by Joelle Steele

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Many cat owners believe their beloved feline friend has more than just nine lives. Karen White bought her best buddy Kipper from a pet shop on an impulse. "I saw him in the window and something inside me said that we were meant for each other." Karen didn't even think Kipper was a particularly cute cat when she saw him and she hadn't been thinking of getting a cat, let alone buying one. Today, Karen says, "He's just like my old childhood cat Midnight. He acts the same and follows me around just like 'Nighty did. I swear he makes a strong case for reincarnation!"

Karen is skeptical about reincarnation. Rona Lahti is not. "Bandit and Tiger are as identical as any two animals could possibly be. I feel a bond between us that I have never felt with any of my other cats. Bandit is Tiger. I don't doubt it for a second."

Jordan Stein wanted another cat like his recently deceased companion Tidbit. Tidbit had been gone for two years and Jordan still hadn't found a suitable new feline friend. "I saw all kinds of cats and someone was always offering me a kitten from their latest litter, but I kept holding out. I wanted Tiddy to come back to me." Tiddy did. One evening Jordan heard a kitten crying. He went outside and found a filthy, flea-ridden, ugly brown kitten under his front porch. She was badly undernourished and Jordan knew her at once. "It was Tidbit. I'd have known her anywhere even though she didn't look at all like she did before. And she knew me. It was like we'd never been apart."

Several years ago, before feline leukemia vaccines, I lost a beautiful young cat named Misty to the disease. I was grief-stricken. Two months later, my neighbor brought me a little kitten. "I saw her and I just knew I had to bring her to you," she said. Muffin was in every way like Misty except for her looks. She immediately hit it off with her old cat pal Sauvie. She was intermittently affectionate, liked to sleep in the middle of the floor, and talked when she was spoken to — all just like Misty. Even my friends and neighbors said she reminded them of Misty, and I never told them that I believed she was Misty reincarnated.

Though many people are skeptical about reincarnation, there are still plenty of us who have experienced first-hand, the return of our beloved feline companions. I always dread the day when one of my beloved kitties passes away, but I also know in my heart that we will see each other again — and soon. We will always be together, in this life, and in all our others to come. And that is a very comforting feeling.

This article last updated: 06/01/2002.

The articles on this Web site are informational only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice or treatment. Cats are not "one size fits all." They are different in terms of breed, age, health, lifestyle, and tolerance for different foods and other substances.