This is Pumpkin. Look at that sweet face!
He’s 7 years old, weighs 14 pounds and thinks he owns our house. He really does. He’s not a morning person. I think he gets that from his mama. She’s not a morning person, either. Or at least she wasn’t until she started taking chemo. Now she’s wide awake when the alarm clock goes off. We’re hoping that changes when treatments are over. I say “we.” Actually, Barry’s hoping the “morning person” thing sticks around for a while.
You may have heard stories about animals recognizing when their human is about to have a seizure and can even grab necessary medications, such as what Jigsaw does for his 4-year old little buddy. Then there’s the recent study by German researchers shows that some dogs are able to sniff out lung cancer by smelling the person’s breath! And who could forget Oscar the cat who seems to be able to predict death at a nursing home in Rhode Island. Kind of sweet, but a little freaky, too.
Sometime during this past Winter, Pumpkin started doing something he’d never done before. At night, I usually get into bed and we watch TV for a few minutes before going to sleep. Pumpkin started jumping on the bed, climbing up on my stomach, and lying down. He would lay there, sometimes staring at me for 5 minutes, sometimes longer. Then he would get up and jump down off the bed. He didn’t do this every night, but he did it enough that I recognized how odd it was. This continued for a couple of months and then he stopped doing it as often. I didn’t think anything of it at the time.
Looking back on it, I wonder if he sensed there was something wrong with me? He never laid on Barry’s stomach, just mine. This was well before we knew there was any possibility of me having lymphoma. Once we found out the lymphoma was in my kidney, I started wondering if Pumpkin knew something back then. I know animals have amazing senses and can often tell when things are not right. I just find it curious that he started doing something out of the ordinary like that (and anyone who knows cats knows they are creatures of habit and routine) and within a few months, I am diagnosed with lymphoma. Hhhhmmmmm…… Maybe he was just looking for a warm place to sit. Who knows? But it does make me wonder if maybe there was more to it.
Since I’ve started treatment, he still lays on my stomach, but not only at night. In the photo above, I had just come home from my first treatment, laid down on the couch, and within one minute, he was on my stomach, purring. So sweet! Other times, he does his best to get on my stomach between me and the laptop, even if it means sticking his rear end and big fat tail in my face! Not so sweet. But I think that has more to do with jealousy over me giving the laptop attention instead of him and less to do with me being sick.
So what do you think? Do you think animals have this kind of special sense or ability to know when something is medically wrong with their human?