Categories: ailurophile

Four-year-old cat dies within 24 hours of death of sick owner

This is an unverified cat story on Quora in response to the question: “If the owner of a cat died, will the cat know, or will the cat think her owner left her and escaped? In both situations, how will the cat feel?”

Jillian Grayson’s answer (posted on Updated Oct 20, 2017) is poignant and extraordinary. Her husband was extremely close to the family cat and he was bipolar and had lupus. Bipolar is also known as manic depression. The suffer has long periods of depression interspersed with periods of elevated moods. Lupus is an autoimmune disease. The immune system attacks the body.

Jillian’s husband had been in hospital before and on this occasion was hospitalised for five months. His cat behaved normally and her appetite held up during this period. She missed him but behaved relatively normally.

Her husband died at hospital. When Jillian returned from the hospital she was cried-out. Their cat was ‘completely distraught’. She vocalised loudly, stopped eating and kept running to the couch where she use to lie down with him (see picture). She dragged his stuff from his room and laid down on them. She was inconsolable according to Jillian.

Jillian finally fell asleep exhausted. When she woke up ‘she was gone too. She had died. She was only 4’.

It is a strong story. Can a cat die of grief? I have never heard of it before. In a previous article I decided that cats can’t feel the emotion of grief but I could be wrong. I’d love to hear more from this woman. It would be nice to know for sure why this cat died.

Cats Feel Jealousy But Not Grief

P.S. I believe the photo is by Jillian Grayson. Thanks Jillian and may they both rest in peace together. Cats lovers would say that she went over the rainbow bridge to be with her human companion who she loved.

P.P.S. By saying the story is ‘unverified’ I am not saying it is untrue. I am just being cautious.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

View Comments

  • Animals are able to sense and locate tumors and other diseases in humans. They feel depression. That can be proven by their actions. So, why can't they feel grief?

    Non-berbal children express grief without words. Why not animals? One of our dogs stopped eating and almost died from grief when my father-in-law died.

  • I believe that cats, dogs, and many animals possess powers of extrasensory perception and the like. Science may state that this idea cannot be proven as fact. Conversely however, no one can prove that these animals do not possess these abilities either. And yes, I totally believe that animals feel the emotion of grief. 😔

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