May 04, 2018

Can cats sense death? “I think the cat knew mum was going to die.”

In 2006, as her mother lay dying in a nursing home bed, Louise Cable-Tuck was surprised to see a pure white cat saunter into the nursing home room.

Louise’s mother, Toni, had been unwell for several years with a cruel degenerative disease, and the family was preparing for her final days.

The cat leapt up onto the bed, and made itself comfortable.

“She seemed to know where she was going,” Louise told HelloCare.

When the nursing home staff saw the cat, they offered to take it away, saying it lived in another part of the nursing home.

But Louise said it was fine, that she and Toni were both animal lovers, and she thought her mother, who was not conscious, would like the cat to be there in her final days.

The home had set Louise up in a bed beside her mother, and for the remainder of the day, Louise, her mother, and the cat remained quietly in the room.

Louise nodded off to sleep in the evening, only to be woken just before midnight.

The cat, who she had come to know was called Duchess, was sitting up, alert and awake, and staring fixedly at Toni, who was taking slow, shallow breaths.

Duchess and Louise watched together as Toni took her final breaths, and eventually passed away.

“I glanced up at the clock, and it was just on midnight. After my mother died, Duchess just got up and left,” Louise said.

Louise said that having the cat in the room with her when her mother died was enormously comforting.

“I’m just glad the cat was there,” she said. “Mum was a very vibrant person. She loved cats. She would have been happy to know the cat was there.”

Though Louise describes herself as a sceptical person, she thinks animals appear to have a special kind of knowing.

“I really love animals, and I do sometimes think they have some sort of special sense,” she said.

“I think Duchess knew mum was going to die.”

Louise’s daughter gave Toni a white porcelain cat for her seventieth birthday, just a month before she died. The ornament was placed carefully on Toni’s chest when she was buried.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. I’m glad she loves animals …I hope the thought of sending poor animals to the ghastliness if the slaughter house also upsets her .


Books, books, books – a fun way of turning the tide

Books have always been an integral part of my life. Back in the day, children such as I were called book worms. Is that still a thing amongst the digitally-hooked young today? Anyway, I was, and I still am, one such, now balancing my reading between loyalty to physical books and the convenience of ebooks. Read More

Couples rooms keep married pairs together in twilight years

  Maintaining relationships and social connections are vitally important as we grow older – they improve quality of life, and prevent older people from becoming socially isolated. For married couples, being able to live together is a huge advantage, and yet all too often it is not possible, especially when the time comes to move... Read More

“Dignity of risk is about choosing how you want to live your life”

Risk is something that people try are cautious of everyday – the risk of hurting themselves, the risk of financial ruin, the risk of offending someone. But there comes a point when if a person is too wary of risk, they end up negatively impacting their quality of life. Which brings the question – does... Read More