It's not unusual for me to wake up to discover Pumpkin, our 16-year-old black cat, asleep on my back.
But at 2:30 this morning, she wasn't sleeping. She was yelling in my ear while simultaneously embedding a single claw in my right arm.
Not enough to draw blood, but it certainly got my attention.
Once I sat up in bed and found my glasses, I saw her at the bedroom door. She yelled at me again, circled twice, then disappeared. I heard her bounding down the steps and into the kitchen.
I followed her and discovered our 15-year-old Sheltie, Lucy, lying next to the door leading to the cellar, beneath the child gate we put there to keep her from attempting to navigate the steps.
Lucy developed focal seizures this past Monday, and the phenobarbital that controls her condition has also knocked her for a loop. Until she becomes acclimated to the drug, the medication-induced ataxia has turned her into a friendly little Scottish drunk.
My guess is she decided she needed to go out, headed for the steps,and didn't notice the gate. When it fell on her, she decided she'd just lie there and sleep it off.
The stairs weren't blocked, so Pumpkin could have made it to the litter box with no problem. No ulterior motive- there's no doubt she knew her friend was in trouble and determined she needed someone with opposable thumbs to handle the situation.
Once I extricated Lucy and took her down to my office to spend the remainder of the night, Pumpkin positioned herself on a shelf under my desk unit, where she could watch the dog's inert form. She moved only when Lucy got up and started wandering around. The cat would sit down in front of Lucy, halting her progress. The dog would then lie down, give Pumpkin a wet kiss on the face and then pass out again.
I'm a definite dog person. But I have to admit, I'm starting to become rather impressed by felines as well.