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Do Your Cats Ever Show Up in Your Dreams?

Mine do sometimes -- and when they don't, I imagine how the dream would change if they did.

Catherine Holm  |  Mar 11th 2015


I dream a lot, and some of my dreams have recurring themes. For this article I originally I wondered what it would be like if my cats joined me in my dreams. As I thought about it, I realized I often do have recurring dream types with my cats. For this dream analysis, I’ll talk about both kinds of dreams: those with and without cats.

Traditional view of Greek islands cat resting by the sea in Santorini island in Greece by Shutterstock.com’>

Traditional view of Greek islands cat resting by the sea in Santorini island in Greece by Shutterstock.com

Theses are some dreams I have without cats and how they might change if cats showed up in them:

1. The running-for-the-airplane dream

I love to travel, so I guess it’s no accident that travel shows up in my dreams. (Then again, I have a hard time interpreting dreams, so maybe planes and trains really indicate some other kind of journey.) I’ve often had a dream where I am running to catch a plane. I usually have to go through endless passageways and gates on the other side of the airport. The gate often has a weird name and is hard to find. It always seems to be difficult and involved to get to the plane, but I always make it onto the plane before it takes off. Sometimes, there’s not a lot of time to spare. The plane itself, when I finally get inside it, looks more like an auditorium. People often look up at me as I enter, as if they are annoyed.

If my cats joined this dream? Much as I love to travel, I have not traveled as much as I would have liked lately. I also haven’t refined getting through the airport smoothly (thank goodness for suitcases with wheels). My cat carriers are hard and unwieldy. I can imagine my poor cat whining at the strange stimulation in the airport — the people, the beeping carts, the walkways, the smells. I’d run and run with the cat carrier smacking me in the thigh. I bet I’d miss the plane. If I did make it, everybody in the super-sized cabin would probably look really annoyed. And if I had to run across the airport with all six cats — well, I’d be hiring one of those golf carts, which I’ve never ridden yet. Maybe the dream would give me some version of TSA pre-check, allowing to glide through security smoothly, with the cats hardly given a second glance.

Black and white cat on an airplane by Shutterstock.com’>

Black and white cat on an airplane by Shutterstock.com

2. The happy tidal-wave dream

I recently had a dream where I was in a beautiful sunny place, on a condo porch (or something like that), several stories up, watching what was probably the ocean. Suddenly, the waves grew, and the water was much higher. Waves sloshed onto the porch. Strangely, this didn’t have a threatening feeling at all, and I smiled and watched the waves.

If my cat was next to me? It’s hard to know. In real life, I’m such a worry wart about my cats that it might supersede the strange, good feeling of the dream. I might run from the porch instead of calmly watching the water rise. I’d probably grab a cat carrier, shove the cat in it, and get the heck out of there.

I do occasionally have dreams with cats in them, and they seem to fall into two types:

1. The neurotic gathering-cats dream

In real life, I must have some deep fear that I’d never get my cats together quickly enough if I had to. If there’s going to be chaos in the house, for example, I am ultra picky about making sure the cats are secured and not able to get out (they are all indoor cats and there are a ton of predators around here).

I’ve had a recurring dream where, for some reason, I have to quickly collect cats and get them into carriers. It’s not a disaster or anything like that, just some sort of unidentified situation where cats have to suddenly be collected. Perhaps I am visiting someone with the cats and I need to leave, and then I have a hard time finding all the cats. I always find everyone and get them all, but this dream is laced with stress. Fortunately, this dream doesn’t happen too often! I think this is one of those “shallow” dreams where my neuroses manifest themselves.

Portrait of gray cat sleeping on a white towel by Shutterstock.com’>

Portrait of gray cat sleeping on a white towel by Shutterstock.com

2. Deeper dreams — when cats just come into the dreamscape

Some dreams just “feel” more important and deeper than others. I’ve had a few of these. Many of you will relate to the following, I’m sure — I’ve had pets show up in dreams after they pass on. Sometimes, they seem to have something to tell me. It’s usually not until at least a few weeks until after the animal had passed, and it doesn’t always happen. When it does, it is memorable. There may be a sense that the cat or pet is trying to connect with me somehow. I usually remember these when I wake up, and they usually make me happy.

What would your dreams be like if your cats joined them? Or do you already have dreams with cats in them? Tell us in the comments!

More by Catherine Holm:

About Catherine Holm: Told that she is funny but doesn’t know it, accused of being an unintentional con artist by her husband, quiet, with frequent unannounced bursts into dancing liveliness, Cat Holm loves writing about, working for, and living with cats. She is the author of The Great Purr, the cat-themed memoir Driving with Cats: Ours for a Short Time, the creator of Ann Catanzaro cat fantasy story gift books, and the author of two short story collections. She loves to dance, be outside whenever possible, read, play with cats, make music, do and teach yoga, and write. Cat lives in the woods, which she loves as much as really dark chocolate, and gets regular inspiration shots along with her double espresso shots from the city.

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