owes it all to Möhre. (See Cat Defender post of April 21, 2006 entitled "Möhre Saves a Newborn Infant Abandoned in the Cold on a Doorstep in Köln.")
As best as it could be determined, Möhre never was singled out for any special recognition but he, like Ivy, is richly deserving of all the praise and honors that this world has to bestow. At the very least, both individuals and governments alike should endeavor to respect the species' right to exist and to be free from all abuse. Moreover, every time that a cat is either killed or abused this world becomes a far poorer and considerably less civil place in which to live.
Photos: The Sudbury Star (Ivy) and the Köln Express (Möhre and Prager).