The Cat Who Knew His Owner Was Sick

Cindy Herzberg's cat, Seger (named for Bob) is remarkably tuned into her health. Seger always loved to knead Herzberg’s neck in affection, but several years ago, she became obsessed with the practice.

“She became very insistent, to the point that it was starting to hurt,” says Herzberg, who runs the computer lab at the University of Detroit Mercy. “She just wouldn’t leave my neck alone. After a while, I was wondering what she was trying to tell me, so I went to the doctor.”

Since she had no symptoms and had been feeling fine, Herzberg was shocked to be diagnosed with papillary cancer of the thyroid. “The doctors said Seger was alerting me that something had changed,” says Herzberg, who has multiple sclerosis, and uses a wheelchair. “She was offered a job at the surgeon’s office.”

Seger only rested on her heroic laurels for a few years before she again alerted Herzberg to a problem. “In the middle of the night she would start hurling herself onto my chest,” Herzberg recalls. “She would get a full head of steam, and boom, I’d be awake. I said, something’s not right here what is she trying to tell me?”

A trip to the doctor confirmed a diagnosis of sleep apnea, a dangerous condition wherein a person stops breathing during sleep.

“Seger was offered another job at the sleep study center,” Herzberg says. “This cat could be making all kinds of money. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, she saved my life.”

From the Michigan Humane Society website

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