Is Your Cat an Old Soul?


Some cats seem to be more in tune with certain things than other cats. Do you have a cat that you’d call an “old soul”? I do. Granted, I seem to take the simplest joy in almost anything, and I attach meaning to stuff that a lot of people wouldn’t consider important or wouldn’t notice. But that’s just the way I roll.

Here are the old-soul qualities I’ve noticed in some of my cats:

1. They can read my emotions

These cats are in tune with my feelings. They know if I’m feeling blue or if I need some love. They’ll come to me if I’m thinking about them, sit on my lap, or help me get through some struggle, simply by showing their affection.

A very concrete occurrence of this happened when Kali (my beautiful three-legged tabby) passed on at home. I felt that I needed to be with her after her passing, and I sat with her body. As I cried and petted her, my very smart boy (orange tabby) Chester came and sat with me. He sat facing Kali’s body, as if he was paying respects. I was quite amazed by this. Chester sat this way for 45 minute and didn’t leave my side.

We’ve all heard stories about animals staying with the bodies of other special animals or loved humans. There’s a lot we can learn from this.

2. They do things that make me sit up and notice

My husband has told me stories of how the cats “know” I’m coming home, if I’ve been gone for a few days. A few hours or minutes before I arrive, the cats’ behavior changes. They snap out of their doldrums (they are always happiest if the entire family, including both humans, is together) and began behaving almost expectantly. Is this old soul behavior or something that we simply don’t have words for in our human language? I don’t know!

3. They have a quality that is cat, yet something more

Again, language is going to fail me here, but some of my cats seem to be “more than cats.” That’s the best way I can describe it. They seem to have an awareness that’s highly tuned and behavior that transcends simple cat behavior and goes somewhere new. But then again, this might simply be because A) I pay them lots of attention, and B) I am hyper-observant. I am fascinated with the cat-human bond. Maybe, as with human relationships, the more you put into your human-cat relationship, the more you receive from it.

4. They have lessons for me

And sometimes the lessons are hard. Cats have given me lessons about love, about letting go, and about impermanence. Is this reading too much into a relationship with a cat? Maybe, for some. For me, it just seems to be part of the plan.

Heck, maybe all my cats are old souls. Or maybe what’s really going on is that I am an old soul and my cats are reflecting it back on me? Maybe it’s just that I seek significance and meaning in many things. Still, I think that some cats have this quality. Regardless, I really try not to practice favoritism, because to me, all my cats are complicated, complex, and amazing creatures. I treasure the unique bond we have.

I think it’s fascinating that it’s hard to find words, sometimes, to describe that bond. It just IS. And it has been challenging to write this, and I am well aware of the arguments about anthropomorphism and the line I am walking here. But sometimes my cats are more than cats.

Or maybe that wording is unfair. My cats are cats, but the beauty of the cat-human relationship is something that keeps getting deeper and deeper for me. The old-soul quality that I notice in some of my cats touches upon the complexity of my relationship with these fascinating beings.

Do you have a cat who’s an old soul? If so, what is it about the cat that makes her different? How do you put it into words?

More by Catherine Holm:

Read more on cats who are “more than cats”:

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 (cat fantasy novel out June 1), 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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