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Is Your Cat An Old Soul?

Offbeat  (tags: Catsters, karma-old-soul-cats, in tune with feelings, sad, happy, ill health )

- 1406 days ago -
My cats are in tune with my feelings -- they know when I'm feeling blue and when I need some love. 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.

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Barb Knight (1688)
Monday August 18, 2014, 2:48 pm
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.

Karma -- a very old soul!

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!

I don't think Zorro is an Old Soul, but it may be too soon to tell. Intense, yes. Loving, absolutely. He's a classic Ragdoll.

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.

Definitely an old soul -- my astute tabby Chester!

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:

6 Massive Life Lessons My Cats Taught Me without Trying
Do You Have a Velcro Cat? Here are 7 Ways to Tell
8 Ways I'm EXACTLY Like My Cats
We Applaud Feline And Friends' TNR Efforts in Vermont
Let's Talk -- Would You Join a Grief Support Group to Mourn a Cat?
Read more on cats who are "more than cats":

What Life Lessons Have You Learned From Your Cat?
5 Ways Our New Kitten Acts Like anOld Soul
10 Life Lessons I've Learned from My Cats
Four Life Lessons I Learned from the Passing of My Cat
5 Parenting Lessons I've Learned From My Cats
Namaste, Kitty! 5 Yoga Lessons From My Cats
The Zen of Bub: 5 Life Lessons I Learned from the Lil Bub Movie
What My Cats Have Taught Me About Death and Grieving
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.


When I read the phrase: "That's just how I roll" I knew I had to post. In fact, Catherine Holm's article reads as if I wrote it, but I did not. The term 'old soul' is often used to describe a very close relationship with another person or in this case, Catherine's cats.

Barb Knight (1688)
Monday August 18, 2014, 2:58 pm
My cat Ezzie was indeed, an old soul and so were all my cats. I miss them terribly but we will be reunited one day at Rainbow Bridge.

Past Member (0)
Monday August 18, 2014, 4:07 pm
Yes most def i have 2 which are old souls--they've been around+been through a lot before i brought them home Animals are very similar to us in more ways than people credit them with. Thanks Barb

Christeen A (371)
Monday August 18, 2014, 4:09 pm
My older cat is definately in tune with me and she is also my guard cat.

Lone F (67)
Monday August 18, 2014, 4:31 pm
I think Christeen puts it well when she says her cat is "in tune with me", that''s how I feel about my cat too. Wherever I go she goes, if I sit down she will sit dow, and sometimes she will just stare at me for 1/2 hour at the time as if to read me.

MmAway M (507)
Monday August 18, 2014, 5:23 pm
More of a dog person, thanks sweetie for the post! Did have a gray cat early 80's and he knew me pretty darn well.

Barbara K (60)
Monday August 18, 2014, 6:59 pm
Yes, my cats are truly old souls. Tommy is going on 19 years old now, and lost his hearing and gets lost. He eats well, but cries a lot. The Vet says that happens when cats lose their hearing. He thinks no one talks to him any more because he cannot hear. I don't let him out in the yard any more, as he seems to be lost and I think his sight is going bad, he has achy bones, but has always been the healthiest cat of all. Then there is Charlee. He is 13 years old and some may remember how I nearly lost him and needed moral support from my care2 friends, It's been 5 years since then, and he is still here. It was nothing short of a miracle. His heart was so enlarged it took up nearly his entire chest cavity and the vet said it was just the matter of a day or two. Well, he is the joy of the household and couldn't let him go. Had the vet run more tests to see what caused it. Turns out his thyroid was triple what it should be.. He lay on the sofa without moving and gasping to breathe for a week, I had to medicate him 4 times a day and checked on him all thru the nights too. I got up at 5am one morning to check on him and realized he was walking down the hall with me! Imagine my delight and surprise. I picked him up, and he was so thin as he couldn't even eat or drink for that time. Well, he is still here. He knows my every thought, and what every sound in the house is, and when I'm leaving the house, but he has learned that if the TV stays on then I won't be gone long. But if it is turned off, he and Tommy would be alone for the day and maybe 1 night, never longer than that as he still needs to be medicated twice a day. He is now 13 years old. Yes, cats just "know" things. They are amazing critters and so much fun and comfort me when I'm ill. I know that they don't have long left on this Earth, but they have a happy, comfy home and they are truly happy cats.

Eternal Gardener (745)
Monday August 18, 2014, 7:00 pm
I like to believe they are, though have a feeling that it has some connection with being a "cat person" or not.
Love the catster site :)

Past Member (0)
Monday August 18, 2014, 7:23 pm
Thanks for sharing.

Lydia S (155)
Monday August 18, 2014, 11:05 pm
I would say mine are , I had a migraine last week & four out of five cats came to lay on the bed w/ me
for a while .

desanka s (416)
Monday August 18, 2014, 11:11 pm
From my experience, all cats have spiritual natures but they are young at hearts forever.
Thank you sweetie ♥

desanka s (416)
Monday August 18, 2014, 11:12 pm
You cannot currently send a star to BarbCat because you have done so within the last hour.

Suzanne L (99)
Monday August 18, 2014, 11:19 pm
Over the last 40 years many cats have shared my life. Each one was special and unique. None of them were aloof. Cats are so dear to me, not just "my" cats, but cats in general. They are all old souls as far as I can make out. They all have a deep capacity for love. I have had cats lick my forehead when I've had a migraine, and one cat we had laid on and "massaged" the arm my hubby had injured.

Ruth C (87)
Tuesday August 19, 2014, 4:32 am
I agree Desanka.

Birgit W (160)
Tuesday August 19, 2014, 4:36 am
I personally think that animals might be much smarter and wiser than we are. Cats seem to be very old souls indeed, and we can learn a lot from them.
Thank you very much for sharing Barb.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday August 19, 2014, 5:32 am
All my cats ever! I was a cat in another lifetime, so communication comes very easily ~ even with the more aloof kittehs.
It's a great asset to have if you're a feline veterinarian!

My cute lil SuziQ, that's because YOU'RE an old soul too! I know you ~ you are!

Darren Woolsey (218)
Tuesday August 19, 2014, 8:33 am
Are cats close in essence or spirit to Dogs?

Heidi W (162)
Tuesday August 19, 2014, 1:39 pm
Elli and remember sock, if it does not go gur me.
Then they are really great.

Jane H (139)
Tuesday August 19, 2014, 5:03 pm
My cat, Tippy, is an old soul, I think. He is the only cat I've ever had a strong bond with--he's really my first cat. I've always had dogs before my old age.

Barbara F (47)
Tuesday August 19, 2014, 7:53 pm

Howard Crosse (21)
Thursday August 21, 2014, 3:44 am
I am very fond of cats but sadly an allergy means that I have to keep away from them, I can fuss one if it is outside but that is it. Both cats and dogs (I have a lovely dog which came to us from a rescue center) seem to have a real understanding of us, sadly some people make no effort to understand them.

Jane Hathaway (22)
Thursday August 21, 2014, 4:34 pm
Noted and shared. Very interesting article on our feline friends and great reading to know more about their personality. Thank you for posting, Barb :)

Julie C (29)
Thursday August 21, 2014, 4:54 pm
I had a cat that was a dog in his last life. He used to greet us at the door whenever we came home. He played fetched with a little foam ball. He followed us around the house and slept in whatever room we were in, getting annoyed when we went to bed late. When my husband died, he turned into a total old soul cat and took care of me. He was wonderful.

Beth M (138)
Friday October 16, 2015, 5:45 pm
My cats are more in tune with God and nature than most humans.
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