So this weekend I have spoken with the Channel Discovery UK, they asked me my experiences being a healthcare professional working with patients who are dying and if I encountered any strange goings on.
Generally, the experiences I have witnessed have not been frightening in any way and I could only offer experiences that was quite a comfort in some way.
One of the many things I did mention in this though was that I have witnessed people in their stages of passing to have seen Black Cats. Now I haven’t seen this cats myself nor has any other staff member, but the patient has reported seeing cats sat on the window ledges or on beds or in corners of rooms. Now many would say that it is possible the patient could be hallucating while on medication, but there is one specific person who comes to mind for me who I cared for where he was not on any medication what so ever and still reporting seeing these a few days prior to his death.
Apparently after speaking with Discovery, I am not the only health care professional to report this and it is quite a common occurrence within hospitals, hospices and care homes.
So is there a link with illness/ death and cats?
Yes there is….
Many people see black cats as a bad omen and directly associate them to illness, death, witchcraft and dark arts, but if you look further back into history the black cat was worshipped and to kill a cat would have resulted in your own death.
The cat was considered a sacred animal especially in Egypt, where if a cat died they would actually mummify it and the family would have gone into mourning. Roman cultures considered the cat to be sacred and brought this animal into Europe.
Many also believe that black cats can symbolise good omens such as if a cat brushes by a brides bridal gown on her wedding day, it is said she will have years of good luck and to witness a black cat sneezing on your wedding day you will have good luck throughout the day!
Living cats have extremely high senses and are very intuitive and can sense things that humans cannot, their eyesight and sense of smell are more acute than ours and they can pick up the littleish change with another animal and even ourselves. Have you ever heard of a friend or relatives cat that has gone away to pass away peacefully away from their owners? well it is said that cats are that attuned to their bodies and their environment that they can detect signs associated with death.
One example of this is, a cat names Oscar who lives in a nursing home in Rhode Island. Oscar is known for predicting a patient’s death, and will climb onto the dying patient’s bed and stay with them until they die. Sometimes, Oscar will stay with the patient the day before death, or even a few hours beforehand. Oscar’s behavior sometimes helped notify the staff of a dying patient, and even proved the staff’s predictions to be wrong at times.
How Oscar “knows” when a patient is dying is still a mystery, but experts have their theories. First, Oscar may be smelling chemicals expelled by the dying body that we are not able to detect. The second theory is that Oscar has been imitating the behavior of hospital staff. When the staff predict that someone is dying, their behaviors change and Oscar learned to copy their behavior when a person is dying. Rather than finding this occurrence creepy, family members of the dying find Oscar’s presence comforting and the staff find Oscar’s ability helpful. (Source telegraph – Cat-predicts-50-deaths-in-RI-nursing-home.html)
So why so many reports from people who are terminally ill, the answer is I don’t no, it could be something medical or it could be something spiritual. Many believe that animals can be some kind of spiritual guide. Could these patients be experiencing a visit from their animal guide to lead them to the next? who knows….