The Ecology of Humans (24-1) Animal Tales

Animal Tales

Animal tales are somewhat harder to dismiss. The most frequent stories arise from pets, particularly dogs, which are the most common pet owing to their often being empathically attuned to their owners.

A farmer’s devoted dog one day refused a proffered treat from his keeper; the first time ever this long-standing ritual between the two at the end of the workday was not culminated. Though the farmer was in excellent health, he collapsed and died shortly thereafter.

At a public house, a normally calm dog suddenly became frantic, tugging at its owner’s sleeve, half-dragging him outside. The owner left the building. Soon after, the building collapsed, killing 9 and injuring 20 others.

A bitch and her pup who lived together went for separate walks. On its own one afternoon, the pup was attacked by a mongrel. Days later, while the owner was walking the pup’s mother, they came upon the mongrel. The mother immediately lunged into an attack.

These foregoing stories may be accounted for by dogs having more acute senses, particularly smell, hearing, magnetic field detection, or their combination. Dogs are known to detect illness, including cancer. Stories of animals – dogs, horses, domestic fowl – going berserk before earthquakes are legion.

The most commonly cited psychic ability of cats is a disappearing act when it is time to go to the vet, even when no clue is manifest (such as hauling out the cat carrier). Cats are also known to mysteriously make themselves scarce when facing any adversity their owners intend, including vanishing before being taken away for good.

But now let’s go to back the dogs. The stories that are most clearly exemplary of energetic communication are those of distant accident and death. There are many.

In 1991, David, a young British soldier, took the train from his home in Liverpool back south to his military base. Later than evening the family dog, Tara, became very agitated: whining and violently shivering. She would not be calmed for over an hour. Then the telephone rang. A Birmingham hospital called to say that David had fallen from the train. His injuries, though severe, were not life-threatening. Tara showed delight during the phone call, then lay down and went to sleep. It was later learned that the dog had become upset at the very moment that David fell from the train.

A quarry worker took his dog to work with him every day. One day the dog absolutely refused. Shortly thereafter, there was an explosion at the quarry.

A dog tried to prevent its mistress from driving a borrowed car, even jumping for the keys to take them from her. The woman set off regardless and was killed when the car skidded into a wall.

On a holiday excursion, a family finally stopped the car to let the unusually agitated dog out for a walk. Only then did they notice that the steering wheel was unsafe and could easily cause an accident.

At home in London, a pet Alsatian suddenly became agitated, then sullen and depressed. At the same time, thousands of miles away on vacation in the tropics, its owner suffered a fatal heart attack.

 The Cat and the HMS Coventry

A young Brit in the Royal Navy was close to his family’s terrier. The dog would get excited 20–30 minutes before the young man came back home by train. The family would laugh about it.

The young man was stationed on the HMS Coventry during the Falklands war, which was a dispute over the Falklands islands off Argentina, instigated by that country. In 1982 Argentina sank the Coventry. The man perished. 9,700 kilometers away, the family dog became terribly upset the moment his life was lost. The grief was overwhelming. The terrier pined away and died a few months later.


There are also numerous stories of cats responding to their owner’s distant demise. They may make unusual sounds: plaintive meows or howls. Others sink into sullen silence or hide.

Geography is irrelevant to telepathy. Distance is immaterial. There is an energetic entanglement of nonlocality.

 The Ship Cook’s Cat

In Switzerland, Frank and the family tomcat were very close. Frank got work as a ship’s cook.

The tom used to wait for him at the door before he arrived back home. The cat knew Frank was coming home, even though his visits were irregular.

One day the cat sat at the door, meowing with extreme sadness. The family finally let the cat into Frank’s room. He sniffed at everything there but continued wailing.

2 days later the family learned that Frank had died in Thailand while on a voyage. The tomcat had become upset at the time of Frank’s death.


There are many stories of people sensing a loved one suddenly dying, whether a pet or another person. More mundanely, anecdotal tales abound of telepathy between people, or between humans and other animals. There are numerous stories of domestic cats and dogs that know when someone is about to telephone.


Inspired by the famous parrot Alex, Aimée Morgana of Manhattan, New York, acquired a gray parrot: N’kisi. By the time he was 12 years old N’Kisi had a vocabulary of 1,500 words. He usually spoke in sentences.

Aimée noticed that N’kisi was a telepathic reader. The parrot would announce when Aimée was about to call someone.

One time, Aimée was looking at a deck of cards with pictures. N’kisi was in another room on a different floor. Aimée paused to look at a card that had an image of a vibrant purple car. At that moment, from upstairs, N’kisi said: “Oh, wow, look at the pretty purple.”

English biologist Rupert Sheldrake investigated N’kisi’s psychic ability. These trials were videotaped.

Aimée opened envelopes of images while N’kisi was in another room. While she was looking at an image, N’kisi would often comment, correctly identifying the pictures 32% of the time (23 out of 71). That rate is statistically significant: far beyond random.

 Termite Mounds

Mound-building termites are endemic to parts of Africa, Australia, and South America. Mounds may reach 10 meters in height and contain 55 tonnes of material.

The mounds are complex structures, with extensive tunnels and elaborate ventilation systems. Climate control is the point of a mound. The mound above serves to maintain air circulation, pressure, temperature, and moisture at ideal conditions for comfortable termite life. The termites live below ground.

In the 1920s, South African naturalist Eugène Marais made large breaches in termite mounds. Termite workers started repair from every side. Each would carry a grain of earth, coat it with its sticky saliva, and glue it into place.

Workers on different sides of a breach did not come into contact with one another. Termites are blind, so they could not see either. But the results were invariably a matched joining of sides.

After making breaches, Marais divided the mound with a steel plate, with part of a breach on each side. The queen was segregated on one side of the colony by the standing steel plate. Half the colony had no access to the queen.

Again, the termites executed symmetrical restoration that joined at the same place. Removing the plate showed this. The residual crack was quickly repaired.

Marais dug into a plate-separated mound while such repairs were underway, doing so in a way to minimize disturbance to the nest. Then he killed the queen; whereupon all repair work ceased throughout the colony, even in the portion that had been segregated from the queen.