Have you heard about the cat Oscar who lives at a nursing home and has accurately predicted the deaths of 50 patients there? Well, Oscar’s finely-tuned talents may not be unique to him.
“People’s pets communicate clearly,”hospice director Nina Friedman told me yesterday, “and they seem to connect in unusual ways to the soul of their owner.”
Hospice professionals from Connecticut to Atlanta to San Francisco have described to me that dogs often become fiercely protective in the hours before their master dies.
“One gentleman who passed away this weekend had a very loving poodle who for many weeks was very friendly to hospice workers when they came to the home. However, on Saturday, the dog would not let any of us in the front door. The dog growled and barked and threatened to bite...It was as if the dog was marking out a territory around the man’s bedroom.
It is not unusual to see animals react in very unusual ways right before their owners die. It was as if the dog was telling us to stay away and let his owner pass away in peace--as if the animal knew something we didn’t….felt something we didn’t…”
I heard similar accounts from other hospice professionals.
Could it be as pack animals, instinct leads our dogs to protect the dying and their kin from possible predators during these final, vulnerable hours? Some folks have shared with me that their pets left behind their homes and families to die alone. Perhaps there is an instinct connected to dying alone.
Many years ago, my dog Spreckels walked away from my husband’s job site, and we never saw the dalmatian again although he was a loyal pet for 17 years.
Whatever the reasons may be, it appears that our pets may be aware of certain cues or messages that clearly communicate that death is approaching —and will let us know.
Attached find an article about Oscar “the psychic cat." He clearly is tuned into some form of communication that many of us humans still do not fully understand.
If you have an account to share about the pet(s) in your life, please comment here or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.