Friday, 27 July 2007

The Cat that 'Knows'?

The BBC carried a story about a 'spooky' black and white cat in an old people's home in the USA that curls up outside the door of people who die shortly afterwards. It was implied that the cat 'knew' about the impending death. People can be a bit strange about cats with their reputations at the familiars of witches. It is, of course, perfectly likely that the animal is using its highly effective hearing to detect changes in the breathing patterns as people near the event. Why does the cat curl up outside the door? It is possible that the animal has been 'rewarded' with greater attention when it has done so (in the aftermath of a death, there is likely to be a lot of human activity in the room). A more bizarre (and highly speculative) suggestion is that there cats are derived from animals that obtained part of their food from carrion. Being near a dying animal offers opportunities.

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