How do they know?

Animals — how do they know when something is going on? I’ve heard of dogs that can sense when a child is going to have an epileptic seizure. I’ve heard that they’re training dogs to smell cancer and blood sugar. It’ll be neat to see what else they will be able to find for animals to sense — and probably do it better than machines, although maybe they’ll use the animals’ ability to sense the whatever and actually make a machine with that knowledge. But that’s in the future, and usually with specially trained animals. But what about regular house-dogs and -cats?

First, I read the first story on this group of birth stories* (at the time of this writing, that’s as far as I’ve gotten, but will probably read the others in the near future; and the first story was great — you could really put yourself in her position), and the woman’s dog would not leave her alone when she was in labor. How did the dog know? Then, I read this story from a woman whose cat knows she’s pregnant, and sleeps with her at that time — starting even before the woman herself knew she was pregnant. How did the cat know? My cat also did that.

Well, actually, he was my husband’s cat. My husband was a truck driver when we got married, and was gone for several days in a row every week, so his cats became my cats — my husband says they “traitored” on him. 🙂 Jack liked to sleep in the crook of my arm or at my feet anyway, but when I became pregnant, he would not sleep anywhere else but in the crook of my arm, preferably with his face nuzzled against mine. He didn’t really seem to mind being misplaced by the baby, although he would usually sleep at my feet instead — he certainly didn’t have the miffed attitude some cats display. Even when the baby started sleeping in the crib almost all the time, Jack would frequently stay at my feet or somewhere lower down, and only occasionally sleep in the crook of my arm. Until I got pregnant again. Then for all of my pregnancy, it was the same as before — he had to sleep there. Don’t know why. Very protective of me when pregnant, though. How he knew, I couldn’t say.

What about you, do you have any “my pet knew I was pregnant” or “my pet went nuts when I went into labor” stories?

*At the time of this writing, I’ve only read the first story, but will read the others soon. One of my favorite parts of the story was this segment:

“You’re tensing up,” he says. “When it comes, don’t tense up. Take every muscle that’s not involved and try to relax it.”

I want to say that’s impossible, but I don’t want to argue. I nod, and with my eyes closed I graph the contraction in my mind. It’s a hill, a mountain. He’s right-I’m tensing my whole body to try to lift myself over the crest. Even my feet flex as if I’m rising on tiptoes. “Just slide under it. Just sliiiide under it,” I say out loud. Some shard of my normal consciousness notices I’m a cliché after all, moaning my little mantra, but it’s helping. Slide under the mountain, just sliiiide under it.


4 Responses

  1. Explain to me how my little toddlers know? I have thrice had my toddlers tell me I was pregnant (baby in momma’s belly). How do they know?

  2. My toddler was the first person to tell me that I was pregnant…. He is also quite insistent that we are going to have a girl – we’ll see if he is right on that count too!!!

    • Ah, so *that*’s why you call the baby a “she” in your posts! 🙂 I’ve heard of stories both ways, though — of children insisting that the baby is one sex, when it’s actually the other. Sometimes they keep insisting even after the birth! 😉

  3. Hi
    Your post make me laugh a lot.Simply because I was thinking about the same thing today :)I will be 33 weeks pregnant tomorrow and since maybe 2 or 3 weeks along,before I took the test,my cats were crazy about me.I have 4 cats and believe me,thats a lot to stroke and scratch.In the last 2 or 3 weeks it’s becoming worse.I say worse but I find it pretty funny and cute!Right at this moment,they are 3 around me.They dont ask to come sleep on my lap,thats not comfortable anymore when I sit.They slide down.But they stay as close as possible.I cant even go to the bathroom alone and they almost have a fit if I take a bath instead of a shower!One is worst,following me everywhere and crying when I go to sleep.She can’t come with me and it’s making her nuts.When I take a nap i’m covered with cats,usually one curled at my (lack of) waist,one at my feet,one at my head and the other in position to look at me.They are all females and all but one were taken care of before having kittens.When I wake up there is always one near meowing the others the instant I open my eyes.All the others come take a look at me.It really looks like she is calling the others!
    I don’t know how they will be when labor starts but I believe it will be funny!

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