DEAR DR. FOX: My cat, Pepper, was euthanized due to ingestion of rat poison. She appeared to me after death: I made eye contact with her, then she disappeared.
This was different from just imagining seeing her; it was eye contact. She has also jumped up on the bed, and I've felt it move from the imprint of her weight. I also heard her jump up onto the table. The time when I saw her, she had a full fur coat, which was especially remarkable because all her life, she had a skin irritation and licked off part of her fur.
I've never read any of your books, but I found your website after searching for an answer to this question: Does your pet's spirit stay with you, or does it stay in the last place they lived? Regardless, life after death is real; there is a spirit realm.
Just thought you would like to know that the spirit of my cat is very much still attached to me. I'm hoping she stays with me and our spirits are always connected, even though she's no longer here in the flesh. -- S.T., Westholme, British Columbia
DEAR S.T.: Many thanks for having the courage to share an experience that many might call delusional, a figment of your imagination or a product of grief, conditioned perceptions and expectations. On the contrary, as I document in my book "Cat Body, Cat Mind" (and also in "Dog Body, Dog Mind"), our animal companions sometimes return to us after they have died.
Confirmation comes when two people experience the animal's presence simultaneously, and also when a surviving animal in the home responds to the manifestation. These manifestations may be drawn by those who mourn and end when the mourning ceases, so the spirit of the deceased is free to move on. But I do have one instance of what I call place-fixation, where a couple both felt a cat repeatedly jump on their bed. The couple had never owned a cat, but one had indeed lived in the house they had bought.
In my opinion, this all relates to the power of love and our being part of one stupendous whole. It is the great mystery, or mysterium tremendum, which animals and nature can reveal to us in a myriad of ways.
DEAR DR. FOX: I'd like to share with you a truly unusual encounter with a passerby dog last week.
I saw a young couple walking with a medium-sized Lab mix, black with white paws, on the other side of the road. When my turn arrived to cross the road, the couple was walking away. Their dog, however, was calmly looking at me with so much eagerness, and he decided to wait for me -- still very calm and well-behaved. The couple kept commanding him to walk, but instead he chose to lie down and wait for me. He was fixed on me with so much attention, like we had known each other from another life.
I said to the dog from a certain distance, "Hello, have we met before?" He immediately approached me, calmly and politely, and looked at me in such a tender, sweet way -- just like your own dog will look at his master. I bent down and he smelled me. (I know you won't approve of doing that these days, but I felt the urge to approach this dog. He seemed trustworthy.)
When I approached him, the gal said that he was friendly but rambunctious, at only 1 year old. But this dog was not rambunctious at that moment: He was like a mature, well-behaved dog, who just wanted to communicate something to me. His eyes were "talking" to me, and he just didn't want to go away. He kept smelling me and looking at me. Sadly, I had to take the initiative to just let him go and say goodbye.
I couldn't get this experience out of my mind, wondering what it could mean. -- M.S., Washington, D.C.
DEAR M.S.: Your story is most touching. From my experience, I am convinced that animals can give us some insights about reincarnation, past-life memories and the recognition of spiritual kinship. But not all of us are gifted, like you, with an open heart and mind to receive such blessings. For some of the insights I have gained in this domain, notably evidence of life-after-life visitations by deceased animals to their human companions, visit my website (drfoxonehealth.com/tags/spiritual-issues).
I welcome readers to share with me their spiritual experiences with animals wild and domesticated. Beings other than human can indeed inspire us and become our healers and teachers.
(Send all mail to email@example.com or to Dr. Michael Fox in care of Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106. The volume of mail received prohibits personal replies, but questions and comments of general interest will be discussed in future columns.
Visit Dr. Fox’s website at DrFoxOneHealth.com.)