Friday, March 09, 2007

i always suspected as much

have you ever wondered if your pet can read your mind?

According to some researchers they can:
A cat disappears when her owners go on vacation each year, yet arrives back at the house an hour before they return. A dog runs to the door, the moment his owner leaves work, and sits and waits expectantly until she arrives home. A man sits on the couch, his dog slumbering in the next room. He thinks, “I should take Daisy for a walk,” and suddenly his dog comes bounding in the room, leash in mouth, anxious to go. A cat curls up next to the phone just before a family member calls, but never when anyone else is about to call. These kinds of stories are told by many pet owners from all over the world.
Most dogs and cats are very attuned to their owners, and quickly learn their patterns, read their body language and anticipate what’s going to happen next. But there are so many stories of pets seeming to know more than their natural senses would allow that it has been the subject of study and debate for years. Are their natural senses even greater than we ever imagined? Or do they have a sixth sense? Some kind of psychic connection to their owners?
Biologist Rupert Sheldrake, author of Dogs That Know When Their Owner is Coming Home believes that animals have perceptive abilities of telepathy and premonitions. Veterinarian and author, Dr. Allan Schoen says in his book, Kindred Spirits, that people and animals are intimately connected. Pets whom we feel especially close to, seem to understand our needs, read our moods, and sometimes even communicate with us on a level that transcends words or body language.
Can pets be so connected and attuned to their owners when they are far apart, even when there is no possible way they could be using their sense of smell or hearing? Physician and author Dr. Larry Dossey, says there is a connection between all species, which is not limited by locality. He refers to it as a “nonlocal mind.” Consciousness is not restricted to the brain or the body or time or place. Therefore people and animals can have an effect on each other, even when miles apart. Traditional scientists remain skeptical about psychic abilities among people – let alone pets! They say much of the phenomenon can be explained in other ways, through pets’ acute senses of hearing and smell, reading human body language, or noting other cues happening in their environment. Dogs and cats live mostly in a scent world, and are also very sensitive to sounds. It may be that when an owner thinks about taking her dog for a walk, this happy thought causes a slight change in her body chemistry, which the dog can smell, and associate with walks. Some who swear their dog knows when their owner is coming home, may find their pets are unable to do so when they come home in a different car. Another simpler explanation is that owners notice their pets’ mysterious behaviors only when related events coincide. The cat may curl up by the phone now and then, but the owner doesn’t notice. If the cat happens to sit by the phone when “dad” calls, the owner is more likely to take note of it. There is no dispute that our pets live on a sensory level that’s different from our own. Though we share the same five known senses, dogs and cats take in their world mostly through scent and sound and act on instinct. We take in our world mostly through sight and act on intellect and emotion. So it’s not surprising that our pets are able to clue in on things that we can’t imagine could be possible. But sometimes, hard science has no explanation for extraordinary pet perception. The debate goes on.
Dixie can always sense an impending veterinarian trip. Once i start putting on my shoes she disappears (as if i never put on my shoes at any other time). I have to put my shoes, the cat carrier, my bag, and any other to-go necessities out of sight, out of mind near the door and hum a little tune to keep my intentions out of my own mind while i stealthily sneak up on her if i plan on getting her to the vet anytime that same day. Interestingly enough i can get a carrier out and leave it in plain sight if it's another cat's turn and it doesn't bother her a bit.
Both Dixie and Demetra seem to know if i'm just pretending to be asleep because they will repeatedly tap me on the face and neck with their paws to get me to pay attention to them (pet them, cuddle, etc). I assume they don't do this when i'm asleep because i never wake up with little claw marks on my face or neck...
My cat Ophelia and i always had i certain kind of mind-meld going on that my roommates were in constant amazement over. She always knew when i was serious (like wanted to go to bed NOW) when i told her to come into my room, and when she could get away with ignoring me. She always knew when i was going to come home (even though i had a completely unpredictable schedule, no car, and we lived on a second floor interior apartment) and would go to the door about five minutes before i was to walk in it. She knew when i needed comforting, she could also express her dissatisfaction with me by placing herself three feet in front of me with her back to me. That cat was my baby and there will never be another like her...

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