Do animals know they are dying?

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I Am Convinced My Cat Told Me She Was Dying. Am I Crazy?

Before I tell you this story, you need to know something about me, which is that I am a brain in a body, activated by a complex series of physical, chemical, and biological processes. I am neither religious nor spiritual; I do not believe in God or heaven or an afterlife. I don’t put stock in parapsychology, telepathy, or clairvoyance. I think that Dr. Doolittle was a great guy, but there’s no way he could talk to the animals.

And yet, despite all these shortcomings, I’m convinced that my cat came to me one night last winter and told me she was dying.

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Jessica Winter

Jessica Winter @ Adrian Kinloch

Jessica Winter is executive editor of newyorker.com and a former editor at Slate and Time. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Bookforum, The Believer, and many other publications. She lives with her family in Flatbush, Brooklyn.