When we lose a cat it’s heartbreaking. Some of us decide never to have another cat again. Others can’t wait to bring home another one or two—not to replace her, but to fill their home and hearth with a new kind of kitty-cat energy. Have you ever felt as though the cat you brought home learned a few habits or mannerisms from your previous beloved cat? Or is it your imagination? Is it that you miss your kitty so much you only imagine that the new cat has some similar traits? A cat is a cat is a cat, after all.
I’m not convinced that’s the whole truth. Are you? I mean, sure cats have many things in common with each other. They all eat, take lick-baths, sleep a lot, play as if they’re in hunting mode, and so forth. They spend time staring at nothing in particular, some beg, some like to snuggle. But these things don’t speak to a cat’s personality.
When we brought ten-week-old Sophie home, she saw Winfield, our elderly white odd-eye cat from across the room and immediately ran to him and rubbed against him as if she recognized him. Was that because he was a cat and she was happy to see another cat? Did he remind her of a cat she once knew? Or…did she remember him when she lived here in a different cat body? Are you freaked out, yet?
We adopted Lily when she was a mere six-weeks-old. We were told she was eight-weeks. We’d lost Winfield by then and my beloved Himalayan, Katy. She brought back their memory in a couple of different ways. Winfield loved water. He drank a lot and he liked playing in his water fountain. Lily does too. Katy stuck to me like glue, especially in her last few years. Lily wouldn’t let me out of her sight and for her first several months, she’d even sleep on my feet when I worked at the computer. Winfield went crazy for cantaloupe. So did Lily, but a lot of cats do.
So the question is, do cats reincarnate and return to us? Does a kitten destined to be mine communicate with one that I’ve lost while they’re on the other side? Is there some sort of telepathy transmitted to a new cat from me or from a cat who has passed? Or do I have an active imagination?
I don’t know about you, but I adore the similarities that remind me of cats I’ve loved. But I find it refreshing and lovely to discover the unique things a new cat brings into my life.