Our cat Sammy predicted South Carolina earthquake

Sammy a tabby cat who predicted an earthquake
Sammy a tabby cat who predicted an earthquake
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

It’s been a very traumatic night for Laura and I in South Carolina, especially since our cat Sammy may have predicted an earthquake.

Laura and I live north of Greenwood, SC. For the past day or so, our first rescue Sammy has been acting very strange. He’s done everything from trying to attack the other cats, to racing through the house, to running into a room he knows he shouldn’t be in. His bad behavior began a little over 24 hours ago and peaked about half an hour before the earthquake hit.

Laura had just gone into my bedroom Friday night, where she had to coax Sammy out from under my bed. She had just sat down on the couch after putting him into a time out when the earthquake hit. The couch literally shook under us, and I could hear a bookshelf behind me rattling. Laura was upset because she thought she was the only one who felt it. Or perhaps she thought she was so upset with Sammy that she’d caused the shaking.

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Our neighbors were all calling each other, and we soon learned between phone calls and Fox Carolina News that the earthquake’s epicenter was in Edgefield and registered a 4.4 on the Richter scale, which was downgraded to a 4.1. Georgia, located next to South Carolina, had a 5.4 reported. The news on this is still coming in. There are reports of slight damage coming in from all over the Carolinas, including damage to a water tower in Augusta, Georgia.

It’s amazing to think our Sammy may have been picking up on signals that something potentially catastrophic was about to happen. He’s now out of his “time out” place, and acting as though nothing happened.

Doug Bryson with SC Emergency Management out of Spartanburg County says it was the strongest earthquake he’d ever felt to hit this area. A 4.4 isn’t a very large earthquake, given the numbers we see out of areas on the west coast. For those of us who aren’t used to them, well, we may be awake all night.

The news has even interrupted the news. That NEVER happens. Fox Carolina is also staying on the air with a two hour broadcast to keep everyone up to date on what’s happened.

I’ve done articles, as has Michael, on a cats ability to predict an earthquake. I’ll listed some of those in the middle of this article. Several people who have contacted the news media are saying their pets (cats AND dogs) had been acting strangely before the earthquake hit.

I can tell you it’s very different to write on a topic than it is to experience it up close and personal. I have a new respect for cats now. I imagine from this day forward, Laura and I will pay closer attention to cat psychology. Just in case any of our cats are trying to tell us something.

In what I consider as Michael’s (PoC) best article on cats and earthquakes, I believe Sammy was tuned in to the slight vibrations of the earth that build up before the quake hits. Good job, Sammy. We thought you were just being a major cat brat.

This isn’t the first earthquake to hit South Carolina, but it is one of the strongest. Charleston had a 7.3 on August 31, 1886. Union, South Carolina also experienced one in the 4.4 range about a century ago.

Did any of the readers in the North Carolina, South Carolina or Georgia area have any damage? Did any of you have pets who went a bit psychotic before the earthquake hit? Please leave a comment if you did.


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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

35 thoughts on “Our cat Sammy predicted South Carolina earthquake”

  1. Edgefield had another earthquake today but we didn’t feel it and the cats didn’t go crazy. Last night they were the calmest we’ve seen them in several days. The latest earthquake was a 3 something.

    Here’s the time out room this afternoon. They’ve been watching me write.

  2. Here’s the “time out” warden, who also doubles as my secretary. Gizzy is a very strict presence, no matter what room she rules over…

      1. I usually have at least 5 in there. Sammy sleeps in this room and if I get up before Laura I have to shut myself in there with the cats. It makes a great corner office.

  3. I believe that animals are great predictors of events.
    Sometimes, we just don’t know how to interpret their behaviors.

  4. Glad you’re all ok there Eliza, that must have been very frightening. I’ve heard of animals predicting bad things happening before, well done to Sammy, it’ll pay to keep an eye on him for dire weather forecasts. I’ve never heard of cats being on “time out”, I thought that was for human kids, how do you explain time out to a cat, that must take a bit of doing LOL

    1. Laura’s bedroom is the time out room. It’s full of cat beds in front of the windows. We just had to be sure he was the only one in there. I’d been writing for hours in there and Sammy had even chased a few of the cats across my desk. He’s never been anywhere near that bad.

        1. Sheela and Shirley are sisters. They have tabby in them and Shirley has dilute calico colors as well. She’s the talker in the family.

  5. yea the earthquake was in relation to when christchurch had their majar earthquake in 2010/and then in 2011 as new zealand on a Quake line. we just had the aftershocks. Thankfully things have quieted down now. Im sure all animals feel and have some awareness of whats going on.

  6. Fox Carolina stayed on the air a very long time. They’re the best and I’ve mentioned them before for helping cats and dogs in my area. The quake centered around Edgefield and was a 4.1. The only information different in this article is the debate on the water tower. It was damaged by winter storm Pax this week and it leaking more may or may not have been caused by the earthquake.

    1. Elisa are you in a known earthquake area? This is the CNN story about this.

      Update: I just read that SC gets 20 earthquakes a year. Although they are relatively minor. That seems a hell of a lot. In Britain we might get one every 50 years or something like that and I have never experienced one.

      “So, South Carolina has had 70° weather, snow, and now an earthquake all in one week…” (SC mom)

      1. We had 13 in the past year but they’re tiny. Usually around a 2.0. The news channel said out soil is much harder than that out in the California area and it’s more like plates banging together rather than scraping. I remember a similar quake in 2002. I was at worrk during that one.

        I wish you could have seen Sammy. He’s been a nightmare. Chasing Lucky and then getting in my room to pick on Renny. Laura was about to lose her patience and tell his mama Doreen to come down from Rhode Island and get him. She’s his long distance foster mom. Now Sammy is back to normal.

        1. I am almost certain he felt the tremors before any machine or person did. It is probably a hard wired ability through a multi-sense reaction developed over millions of years for survival.

          It is probable that cats can pick up the earth’s magnetic field (for directions) and earthquakes probably affects the magnetic field. There is also talk of solar activity (activity on the sun).

          They may also feel and/or hear tremors very early through their paws and acute hearing.

          1. I had one person contact me after I posted on Fox. Her pet birds went crazy before it hit.

            Excuse all the typos. I’m on the cell phone. This wacky weather has slowed my internet speed to a crawl and I finally gave up.

            I hope some of the people in my area come here and comment. It was said that with hard soil like we have here an earthquake can be felt farther from its center.

    2. Is this the wrath of God? Some people probably think it is. The extreme weather. If God is nature the extreme weather and natural events are a reaction to what people are doing to the planet so the idea of “The Wrath of God” is not that weird.

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