The feline soul mate–do you have one too?

I think most cat lovers sense the meaning of  “feline soul mate” right away, but these feelings come from a wordless place.

These feelings soul catdwell in right side of our brain, where words don’t happen naturally.

Thankfully, dictionaries are helpful at moments like this.

Soul mate:

“One who is perfectly suited to another in temperament”

“Someone with whom one has a special, almost spiritual connection”

I like these definitions. They sound like the feline soul mates I’ve known.

What does this experience look like? A few specific traits come to mind. Let me know if you can relate to any of them.

A soul mate cat picks you out

Technically, you might say you went to the shelter and picked him out. Yet, why did you pick him? Because it was clear he wanted to be with you and you found him irresistible, right? He’s usually the cat or kitten who most comes alive when you appear.

Or, your feline friend might have just found their way into your life and it was love at first site. Sharon Callahan’s soul-mate cat Lily was part of a feral family downstairs from her flat. This wee little wild kitten took it upon herself to leave her family and venture all the way up the stairs to Sharon’s door. Lily decided she was not leaving, so she and Sharon proceeded to take care of each other for the full 25 (!) years of Lily’s life.

No matter how you find each other, there’s a sense that it’s meant to be–synchronicity.

They are more effective than a suicide hotline.

Cats who are soul companions are particularly tuned to your feelings, and an inseparable bond forms between you. They may look alarmed, or try to comfort you, when you are upset or ill. I shared some examples of this in Stories of Caring Cats.

Here’s another example. There was a moment several years ago when I was deeply depressed, crying, and seriously thinking–for the first time–of how I should end my life. Suddenly I saw that my cat Bastet had planted herself in front of me with the biggest, most concerned eyes I had ever seen.

I realized that I could never leave her. Frankly, I couldn’t bear that look on her face. I actually assured her out loud that I was going to be okay and that this would pass. I was committed to her. After all, she was in my care and she was a soul mate. Bastet was more effective than a suicide hotline at that very low point in my life.

There’s some amazing little mystery thing that occurs.

I’m talking about the kind of thing that we don’t tend to say much about because it just doesn’t fit how the world is supposed to work.

Rupert Sheldrake, Ph.D., is a scientist who has studied dogs and cats who know when their person is coming home–even when they are arriving at a random, unplanned time in a different car or by foot. The animal gets up and goes to stand at a window or door about 15 minutes before the person arrives. He says this phenomenon only seems to happen with animals and people who are very closely bonded.

You might have an instance like that, where your cat seems to be able to read your mind.

Or maybe your cat had a survival miracle. The little black kitten I adopted when I was four quickly made a habit of sleeping curled up next to me at night. Note that this happened even though I was too young to be the one who fed him. We were inseparable. When I was older and walking down the gravel drive way home after school he’d pop out at me from behind trees in that playful arc-jump that cats do.

One night he didn’t come home. This never happened. I was about 9 years old. I called for him every night and we looked for him for several days and alerted all the neighbors. As the days piled up, I kept calling for him with my child-like assurance that he would return. A family vacation took us out-of-town.

Then, three weeks after he disappeared, a call came from a neighbor. A neighbor had found my cat! He had been caught in the woods on a prickly bush the whole time. He wasn’t even that far away, we just couldn’t hear him. No food, no drink for weeks, but he was still alive. Somehow surviving on dewdrops and the occasional passing insect?

He was emaciated and had to have a graft on his neck where skin had been worn away as he tried to unhook his collar from the bush. That was heartbreaking, and yet darned if he didn’t recover quickly and live more than a dozen more healthy years with us!

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I don’t think we are limited to just one feline soul mate. I suspect that each time we allow a new cat to pick us (assuming we feel quite drawn to them too), they end up being a soul mate. Animals have a sense of who they belong with—follow their lead and you’ll be glad you did.

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75 Responses to The feline soul mate–do you have one too?

  1. Ellen R. March 10, 2016 at 6:30 am #

    I lost my kitty soul mate, Rue, in September of 2013. Two and a half years later, I still (will always) mourn her, cry for her, and my heart breaks at her story.

    In September 2011, I stood at the window overlooking our deck and commented to my daughter that I should go out and remove the “piece of garbage” that was stuck there. My daughter looked to see what I referred to and answered, “No, mom. That’s a cat.” In shock, I immediately ran to the deck to find that what appeared to be a brown paper bag, wet, dirty, blown in the wind, was a crumpled and damaged kitten, obviously emaciated and damaged. Her tail was painfully broken, bending backwards up and over her back. She was starving and very weak. A Picasso mix of calico, tabby, and tortie, her fur had gone gray from the mid-spine to her tail. She was anemic I could see from her pale gums when I checked her broken teeth. I made her a “cat omelet,” consisting of warmed, softened cat kibble (I had four cats already in the house), a scrambled egg, and the juice from a can of tuna. This darling animal found the omelet restorative and decided to stick around. I continued to care for her, sneaking her into the house on cold nights after my husband was asleep. We showered her with care, food, treats, play, and shelter. She and I fell in love.

    Rue stayed contentedly in my arms or laid over my left shoulder, her heart on mine, as we looked (albeit briefly) for her owners, knocking on neighbors’ doors. No one knew of this tiny cat, so nearly destroyed by some unknown horror, and near Christmas, after a terrible run-in with an opossum that was eating the food I left out for her, I brought Rue into our home.

    This was when we learned that she, also, was deaf. When not in my presence she yowled with such pitiful mourning that many, many nights I would get up from bed to go to her and stay with her through the night. I never regretted doing that: I ADORED this cat and being with her made me a better person. You see, I too have been damaged from previous traumas and various medical issues. She and me understood each other; we had a lot in common.

    It was late on a Friday evening when Rue began her pacing. She walked the perimeter of our large front room time and time again, over and over. Her behavior was so unlike her usual smiling face, loving eyes, the touch we near-constantly shared … I was suddenly sure, certain in my chest and in my brain, that our time together was quickly coming to an end. I selfishly begged her to stay with me, to just please please please hang on until I could get her to the veterinarian. Monday morning’s emergency appointment had me bawling, holding my near-lifeless cat in my arms as we drove.

    After the shot that removed my love from my world, I lay sobbing and unconsolable over her precious tiny body. Our vet, checking her file, said he suspected FLV, feline leukemia virus. That most likely she had been born with it. I was stunned. My beautiful precious darling cat, my sweet little shoulder sitter, the cat I rescued from certain death and the cat that rescued me from myself, had probably been doomed all along. Going home I held her close, on my left shoulder, over my heart, where she had always lain.

    Rue now lies in her own flower garden. She has a beautiful stone angel cat statue, several heartfelt plaques, under a lovely white marble stone bed. Nothing is too good for this cat. Nothing. I go and sit near her. I cry. I ache. I apologize for everything I couldn’t do. I mourn.

    She was my soul mate, as no other I have ever known. In the time we were together, I too was discovered to have a blood disorder, and in the time since, I too have lost my hearing. Rue and I mirrored each other and took comfort from and in the loving presence of a kindred soul. She lives on in my heart, my mind, and in my very being.

    • Charrise September 18, 2016 at 9:37 pm #

      @Ellen R, That was very beautiful, and well written, to where I could paint a picture. Thank u 💖

      • Ellen R. September 28, 2016 at 9:58 pm #

        Charrise. I think sometimes of a (book of) Matthew verse, along the lines of ‘I come to your door would you not feed me?’ Yes. Yes I will feed you.
        I remember saying, in my grief, that if I could have, I’d have given one of my ‘9 lives’ to save Rues. My sister said, “Ellen, you did. You gave her life the moment you answered her call and made the omelet.”
        True enough. None of us know our timing, only written in the Book of Life. To have given a life to a soul that touched mine as Rue did, does, is no sacrifice for me. I only wish that life had had more time. 💙
        I grieve my darling. I know she waits.

    • Ivy November 23, 2016 at 6:54 pm #

      @Ellan R
      I’m trying to help my cat get through a urinary blockage…. medication for 4 weeks he’s been to the vet twice. He’s my sweetheart. Your story makes me cry like a baby. I had a soulmate like yours when I was 16. He died only 10 months old… hit by a car it’s been over 15 years and I still think about that cat. My parents hate tattoos but they knew I was so devastated they were going to let me get one of a black cat like him “Ollie”. I never got one but I was grieving very much and I still like to tell people about him. He wanted to cuddle since the first day I held him as a kitten. I knew I was getting him 2 weeks before he was ready. He was the only black one in his litter and he was in the bottom of the pile. I loved him as soon as the kittens on top of him moved out of the way. I said “aww I want the black one” I have all black ones now because they are special to me and usually not popular so I feel like I’m doing a good deed by picking them out. My family cat was black too Thomas he lived until he was 17 and also grieved the death of Oliver. He ended up getting mouth cancer. Both were VERY special cats. I have their ashes together. I’m saving all my cats ashes in tins so they can be buried with me one day. Lol it sounds funny but I can’t think of a descent burial place yet as I’m still in my 20s.

      • Ivy November 23, 2016 at 6:55 pm #

        Sorry 13 years not 15 I’m 29

        • Ellen R. November 23, 2016 at 11:11 pm #

          I think it’s a beautiful thought to take their ashes with you, Ivy. One day I will see Rue’s smiling face waiting for me at the bridge and the hole in my heart will be healed. Thoughts and prayers to you and your ill kitty. May the Gods watch over you.

  2. Romy September 15, 2016 at 4:57 am #

    My darling soulmate just passed away today 15/9/2016 🙁
    I didn’t even know he was my soulmate until I took a photo of him today – curled up at peace, with a bunch of daffodils I placed over him. When I looked at the photo after, I was stunned to see that the daffodils had a magnificent glow about them against his pitch black fur. Almost ‘aura’ like. My girlfriend commented that they were positioned where his heart is and he was communicating to me, saying thank you and he was now out of pain and ok. She was the one who said he was my soulmate.
    I now realise he was and still is.
    About 8 years ago he walked into my house, found me and never left. Every day without fail (even yesterday as he was dying) he would greet me at the car – or rather, stand vigil until my return. When I was upset and crying, no matter where he was he would appear and sit on me, keeping me company and calming my nerves. I would even go so far as to say he virtually mimicked my whimpering, in sympathy, at times.
    He ‘understood’ me. And I understood him.
    He never complained, was patient and enduring. I never knew him to hunt or catch anything, nor step away from the house. The many other cats that were introduced in his time, he took in his stride. Not once did he retaliate or sulk.
    He was an old and sensible soul.
    Sadly he passed away today, slipping away after six days of nursing him. He was never a ‘well’ cat – plagued with infections (throat, mouth, teeth, ears, etc) – and would reveal his ‘feral nature’ at the vets, hence my decision to let him pass away naturally. He certainly was not the most handsome, but he was a beautiful soul. And my closest confidante. Nothing was too good for him in my eyes and yet he was a simple cat, not asking for much, if anything at all.
    I miss him so much already and my home feels so empty without him, but I know he is at peace now, which is the greatest gift I could give him in return for all he has done and shared with me. I love him to eternity and back, and know we will meet again in one form or another. He is watching over me, as much as I will always seek that ‘sign’ of knowing he is ok too. I think the glowing flowers in the photo today were very much the first sign.
    I was privileged to have him in my life. And I can’t wait to be reunited with him again in my future – somewhere, somehow, some way.
    Yes, we can and do have soul mates – and yes, they do very much come in many forms. Once you find them, you’ll never want to let go.
    Don’t.
    Ever.
    🙂

    • Ellen R. September 15, 2016 at 10:02 am #

      My heart goes out to you, Romy. Nearly three years for me now (9-24-13). Her loss remains a void; I visit her grave often and occasionally she visits me. Kindred souls. The love of a cat is a blessing. Rejoice in the life that you shared together. *hugs*

    • Ivy November 23, 2016 at 7:17 pm #

      @Romy
      I’m sorry for your loss. He sounds so sweet! Waiting by your car near his death… that breaks my heart but it’s so nice to know he had a really sweet owner who loved him.

  3. Emily October 10, 2016 at 11:21 pm #

    My cat soul mate is missing. Most of my family think Harlie had passed away. I wasn’t his owner. But I went to my grandma’s house every Sunday to play with Harlie. Since I was 5 years old. And now I am 20. I have always felt such a special connection to him. I would hold him and lay with him for hours. I just had this feeling being around him that I can’t explain in words. I always wanted to take him home but my dad is very allergic. Last Sunday I went out to play with Harlie, he always came when I called his name. I picked him up and he put his pawn on my shoulder like he was giving me a hug. He was a lot skinnier and I had just had this feeling for a while that he might not be here much longer. I coudled him so much putting my face in his fur and he purred. I felt like he was saying goodbye. Than on Tuesday he went missing. We still haven’t found him. But I prayed to God that he would be okay and if he is out there that a family took him in and that he is safe. If he did pass away I ask God everyday to hold him and tell him I love him and to pet and coudle him for me. I miss him so much and I can’t stop crying. My mom tells me to stop crying because he is not my cat. But I can’t stop. I loved him more than anything in this world. He was my cat soul mate and I felt so close to him. I hope so bad in heaven that I cat meet him again. I believe I will. I love you my Harlie.

    • Ellen R. October 12, 2016 at 1:13 am #

      I cry with you Emily. My prayers are for both you and Harlie.

    • Gwendolyn Novak November 5, 2016 at 12:56 pm #

      You will meet up with your beloved at the Rainbow 🌈 Bridge. May the love you shared comfort you until you are reunited.

  4. Gwendolyn Novak November 5, 2016 at 12:53 pm #

    I was very touched by the other cat lovers. I am so blessed to be chosen by my dear soul 😺. I suffered many tragedies throughout my life & closed off my feelings. I am a changed Woman & I owe it to the unconditional love ❤️ only a true familiar can bring. I was fortunate to visit the shelter on the fateful day. I will never be the same & I am feeling more alive & creative again. Funny thing with a rescue cat 🐱, I was the one that was saved.

  5. Arplix December 4, 2016 at 8:05 am #

    My soul cat is still pretty new he’s almost 9 months old and I found him at 5 weeks old. I’ve rescued other cats and kittens in the years but keeping them was never a thought with 3 dogs. We hadn’t had cats in almost 8 years and i thought it was better to stay that way especially in a small place. Than I found tiny little Sammy (Sam Axe-Franklin is his full name) tucked between my sheds in my backyard and that night he curled up on my lap and slept purring like a mad man I knew we had something. His stunning blue eyes his white fur and a little shock of orange on his nose he was just beautiful. He loves to talk to me, perches while I cook or clean and he climbs me like a mountain. He’s the only cat I’ve met that asks to be picked up, I suffer from insomnia but as soon as he curls up and I start petting him I’m asleep in no time. He has a harness to go outside and he loves being in the backyard on it with me. He would cry at the back door when I had to go out to do yard work so the harness makes him happy since he’s out with me and he gets to watch over what I’m doing. He also protects me in new places when we stay and he hears someone walking around he gets close to me and growls at the sound. When I leave he walks around calling for me, as soon as I get home no matter where he is or what he’s doing he runs to me to be picked up and if I’m sad or having a tough day he just knows I need cuddles. He’s also helped with my anxiety weather he knows it or not I can talk to anyone about him where normally I just want to get away I just wish I could take him with me everywhere because he just makes me feel more confident it’s hard to explain. He gives kisses which I’ve never seen a cat do before and he loves to play fetch. He’s been having blood around his anus with soft stools when I took him to the vet they couldn’t find anything and I’m having a horrible time trying to figure out the cause. They gave him a probiotic last time it seemed to work so I might try that again but it has worried me so much. Our life has gotten pretty stressful recently and I’m trying to keep the stress down for him but some changes that have gone on I can’t really help him with. He’s so special to me, he’s my snuggle boy and he’s my soul mate if there ever was one. I’m looking forward to all the time together all the adventures we still have and of course I can’t forget my soul mate dogs 🙂

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