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For the week of January 3 through January 9, 2001

Alex’s dream 
rescues woman

Express Staff Writer

Alexandra Dougherty’s cat went missing on Christmas Eve.

Christmas morning, about two blocks away from the Dougherty’s home, Alice Rooney, 76, fell in her kitchen and couldn’t get up.

Unrelated events?


Alex, 12, had a dream after she went to bed the night of Dec. 26. She said she doesn’t recall what the dream was about, but she awoke with a clear message.

Alex Dougherty"Go to Fourth Avenue and Pine Street."

That morning Alex told her mother, Kirsten, she was going to renew her search for Tom, her missing yellow tabby, at Rooney’s address.

Kirsten didn’t think any more of it than it was another day of looking for Tom. She headed in the opposite direction from her daughter to cover more ground.

Having knocked on doors for the last two days, Alex said, she didn’t think anything of knocking on the door of Rooney’s house on the corner of Fourth and Pine.

"I heard a woman inside say ‘Who are you, and what do you want?’ "

After identifying herself and her mission to find her cat, Alex said the woman said, "I haven’t seen a cat. I fell on Christmas morning and I haven’t been able to get up."

Alex said that after she failed to get in through the back door as Rooney requested, she saw one of Rooney’s neighbors walking outside.

She went over to him and asked if he knew Rooney.

"Well," she said, "she’s stuck in her house. She fell on Christmas Day, and I can’t get her back door open."

The neighbor, who asked to remain unnamed, came over, got the door open, and got Rooney up.

When Alex rejoined her mother, she told her the story.

"Mom thought it pretty amazing, but I didn’t think anything of it."

And neither one of them made the connection with Alex’s dream. Kirsten said it wasn’t until later that evening that she realized the revelatory nature of her daughter’s dream.

Rooney was hospitalized later that day by her doctor, Randy Coriell, after the neighbor found that she had fallen again.

From her hospital room on Tuesday, Rooney said her doctors still didn’t know why her legs went weak on her, but she was stable enough to return home.

"I’ve wonderful neighbors and friends," she said. "I’m a very fortunate old lady."

Friends of the Dougherty’s, after hearing of Alex’s dream and subsequent rescue of Rooney, joked with her about dreaming up winning lottery numbers.

Asked if she did have any numbers in mind, she said "Seventeen, seventeen, seventeen." She didn’t say how to interpret those for Powerball.

Meanwhile, Tom the cat is still missing, and Alex has asked for help in finding him. He is neutered and is wearing a green collar with a pink heart ID tag.


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