When people welcome a companion animal into their lives, especially one they have adopted or are fostering, it’s pretty common to assume that the relationship is one-sided: you are saving them. After all, you are providing them with food, shelter, water, and (hopefully) some much-needed cuddles. Every once in a while, though, these animals will become so in-sync with the family, especially if there are children, and quickly take on the role of protector. We’ve seen cats spring into action to protect children and even using their fur to keep their little human siblings warm when it gets too cold. And just as Lassie the dog famously “communicated” with people to alert them of trouble, some cats figure out ways to let their human guardians know when something has gone amiss.

Herbie, a black white and gray tabby cat, for instance, was able to alert his foster guardian, Janine DeMartini, after noticing something off about the way her daughter, Isabella, was sleeping. Herbie had been walking around his foster home when he saw that Isabella’s blanket was tightly wound around her neck and covering her face. Somehow knowing that this was a dangerous position for the girl, who was six months old at the time, to be in, Herbie ran to Janine’s closed bedroom door and starting meowing his heart out. Thankfully, the single mother who was getting ready for bed had not fallen asleep yet and opened the door for Herbie. The cat led the way to Isabella’s room and leapt into the little girl’s crib. At this point, Janine noticed the blanket and quickly remedied the situation.


Had Herbie not been there to alert Janine of the situation, it’s very likely that Isabella would have been smothered in her sleep. It’s a good thing they had this watchful kitty there to save the day! 

Cat in text



Janine admits that before the incident, she didn’t have intentions of adopting Herbie permanently. However, after this fearless feline demonstrated his loyalty to the family, the single mother knew she simply had to give the affectionate kitty a place to call home. Janine is a social worker who has written papers about the wonderful benefits of animal-assisted therapy and now, we think it’s safe to say, she’ll be advocating for keeping animals around the house in general, as well. Enjoy your forever home, Herbie, you’ve earned it!

Image source: Janine DeMartini/Silive