Can cats and dogs detect impending death or cancer?

In an earlier post, I referenced this article about Oscar the cat who has predicted the time of death of twenty five nursing home patients in Providence, RI. Now we have an article, from thecancerblog.com, about a Labrador Retriever who appears to have sniffed out a malignant lump in its owner's breast. Studies have shown that dogs can be trained to sniff the differences in urine samples and breath samples. I think we have a lot to learn about how intelligent our pets are. Or, maybe "intelligent" is the wrong word. Scientists are always testing dogs for "intelligence," and they usually conclude that they aren't all that "intelligent." But just because a dog can't solve a Rubick's Cube doesn't mean it isn't intelligent. I think scientists may be asking the wrong question. How else might we measure the "intelligence" of dogs? We could try to understand how perceptive they are? We know that some of their senses, such as hearing and smell, are much more powerful than those of humans. Are they as good, or better than humans, at "putting two and two together?" How well are they able to express emotions to other dogs? How well are they able to tune into the emotions of humans? As well as humans do? Better than humans do? There are lots of stories about dogs and cats giving advanced warning of earthquakes. Here's an interesting article on that subject. Scientists and seismologists don't think the evidence is conclusive. But the Chinese city of Haicheng was evacuated in 1975, because of the strange behavior of animals. An earthquake ensued, and officials estimated that 150,000 lives were saved. Why did Callie lick my wound last Wednesday? Was it because the blood tasted salty and good? Or was it because she wanted to make it better? Someone probably knows the scientific answer to this question, but to me it's part of this bigger puzzle. I think we have a lot to learn about dogs and the different "levels" at which their senses and intelligence operate. While we're waiting for scientists to present us with all the answers, it sure is fun to observe our pets and try to figure out what's going on inside those busy little dog and puppy minds!