Is your pet psychic? Animals can predict everything from natural disasters to sports results

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Is your pet psychic? Animals can predict everything from natural disasters to sports results Empty Is your pet psychic? Animals can predict everything from natural disasters to sports results

Post by Tee on Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:35 am

Last updated at 7:51 AM on 11th October 2011

When the medium swirled into my veterinary consulting room, she had a black cat sitting on her shoulder. ‘He’s called Antac,’ she declared. ‘The reincarnation of an Inca Emperor.’

Madam Mountjoy went on to tell me the cat had extra sensory perception (ESP) and could contact the dead — a skill he utilised to enhance her own dealings with those who had passed over, human or otherwise.

She tilted her head towards the cat and asked him to repeat what he’d said. ‘OK, I’ll tell him,’ she murmured and turned to me. ‘Antac informs me that the spirits of many cats and dogs are circling above us.’

Sense: Can dogs see into the future?

I felt quite affronted. I was still a young veterinary graduate at the time and certainly hadn’t killed off that many pets. But I kept quiet and concentrated on the earthly task required of me — trimming Antac’s claws.

While Madam Mountjoy was certainly among my more eccentric clients, she is not alone in believing that her pet has some kind of ‘sixth sense’. Many people think that their beloved animals have a heightened awareness of ghosts, are actively in communication with the dead or have the ability to predict the future.

A sheep in New Zealand — called Sonny Wool, after the All Black centre, Sonny Bill Williams — is being lauded as ‘psychic’ for predicting a string of rugby World Cup results. Sonny was presented with two buckets of food, each marked with a flag of the teams playing — and repeatedly chose the right one.

Similarly, Paul, an octopus living in a German zoo became a star of the 2010 football World Cup when he correctly forecast the outcome of eight matches — by dipping a tentacle into boxes bearing national flags.

But is there any truth in this idea that animals have psychic powers? I’ve many stories from clients telling me of ESP experiences with their pets, believing that dogs can read their mind.

And a recent study by researchers at the University of Florida suggested that, while dogs’ ability to ‘read our minds’ is real, it is not so much a mystical power as a result of spending so much time with humans.

Incredible: Two year-old octopus Paul, the so-called 'octopus oracle' correctly predicted Spain's 2010 World Cup final victory over The Netherlands by choosing a glass box

Using a series of short tests, researchers found that pets were better at interpreting human body language, verbal commands and frames of mind than stray dogs.

We dog owners already know that. Our dogs become attuned to us, sensing our moods — tiredness, depression — often before we consciously exhibit any outward signs of distress.

I had one client who suffered from migraines. She told me that often she’d be sitting on her sofa when her cat, Pickles, would jump onto the back, stretch out his paws and lie over her head. Within 30 minutes a migraine attack would start. My client eventually realised that Pickles was sensing what was about to happen. So she would take her medication as soon as he tried to settle on her head. That prevented her migraines from occurring.

In 2007 an American geriatrician published an article in the New England Journal Of Medicine, noting that a cat in a Rhode Island nursing home appeared to correctly predict patient deaths by curling up next to them in their final moments. By March 2010 he had correctly predicted 50 deaths.

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