Mark / Adobe Stock
Dogs and cats are not only curious when they use their heightened sense of smell. In fact, that sense drove her to superhero status. They are known to protect people by tracking down potential health problems and impending dangers – even using their senses to locate people, drugs and bombs!
And while this may be old news to some, you probably didn’t know it: a house cat’s sense of smell is 9 to 16 times stronger than that of humans. Likewise, they have more than ten times more odor-sensitive cells in their noses, so they can smell (and cuddle) any human friend. Experts say pets rely on this sense to detect disease.
So it’s no wonder Oggy – a Minnesotan Kate King Scribbins’ pet – recently made medical headlines. According to the New York Post, Scribbins believes her feline friend “let the cat out of her pocket” and is alerting her to a cancerous mass growing in her left breast.
She told the newspaper that Oggy the cat “had always loved snuggling in my arms, but he started to cuddle more aggressively than usual, which was strange”. Oggy seemed “more determined than ever” to make sure he was close to her left chest.
CONNECTED: Cat brings comfort to the woman during the cancer battle
After noticing Oggy’s unusual behavior for months, Scribbins awoke to “stabbing pain” and after doing a self-exam, she found a mass in her chest. Shortly after her discovery, Scribbins was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer and treated with multiple rounds of chemotherapy, multiple surgeries, and radiation.
According to the Post, Scribbins says with hindsight she believes he was trying to bring her attention to the disease. “I look back on the changes in his behavior towards me before I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and I really believe he was trying to make me aware of the dangers growing in my body.”
CONNECTED: Heartbreaking TikTok shows the cat’s loss of grief for its kitten by cuddling with soft toys
When diagnosed with cancer, ongoing medical exams mean that patients are never completely through with cancer. But Scribbins tells the newspaper that since completing treatment, Oggy appears to have stopped paying attention to her chest.
Fifteen years after rescuing Oggy, she credits him for bringing the cancer to her attention. Well done rescue kittens, our hats are off you. Another example of the great senses of animals – cute and cuddly kitten by day, doctor and detective by night!