Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Healing Powers Series To Be Continued!

By Cal Orey
Two days before fall, and two weeks before my birthday some good news happened about my Healing Powers series...For starters, my favorite book, The Healing Powers of Tea, number 6, will be released the day after Christmas--most likely I'll have advance copies a bit sooner on my doorstep (most likely covered with snow).


Next up? Currently, I'm on a new Healing Powers series adventure, book number 7, and having fun. A lot. Not only am I learning new things everyday, as I continue to write and research, it feels like being a time traveler of sorts as I weave stories from the past and present-day with experience--one of the perks of aging.

Come November an installment of the book in progress will be sent to my book editor, and in March this book will be written and out the door before spring. A bit of a break...to enjoy real life.

And then, a new Healing Powers series book, 8.  This is an exciting topic, one is a surprise and that will make me and readers smile and feel good from head to toe. So, as we edge near 2020, I have the knowledge and blessings that the Healing Powers series is timeless, alive, and growing and I owe it to one specific topic, one book that came my way via destiny and timing. 

Back in 1999 it was the 60,000 word book on vinegar that ignited the collection that has grown for almost two decades. Today, The Healing Powers of Vinegar, third edition, is still the book of choice by people around the globe, followed by Honey and Olive Oil counterparts. And I have faith in Tea--the new book with heart.

'Tis the season, to cozy up, get cooking, baking, and stay healthy with rustic recipes, home cures, and so much more from the Healing Powers collection with something for everyone whether you're 25, 50, 75 or somewhere in between like me.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Fresh Scones for Pre-Autumn

Scones are sweet, biscuits can work, too!
I'd like to introduce you to the British scone. There are sweet and savory varieties. I've savored and baked both types from cheese and pumpkin to blueberry and vanilla glaze. Think of scones in different shapes, including drop scone to triangle scone, big and small. For cooler, pre-autumn days I'm bringing to you the fresh late summer fruit scone, which also contains walnuts from our Golden state.  
Several years ago, I was invited to the college library at Tahoe to lecture/sign my book on olive oil. While I did just that I also snuck in earthquake talk (I wrote a book on quake prediction and Reno was  having an aggressive, newsworthy swarm which escalated and a strong jolt was later felt at Tahoe as I predicted). Most of the crowd was eager to listen to my take on the outcome, but a few folks were not happy and walked out of the event. At the end, I gave away biscotti made with oil and some bottles of the liquid gold. No regrets except the librarian wasn't smiling like the women who eagerly scooped up the free home-baked biscotti.
The thing is, my dear friend bakeress friend Gemma Sciabica, co-owner of Sciabica Olive Oil in central California, baked the chocolate treats for me because I knew she could do it better.  But I am scone savvy (love all scones with tea) and to be honest with you, scones are easier and faster to make, bake, and dish up.
Peach Walnut Scones
3 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1/4 cup sugar
5 tablespoons European style butter, cold and cut into small pieces
2 eggs

Nearing to the season of pumpkin love
1/4 cup half and half
1/4 cup honey vanilla Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup walnuts, rough chop
1 large firm peach, peeled, diced
1 egg with 2 teaspoons water
Raw sugar

Preheat oven to 450. In a large bowl, mix together flour and sugar. Add the chunks of butter to the flour mixture. Mix in egg, half and half, yogurt, vanilla, and cinnamon. Stir in walnuts and peaches. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and form into a circle. Cut in half, repeat twice (more if you want small triangles). Brush with egg and sprinkle sugar on triangles. Put scones to on baking sheet or dish. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the scones are light golden on the top. Allow to cool. Serves 8 large triangles and 16 mini triangles. Cut in half and spread with mascarpone cheese and fresh mint, honey, cream cheese, or peach jam. Enjoy with a cup of tea.

Callie's Tips: In a pan boil water. Drop a large peach into the water for half a minute. Remove and put into cold water for a minute, and peel easily! Dust hands with flour before shaping the scone circle. Place cut scone dough triangles close together on the baking dish which allows them to rise higher. Dried fruit is good to use in the fall when our summer fruit supply is gone or too pricey. Scones freeze well. The shelf life of raw sugar is indefinite.

Since the book event I have mastered the art of baking biscotti but I still prefer creating the scone. As the weather changes around the Lake, I've begun to go back into the kitchen and so can you. This easy scone can be whipped up in no time at all. You can warm them up for breakfast or enjoy one (or two) fresh out of the oven for an afternoon snack.


— Cal Orey, M.A.  is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, and Tea) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.)  Her website is www.calorey.com

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Fall into National Honey Month

The Healing Powers of Honey for Autumn
By Cal Orey

Cures From Your Kitchen
I'll describe 50 common health ailmentsfrom A to Z, and provide amazing at-home honey cures. I include tried-and-truefolk remedies, real-life stories, scientific studies, and medical experts'words of honey wisdom--and my own experiences with honey. But caution, consult your health care practitioner before putting to work any honey cure.


1 ACNE  (Brush off blemishes)   Red dots on your face, back, and shouldersare the scourge of the young and beautiful. But adults aren't immune from adultacne or flare-ups. As a teen, I blamed my mom and dad on a blotchy face. (Genesand hormones can play a role in acne.) I turned to gooey Clearasil cream andsmelly Stridex pads and went to war like a fearless Indian using war paint andgetting ready to go to battle. But my efforts didn't work. 
I ended up goingto a dermatologist and using a potent topical medicine. After applying morethan less (I don't follow instructions) I ended up tying a navy blue bandanaacross my forehead to hide the unsightly blotch--and was grateful for the hippiefashion trend. If I had known that there was a gentler cure to clear up myface--I would have used it in a heartbeat.
 
What Honey Rx to Use:  Put a dab of honey (a darker variety such asmanuka) on blemishes. Repeat twice per day. Sip a cup of chamomile tea tochill--and drink 6 to 8 ounce glasses of water daily and stay clear of emptynutrition sugary beverages with caffeine. 
 
Why You'll Bee Happy: It'sthe antibacterial compounds in honey that work to help fight redness,inflammation, infection, and dry up the blemish.  Manuka honey is antioxidant-rich that canhelp give you a clearer, smoother complexion. "As a teenager," recalls onehoney lover, "I would smear raw, organic honey on my face and did it after Icame home from school, every day."  Twomonths later, he recalls seeing sweet results--a 50 percent clearer complexion.The credit goes to using the right "type" of honey--not processed kinds.  
 
2 ALLERGIES (Stop seasonalmisery)  Dealing with annoying acneis no picnic, but sneezing, a runny nose, and coughing can ruin an indoor oroutdoor event, thanks to seasonal pollen. Every year when the yellow pollenarrives like an uninvited visitor at Lake TahoeI hold a tissue in one hand and am on the phone to pharmacist with the other. Iam always on a mission to find the natural remedy to stop my sniffles.  
 
What Honey Rx to Use: Tryeating a tablespoon of locally produced honey. Proponents of honey tell me thatyour immune system will get used to the local pollen in it (it should be withina 50 mile radius from where you live).
 
Why You'll Bee Happy:  By taking the honey cure, you may lose yourallergy symptoms. Or not. It's worth the effort and is less pricey than a visitto the doctor or an allergist. Also, honey is a natural remedy and doesn't comewith unknown side effects linked to allergy medications or pricey shots.  One summer day, I looked outside and theTahoe yellow pollen was everywhere--cars, trees, and the ground. I startedputting honey (not just the local alfalfa variety) in my tea, yogurt, andbaking. Two days later, my sniffles were history. If it was coincidence or ahoney cure it doesn't matter. It worked.
If you have mildrespiratory problems, from allergies to asthma, honey may enhance the immune systemto build up a better arsenal against airborne allergens--and help you breatheeasier. Honey enthusiasts like D.C. Jarvis, M.D., believe honeycomb isexcellent for treating certain breathing problems. The honey prescription,according to him, was chewing honeycomb which may line the entire breathingtract. (2)
Also, eating honeyon a daily basis was recommended. "As far as I have been able to learn, Vermont folk medicineuses honeycomb as a desensitizing agent; from the results obtained by its useit appears to be anti-allergic in its action." He gives credit to the honeybees. (3) 
Beekeepers tell methat honey may help allergies linked to trees and ragweed--the culprit of hayfever and its irritating symptoms during spring and autumn months and often rightbefore.  If mold and food allergens arebothering you--honey is not going to be your allergy cure. As beekeepers arebusy at work selling local honey to allergy sufferers, I am busy including alltypes of honeys in my diet because I want to be covered when both seasons. Andif honey can help me cope with congestion and sneezing--I'm in. While furtherresearch is needed, I'm not going to wait for scientists to go to their labrats for a go-ahead. More honey, please.
 
3 ANEMIA (Iron up) Allergiescan affect people of all ages, but anemia may be more of a problem for peoplewho are dieting or vegetarians who are not getting sufficient iron. Simply put,anemia is a lack of red blood cells and hemoglobin, the protein in red bloodcells that moves oxygen to cells in your body. The symptoms can include feelingtired and lightheaded.
 
What Honey Rx to Use:  Try incorporating a dark honey, such asbuckwheat, in your daily diet. Pair it with Mediterranean iron-rich foods,including fish, seafood, apricots, and figs.  
 
Why You'll Bee Happy: Ifyou're borderline iron deficient, you need to pump more iron into your body.The Daily Value of iron is 18 milligrams. If you are borderline anemic, you cantake boost your iron intake by increasing iron-rich foods and dark honeyscontaining iron which can help boost the lack of red blood cells in the body. 

 
4 ANXIETY (Beat the jittersmonster) Anemia sometimes comes with warnings of symptoms, but when anxietyhits (often worsened by stress) you know it like when an earthquake strikes.Anxiety can wreak havoc on your nervous system and up your odds of heartproblems, stress eating, and other chronic health problems. 
 
What Honey Rx to Use: Ifyou're under pressure and feeling high anxiety or sense a stressful event is inthe works, make a cup of chamomile tea. Put in one teaspoon of your favoritehoney. Repeat twice a day as needed.
 
Why You'll Bee Happy:Honey--all varietals--is touted by folk medicine healers for its calming effects.The natural superfood can help soothe your nerves rather than put you in higheranxiety mode. The relief it provides may be due to its multiple vitamin Bcontent--anti-stress vitamins.  Pairing itwith calming tea or milk (which is rich in tryptophan, an essential amino acidwhich helps to alleviate feelings of anxiety and stress) can help you tochill.  So next time you want to relax,one of the best cures is carbohydrates--and the fastest worker to giving you achill pill is nature's sweet honey.
 
5 BAD BREATH (Freshen up yourmouth) Feeling anxious about if you breath is not as sweet as it should be?Bad breath can be linked to a variety of causes, from a bad tooth, gingivitis,eating onions to sinusitis. 
 
What Honey Rx to Use: Try 1teaspoon of honey in a cup of herbal tea. Repeat as needed.
 
Why You'll Bee Happy: If youare suffering from post nasal drip, drinking hot tea with honey (which hasantibacterial properties) can help clear up mucous and that'll help sweetenyour mouth. Drinking a cup of honey and chamomile tea will also soothe inflamedgum tissue because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Onions, like anypungent food, will take a while to fade out but a honey and tea remedy mayoffer a quick fix. And if you have a tooth that needs attention, seek it and save that sweet tooth.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Searching for the Lovin' Feeling? Potatoes to the Rescue!

I remember ordering these appetizers at T.G.I. Friday's in San Mateo in the '90s. It was a ritual. My best friend and I would go into a bar and order a plate of these gems. Simply put, potato skins are potato shells, crispy brown, stuffed with cheeses, toppings complete with sour cream for a dip. 
Here, take a look--and you can win big by making them yourself without a lot of hassle or heartbreak."I'll have an order of Potato Skins," I said to the server at a Lake Tahoe restaurant. "But hold the bacon," I added. My blind date tanked so to heal my fragile female ego, playing and winning at the slot machines, taking in a movie, and indulging in the comforting, cheesy taters made the bad experience easily forgettable.
Mountain High POTATO SKINS
4 medium russet potatoes
2-4 tablespoons European style butter
A dash of sea salt
Ground black pepper to taste
1-1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack and sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Sour cream (for dipping)
2 tablespoons green onions, chopped (optional)
Wash potatoes. Prick each one with a fork and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 1 hour. Cool. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop flesh leaving shells. Place into deep baking dish. Drizzle  melted butter over the skins. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put into oven turned up to 375 degrees. Back for about 10 minutes, remove. Turn potatoes over and heat for another 10 minutes or until brown and crispy. Place potato skins upright and pile on the cheese. Bake for a few more minutes. Remove. Serve hot and add a small dish of sour cream. Makes 3-4 servings.
*Callie's Tips: Cool potatoes before scooping out the flesh. Use a knife or small melon ball scooper to gently cut a large rectangle of potato about 1/2 inch. Olive oil mixed with butter is an option but butter makes the potato skins super crispy. Onions, salt, and pepper give the potato skins extra flavor. Cooked, crispy bacon bits are a must-have for meat lovers. And chopped tomatoes, parsley and/or chives are great for vegetarians.
These potato skins made at home are fun to make. At the end of summer as we edge into autumn it's still hot in the kitchen. So, it's best to whip up these potatoes after it cools down. Serving these cuties with iced tea (or your chilled brew of choice) makes this season memorable whether you're enjoying the hot stuff with a mate or solo. Either way it's all good.
— Cal Orey, M.A.  is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, and Tea) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.)  Her website is www.calorey.com .

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Author-Intuitive Predicted TX "Katrina-Like" Hurricane



Tornadoes and Hurricanes

(Harvey Similar to Katrina?)

Lack of snow or too much rain can cause problems just as twisters can do. This year tornadoes may hit in places like California to other odd regions on the West Coast—it’s no longer just a Midwest phenomenon. While 2016 experienced chilling hurricanes, 2017 may see more of the same. 

Another Katrina-type of event may happen in the Southeast, including Texas, Louisiana, and Florida during hurricane season.

The Gulf States and the Atlantic seaboard up north to New York and Maine are potential targets (not to forget the West Coast near Southern California to the Baja)). These states in particular may be facing fierce hurricanes with fierce water surges and levee challenges.

--2017 Predictions
for the World
By Cal Orey Earth Changes column
READ NOW-Forecasts for the Year

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Cornbread with Honey from the North

Cornbread with a Taste of Honey
Cornbread is a popular quick bread in America, especially in the South, a place I've visited and long to go back. It's common to be dished up with barbecue and chili in the summertime. I've used cornbread in turkey stuffing for the holidays. But cornbread is versatile and deserves credit year-round.  

About a decade ago, I used to buy a convenient store-bought mix of honey cornbread that boasts on the package “natural,” along with a box of cornmeal. One day a reader of "Callie's Cabin" said she reads my column, and I smiled. But then she darted the remark with a reprimanding tone, "You used a box mix?" it made me pause. Her comment was like that sound you hear when accidentally scraping your fingernail on a blackboard or a Food Network judge frowns when they taste your work.  So, yeah, it was an "ah ha" moment.
Since then, I've gone back in time, much like in the 20th century. Cans and boxes of food are not in my pantry or freezer. When I cook and bake it's more homemade-style, like this batch of cornbread which is what my mom would whip up to serve with grilled chicken for fish. It's just as easy as the box stuff but tastes a bit better.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1 large organic egg
3/4 cup half and half
1/4 cup orange juice (squeeze from an orange)
1/3 cup European style butter or extra virgin olive oil (save a bit to grease dish)
2 tablespoons orange rind
Raw honey and butter
In a medium bowl, mix dry ingredients (flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and sugar). Add wet ingredients (egg, half and half, juice, and butter). Fold in rind. Pour batter into lightly buttered 8-inch by 8-inch dish. Bake at 400 degrees for  about 25 minutes or until firm and light golden brown. Cool. Serve warm. You can slice squares from the dish or turn it over and out, cut slices and serve on a plate. Serves 10-12. Callie's Tips:: *You can add 3/4 cup fresh late summertime blueberries, blackberries or strawberries. *Honey butter (3/4 butter and 1/4 honey) is popular in Northern regions.*Cornbread freezes well. *This recipe makes about 8-10 muffins.
Enjoy this cornbread with fish soups, grilled poultry or fresh salads like I did.  Cornbread takes me back to our former Marie Callender's on Highway 50. It was years ago I'd always enjoy the salad bar with mini cornbread loaves and honey butter. But, these days you can purchase online bags of the original cornbread mix (the items notes "made-from-scratch-taste, just add water, no trans fats"). Still, making this hearty quick bread with cornmeal and your own ingredients is good. The citrusy twist and local honey sweetens it up for the end of summer outdoor meals and for upcoming cool autumn days and nights.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Four-Legged Weather Forecasters? Hurricanes, Storms?

Are Pets Really Weather Forecasters?
Healing Powers Series Author

*States with the most dangerous weather? 
California #43 out of 50. Is your state on the list?
Whether it’s ESP, superior senses, animal intuition or a change in routine, your cat  or dog may sense severe weather, and you should know about it.


            At noon on a stormy spring day in Austin, Texas, several household cats started acting strangely. “I was in bed watching the weather channel on TV,” recalls cat owner Janet Shon. “My cats wanted to hide underneath the covers.” The heavy rains and howling winds continued, causing panic in her house full of pets. Eventually, she put them into carriers to calm them, and took cover under the stairwell. “Usually, my cats don’t mind being in the crates during bad weather,” she says, “but this time, they were chatting nonstop and wanted to be next to me.”
            Several hours later, on May 27, 1997, an extremely rare and dangerous tornado (classified as an F-5), with winds measuring over 260 mph, touched down 40 miles to the North of Shon in Jarrell, Texas. Twenty-seven people died in Jarrell. Multiple tornadoes also ripped through the Austin area, killing two people. “It took the roof off the Albertsons’ store,” says Shon with awe. She and her cats survived without a scratch.
            What made Shon’s cats react in such a way? Some say it’s ESP (extra sensory perception), or a sixth sense. Others claim cats aren’t gifted, just blessed with well-developed or heightened senses—scent, sound and sight, that are far superior to our own.
            However you see it, cats have earned their supernatural reputation throughout history. In ancient Egypt, felines were worshipped as gods, and killing a cat was a crime punishable by death. Even modern society gives credence to the idea that cats “know” things. During World War 11, “British families found that their cats were the best warning system for impending danger,” notes Dale Koppel, author of Amazing But True Cat Facts. “They showed unmistakable signs that something was about to happen even before the air sirens were sounded. Their hair would stand on end, or they’d spit or wail. Some would head straight for the nearest shelter.”
            Many people who live through terrible disasters—hurricanes, tornadoes, fires or earthquakes—believe their cats knew something before these disasters struck. But whether or not cats really predict danger is still an open debate. So, what will you do the next time Felix starts acting strange? Will you roll your eyes, or head for high ground? Read on and decide for yourself.

SO IS A STORM COMING?
            Are pets really four-legged weather forecasters? So, what about hurricane warnings?  While scientists use wind patterns, barometric pressure, sea surface temperatures and other climate factors to predict hurricanes, fishermen watch their cats. In fact, cats have long been considered good luck on ships for their ability to ward off storms, sea monsters and ghosts. Europeans of the past centuries believed cats “knew” the way home and would reveal the direction by sleeping on the side of the ship that was closest to port.
            Gail Beecher, a veteran cat breeder from Needville, Texas, got a special warning before Tropical Storm Frances hit the Texas coast on September 9, 1998. Some of Beecher’s pregnant cats began to go into early labor. “When the barometer shifts during bad weather my cats always go into labor early,” she says. “I knew the storm was coming this way.” Wind speeds reached a maximum of 65 mph, and one person died due to the intense flooding of the Gulf Coast.

            “All cats are extraordinary sensitive to even the smallest changes in the weather,” writes Koppel who claims, “you can throw away your thermometers and stop watching weather forecasts on TV.” A resident of Kansas City, Missouri agrees, “I have noticed before a tornado (during thunder, wind, hail and lightning) animals do lie close to the ground and pant. The bigger and fatter the dog and cat, the more it seems to affect them. Also, they sometimes put their head on the floor.”
            According to Koppel, French fishermen watch their cats’ body language to get a weather report. “They watch their cats closely to predict weather changes,” he says. “Rain? Watch for your cat to pass her paw behind the ear during grooming. Windy? Your cat will clean her nose. Low tide? Wide pupils, of course. When will the bad weather end? When your cat twists and turns.”
            Sound silly? Perhaps not, says John C. Wright, PhD, certified animal behaviorist from Macon, Georgia, and author of Is Your Cat Crazy: Solutions from the Casebook of a Cat Therapist, who’s fascinated by it all. However, to be certain that this is a reliable weather source, Wright says, a group of cats and their body positions should be examined carefully in a weather study for conclusive scientific evidence. In other words, scientific studies are needed.


A PET'S GOOD SENSE

Neil Tenzer, DVM, of Miami, Florida recalls that his five cats felt Hurricane Andrew’s fury before it arrived on August 25, 1992, with winds of up to 150 mph. Amid the chaos of his family putting shutters on the windows and gathering canned food and candles, explains Tenzer, his cats grew curious and upset about the change in their environment. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), this category 4 hurricane caused 58 deaths and approximately $27 billion in damage. “It’s not that they predicted the hurricane—but they certainly sensed it was on its way,” Tenzer says.
            A former North Carolina resident agrees. She was in the path of Hugo as the hurricane headed toward Charlotte in 1989. Hurricane Hugo passed directly over Charleston, South Carolina, on September 21, as a category 5 storm with wind speeds in excess of 135 mph and a storm surge of nearly 20 feet. Hugo caused 57 deaths on the U.S. mainland (mostly in North and South Carolina) and 29 deaths in the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to NOAA records. Total damage: $9 billion. “I had indoor cats and barn cats there,” she recalls. Apparently, her cats share the same reaction to all severe storms. “Barn cats always seem to find shelter well ahead of a storm.” 
            Some argue that extrasensory perception is really just super senses. In the case of earthquakes, for example, cats may be sensitive to the earth’s vibrations and sound waves right before an earthquake hits, says geophysicist Bruce Presgrave, from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in Golden, Colorado. Other people suggest that cats are able to detect minute shifts in the earth’s magnetic field or in the earth’s magnetic field or in the earth’s static electricity, which occur before a jolt.
           

                                                  REACTING TO CHANGE 

            Most people recognize that cats don’t like change too much. Perhaps felines don’t “sense” danger, but are instead reacting to change in routine or environment. “It may be novelty of those particular cues, rather than the cat knows that this is danger,” says Wright. And often, it’s fear of the unknown. “Fear motivates cats to act out,” he adds. “When they can’t cope with the stimulus they go emotional on us. Sometimes these emotional responses lead cats to run over and over their escape routes or make some noise to get out.”
            Deputy Director Gary Grice of the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, relies on complex scientific theories and computers to forecast powerful twisters. However, “there is a possibility that animals react to the significant pressure changes of the atmosphere before a tornado hits,” he concedes.         
The question remains, can feline barometers detect the difference between an impending hurricane or tornado? “Since there are similar weather phenomena associate with tornadoes and hurricanes, you’re likely to get the same reaction out of cats because they are reacting to the same kinds of things,” explains Wright.
            “Although there’s research that’s ongoing in different areas, when your life is on the line and you have to depend on something so you get out of harm’s way, the clear answer now is to heed the warnings that are issued by the National Weather Service and do what they say,” says Grice. He goes on to say that “scientists do not have a 100 percent track record for predicting disasters.” As for cats, Grice believes that are not perfect predictors either since it’s not known if they are responding to disaster precursors or if they are behaving strangely for other reasons. “Our success rate is much, much higher than what you’re getting from animals,” he says.
            Meanwhile, Shon wonders about her cats’ behavior before the deadly Texas tornado. Did they sense the nearby funnel clouds on the day of destruction? Was there a change in smell or pressure, or did Shon’s own behavior affect the cats? We’ll never really know. But at least some disaster experts are now realizing that some cats can sense impending gloom and doom. The question of whether cats can predict a cataclysm hours or days in advance requires more research.

            But since scientists admit they aren’t able to reliably predict earthquakes, fires, hurricanes and tornadoes, is it really so far-fetched to monitor cats and dogs?
            Pet experts advise cat owners to do just that. “The cat’s first instinct is survival, and cats are the best survival machines Mother Nature has ever developed,” concludes Eric Swanson, author of Hero Cats: True Stories of Daring Feline Deeds. Whether cats are gifted with some kind of sight, or not—felines continue to inspire a spiritual nature that cat-lovers respond to. What they actually see, and what we see in their eyes is impossible to say.

            Consider what the late Jeane Dixon wrote in her book Do Cats Have ESP? “In the dark, [cats’ mysterious eyes] seem to hover alone, disembodied and shining brightly on the darkest of nights. Ancient people believed the cat had captured a piece of the sun which it called up at will to see in the dark.”