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Image: Pudding the cat
Door County Humane Society
Meet Pudding, the calm, relaxed cat who rescued his owner from a diabetic seizure the day she adopted him.
By Laura T. Coffey
TODAY contributor
updated 2/23/2012 9:47:43 PM ET 2012-02-24T02:47:43

Pudding the cat is big. He is orange. He is laid-back. And he’s a lifesaver.

Just ask Amy Jung. The 36-year-old Wisconsin resident credits 21-pound Pudding with saving her from the grip of diabetic seizure mere hours after she adopted him from a local animal shelter.

“If something or someone hadn’t pulled me out of that, I wouldn’t be here,” Jung told the Green Bay Press-Gazette newspaper.

Here’s what happened: On Feb. 8, Jung visited the Door County Humane Society with her son, Ethan. She had no intention of adopting a pet; she and her son just wanted to play with the cats, who are allowed to roam free at the no-kill shelter.

But, as can happen with felines and humans, Pudding and Jung felt a strong and immediate connection.

“He just gravitated to her,” Door County Humane Society Executive Director Carrie Counihan told TODAY.com.

Jung made an on-the-spot decision to bring Pudding home. Always a calm and relaxed guy, Pudding took to his new digs right away, displaying not a hint of skittishness on his first day there.

That evening Jung, who has been living with diabetes since the age of 4, went to bed at about 9:30 p.m. About 90 minutes later, she started to have a diabetic seizure. That’s when, according to the Green Bay Press-Gazette, “Pudding planted his weight on her chest and, when he could not wake her, began swatting her face and biting her nose.”

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Jung came to her senses enough to yell out to her son for assistance. At that point, Pudding jumped up onto Ethan’s bed and startled him into action. He immediately rushed to get his mom the help she needed.

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“Her doctor said she could have gone into a coma and not come out of it if much more time had gone by,” Counihan said. “The fact that Pudding did what he did without knowing her that well is just amazing to me.”

Since the scary Feb. 8 incident, Jung has followed her doctor’s advice to have Pudding registered as a therapy animal.

“I think he’s already made his first trip to Walmart,” Counihan said.

Pudding had been living at the shelter for about a month before Jung took him home. He arrived there in early January with another cat named Wimsy after their owner died. Jung adopted Wimsy, too, because she didn’t want to separate them.

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This wasn’t Pudding’s first stint at the Door County Humane Society. In 2008, a family surrendered him to the shelter because their son was allergic to cats. His name at that time was Starbuck. His last owner, the woman who just passed away, decided to change his name to Pudding.

“Pudding is 8 1/2-ish now — not too old,” Counihan said. “And Wimsy is 3 years old. Maybe he’ll pick up some of Pudding’s powers.”

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Need a Coffey break? Friend TODAY.com writer Laura T. Coffey on Facebook, follow her on Twitter  or read more of her stories at LauraTCoffey.com.

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Photos: Animal Tracks: Feb. 15-22

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  1. Wintry mix

    A horse carriage rides through heavy snowfall in Krakow, southern Poland on Feb. 15. (Agencja Gazeta / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Stunt double

    Parson Russell Terrier Archie, the German premiere double of the American dog star Uggy from the movie "The Artist," sits with a cocktail at a table in Restaurant Borchardt during the Berlin International Film Festival in Berlin, Germany, on Feb. 16. Archie's drink is alcohol-free and made from grenadine juice. (Jens Kalaene / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Leap cub

    Two Asiatic lion cubs who were born in November venture outdoors for the first time accompanied by their mother at Blijdorp Zoo in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, on Feb. 22. (Robert Vos / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Snow play

    Two dogs play in the snow on Theresienwiese, the official Oktoberfest grounds in Munich, Germany, on Feb. 16. (Sven Hoppe / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Ready for her close-up

    Nora, a Rothschild giraffe, stares at the camera at Prague Zoo in Prague, Czech Republic on Feb. 17. (Petr David Josek / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Nut cracker

    MaryAnn, one of two macaws who are residents of the Baytowne Marina at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Florida, chews on a nut outside the Marina store on Feb. 15 in Walton County, Fla. (Devon Ravine / Northwest Florida Daily via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Pageant-ready pup

    A Yorkshire terrier waits with its owner at the Budapest Fair Center on Feb. 17 during the first international dog exhibition and races of the year. The event was organized by the Hungarian Kennel Club. (Attila Kisbenedek / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Dog on the catwalk

    A dog displays a creation by designer Mulberry during London Fashion Week on Feb. 19. (Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Pretty perch

    A humming bird rests on a flower in Hollywood, Calif., on Feb. 21. (Joe Klamar / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Sly guy

    An urban fox prowls along a garden fence on Feb. 21 in Ealing Dean, West London, England. Foxes are well adapted to urban life and live successfully side by side with people in towns and cities. The animals number more than 10,000 in London alone. Officials don't consider such wild animals to be pests as they do not pose a direct threat to public health. (Jim Dyson / Getty Images Contributor) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. No egrets?

    A migratory egret waits for its prey at the reclaimed area in Manila Bay known as "Freedom Island" in the city of Paranaque, Philippines on Feb. 19. Environmentalists are gathering a million signatures to save the only bird sanctuary in the capital following a proposal by the city government to develop the area into a commercial complex. (Bullit Marquez / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Panda pals

    Female panda Huan-Huan, on the right, and male panda Yuan-Zi snack on bamboo on Feb. 18 at the Beauval Zoo in Saint-Aignan, central France, as part of the public opening of their exhibit. The two giant pandas recently arrived at the zoo from China. (Alain Jocard / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Ready to protect

    A horse peers out of a police trailer in Frankfurt, Germany on Feb. 16. (Alex Domanski / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. New ball boy?

    A dog belonging to Texas Rangers pitcher Tanner Scheppers carries off a baseball during an unofficial workout at spring training on Feb. 18 in Surprise, Ariz. (Charles Riedel / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Littlest lizard

    A photo released this week shows a "Brookesia micra" chameleon on a match head in Madagascar on March 16, 2007. It is believed to be the world smallest, German and American biologists announced on Feb. 16, 2012. The tiny creature has a 16-millimeter body and measures 29 millimeters with its tail fully extended. (Joern Koehler / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Look ma, no hands!

    A monkey eats a banana given to it by a man along a road on Feb. 15 in Jammu, India. The population of monkeys, especially the Rhesus Macaque monkey, has been increasing there consistently; feeding them along roads has caused accidents and created problems with commuting. (Yawar Nazir / Getty Images Contributor) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Love dance

    A pair of red-crowned cranes do a courtship dance at the bird sanctuary in the village of Tsurui on Japan's northern island of Hokkaido on Feb. 18. Some 400 red-crowned cranes have been observed there over the winter. The birds migrate from eastern Russia, northeastern China and eastern Mongolia. (Takashi Noguchi / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. None shall pass!

    An Asiatic lion cub reclines on a roadway as villagers wait to move by after their day's work at the Gir National Park in India on Feb. 21. The Gir forests are the only natural habitat for the lions in Western India. (Ajit Solanki / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Flower feeler

    A butterfly sits on a flower in Chennai, India on Feb. 18. (Nathan G / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Down the hatch!

    Penguin keeper Kristi Eakin feeds king penguins during opening day of the Penguin Plunge exhibit at the Calgary Zoo in Calgary, Alberta, Canada on Feb. 17. (Larry Macdougal / The Canadian Press via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Stealth kitty

    A cat is pictured while hiding behind a curtain in Warsaw, Poland on Feb. 16. World Cats Day is celebrated annually in Poland on Feb. 17. (Bartlomiej Zborowski / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Missed me!

    A northern red fox chases a red-crowned crane at the bird sanctuary in the village of Tsurui on Japan's northern island of Hokkaido on Feb. 18. (Takashi Noguchi / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Riding in style

    Brody, a Westie belonging to Vicki Rice, sits in a remote-controlled car at the beginning of the Mardi Gras Dog Parade on Feb. 19 at Baytowne Village in Sandestin, Fla. The annual event in this Florida panhandle resort community attracts a wide variety of sharply dressed canines (and dog owners). The parade raises money for a local animal refuge. (Devon Ravine / Northwest Florida Daily via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Quick cuddle

    Lions nuzzle up to one another at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 15, an unseasonably warm day. (Kevin Lamarque / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. Room with a view

    A pair of Canada geese stand on a platform designed for an osprey nest high on a utility pole overlooking the Umpqua River in Roseburg, Ore., on Feb. 15. If the geese decide to nest on the pole, they will not be welcomed by the osprey when they return to the area from their winter migration in a few weeks. (Robin Loznak / for msnbc.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. Big baby

    Rhino calf Mala walks in her enclosure at the zoo in Magdeburg, Germany on Feb. 14. Mala is 2 months old and weighs more than 132 pounds. (Jens Wolf / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Cuddle buddies

    Marilena, 9, is wrapped up from the bitter cold with her puppy, Pink, in Pitulicea, Romania on Feb. 15. (Vadim Ghirda / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. Bovine beauty

    Piling ice floes provide an unusual background on Feb. 16 as a Dutch farmer has his best cow photographed in front of the drifting ice of the Ijsselmeer, a lake near Hindeloopen, The Netherlands. (Catrinus van der Veen / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Image: A horse carriage rides through heavy snowfall in Krakow
    Agencja Gazeta / Reuters
    Above: Slideshow (28) Animal Tracks: Feb. 15-22
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