"Beauty in things exists in the mind which contemplates them."
David Hume (1711-1776)

A Day in the Life of Oscar the Cat by David M. Dosa, M.D., M.P.H.

New England Journal of Medicine Article

Pet Loss Grief, Marty Tousley, certified hospice bereavement counselor

Is your pet smarter than you?  You may answer the question, "Of course not."  Well, how about giving a little more thought to the question?

Does your behavior change shortly before an earthquake or a tsunami?   Studies have shown that often the behavior of animals change-they become agitated, for instance, hours or minutes before an earthquake.  Remember the stories of the animals, especially the elephants, who moved quickly to high ground shortly before the horrendous Asian tsunami hit, and some even called out a warning?

Have you known and given a warning when someone close to you is about to have an epileptic seizure? 
Have you recognized by scent a cancerous tumor on someone? 
Have you ever protected and saved someone in the ocean from a shark attack? 
Have you ever saved a life by hitting someone in the chest and knocking them down and jumping on their chest as they were choking on a piece of apple?
Have you ever found yourself in unknown territory a thousand miles from your home and set out to walk your way home, and succeeded?
Have you sat at your front door in anticipation of the arrival in 10 to 30 minutes of a family member, although there was no reason to expect the arrival

You may not have had these experiences, but many animals have.  We could call these types of events "animal smarts," but the more appropriate term would be innate intuition.  Intuition is natural, not supernatural, is normal, not paranormal, and is an emotional connection or even a close bond to nature, to animals, and to humans.

Scientific Animal Research

British biologist and author, Rupert Sheldrake has done scientific animal studies and has concluded there seemingly is an emotional bond and connection between pet owners and their pets.  The highlight of his study is the anticipatory behavior that indicates dogs know when their owners are about to return home, often by 10 to 30 minutes.  This telepathy occurs because of the close bond, an emotional connection, even an emotional need, that binds the sender and receiver. And I would conclude that the role of sender or receiver fluctuates back and forth between owner and animal: a telepathic receiver one time, a telepathic sender the next.   

As reported in the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research (July 1998), a telephone survey of 200 households in Northern California conducted by Sheldrake found 132 of the households surveyed had pets.  45% of dog owners claimed their animal knew in advance when a member of the household was on the way home, compared with 37% of cat owners, and around 20% of these pets were said to react more than 10 minutes in advance.  The survey indicated 46% of dog owners and 41% of cat owners stated their pets respond to their thoughts or silent commands.  Also interesting were findings that more pet owners claimed to have had psychic experiences themselves than non-pet owners.  A significantly higher proportion of the psychic pet owners claimed their pets exhibited psychic powers than the non-psychic owners did.   The California findings were in close agreement with a previous survey done by Sheldrake in England.  Sheldrake writes about his pet studies in his book, Dogs That Know When Their Owners are Coming Home, And Other Unexplained Powers of Animals.  

The Gift of Intuition

Our own innate intuition is a valuable asset and can be a guiding force in our daily lives.  By enhancing our intuition it appears it may enhance the emotional connection and deep bond we have with our pets.  Enhanced intuition increases our ability for telepathic communication.  It is a meeting of the minds a sharing of wisdom and often by being tuned into your pet, not only will you emotionally feel the unconditional love your pet has for you but you will be more tuned into his needs and desires.  It's even possible a telepathic message from your pet could keep you safe from danger. 

The Eyes and Souls of Critters

When I was young my family had a cocker spaniel.  Every week day, a few minutes before my return from school, he would go to the chain link gate and sit patiently awaiting my return.  Have you had a pet who did the same?

My cat, Snickers is psychic and I am often amazed by his behavior.  Nearly always, his actions telsl me that someone may be knocking at my door in the next few minutes.  His warning is usually about 15 to 20 minutes ahead of time.  At times Snickers positions himself in anticipation a little further away from the front door, nearer my bedroom doorway, with an unrelenting stare at the front door.  He apparently feels safer with more distance between him and the front door, in case he finds it necessary to run under my bed and hide until he is comfortable with the person who has arrived at our home.  His bond, intuition, and telepathy with me comes out in other ways, also.  I'm sure if you have closely observed your pet's actions you have similar stories to tell. 

Dogs, cats, rabbits, and even dolphins, are often used for healing, such as in grief therapy, with ill or handicapped children, with those depressed, and for loving companionship, and it is often obvious the animal understands the person's situation and needs.    

What Did You Say?

Not only is Snickers psychic, but he also talks.  Of his few words spoken, his favorite word is "milk."  If I'm not tuned in telepathically to his message that he wants milk, he voices it, even if I am busy in my study, or in the living room.  He repeats it until I follow him into the kitchen where he takes a stand at the refrigerator until I get his milk.  

Isn't it wonderful having such interesting pet family members?  They are fun and, no doubt, bring love and joy into our lives. And hopefully, we do the same for them.    

A Furry Hospice Worker

A few days after I had written the above, a special two-year-old cat named Oscar made national headlines. David M. Dosa, M.D., a geriatrician and associate professor of medicine at Brown University, wrote an article, “A Day in the Life of Oscar the Cat,” which was published in the New England Medical Journal, July 26, 2007.  Oscar is a compassionate hospice worker and was adopted as a kitten by staff members of the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, Rhode Island, and lives on the third floor dementia unit.  It soon became apparent that Oscar made his own rounds just like the doctors and nurses.  Dr. Dosa has stated that Oscar is not a particularly friendly cat and is somewhat aloof.  But the staff soon realized that Oscar would leap up onto the bed of dying patients and curl up, often purring and snuggling, staying with the patient in the final hours before death.  His behavior became a noticeable predicator of death, and he has done this on twenty-five occasions.  The nurses now know when Oscar joins the patient it is time to call the family, to call a priest for last rites, as death will arrive very soon. On occasion a family may not want the cat on the bed, and at those times he has been removed from the room, he paces the hall and protests loudly.  Oscar is highly regarded by the physicians and staff.    

Some have said it could be that he smells pheromones possibly released by the body at pending death, but it appears it is much more than that.  Other animals have gone out of their way to be with a dying person, such as going a distance to a victim nearing death, such as a farmer down in a field a long distance from his farm house.  It’s intuition that brings the animal to the dying person, a psychic soul connection.  

I’m reminded of an experience my family had a number of years ago while camping at Mammoth Lakes, CA.  A teenager shot a chipmunk with an arrow.  We saw the chipmunk still struggling to survive and within minutes he was surrounded by a half-dozen frantic chipmunks, obviously wanting desperately to remove the arrow and save their friend’s life.  Sadly, they were unable to. We were all awed by the fact that the chipmunks came from everywhere to their companion’s side.  You could feel their desperation, their compassion, and love.  

Not only have the doctors and nurses appreciated Oscar the Cat’s dedication and compassion, they feel his presence has brought healing and comfort not only for the patient, but also for  families. I couldn’t agree more.  Oscar knows why he is there.  And you can bet, some of that healing is received by the nurses and doctors who have their own emotions to contend with when a life ends. 

And for some patients who might be spending their last hours alone without family present, he or she has the steadfast companionship of a cat who really wears angel wings.

Copyright 2007, 2015 by Linda Pendleton, All Rights Reserved.

Animal Communication: 

Animal Smarts or the Gift of Intuition


Linda Pendleton