A website I've been reading says our animal companions don't enter our lives by accident but are souls (because animals have souls, right?) that have been especially assigned to us- and some of them accompany us in and out of incarnation through many lifetimes. It seems they're not limited to incarnating in one particular species but can hop around between them- just as we can- and so the cat who keeps you company in middle age could well be the same "person" as the pony you rode as a kid- and the falcon you carried on your wrist in the 15th century. I wonder about Marlowe. The way he follows me out into the fields- two mates going on an adventure- makes me think he could be confusedly remembering a former life as a hunting dog.