"I was far from thrilled when a cat showed up on my doorstep and decided to camp out on the porch. She was a pretty tabby with sweet golden eyes, but with my new job and my husband, Paul, constantly traveling for business, a pet wasn’t an option. I decided I’d feed her and post ads in the neighborhood, hoping to find her owner or someone willing to take her in.
"'My stubborn heart broke one evening when I spotted her huddled under our bushes in the rain. ‘You can come inside, but just for tonight,’ I said, scooping her up and taking her into the kitchen to get her a bowl of warm milk. After she was dry and full, I headed upstairs to get ready for bed.
“I went to sleep before Paul, but not long after I dozed off, I felt something patting my cheek. It was the cat, frantically tapping me with her paw. When I opened my eyes she meowed and ran to the bedroom door. Ugh, this nuisance cat wants to go outside, I grumbled to myself.
“As I followed the tabby down the stairs, I saw Paul laying on the ground near the couch, gasping and clutching his chest. Terrified, I immediately grabbed the phone and dialed 9-1-1.
“When the paramedics arrived, they said they thought Paul was having a heart attack and it was lucky I’d called when I did.
“Hours later, I sat next to my husband’s hospital bed, grateful that he was going to be just fine. ‘How’d you find me?’ he asked. ‘Our new family member told me,’ I said with a smile. ‘What do you think of naming her Destiny?’” —Marla Vicks, 45, Hialeah, FL
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