Petting Zoo

I am constantly reminding people that animals live in the moment, and animals are constantly reminding me “to live in the moment”.  Like many households, my husband and I have a “lap rule”.  If one of us has a cat or rabbit on the lap, the other one answers the phone or checks on dinner.  Cuddle time is to be treasured and never interrupted (sometimes we all have to break this rule in the morning when it is time to go to work!)

When I went to Animal Kingdom at Disney, one of my favorite attractions was the petting zoo.  There were goats, sheep, and a few other barnyard animals in a large pen.  They had roped off several shady areas with toys where only the animals could go.  So, if an animal didn’t want petting, they were free to stay private all day.  Most of the animals love the petting and happily followed people around (no food bribes).

I fell in love with a goat (more on that later).  I spent most of my time there with just a few animals, because as I said, once you are having a moment together it should not be interrupted.  I looked up to see a very young boy petting a goat.  The goat was in heaven; he had lain down and closed his eyes.  After only a moment of petting the boy’s father tugged on his arm and said, “Come on we have to see the rest of them”.  I felt sad, the goat was disappointed, and the boy was confused.  For the man, the experience was about quantity, not about making a real heart connection.

I know I have written on this topic more than once, but the animals keep showing me how important moments are.  All we have is a string of “moments” with our animals.  I am a busy person, often up and down from the couch doing chores or phone-calls, but my animals have shown me that I have to make exceptions.  I can’t thank them enough!

While at the petting zoo I fell in love with this goat (photo right).  I started giving him TTouch and he melted (the TTouch is a type of bodywork for animals).  In the middle of bustling people and animals, he slept on the ground while I massaged him.  I asked him what he thought about getting bodywork and he said, “More please”. Cute!

Telepathy with Animals

Do animals communicate telepathically with each other?

Animals can communicate with one another telepathically, with their own species and cross-species.  This is not to say that they always understand one another, or agree to “get along”.  In consultations I have received complaints from dogs that the cat is “saying rude things”; on the other hand some animals who seem to interact very little physically, are sometimes close friends because of their telepathic connection.  Animals are very aware of telepathy, and they consider their thoughts to be “out loud”.  A wild rabbit will avoid telling its fellow rabbits about an illness to avoid having a fox intercept the telepathic message.

Are animals surprised when a human communicates with them telepathically?

Animals are rarely surprised when I contact them.  They are accustomed to “hearing” the thoughts of humans, and many assume that humans can hear their thoughts.  Usually it is the opposite; people are surprised at how much their animals have been paying attention to what they say in the house and on the telephone!

Do animals wish that their people could talk with them telepathically all of the time?

Most species are not chatty; people tend to communicate more than many animals.  Telepathy is not small talk; it is about feelings and understanding.   Animals are generally comfortable in the moment, not feeling a need to discuss every detail, just being together is enough.  When I am around animals, I usually receive a sense of peace and quiet, not telepathic chatter.  Animals living with humans appreciate when the human understands their emotional state and looks after their needs for physical and mental well-being.  This can be achieved without special telepathic abilities, and over time can be enhanced with more telepathic practice.

What can I do to listen to my animals?

Meditating with your animals is a very effective way of receiving thoughts and feelings from your animals.  Don’t expect a booming voice in your mind; the feelings are much more subtle than that.  You might like to sit with your animal and enjoy the sunshine, breeze, and delicious smells of the outdoors.  There is no need to try hard to understand, just allow moments to unfold, appreciate the surroundings, and your animal’s natural ability to be in the moment will help you focus.

What color is your living room?

My baby bunny is growing up.  Bramley is 10 months and 16 lbs, with giant ears and a fluffy white cotton tail.  His favorite activities are cuddling, licking my face or hands (a sign of affection), sleeping and of course – eating!

In early January he seemed to lose his sparkly personality; he was sleeping more and skipping his dances of joy.  In the mornings he no longer did wild runs back and forth on the couch, and his leaps in the air became smaller.  I tried to understand what was wrong, but he didn’t have an explanation—he just didn’t feel as happy.  We doubled our cuddle time.  Every night I lay on the couch and he snuggled up in my arms (under a quilt) for at least an hour.  He really enjoyed our time together but it didn’t bring back his dances.

Then Bramley started complaining about not feeling well.  He didn’t have many specific symptoms, but we discovered that he had parasites.  He was treated for that and given a homeopathic remedy.  He became a bit more animated and said he felt much better, but he still wasn’t quite himself.

In early February, I decided to paint my living room.  I choose a color “pear green”, which is very bright and happy.  My husband and I painted the trim and fireplace white, and the walls green, having an overall effect of a much brighter room.  I love redecorating, so I have painted many of the rooms in our house over the past few years.  The animals have never commented on the colors.  The cats specifically don’t care (yes cats can see colors.)

Bramley was doing crazy happy acrobatics the next day!  He loved the new color.  He couldn’t believe his great fortune of having a green room.  I realized that his food is green; his natural environment (in the summer) is green, so of course he would love it!  For weeks he has continued to practice his racing moves on the couch and do his cheerful ear flips in the morning.  He has slowed down a little bit since getting used to the new color, but he is in for a pleasant surprise because now we are painting the hallway and foyer green too.

In the Moment

One time we had guests at our house and they asked, “Does your rabbit save his favorite vegetables for last when he eats dinner?”  And of course, the answer is “no way!”  Rabbits understand that the present moment is the only moment.  They eat their favorite food first, because anything could happen in the future so they enjoy the “now”.  To be clear: rabbits don’t sit and contemplate what might happen in the future, they just accept that anything could happen, allowing themselves pure enjoyment and total alertness.

Animals are more focused on the current moment than any other thought or feeling. They do think about the past and future, but far less than humans.  It is amazing how much emotional ease living in the moment can provide.  In particular, I am always amazed at how peacefully animals react to physical injury and illness.

The animal view of terminal illness is so very different than most of their human counterparts.   When an animal has cancer, they do not become emotionally involved in the potential debilitation of the disease.  They understand that only the moment they are currently living is important.  Humans sometimes follow their minds into the future, contemplating impending pain and suffering, or look longingly at the past, thinking of the activities they used to do with ease.  Animals don’t think like that.  Their emotional ease is considerably more than most humans, because they only live one moment of the illness at a time, rather than processing the entire gravity of the disease all at once.

Cute Things

I love animals. Obviously!  One of my favorite aspects of being an animal communicator is hearing all of the cute and amazing things animals do.

For this newsletter, I wanted to share some adorable moments that occur in my household.  Many of these instances do not directly relate to telepathic communication, but I feel they speak to the ever important issue of enjoying every moment spent with animals.  Our animal friends live in the moment, inventing very unique places to sleep, things to eat, and other crazy antics; rarely to be held back by public opinion.

Brussel Sprout Rugby

The rabbits, Arthur and Clyde , live for food.  Each day at lunch they get two Brussel sprouts; presumably one per rabbit.  If either of the rabbits drops their sprout, they are incapable of finding it again.  The farsighted nature of rabbits combined with impatience seems to explain this phenomenon.  So the rabbit that drops their sprout attempts to steal the other one’s sprout.  This results in a raucous game of Brussel Sprout Rugby.  They run, body slam, steal the sprout back and forth, and try to chew really fast whenever they manage to take a bite. (They never hurt each other, it is just a game.)

Speaking Their Language

My husband Tim and Nikita (orange cat) have a special language.  When Tim comes home from work Nikita meets him in the driveway.  Tim makes a purring sound and Nikita stretches his head up and waits for Tim to swoop his hand down, petting Nik from the nose to the tail.  Nikita will do the same for me, but Tim was the inventor of this communication.

That is Not Our Property

When I am outside with May (gray cat), she gets very upset if I talk to any neighbors, or go on their lawn.  She stands at the edge of our property and meows.  She says, “That’s not our property, you don’t belong there”.  The irony is that she feels perfectly fine about visiting the neighbors when she is on her own.

Sugared Cushions

The rabbits with their bottomless pit stomachs, will attempt to eat anything that smells good.  If anyone is eating fruit or sweets, it is necessary to wash hands before playing with the rabbits because they will take a “taste”.  They never bite, but they are not adverse to nibbling flavored fingers.

One day Tim (husband) was eating strawberries dipped in powdered sugar while sitting on the couch.  The next day Clyde chewed several holes in the couch cushion.  He said, “It tasted like powdered sugar”.  Who can argue with that?

The Door Must Stay Open

Sasha enjoys the outdoors, but also has fears.  She will not go outside unless the door stays open.  However, she doesn’t trust us to leave the door open, so she will only go outside if we are outside and the door is open.  Then she watches us, and runs to the doorway if we go anywhere near it, to make sure we can’t close it with her outside.  I have tried promising, but she likes to make sure.

Take it and Run

Arthur and Clyde , our food hounds, love to eat almost anything.  We have to keep the dry cat food out of reach, and we must protect our own meal while we are eating at the coffee table.  On several occasions the boys have stolen a full can of soda, promptly spilling it on the carpet.  One time Clyde stole an apple from a student’s purse.  Whenever they take food, they always run as fast as possible carrying the loot in their mouth, back to a “safe” spot.

Flirting

May (gray cat), loves to flirt with people.  She will do little half somersaults and stretch out with her belly to the sky.  She rolls on her back waiting for belly rubs.  Whenever we make eye contact with her, Tim and I squint, and then she squeezes her eyes closed.  That is “I love you” in cat language.

Chirping at Cats

Our long haired orange cat, Sasha, has the cutest habit of chirping at other cats.  If she is on the bed and Nikita enters the room (even in the dark), she will start chirping.  It is a sound reserved only for other cats, her own special greeting.  The other cats think it’s ridiculous, but she keeps doing it.  We love it; it is like a combination purr, meow, and chirp.

Consolidation

Clyde (white rabbit) loves to be petted.  He could spend hours getting a head rub.  Arthur always wants to do whatever Clyde does- he is the eternal sidekick.  Whenever we are petting Clyde , Arthur slides his head under our hand and smashes his cheek against Clyde ’s.  We call this consolidation; very convenient because we can pet two rabbits with one hand.

I’m in the Litter Box

I previously wrote about our efforts to litter train Arthur (French lop).  He is 99% accurate in terms of using the litter box, if you go by his definition of “using”.  He likes to put his front feet in the box and hang by his armpits over the side.  This leaves the hind end (the important end) just outside of the box.  No matter what I tell him about it, he says, “I am in the litter box.”  We tried every kind of gadget, strategy, and communication, but nothing seems to work.  I even made him a handicap accessible box to make it easier to climb in with his arthritic hips.   Finally I surrendered to the cuteness!

This Food Tastes Like S*&%

Nikita, “the man”, likes canned cat food; or so he says.  He usually looks forward to the meal, but when he gets it sometimes he disapproves of the flavor.  He scrapes the linoleum around the bowl as if to bury the food.  I asked him why, and he said, “This food tastes like S*&%!”  (The other cats think it tastes fine.)

Thank you for indulging me in my tails of cuteness.  I had a hard time narrowing the article down to only a select few.  Please love and cherish the moments you have with your animals.  Understanding animals is sometimes more about appreciating them, and less about trying to “figure” them out.

“I don’t use litterboxes”

When Arthur, the French Lop, lived with his foster family he was very good about using a litter box.  Upon arriving at our house, he was going everywhere but the box.  I soon discovered part of the issue; we used hay in our litter boxes and he thought that made a really nice bed.  He had been using a pellet litter in his former home, so I got a second box and put litter in it and let him keep the hay box as a bed.

The problem was not solved.  Still he was going everywhere (occasionally in the litter box too).  I sat and meditated, visualized and communicated several times each day.  Things got a little better but still not great.  I would ask, “Why Arthur?”  Rarely did I get any reply at all.  During the first few weeks he seemed to be in his own world of adjustment, uninterested in my communications.  I went on the assumption that he was marking his territory.

I begged Clyde , “Please teach him, then you can both have nicer things and more freedom”.  Clyde was very sweet about it, “OK, I will show him how to do it.”  After that Arthur began using the hay box for a litter box.  I would cheer and congratulate him.  Slowly we had fewer accidents, and better communication.  Now Arthur responds to my inquiries and lets us know if he needs something.

During the time of Arthur’s non-box use, I would sometimes feel despair.  “How will this ever work out?”  I had to take time outs, breathe deeply, and remember that he is a living being, ever capable of adjustment, change, and cooperation.  Keeping in mind that it was not my will against his, but our mutual desire for him to have a new healthy happy life.  When feeling stressed about his behaviors I would go in a separate room to avoid upsetting him.

When it comes to undesirable behaviors with animals it is so important to remember that they are beings with feelings, thoughts and free will; just like us.  With love, cooperation, and compromise on our part, the goal of meeting both parties’ needs is possible.  Sometimes it is necessary for humans to identify the difference between chosen behaviors and natural behaviors with animals (i.e. rabbits by nature feel a need to mark in a new environment- we need to allow for that need).

Bunny Love

We adopted Clyde , the rabbit, in October of 2002 and he is a fabulous contributor to the household.  He constantly wants company, love, and of course food!  Even though I work from home, he often felt lonely and pleaded for more petting.  The cats gave him occasional head-butts, but Clyde always wanted more.  He said it would be nice to have a furry friend to sleep with.  So, I started visiting http://www.hopline.com for adoptable rabbit friends.

Along came Arthur, a sweet five year old French Lop.  I made arrangements to have Clyde go to Arthur’s foster home for a “date”.  We told Clyde that it was up to him to decide if Arthur would come home with us.  When they met they were both more interested in the people and exploring than in each other.  Arthur was being a bit dominating with Clyde , and Clyde seemed confused.  I asked him what he wanted to do, and he decided he would like to give Arthur a try at our house. (Of course I also asked Arthur if that was ok with him!)

That same night we brought Arthur home and put him in a fenced pen in the same room with Clyde .  For five days they got together for meals and supervised play time, but stayed separate when we weren’t there.  Arthur continued to be a bit dominating but also had moments of tenderness with Clyde .  They got along best when eating, as this is their favorite activity.

Clyde pleaded with me every day to let him and Arthur be free together all of the time.  I was concerned because Arthur was still chasing him, but Clyde assured me that they would be fine.  Taking a leap of faith I removed the fence and put them together.  They were fine, and gradually started snuggling more and more.  Now they love to cuddle, groom, eat and drink together.  They smoosh their faces together and sleep for hours.  Clyde couldn’t be happier, and Arthur is also thrilled to have a friend.

Hit by a Car (and survived)

One day in October I was beginning a morning of phone consultations, when Nikita (the orange cat), walked in and went to bed on the office sofa.  I was on the phone, but glanced over at him just to say hi.  He matter-of-factly said, “I have been hit by a car”.  I was stunned, he looked perfectly healthy!

After the consultation I went to examine him.  One claw on each back foot had been broken off completely.  The stumps were bloody and terribly painful.  Still I thought maybe I was imagining the message about the car.  I called his vet and she said it made sense that those injuries could be from getting hit by a car.  She treated him with a homeopathic remedy and he began to feel better instantly.

I found it hard to believe; we live on a very quite cul-de-sac and wouldn’t he have more injuries?  I checked his head and found some road rash with bits of gravel, so I concluded that he had indeed had some incident on the road.

I suspected a particular teenager that likes to cruise our street (because Nikita said it happened late at night.)  I asked another communicator for a description of the car, and she described the same color vehicle and loud music.  However, I know this teenager drives slowly and seemingly careful.  I gave Nikita a lecture about staying out of the street and away from cars.

When I first got Nikita as a kitten I began with a goal of having him as an indoor cat, but he becomes destructive and violent if kept in.  He says he would rather live 2 years outdoors than 15 years indoors.  Communicating with our animals sometimes means compromising or even giving in to their ideas.  Nikita reminds me frequently that he does not have a “boss”, “I am an equal peer”, he says, “I am an adult”.

I am grateful that my “adult” Nikita survived the car incident with minor injuries.  Today he is well; one of the claws is still raw but slowly growing back.

Meditating with Animals

Animals respond to centered calm peaceful energy.  Meditating with your animals not only helps you relax and feel good; it also really helps your animals.  Animals and people sometimes have misunderstandings about behaviors because of the emotions involved.  For example: several cats have told me that they scratch the furniture when the people aren’t looking because they want to spare their people from the stress that they experience when they see the cat scratching.  This is sweet of the cat, but she obviously does not understand the person’s true feelings.  In such a circumstance it is important to show the cat that it is not the act of scratching that upsets you, but the place where they are scratching.  To do that you can meditate on the topic and visualize the desired results.

I have often seen misunderstandings arise when a new animal joins the family.  The humans often panic if their animals fight, and sometimes react with quick movements, yelling or even punishment.  The energy and emotional tone of the reaction actually matches the energy of fighting.  This only leads to more stress and discord.  When my animals fight, if I have the proper mindset, I sit quietly and meditate.  I try to understand the deeper issue of the conflict and visualize peace.  I find it more effective than punishment.  (Of course if there is danger of physical harm then you need to end the fight first.)

To meditate with your animal, you do not need them to be physically present.  Simply sit and be quiet, evoking their image, love and well-being.  After a few sessions you might find they join you physically.  I notice that my animals bring me a lot of comfort and good advice.  They all have so much to offer if we listen.  Enjoy the animals around you, give them hugs and try to match your energy to your desired results in life.

Myths, Ideas, and One Fuzzy Bunny

Myth #1: Animals can be “made” to change a behavior.

I have asked animals to change their behavior and they have responded promptly and generously.  When that has happened I always heard their side first and offered alternatives, compromises or explanations. Telepathic communication can be useful in helping both sides understand one another, but animals ultimately decide for themselves when it comes to behavior.  (Their instincts and natural inclinations also make certain behaviors more challenging for them.)

Idea: Help them visualize the new behavior.

If you want your animal to change a behavior, then help them see what you want.  Close your eyes and visualize your animal in their daily routine (omit the negative behaviors).  As they sleep, eat, play, and interact with others send the feeling (emotion) of happiness and peace.  Then visualize the specific behavior that you want them to perform (using the litter box, scratching their post, or sitting quietly when guests arrive).  Do this exercise everyday for two weeks.

Fuzzy Bunny: Clyde chews the couch.

Not all behaviors can be changed.  I have visualized good behavior in the living room to my rabbit Clyde many times, but his instinct is to dig and chew.  In the case of natural behaviors, sometimes it is the human who needs to change their expectations rather than the animal.    We understand that bunnies explore their environment by chewing and digging, so we made one room bunny safe; that is where he spends his days and nights.  When we are available to watch him and play with him he can be in the living room.

Myth #2:  Animals need an animal communicator to help them talk to each other.

All beings, animals and humans included, are capable of speaking telepathically to one another.  Some humans don’t use the ability or even believe in it.  Other animals have no reason to talk to one another.  Most domestic animals do communicate with each other; this doesn’t mean that they will be friends.  I have talked to animals in households that were not getting along and helped them resolve their differences.  My assistance was in the form of therapy, not translations, because the animals were already capable of understanding each other.

Idea: Realize the intensity of living with another species 24 hours a day in a small house.

We ask animals to set aside their natural relationships and live together harmoniously.   They often rarely leave the house and have to share the affection of their person.  For some animals this is easy, for others it can be a real challenge.  To help your animal friends get along it is important to discuss new members before you bring them home.  It is also helpful to demonstrate relationships- if you want peace then be peaceful.  Again, you can visualize the behaviors you would like to see.  Finally, be sure each animal is getting what they need in terms of food, love, litter boxes, and exercise.

Fuzzy Bunny: Clyde and the cats are constantly working out their relationship issues.

We (the humans) do what we can to help our rabbit and cats get along.  Sometimes the best thing to do is to let go and understand that the humans are not the center of the universe (surprising isn’t it?!)  The cats both like to “bat the bunny”; they lift their paw and hold it suspended for a moment in front of Clyde- then they lightly smack him.  Clyde flees, then turns and runs straight at the cat.  Sometimes it is a game, and sometimes they get in a bit of an argument.  No one ever gets hurt and we all continue to work on understanding one other.

Myth #4: An animal communicator can diagnose an illness.

When I talk with animals they tell me how they are feeling physically; sometimes in detail.  I can relay this information to their people or vet, but this does not give me knowledge of their specific medical condition.   Practice over the years makes it is possible to become familiar with the symptoms of certain illnesses, but this does not make me a vet- the animals should be treated by professionals.

Idea: Health issues are often felt internally before physical symptoms are visible to the animal’s person.

If you notice your animal behaving differently, she may not be feeling well.  Also, there are different types of veterinary medicine- you might consider acupuncture or homeopathy for some illnesses.

Fuzzy Bunny:  Clyde became healthy with the help of a team of vets.

When we first got Clyde he was very sick. After his recovery from surgery Clyde would sleep too long and too deep.  My homeopathic vet treated him and he became much more alert and happy.  Then I took him in for acupuncture and chiropractic work and he really felt better!  He became very alert and physically comfortable.  By talking with him I knew he wasn’t feeling 100% and he could tell me what was bothering him, so it was very rewarding to find a way to help him feel good.

Myth #5: You need an animal communicator to help you tell your animal about a life change.

Animal Communicators appreciate your business of course, but everyone is capable of sending clear messages to animals.

Idea:  Send your animal pictures and feelings about the next upcoming change.

If you are going on vacation, moving, or preparing your pet for surgery, then you can visualize and describe the feelings to them and they will understand.  Try to be quiet and listen for their message to you about what they will need.

Fuzzy Bunny:  I told Clyde about his upcoming visit to the chiropractor.

Even though Clyde was given an idea about what was going to happen, he was hesitant to get into the carrier.  Once he was there, however, he relaxed quickly when he saw that I was accurate in my description of the upcoming visit.