I've never had a chance to get any kind of recording of Sierra, my gray cat, doing what she does for me, and I've always wondered if perhaps people think I am crazy when I talk about my cat alerting to my migraines and seizures. This morning I happened to be recording an audio file for a friend when she did her alert. She hasn't done it in a long time; but lately I've been having daily migraines. That meant it was a matter of time before she would start alerting. I had already been awake for a few hours, working on a paper. Unfortunately, staying home is not really an option due to the number of classes I missed already when I had the asthma/sinus/bronchitis mess that lasted for weeks.
Sometimes Sierra gets cranky when I have not slept enough; but I really should have recognized this meow. As usual, she was right on. I had a vertigo episode on the paratransit bus going in. I was on my way down the steps, and I fell backward and did not catch myself. The driver did catch me. There is really nothing like being at the top of bus steps and falling. Loretta was not interested in getting on or off the bus. This is my first serious migraine with her, and I am curious how she will do in the future. I am really not interested in continuing to have migraines in order to test her intelligence; but it's probably going to happen regardless of my interest or lack thereof.
By the afternoon, I was sporting a level 9 on the pain scale. Class was in session, and I did not leave to take Imitrex. Of course, by the time I did take it, I had waited too long. It really is not doing very much for me. I will either have to start carrying water or get comfortable with leaving and returning. I'm not exactly inconspicuous.
Anyway, Sierra did a good job. If you're skeptical, you can listen to her. This lengthy meow is reserved specifically for alerting situations. She has a short, slightly lower meow for communicating that the water bowl is empty, and her normal friendly meows are short and similar in pitch to this long one. I have some normal meows on file somewhere, and if I can dig them up I'll put them here If I'm in especially bad shape, she will meow even longer and louder. for comparison. Her range of vocalization is truly amazing. Most cats certainly have a variety of vocalizations, but they are normally quite similar. Sierra and Inca are two of the most vocally versatile cats I've ever encountered. The fact that they use their vocalizations to communicate with me about my state as well as their own is extremely fascinating.