This week, we talked about cloning as an option to enjoy your pet longer—well, an option for those with lots of money to spare. Today, I’d like to share some thoughts about another phenomenon—one not backed up by science (that I know of).
Have you ever invited a cat into your home, only to notice that he or she has similar traits to a former cat? Sure, cats are cats, and they certainly share catlike traits. But until Lily, I’d never had a cat come into my life with so many rather unusual traits similar to cats we’d known and loved before.
Lily came to us not too long after we’d lost Katy, a wonderful Himalayan at 18 years and Winfield, a handsome white odd-eye cat who developed an incurable cancer when he was 14. I was thrilled to welcome the tiny snippet of a tabby into our lives—so different from Katy and Winfield. Or was she?
It didn’t take long for us to notice Lily displaying habits similar to those of both Katy and Winfield. To this day, she likes to sit touching me with a paw, or lay across my foot, or up against my leg like Katy did. She tucks me into bed at night. Like Katy did every day of her life. She waits for me to head toward the bedroom, then follows me around as I do my evening ritual and jumps up into bed with me. Once I’m settled, Like Katy did, she might leave and hang out someplace else for a while before coming to bed for the night. Lily also came to us with another of Katy’s traits. She’ll sit and stare into my eyes for the longest time, as if she’s looking into my soul.
And she is a little Winfield-like, as well. She loves water. It is because of Winfield that we switched to heavy pottery water bowls. He liked to play in the water and was always spilling it. Like Winfield, she doesn’t mind getting wet and boy does she like drinking water—almost as if it were an obsession. And here’s another similarity to Winfield. I can pick up Lily and move her without disturbing her. Winfield was like that. Where most cats will leap out of your arms or at least squirm so you have to change your grip when you lift them, Lily (like Winfield) will stay in her comfy position as I use both hands to carefully lift her to move her off my lap or from one chair to another, for example.
It’s uncanny how similar Lily is in some ways to Katy and Winfield. It’s as if she is a reincarnation of both cats. However, she isn’t Katy or Winfield. She has also come with many of her own quirks and idiosyncrasies, which have endeared her to us in very special ways. Although she came bringing wonderful memories of the two cats we’d recently lost, she is definitely her own cat and for that we are most grateful.