In Endogenous DMT Release in Near-NDEs? I described our elderly cat Chloe, who last year seemed to be experiencing possible “mini-trips” that I suspected may have been occurring during near-NDEs. She was at the beginning of a significant downturn then, having been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and kidney disease. Chloe was allergic to the thyroid medicine and too frail to undergo surgery. As she deteriorated, she may have been producing associated chemical compounds – possibly including DMT.
This past year she grew weaker and weaker, and lost more weight. At 17-1/2 years old, Chloe was down to 4 pounds just a few weeks ago, and due to sudden difficulties walking, finally in late November we made arrangements to have her euthanised. However, on the day before her scheduled last visit to the vet, Chloe was suddenly walking better and had a bit more spring in her step. We cancelled the appointment, which was for Friday morning, the 3rd of December. Although we’d been through a series of tough questions while pondering choices, we saw improvement and just couldn’t feel completely certain it was time to go through with the euthanasia. Even so, Chloe wasn’t well. We decided to wait and see what the next week held.
But Chloe’s day had come. That same evening, we heard a very odd, guttural sound coming from the other room. Upon checking to see what was going on, we were horrified to see our yellow tabby standing in the doorway, over Chloe’s stretched out body on the floor. Chloe was dying. Her eyes were open but unresponsive; her pupils were so huge that no iris could be seen at all. Her body appeared to be paralysed, except for her face: without moving much, she was making slight coughing noises every few seconds, and the muscles in her face were all quivering and spasming. All I could do was to pet her gently and to say, “It’s okay, Chloe…Oh Chloe….” through my tears. My heart was broken. Chloe was rigid even as her facial muscles continued to quiver; the movement of her fur reminded me of wheatfields blowing in the wind.
Then she suddenly stopped moving and it was all over. I was stunned and anguished beyond words. Neither my partner nor I had ever witnessed the death of a loved one, whether person or companion animal, and the ordeal thoroughly shook us up. We let our other cat examine Chloe briefly – they’d been companions for over 13 years since Tiger was born – then wrapped her body in a fleece blanket in preparation to deliver it to the pet crematorium the following morning.
Only five days earlier, on Sunday the 28th of November, while doing the NY Times crossword, I’d been halfway listening to an interview with Dr Martin Ball, an entheogenicist. Most of what he was saying I was already familiar with, but one thing stood out: Ball mentioned that while on DMT, his facial muscles would quiver. Why I held on to that bit of information, and that bit only, is beyond me; perhaps it was so that I could perhaps understand a little more about what Chloe would be going through when she made her transition. I still wonder, but cannot know: was her facial quivering accompanying a DMT rush at her death? As Rick Strassman and others have speculated, I also wonder… could DMT somehow ease the transition – in some way open the door for the spirit?
It’s been two and a half weeks since Chloe passed on. We miss her, but I think Tiger misses her the most; he’s been a bit lethargic, yet more talkative than usual, and seems to be remembering Chloe. Most notably, the morning after Chloe’s death, Tiger was sitting near me at almost the exact spot where Chloe had taken her last breath, and he looked up at the ceiling intently for about ten seconds – much like I’d seen Chloe do in the months prior to her death. In the absence of a spider or wasp, I’d never seen him do that. I can only guess, but it seemed to me that he was looking at something that I couldn’t see – perhaps the spirit of Chloe – or what remained, say, floating DMT molecules (a stretch, but possible) – hadn’t entirely left the room yet, and he was sensing a disembodied presence in a way only cats can.