First Published in the Santa Barbara News-Press
I had a phone session a woman named Karen. She has 7-year-old female calico cat with big golden eyes named Audrey. Karen wanted to know if there was anything Audrey wanted to say or anything she wants or needs.
Audrey starts the conversation with, “My mom has gone through a lot in the last few years. Her heart is opening up like a spring flower. You know music when it sounds like doom thunder time and then it gets relaxed? Mom, is in the relaxed stage.” Karen shared that she recently went through a bad breakup. During this time, there had been a lot of thunderstorms and flooding in her state which is where “doom thunder” came from.
Audrey went on to talk about wanting her water dish scrubbed more often, a different type of litter and to go outside at night so she could see “the amazing stars in the sky”. “I am really enjoying the new bathroom smell. It would be nice if that was in the living room.” She says. Turns out her mom recently put a new fragrant soap in the bathroom.
Audrey continued, “There is this one peachy colored facial cream that looks extraordinary on my mom.” Karen has been diligent about taking care of her skin lately. Audrey was clearly using the session to give her mom an emotional pep talk.
When I asked Audrey if she missed her old dad she replied, “Oh, my goodness. I will tell you a thing about him. He is sort of like a tv. The conversation goes one way. Not two ways. You talk to him and sometimes you get nothing back. Even I respond better. I would go to him and be like ‘Are you in there?’. He is not an emotionally stable guy. I feel bad for him because he has some type of hiccup in his head. I don’t need to see him again. He is not mom worthy.”
Karen shared that her ex-boyfriend was not very communicative or empathic to her feelings. Time and time again, animals will tell their people through me that their significant other or their ex does not treat not them right or is not the right person for them. In these situations, it’s always a little awkward to be the animals’ translator, but it is also an honor.
When the truth is spoken so practically, a still moment follows where the client gets very quiet. I wait it out, because deep change is occurring. The people are processing their animal’s level of consciousness and the reality of what was just said. They realize that all the trauma they went through, where they thought that they we were all alone, there was actually a silent observer that witnessed, understood and cared for them the whole time. That their animal was not just there to snuggle with them but also understood the complexity of the situation and had compassion for their plight. It’s a “whoa aha” moment that excites me, because I know that animal will be looked at differently from that moment forward. This doesn’t just happen with breakups, it can happen with illness, work issues and conflict in any relationships. The animals are super aware.
When I am listening to the animals, sometimes I chuckle too loudly to myself and then have to pull it together while I translate what was said. Like when Audrey goes on to give her mom dating advice, “Mom, just be yourself and know that you have awesomeness inside of you. If you have to ask yourself, “Does this guy know I am awesome?” get rid of him before he breaks your heart. Also wear cool shoes, so when you kick him out of the house, you can think about your cool shoes rather than the disappointing guy.”
Leave it to a cat to give the best advice.