Pearl and Miggsy – an aged care love story

This is a story about an older woman and the love of her favourite animal – a cat.

Pearl and Miggsy entered the nursing home together with a combined age of 202. Pearl was in her 90s and Miggsy was 112 (taking into account that one cat year is equivalent to seven human years).

After Pearl’s husband died – the children had long ago left home – Pearl had seemingly drifted into a world of isolation, short-term memory loss, confusion, dementia and the judgement that she was ‘not quite right’.

But Pearl never felt lonely. She had the company of her constant companion, her beloved cat, Miggsy. I was so glad to learn Pearl was able to bring Miggsy with her when she entered the nursing home. They were firm favourites among the staff and Miggsy was never short of a pat and a cuddle.

Read: Remarkable cat stories

Pearl would forget she had fed the well-looked-after Miggsy and would be constantly filling his bowl with tasty treats. Poor Miggsy was getting fat, but he was very content.

It was a sad time for us all when our much-loved Pearl passed away. And poor Miggsy. Don’t ever think there’s no such thing as a ‘sixth sense’ for cats, as it well and truly kicked in for Miggsy that night. He went crazy!

I had never heard him ‘meow’ so loudly before. It was the loudest voice I’ve ever heard from a cat and he ran from one staff member to another with this loud ‘meow’. When it was time for the undertaker to take Pearl, he chased them and ran beside the trolley.

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Over the next few weeks, Miggsy pined for the love and cuddles he had enjoyed for 16 years in the arms of Pearl. He was taken from the nursing home two weeks later, but continued to be ‘seen’.

Many at the aged care facility speak of seeing a big ginger cat. They say the cat sprints along the corridor. I have often been told, ‘There goes that ginger cat again’ – not once or twice but many times over the years. This has fascinated me. If it is Miggsy, I’m happy he chooses to visit us and still bring joy to his old friends.

Pam Barlow has worked in aged care for 25 years.

Have you ever experienced a pet’s sixth sense? Do you believe there is such a thing? Why not share your views in the comments section below?

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Written by Pam Barlow