Great cat stories! Great song, Mbo!
I've believed in reincarnation since reading about it in primary school - it just 'clicked' and made sense & was the only belief system, to my sensibilities, where God didn't come off as either indifferent or petty.
Since then, I've met a lot of people who work with that sort of thing (regressions, etc), and they mostly say many of the same things that have come up on this thread already - that if you're strongly drawn to a particular place or time period, it's likely that you have been there, and that seeming prodigies (Mozart, etc) can be explained by reincarnation - and, by the same token, that if you work hard on developing a talent in this current life, then it will be easier for you to come back to that talent in a future life.
I've heard of quite a few small children who talked about "when they were big."
Another interesting idea that some have told me is that works of "fiction" are actually stories of real lives that someone, somewhere has lived, and that these have filtered through an author's subconscious from the universal unconsciousness. I don't know that I'm so inclined to believe this as the other concepts (above), but it's something to muse upon.
Another suggestion I've seen along these lines is that people who are born "gender-confused" is that they may be people who were the opposite sex in the immediately-previous life and reincarnated too quickly, not spending enough time between lives to assimilate what they had just learned - and so still identify with the sex they recently were instead of their current one.
So many interesting ideas out there!