Do animals have special powers that people have lost?

Jungle

Some pets seem to have an amazing ability to locate their owners. 12 years old Bobby Chesson came across racing pigeon in his back yard in West Virginia, USA. He looked after it, calling it pigeon 167 after the identification number on its leg-ring, and it became his pet. Then Bobby was taken to hospital for an operation.

One dark, snowy night about a week after his admission, the boy heard a fluttering at the window of his hospital room. He asked his nurse to open the window, telling her that his pigeon was outside. Just yo humour him, she did so – and in flew pigeon 167, having flown over 100 miles to find him.

Unusual powers are not confined to pet birds but are seen in other animals which have a close bond with their owner. Herminia Denot grew up on a ranch in Argentina, and learned to ride almost before she could walk. She was very attached to her horse Pampero, but the time came when she had to go away to boarding school in capital, Buenos Aires and, much to her dismay, Pampero could not accompany her. The cowboy who looked after the horse said that at the end of each term, as the time of Herminia’s return grew near, “Pampero would go crazy. He used to gallop around the field neighing.” When she was due to arrive, the horse would stand by the gate, looking south towards the train station. But on occasion, Pampero stood looking in the opposite direction. And this time Herminia arrived by road – from the north.

Anticipatory behaviour is common in various creatures. David Waite worked from his home in Oxford, but his job as a public relations consultant also involved lengthy trips abroad. In his absence, David’s parents used to stay in house to deal with telephone calls from his clients and to feed Godzilla, his cat. David used to ring home frequently to check that all was well and get any messages. “Whenever I called” says David, “Godzilla would run and sit beside the telephone as it started to ring. My calls were made at many different times of day – they weren’t regular. And she totally ignored all other calls. The only explanation I can think of is that it was some kind of telepathy.”

Sometimes telepathic communication can work from pet to owner. Dolores Katz, from New Mexico, tells the story of a time when her dog, Eric, seemed to communicate with her telepathically. “One day while I was at work it started to thunder and rain. As I worked, I got more and more agitated. Somehow I knew that Eric needed me. At last I couldn’t take it any more. I hardly ever take time off, but this time I dropped everthing and rushed hime.” Dolores found Eric lying in the back room surrounded by broken glass, with his paws bleeding badly. Frightened by the storm, he had run into a glass door. Fortunately, a possibly tragic situation was avoided as she was able to get Eric to the vet in time to deal with his injuries.

Occasionally, a pet’s attachment to one particular owner can show itself in strange ways. Celia and David Watson, who live in Sussex, England, used to have a parrot called Oscar. “I couldn’t go near Oscar when David was in the room – he seemed to resent me taking David’s attention,” says Celia, “The bird would just try to attack me without warning. I couldn’t give him his food or even touch his cage. And when David left the room, Oscar would fling himself against the side of the cage in fury.” The parrot was quite calm when David was away at work, but started to get excited ten to twenty minutes before David arrived home. “Oscar used to run around his cage making little noises and fluttering his wings,” says Celia. “He always knew when David was going to arrive.”

Posted by Cosmin

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