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 Post subject: Dog's Dinner - Do animals know what's going on?
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2015, 09:18 
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Following on from what Finn says about her gorgeous little cat "galloping" into the room and climbing all over her and querying whether she understands what Finn's feeling, I think animals do. Our cat certainly did.

After our house was burgled, Dad put locks on the downstairs doors; he would lock up at night and Mum would open up every morning. This happened without fail except for the one night a year Dad would stay overnight in London for his reunion, so Mum would lock up. Kitty would sit in the kitchen and cry and cry until Mum, my brother and I started yelling at her from upstairs that Dad would be home in the morning, then she'd shut up.

Then one morning, Mum was feeling unwell, so she stayed in bed and Dad unlocked. Next thing I saw was Kitty running upstairs to see where Mum was. Mum said later there wasn't much she could do with a two-ton cat sitting on her chest, crying at her and wanting to know why she didn't get up first.

When we had the burglary, Kitty was sitting on one of the chairs. She knew she wasn't allowed to do so and she had this half-guilty/half-terrified look on her face and tried to tell us that she hadn't jumped up there, someone she didn't know came and put her there.

I could tell another story but this is long enough.

Does anyone else know of animals behaving as if they know what's happening?


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 Post subject: Re: Do animals know what's going on?
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2015, 15:05 
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Our Briard certainly knew something was going on when my marriage broke up.

And later on, when the children spent Sundays with their father, I noticed that about twenty minutes before they arrived back he would go and lie against the front door. This happened so regularly that in the end I asked my ex to check what time they left his home. And sure enough, over a number of weeks, we found that Cully went to the front door exactly when they were getting into the car 11 miles away.

And it wasn't that they always came back at the same time....

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 Post subject: Re: Do animals know what's going on?
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2015, 16:06 
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We had a cat who defected next door for a few weeks when the lady was widowed. And a year or so later did the same to another lady....and then a third....he must have known there was a need for an idle comforting purrbag...


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 Post subject: Re: Do animals know what's going on?
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2015, 16:58 
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I've never known a cat not to know what was going on. Our old one used to know when I was on my way home from work - I'd hear him meowing before I turned the corner to the house, and he was always waiting!


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 Post subject: Re: Do animals know what's going on?
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2015, 17:01 
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Many years ago, when I suffered piano lessons, our cat used to follow me sometimes and sit howling outside. Not sure whether this was a comment on my playing! :lol:

I never worked out how she managed it safely, as we had to cross at least one major road.

ETA More on topic, when I had a cat, he always picked up when I was feeling down or unwell and came to comfort me.

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 Post subject: Re: Do animals know what's going on?
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2015, 17:40 
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Our very first cat, an avid hunter, used to go out and find a mouse for us if ever one of us was ill in bed. It would be laid out neatly by the bed and she would then join the sick person on the bed - even though, at any other time, she never came for cuddles.

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 Post subject: Re: Do animals know what's going on?
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2015, 18:18 
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Mary's story reminds me of one of our cats some years ago. We had adopted her and her kitten when their previous owner moved to a city and couldn't take them; she'd been living wild for a bit before we took them in. She spent the first few weeks very obviously working out the rules (including the all-important "You will not always be fed if the fridge is opened, even if you come running from the other end of the house." This was in December, and I think it was the following Christmas, just after I had decorated the tree, when there was a muffled yowl from the back door - the familiar cry of a cat wanting to show off... I let her in, and was ready to admire the mouse, but rather than putting it down in front of me, she walked into the dining room, laid the mouse carefully under the tree, and then asked for admiration. It did seem as though she'd remembered us putting things under the tree the previous year, and wanted to join in this year, to show she appreciated her new home!


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 Post subject: Re: Do animals know what's going on?
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2015, 19:43 
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When my dog Elsa was alive, she knew when something was wrong, for certain. One example was, when I was taken into hospital over night, she slept by my side by the couch when I came home for two solid hours - until our dinner was being served the smells lured her into the kitchen!
Another time, I stayed over night somewhere, Mum said she went off her food until a certain time, which was when I was getting the train home :)

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 Post subject: Re: Do animals know what's going on?
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2015, 21:45 
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When I first went away to school, the ginger idiot went all funny and fussy and insisted on hanging around me lots and making a big fuss of me. It was the only time it happened, but it was something to hang onto during those first horrible homesick months! (Joey would have had no patience with me at school)

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 Post subject: Re: Do animals know what's going on?
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2015, 22:04 
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I think the description of the hound (Tessa?) in the Antonia Forest books is very accurate - looks woebegone and as though it will pine away without you. Then you come home for the holidays and it is quite obvious the animal has been okay.

Mind you, the cats used to behave in the same way as the children. When you'd been away, they would meet you with a frosty look and then go and play in the same room with their backs ostentatiously towards you, making it quite clear that you are in disgrace


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 Post subject: Re: Do animals know what's going on?
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2015, 22:45 
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Nothing like pets (well cats anyway) for making you feel guilty about leaving the house. I think they do know when thinsg are going on though.


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 Post subject: Re: Do animals know what's going on?
PostPosted: 02 Feb 2015, 09:15 
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Our cats have always been waiting for us when we come home.

Birds communicate with each other. I spend quite some time watching a flock of starlings that inhabits a tree near me, and they seem to speak and to obey orders.

Watch them just as they are gathering to take off for the flight south in late autumn.

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 Post subject: Re: Do animals know what's going on?
PostPosted: 02 Feb 2015, 10:14 
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Jennie wrote:

Birds communicate with each other. I spend quite some time watching a flock of starlings that inhabits a tree near me, and they seem to speak and to obey orders.

Watch them just as they are gathering to take off for the flight south in late autumn.

Yes, I watch the swallows lining up on the telephone lines to plan their departure from South Bohemia. I could swear they are having a discussion about the route and timing!

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 Post subject: Re: Dog's Dinner - Do animals know what's going on?
PostPosted: 04 Feb 2015, 23:53 
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I think they do - my cat always seems to know that I'm going on holiday. Or depressed.

When my last boyfriend moved out, she slept right next to where his pillow was at the top of the bed. Think she did it for about a month and then decided I was ok :)

I really thought we might have a 'cat's pajama's' (or similar cat related) titled thread! :wink: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Dog's Dinner - Do animals know what's going on?
PostPosted: 05 Feb 2015, 10:57 
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tartan-belle wrote:
I really thought we might have a 'cat's pajama's' (or similar cat related) titled thread! :wink: :lol:


You can give it that title if you start the next thread when this gets to 25 pages, tartan-belle. But the Mods decided that this one, which had just started up, was covering the same area of interest, so should be designated as the one to follow on from Dog's Dinner.

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 Post subject: Re: Dog's Dinner - Do animals know what's going on?
PostPosted: 05 Feb 2015, 12:40 
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It has never occurred to me to question whether animals know what's going on! Of course, they don't have anything like human understanding, but they certainly know when something is happening.

When one of us is ill, we get looked after by the cats - occasionally they will fight for the privilege. But if we're behaving in a similar matter but are not ill (e.g. if one or both of us has a lie-in on a Saturday) we get ignored.

If we re-arrange furniture or do some decorating, the cats are very suspicious for a while after we've finished, just in case we are going in for extensive disruption of feline comforts.

They know when we are packing to go away, and Vai in particular gets very upset.

They know when visitors are coming, and are accordingly suspicious until they find out whether they are people who have been before or strangers.

They will certainly notice when the transformation of the study into a nursery is complete, and they will not be happy. Unfortunately there is no way of preparing cats for the arrival of a baby!

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 Post subject: Re: Dog's Dinner - Do animals know what's going on?
PostPosted: 05 Feb 2015, 18:00 
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I was going to tidy my desk this afternoon but Sammy was asleep on it. He's now moved into the cardboard box I was going to throw out.


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 Post subject: Re: Dog's Dinner - Do animals know what's going on?
PostPosted: 05 Feb 2015, 19:58 
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Joey wrote:
They will certainly notice when the transformation of the study into a nursery is complete, and they will not be happy. Unfortunately there is no way of preparing cats for the arrival of a baby!


When my boss's daughter had her grandchild just recently, when they took the baby home from hospital they let the cats smell the baby, in order for the cats to realise and get used to the change of a baby being there.

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 Post subject: Re: Dog's Dinner - Do animals know what's going on?
PostPosted: 10 Feb 2015, 13:09 
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I am very proud of the fact that my little cats have made me an honorary cat. I have just been in the garden with them, playing chase games, which I do quite often, though more in summer than in winter. They invite me to join in (morning is Manic Rushabout Time for them anyway, added human is just extra excitement) by running up to me, hitting me with their tails then running away when I try to say hello, so I have to go and hide behind bushes and flowerpots, alternately jumping out at them or being jumped out at.

I like being a cat :)

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 Post subject: Re: Dog's Dinner - Do animals know what's going on?
PostPosted: 10 Feb 2015, 13:37 
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tartan-belle wrote:

When my boss's daughter had her grandchild just recently, when they took the baby home from hospital they let the cats smell the baby, in order for the cats to realise and get used to the change of a baby being there.


It's recommended to do that after a death as well, so the animals can be aware of/get used to the change.


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