Cats are excellent company for the quiet life and can bring much joy to the ill. As a child, my family had a grumpy tabby cat named Sunny, and her disposition was far from her namesake. She would avoid my two brothers and I and only seemed to like our father, who when at home was quiet and spent a lot of time reading and watching baseball. Dad didn’t care for Sunny at all, but when he was diagnosed with lymphoma, he was forced to spend a lot of time sleeping, reading, and watching baseball.
During the long years of Dad’s illness, he bonded with Sunny and came to love her. And even though Sunny avoid us like the Plague, if we were home sick from school and stuck on the couch watching television with flat Sprite and Saltine Crackers, Sunny was on our laps. We called her Nurse Kitty, and she knew the difference between Saturday morning cartoons on the couch and sick time.
Cats have an uncanny ability to sense illness and even approaching death. A therapy cat named Oscar, who was an aloof resident of a nursing home in Providence, Rhode Island, was something of the “Black Angel of Death” and would sit on the lap of the terminally ill within two hours of their death, each time.
Cats, for all their mysteries, are not acting on some grand intuition or psychic ability. A cat has an intense sense of smell, and through memory association, intelligence, and love can detect our illness by the scent we give off. It is believed Oscar, the nursing home cat, could detect a chemical change in human scent when cells started dying and vitals started failing. Oscar would jump on the laps of the patient and provide the last bit of comfort and love the dying person would receive and predicted the deaths of over 100 patients.
Can cats sense sadness?
Cats are amazing little creatures with remarkable abilities. Not only can they detect suffering through a wide variety of means but even the grumpiest and most aloof of their kind will recognize the sufferer and provide unconditional love and compassion.
The bond between animals and humans is absolutely incredible. Watch this beautiful video which shows the unbreakable bond between the 6-year-old girl with autism and her pet cat.