Brown owl gives cat kiss of life

FAMILY FRIEND: Rebel and Sue (6922399)

RESCUE CAT: Sue Williams brought Rebel back to life (6922401)

HERE TO TELL THE TALE: Rebel has eight lives left (6922403)

REBEL PROMOTING A CAUSE: Rebel's survival highlights life saving skills (6922418)

IN THE DOGHOUSE: Diesel was immediately forgiven for his instinctive act (6922427)

First published in News

IN the timeless battle between cats and dogs, it seemed feline Rebel has used all nine lives until a Brown Owl flew to the rescue.

5th Barry Brownies Brown Owl, Sue Williams, swooped into action when her short-hair tabby cat Rebel found himself on the wrong side of Siberian husky Diesel after climbing over the garden wall.

63-year-old Sue had been dog-sitting the then eight-month-old hound for her student daughter Samantha, 22, when Rebel, who has been diagnosed diabetic, clambered into view and Diesel acted on impulse and “did as huskies do.”

The dog caught the seven-year-old poorly puss and clamped him by the jaw, dropping him when caught, but leaving the cat for dead.

Quick-thinking Sue decided not to give up on the cat - drawing on a magazine article and knowledge gained when Heartsteart volunteer and Barry community first responder, Bryan Foley had spoken to her brownie pack and beaver colony.

Sue, of Wenvoe Terrace, said: “Rebel came over the wall and didn’t realise the dog was there and because he was a bit poorly he didn’t make it over the wall. The husky just grabbed him and I chased him around the garden.”

Sue, a retired teacher and learning support assistant, triggered Diesel’s gagging reflex and the cat dropped out of his mouth onto the carpet.

Sue, who also owns a border collie called Tilly, said: “Rebel was just completely floppy and not breathing, his eyes were in the back of his head and his tongue was hanging out of the side of his mouth. I read in Your Dog magazine where you could find a pulse and I couldn’t find a pulse or heartbeat.

“I massaged his chest and blew up his nose. I just did that twice and he came screaming around.”

To prevent a further dog attack, Sue put Rebel in a safe place and got Diesel out of the way.

Sue said: “He was fine the rest of the day and I took him to the vet the next day. When she shaved the fur off there was just bruising around the neck so the dog hadn’t chewed him. He just clamped his jaws around his neck.

“Bryan does our first aid badge with the brownies and I always say you have a skill even if you don’t have the confidence to use it. I told Bryan I had used the CPR and he said ‘who, what, where?’ I don’t think he could really believe it.”

Rebel’s vet, Rhian Hobrough, of Petherton veterinary clinic, Broad Street, Barry, said: "There’s no proper technique for CPR, but I would think it’s similar to babies. Rebel just looked at me the way Rebel does.

“I wrote in Rebel’s notes: “The owner has performed CPR. Rebel has been very bright since, but I’ve noticed he is sterner.”

“I did his bloods and he was fine - he was perfect. I am amazed at how quickly Sue acted in that circumstance. I’ve not seen anything like it before.”

Heartstart volunteer, community first responder, and scout leader Bryan Foley added: “It’s unique. It’s something you don’t consider when running a course, but obviously a pet is a much-loved family member. Sue stepped up to the plate.”

Anyone interested in learning first aid, can email barry.responders@ntlworld.com

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