What Do Cats Dream Of?

Find Comfort With Little Friend

Mar 15, 2011 by

This elderly little cat has lived with me since I was 25, before I was married.  To everyone’s surprise, she has outlived my husband and now she is a thin, gray creature with a touch of kitty dementia.  This is the cat who comforted him on the night before his death in the hospital, the one who played “home” with us in that tiny ICU cubicle.  This is the cat who was present when he died.

Dave loved her and her image graces our shared headstone. That same image is tattooed on my left foot, a memorial to him, to her and to the life we shared.  I count my blessings that she is still with me, though I know she is in the winter of her life.  She snuggles under my arm now, snoring softly, as we take advantage of that winter and nap.

What do cats dream of?  What unraveled memory moves her to twitch and meow plaintively in her sleep?  I speak to her, “Kitty?  Are you dreaming?”. The dream shatters as she sits up suddenly, shakes her head and looks at me.  She puts her face close to mine and recognizes me with a lick.

God willing, I am only in the summer of my own life.  Last spring’s chickens roam around in the backyard, digging up the garden and laying a copious number of eggs.  My best friend and housemate, another of convention’s displaced women, bustles around comfortingly downstairs.

Sometimes, I wake suddenly too and look around, relieved to find myself in the house I bought last summer, the house I chose on my own.  The house is solid.  It protects my charges and anchors us to this  town that has so warmly welcomed me.  I shake my head to scatter the images of the lonely house I sold, ghosts and all, to move here.

I am grateful that my demented little cat still carries her favorite toy around, yelling at the top of her lungs at midnight.  I am grateful she has lived to see me through to what I think of as Part II of my life.

About the Author

Bonnie Simon Has Written 35 Articles For Us!

I am an urban homesteader in Colorado Springs, CO where I raise chickens, make my own yogurt and am learning to grow some food, all within sight of downtown in a 1950s era neighborhood. I am starting a small business designed to fill the gap between local farms and local dinner tables.
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  1. I’m convinced that they have nightmares…as one of mine will wake with a start and come RUNNING at top speed to get in my lap and snuggle.

    I too have had cats that saw me through major life changes and they helped simply by being there. As a friend said, “Everyone needs something that notices if you don’t come at night.”

  2. Debra Pearlman

    My two boyz….BW Boopers and McGillacutty are an endless source of entertainment. They give me comfort, act as my alarm clock, purrrrrr to beat the band and are the best mousers in the world. McGill has to be taught birds and bunnies BAD!!! mousies Good! But OMG! swatting a bat out of the air was just too amazing to scold him for. I think that when we snuggle up for the night, they dream of all the great adventures they will have when we go outside to garden…it’s that or what’s for breakfast.

  3. What a great cat, Bonnie! I had always wanted an Old Cat, but none of mine ever lived to a ripe old age. It’s great you have her to bring life and peace to your new home. Cats are so good at that. They fill up a home with beautiful, calm energy. A sleeping cat always makes me feel that all is right with world, just in that little instant! – SerenaK

  4. Rebecca Crichton

    You kitty looks alot like my guy Zen, the hugging cat. He is willing to hug anybody and sometimes needs love above food. I am glad the two of you are comforts to each other. Our pets provide so many reminders of how to pay attention to the basics in life. I am also glad you have a friend to share your home with. I like the idea of a companion and remind myself that ‘companion’ and ‘company’ come from the Latin – literally ‘breadfellow!. I love how much food and friends go together and am glad you are sharing your new life with us as it unfolds.

    • Thanks, Rebecca!

      I love that you have a “hugging cat”! Mine are all lap cats.

    • I had a “hugging cat”, too, Rebecca! His name was Pinotte and he used to love being carried up and down the halls of the building where I had my studio. – SerenaK

  5. AllTooHuman

    Another beautiful post.

  6. Bonnie, I too wonder what cats dream of. My little girl is only 19, and has active dementia…but she’s my precious girl and loves cuddling under the covers on our bed, with me or Tom, doesn’t really matter. We recently adopted 3 shelter dogs and our kitty is non-plussed. She is used to dogs. HER dog passed two and a half years ago… but, what does she really think of the brood? They all give her passing sniffs but seem afraid to go near her.

    It’s so fun to watch the pets as they sleep – wondering what is in their dreams and how they relate dreaming to reality. If they do…

    Great post. I really enjoyed it. Oh, you can see a LOT of blog posting about pets at our pet blogger community, BlogPaws. Just for a change-up. http://www.blogpaws.com

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