Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Sixth Sense

That animals have a sixth sense is well documented.  Everybody has at least one friend whose pet pot-bellied pig has saved her life and the story of the dog that jumps between the family baby and the enormous rattlesnake is legendary.  This is why when I see something going on in the pet community, I take notice.

Since Halloween night, neighbors with indoor cats have been complaining that they are trying, and succeeding, to sneak outside.  Open the front door even a crack and the black cat will somehow jet between your legs and leap out into the great outdoors. Approach your house with armloads of groceries, you will enter while the cat simultaneously exits. You are packing up your family to go on vacation – and you plan to take the cat – when she jumps out of your arms and heads directly for the woods behind the house.  The scenarios are as varied as the animals themselves but they carry that common thread, feline freedom. 

What is behind these phenomena?  Clearly these kitties are sensing evil and trying to escape.  What are they attuned to that I’m missing?  Earthquakes?  Fires?  Floods?

Perhaps the answer is obvious.  Daylight savings time ends this weekend and here, on the edge of the Eastern Standard Zone, twilight already is occurring around 5:30. When we set our clocks back an hour, dark will speed at us like a freight train coming out of a tunnel.  Late afternoon will transition into early evening and then turn into night so fast that naptime will seamlessly blend into bedtime.  By 7:30 it will have been dark for so long that we will think it’s time for bed.  Nobody, not me, not a child, not even a cat likes to be tricked into going to bed early.

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