Empathic cats do exist, in spite of scientists who believe otherwise! Several years ago when our younger daughter returned home to live with us, we discovered our Lucy is an empathic cat. Elisa had survived an abusive marriage and struggled with nightmares from PTSD.
Our cat, Lucy, immediately recognized that Elisa needed her and rarely left her side. At night, Lucy cuddled close to her to calm her fears when the nightmares hit. The two formed a tight bond unlike anything we had ever witnessed. Lucy showed intuitive behavior with Elisa – ran to her seconds before a nightmare began and before we realized anything was wrong. She clearly showed empathic behavior.
Fast forward to late 2019, and we lost our daughter in a freak accident when she choked on a piece of shrimp in front of us in a local restaurant. All our efforts and those of a nurse dining near us did nothing to dislodge the obstruction. Paramedics got lost on their way and took way too long. End result: Our precious daughter passed away, despite all the efforts to save her.
Lucy Knew Intuitively that Something Was Wrong
Jim and I arrived home, completely drained and distraught. Lucy met us at the door, yowling and crying. Our little cat knew something was wrong. I won’t go as far as to say she knew Elisa was gone, but she certainly knew Elisa went out with us but didn’t return home.
Lucy struggled to “settle” for weeks after Elisa died and spent a lot of time crying loudly, as she paced the condo. Mostly, she withdrew into herself, because she had lost “her person.”
Lucy Switched Her Empathic Behavior to a Dog
Jim and I also share our lives with Murphy, a 4-year-old Pittie-Dachshund mix. We brought Murphy home when his owner found he couldn’t give him enough attention. Murphy’s former owners crated the dog for long hours each day when they worked, and that wreaked havoc on the animal’s personality.
Murphy gives new meaning to an eccentric dog. He quickly attaches himself to certain toys, loves his special cushion on the living room sofa, and his crate. After two years, he is quite bonded to us but still displays possessive and odd behaviors.
Murphy sort of bonded with our late cat, Chico, but did not get along with Lucy. Once he jumped up on Elisa’s bed, and Lucy lashed out with her claws and clipped his eye. Murphy hasn’t forgotten all those vet visits and medications and gave the little cat a wide berth.
But recently, we noticed Lucy and Murphy playing hide and seek and rolling on the floor together. As we try to wean Murphy from needing his crate for comfort so we can leave him loose in the house when we are gone, we often return home to find the two animals cuddled next to each other.
Murphy shows signs of anxiety when we leave if he isn’t locked in the crate, and we always worry we’ll come home to destruction. But each time, the dog appears relaxed with Lucy, the empathic cat, beside him. The few times we returned home that the two animals were not cuddled together, we found Murphy huddled in the back of his crate alone, nervous and anxious.
Lucy has attached herself to the dog and senses his anxiety and nervousness. She seems to instinctively know what to do to calm Murphy when we are gone.
Many Scientists Doubt Empathic Cats Exist
Most experts believe that cats feel emotion, but they doubt that empathy is part of a cat’s make-up. Statistics may agree with those opinions, but I beg to differ in Lucy’s case.
This little senior cat possesses an intuitive nature that goes beyond mere sympathy for her owner’s feelings. And her empathic tendencies spread beyond her designated human. With our daughter, she snuggled close when Elisa suffered nightmares and often hovered nearby, watching over her. Lucy’s presence was calming for Elisa, and the little cat knew just what to do.
Now, she has transferred that empathy to a dog she was not bonded to, and she seems to recognize that Murphy needs her.
Scientists Don’t Know Everything!
In an article in The Catnip Times, the author writes about his own empathic cat that sensed his impending migraine an hour before it began. Someone else wrote in that same article about her cats sensing she was about to have an atrial fibrillation episode.
We animal lovers want to believe our pets feel emotion, even when scientists insist otherwise. Those same scientists can only use their tests and studies to achieve results, but they don’t know for sure how animals feel or think. After all, it’s not like they can ask them! Lucy’s behavior is all the proof we need that empathic cats do exist.