I’m sure there are many of you who read the title and either scoffed or laughed.
After all, there are many memes around that laud the ability of a cat to snub their noses at the world. I believe words such as ‘opportunist’ and ‘narcissistic’ have been used to describe the more negative aspects of our pets.
There is no doubt that cats have a very different outlook on life than we do. However….
I’ve read the stories about cats who appear to have knowledge of something about to happen.
Take the story of Oscar, the cat who lived with residents of a hospice in Rhode Island. When someone was about to die, Oscar would take up residence in their room and nestle beside them on the bed. With 28 recorded occurrences of this happening in 2008, it appears that the lure of a warm place to sleep can be ruled out. Maybe there is a scientific reasoning behind this. I don’t know. But Oscar had a great track record!
I’ve also heard the story of a cat whose owner was diabetic. One night before bed, the cat began behaving out of character. When his owner started taking a mental stocktake of everything that had occurred prior to them settling in for the night to see if there could be a reason for his odd behaviour, she recalled that she hadn’t taken her medication. If she had gone to bed without it, she may have fallen into a diabetic coma through the night. Was her pet warning her? I don’t know. It’s a bit of an odd story for sure.
For a final story, I watched a video on Facebook last night with a cat welcoming home the ashes of her canine friend. The ashes were in a wooden box inside a cardboard box. The cat was rubbing around the cardboard box and nudging the flaps with her head. The cynic in me said “My cat does that too. She loves cardboard boxes”. Then the cat leaned in and began licking the wooden box containing the ashes. I changed my cynical views.
Of course, there is no explaining cat behaviour sometimes. I know that people such as Jackson Galaxy think they have felines figured out but I’m not so sure. I’m pretty sure that our furry friends march to the beat of their own drums.
Although events of the past couple of weeks have me questioning my very own Diva and wondering about her capabilities.
I’ve mentioned before that this puss believes she is descended from royalty and has the attitude to match. She expects her dinner on time every night. She doesn’t like it if I am even a day late in changing her litter. She can be a real diva.
She also doesn’t like company much. When we have anyone staying with us, she will make herself scarce. (I’m just going to let her be surprised that the grandkids are coming to stay over part of Easter lol).
My cat is not a cuddly cat. She likes to be around us, and will lay on the floor nearby, but she isn’t a lap cat. She only likes to be patted on her terms.
This is why her behaviour of late has been interesting.
I have a couple of ladies who have come to visit. Smudge has been coming over to them and rubbing against their legs. She even allows them to pat her. This is extremely out of character. Is there something about these ladies that has got her attention or can she sense that they are gentle and love animals?
I mentioned this to the Garden Gnome and we began discussing some of the other things she has been doing.
One day a week or so ago, I was quite upset. I sat on my sofa in the spare room where I meditate each morning and sobbed. The Diva pushed open the door (that’s not unusual as she joins me each morning anyway) and jumped up beside me. She nuzzled my hand and then jumped onto the back of the sofa where she proceeded to nuzzle into my neck. I patted her and let my hand drop. She reached out a paw and batted the side of my cheek to get my attention and began rubbing her face against my cheek when I turned toward her. She kept this up until my tears stopped.
Later that morning, the Garden Gnome came in. He was also visibly upset. The Diva jumped off her position on the top of the cat tree, came over and sat on his feet. She then followed him into the lounge room and sat beside him on the couch. She stayed with him until she deemed he was okay.
As we were discussing this, the Garden Gnome remembered another time when he hadn’t been feeling the best and his depression was extremely bad. He lay on the couch and the cat jumped up and lay on his chest for some time. Behaviour like this is extremely out of character for her usual disdainful attitude toward life.
I purchased Smudge from a pet shop a couple of months after we lost our beautiful dog Bundy. Bundy had a habit of ‘snuffling’. He would snuffle up and down the hallway and then go into our ensuite bathroom and jump in the shower to drink the water laying on the floor. As he did so, the registration tag on his collar would click on the tiles. The night that we brought Smudge home, she began snuffling up and down the hallway and then went into the ensuite, jumped in the shower and began licking the floor. She only ever did this a few times and then stopped but it made us wonder if she was acknowledged Bundy (or even if he was there and showing her the ropes).
I must admit that my thoughts about cats are somewhat mixed on this.
I’m not totally certain whether cats are psychic or even empathetic. But when things like this occur, you have to wonder right.
So, does anyone else have any stories to share? What do you think? Are cats capable of empathy? I’d love to hear your stories.