The Seventh Sense – do animals have it?
Internet forums are full of stories about cats and dogs that appear to possess extraordinary talents. The animal lovers at Maxi Zoo are also familiar with tales of dogs who foresee danger ahead for their masters or mistresses – or of cats who come home as soon as someone is waiting there for them. Could this be the so-called seventh sense?
The classic five senses, sight, sound, smell, taste and touch, are deployed to different degrees in humans and animals. These were already well known in ancient times. In the meantime, science has discovered a few more senses which assist us or animals in our perception of something. Biologists understand the sixth sense to be the ability of some creatures to orientate themselves with the aid of electrical or magnetic signals. And we use the “seventh sense” to describe all that can’t rightly be explained or isn’t attributable to the researched senses, telepathic abilities, or the premonition of a misfortune, an illness, a natural disaster or orientation.
Cats, dogs and even parrots and horses are said by some owners to possess telepathic powers. For example, a dog might sense when his master is on the way home from work, even when he leaves at irregular times. The canine then indicates the arrival through certain sounds, tail-wagging or by seeking out a particular spot. With cats many an owner has established that they react, as though summoned in the mind, to appear, draw attention to themselves or come home at just the right times.
We are constantly amazed at the capabilities of creatures such as migrant birds or carrier pigeons who journey great distances then find their way back home again. Even abducted dogs have found their way back, having been kidnapped by car, they could hardly have followed their own trail… But how do these animals find their way back to familiar surroundings? It would appear inexplicable. Reports of animals drawing attention to themselves by behaving conspicuously in advance of their master or mistress having a serious accident can be spooky to say the least. Could animals be clairvoyant? In 2009, as luck would have it, a British biologist was in the area observing the common toad a few days before a heavy earthquake struck L’Aquila in Italy. She discovered that five days before the quake, in the middle of the spawning season, almost all the male toads left their lake, something quite contrary to their nature. Three days prior to the quake, there was hardly a toad pair left in her study area. The creatures only returned after the last heavy after-shock.
Similar observations exist throughout the entire world in connection with natural catastrophes. So far there has been no scientifically proven explanation for the possible extrasensory perception which animals may possess. So there’s only one thing to do. Try looking at your pet through different eyes, maybe you’ll discover a special ability! And don’t forget to enjoy the bond you have with each other! You won’t need a documented scientific study for that!