The Washington Post ran a front page article after the August 23rd earthquake reporting that the animals in the National zoo acted a bit strange before the earth rumbled. Had folks known what they were looking at they may have predicted the earthquake based on the behavior of the flamingos and the great apes.
Nigel and the cats, according to Max (I was not home), reacted during the event, but not before; however, Max, too, may not have known what he was looking at since no seismic occurrence was predicted for the day. I watched the cats and Nigel during the pre-hurricane hours. Merl went out on the screened-in porch with me just as the wind was picking up. We sat together, but when I got up to come inside he did, too. Typically, he may take over the chair and stay out there awhile longer, but not always. Nigel went out for the last time Saturday night around 10:00 p.m. The wind was really gusty and the rain was constant. He never likes going outside in the rain and he was not thrilled to go out this time either. He then slept in his bed as usual. It was a loud storm, branches hit the roof and gutter, the wind howled mimicking a full speed locomotive, but in did not seem a lot different than a typical summer storm -- except there was no thunder or maybe we just couldn't hear it with the roar of the wind. And, it lasted longer -- a lot longer
Shelter staff reported that the dogs appeared anxious during the peak hours of the hurricane and seemed unusually calm on Sunday. That could have been because we did not have electricity forcing us to close to the public so there weren't as many people around.
I don't know what the animals felt during either of the two recent natural disasters. But, I'm glad that my crew is safe and un-bothered and the shelter animals appear the same. The major difference is that my foursome are home, and the cats and dogs at the League are still waiting for theirs.