I am completely okay with this and it’s my fault. My cat was a having a dream; more a nightmare I’d say. He was growling under his breath and his forepaws were twitching. I knew he was having a dream in which he was encountering a hostile creature, perhaps another cat or a person. It was 2 am in the morning and I was listening to the radio.
He had escaped his garden enclosure and spent 12 hours away the other day and I wonder if he’d had a bad experience which he was reliving in his dream.
Well, as mentioned, I was awake at the time because being old I sleep less well than I used to. He was sleeping right next to me. His paws were outstretched, touching my arm. He likes to touch me.
I decided to gently wake him from his nightmare by caressing his forehead. It worked but he immediately hissed violently and batted by hand with his paw. His claws were out and I was scratched. He also bit me quite hard. Suddenly, he was enacting his nightmare in the real world and my hand was the hostile creature he had encountered in his dream.
Within seconds he ran off. I called him back and 5 minutes later he came trotting back onto the bed and lay down next to me in the exact same position as before. He curled up against me and purred. I felt he remembered the whole experience and was pleased that I was not the hostile creature of his nightmare. It was almost as if he recognised what had happened and had put it behind him.
It is now about a hour later and he is on my lap as I write this. He’s purring again.
If proof is needed, and it is not, cats do have dreams. Sometimes they are nightmares in which they probably re-enact experiences they had before.
I wonder if all cat dreams are the same. I wonder if they are always to do with conflict or hunting, the core elements of the Raw Cat as Jackson Galaxy describes the wild cat beneath our domestic cat companions. And I wonder if they are mangled and mixed up as human dreams are or if they are clean and clear.
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