Man: Hospice is a place where people die. They give you the painkillers and take care of you. Sometimes they take ill persons to hospice to give a few weeks of rest to a family. We have a very modern hospice in Moscow. There are a lot of interesting stories in the hospice. For example, one day an old lady was taken by a nurse to be washed in a special room. But before entering this room the lady started to protest: “I don’t want to go there!” The nurse asked: “Why?” She answered: “There is someone sitting near me and she doesn’t want me to go there.” The nurse started persuading her that this person can wait or go with her. But the old lady said: “No, she doesn’t want to leave me and she doesn’t want to go inside, so I have to stay here.” So they let her wait and in some time (maybe in half an hour) the lady passed away. Was it a spirit? What do you think?

S: When a person is about to die, some messenger of death comes to him. They come horribly looking to bad people and to good people they come looking like their old friends.

Man: And then a dying person leaves his body and they come with him.

S: Yes.

Man: There are a lot of stories about pets changing their behavior. For example, when a dog enters the hospice, they become very…

S: …disturbed.

Man: Yes, afraid.

S: Dogs, cats, cows, crows, they are able to see them.

Man: To see whom?

S: Body spirits.

Man: There are, for example, 15 patients in the hospice. Most of them are not going to die in a few days.

S: But most of them are near that.

Man: Yes, all of them.

S: According to yoga, the death begins to cast its shadow one year before.

Man: And pets can see it?

S: Yes. And sometimes if a pet loves a person a lot, it takes death upon itself, saving a person. We have seen the accidents like this.

Man: When does arrive a messenger of death?

S: Within a week.

Man: Did this old lady understand that it was a messenger?

S: I’m sure of it.

Man: Did I tell you a story about a cat that lives in the hospice? All the people there know that if this cat goes to somebody’s feet, this person will pass away in a day or so. So as soon as the cat does it, they start calling relatives.

S: Yes, because this cat can see the messengers of death and comes to say hello to them. That’s why dogs, crows and cows take part in most of the Hindu after-death rituals. You need to feed them. They are sort of mediators between material and spiritual lives.

Man: And what about cats?

S: No cats. But cats are connected with smashan. So cats are very mysterious too.