Bailey to the Rescue: Adopted Cat Saves Pet Dad’s Life

A cat named Bailey alerted Veronika when her husband Brian faced a medical emergency, and made all the difference.

Veronika + Bailey

When Veronika adopted Bailey, she was struck by his sweet fact and quirky habits, like leading his pet parents to his bathroom water supply. Little did Veronika know, Bailey’s communicative quirks would ultimately give his pet dad Brian a second chance.

"Brian was not feeling well and went to lie down and rest. After about an hour, Bailey came to find me and started his meowing routine asking me to follow him. He took me to the bedroom where he jumped on the bed and started crying in Brian’s face. It was then I realized Brian was not breathing."

It is amazing how a little twelve-pound ball of fluff can forever change your life. In late November of 2019, my husband Brian and I were living happily with our little family of four cats in Murrieta, California. We were not thinking of adding another cat to the mix but an email featuring adoptable cats would soon change all that. The email notified me that a 10-year-old Ragdoll kitty was available for adoption at San Diego Humane Society. The photo of Bailey’s sad little face said it all, and after reading his story I knew I had to rescue him. 

I told Brian about him and asked if we might give him a home. He replied, “Let’s go get him.” We packed a carrier into the car and off we went on our rescue mission. Bailey, being a bit traumatized by his life changes, was not much interested in interacting with humans. Not a problem. I was confident I could change that. We had set up a separate room with a glass barrier for Bailey so he could get used to the other cats before allowing them to be together. After two weeks, Bailey knocked down the barrier and found his place among the “herd.” 

We continued to learn about him and his quirky little habits. He has a very loud meow which he uses quite often to get our attention. He prefers to drink his water from the bathroom faucets. He comes to get us, meows, and starts walking to the bathroom, turning frequently to ensure we are following. He does this several times a day. When the pandemic hit, all the cats were a joy and great company. Bailey settled into his daily routine with us. 

Several months into the pandemic, Brian was not feeling well and went to lie down and rest. After about an hour, Bailey came to find me and started his meowing routine asking me to follow him. He seemed somewhat frantic this time, crying louder and turning more often. Instead of the bathroom faucet, he took me to the bedroom where he jumped on the bed and started crying in Brian’s face. It was then I realized Brian was not breathing. He had no pulse or heartbeat that I could detect. I immediately dialed 911 and started CPR until the paramedics arrived. Bailey never left my side. After Brian was stabilized, they transported him to the hospital where he was in ICU for two weeks, diagnosed with heart, kidney, and liver failure.

Brian came home with an implanted defibrillator and pacemaker, and Bailey was very happy to have him home. It is now a year later, and Bailey continues to seek Brian out and demand water breaks and cuddle time. I believe the two of them have an unshakable bond. I got my husband back thanks to Bailey, and for that, I will love and be grateful for him forever.

Each year, Petco Love Stories invites adopters to share how their pets have changed their lives to give the organizations that they’ve adopted from the chance to receive grant awards. This story by Veronika won San Diego Humane Society in San Diego, California a 2021 Love Stories award.