Cat saves Chicago-area family from rabies-infected bat

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. -- In a little more than a week Wilson the cat will be turning one, but his family is celebrating him for now and perhaps forever.

You see, Wilson alerted his family to a dangerous presence in their home late last week at about 2 am Friday morning: a brown bat.

Julianna Cucci and her husband Graham fell asleep, but she says she was awakened when Wilson pounced on her after alerting her husband shortly before.

"When I came downstairs it was like (Graham) had lost his mind, ‘cause he was wielding a pillow but he caught the bat and he did not touch the bat," Julianna said.

After turning the bat over to Animal Control, word came that it tested positive for rabies. Julianna said if it wasn’t for Wilson they could’ve been bitten by the bat while they were sleeping and never known.

Rabies attacks the central nervous system and can be fatal. So Tuesday soon after learning the news of the rabid bat the whole family went to the E.R. to get several shots. But they all escaped without contracting rabies.

As far as Wilson is concerned, his owners think a name change may be in order.

"We may have to rename him Bruce Wayne,” Julianna Cucci said.