Saturday, January 23, 2010

Talking to Chance

A friend told me recently that she had worked with a woman named Dawn Allen, who is something called an animal communicator. Dawn was very helpful in giving my friend insight into her diabetic cat. So naturally I decided I wanted to see what Chance had to say. I am here to report that it was really fun, really helpful, and if you are at all inclined and have the money, go for it, especially if you have a problem with your animal (I gather she communicates with all kinds).

Dawn and I talked on the phone this morning for a half an hour, mostly about Chance. I described the cat to her and told her we think she's a little bit over three years old. And I explained that I wanted to know about her overall health and happiness, and I wanted to hear how she felt about us getting another cat or dog. Dawn listened and then said she'd be quiet for a couple of minutes while she talked to your Chance, and then she would tell me what she said.

After a minute or two of silence, Dawn said, with some surprise and delight, "This is one of the most well-adjusted cats I've met lately! She says she is very happy living here, she's comfortable in any room, she is happy to be here. She likes how she's handled and she's fine with anything, within reason." Any kind of handling, she meant.

The negative news was not so bad: Chance misses the summer and the windows being open and the fresh air. She doesn't have enough to look at outside. She doesn't like the smell of our heat, which could either be the new woodstove or the forced air from the furnace. I told Dawn about the woodstove and commented that she always sits in the chair in front of it. And Dawn said, "She likes to be warm! These are minor things, not life-altering. She really likes crunchy food." I gather she doesn't care for the stuff we have now, she prefers something we used to have. I had Lily get her this cat treat called Greenies and as Chance went over and devoured them, Dawn said, "Oh, yes, she really likes those!"

Other comments: She would love to go outside, she's a very outdoorsy cat and loves anything about the outdoors. But she's not sure she would like to go on a leash; that could be enjoyable or frustrating. She attacks our legs because she doesn't have anything else to hunt, and she felt bad about almost knocking Lily down the stairs the other night, she certainly wouldn't want to do that. She likes to play with us, but when I play roughly with her, like when I put on the leather oven mitt and we wrestle, she says it's a fine line between fun and aggression. She feels bad when it goes to far, she feels like we've been in a fight. She doesn't want to fight with me. She does love to play with any of the toys, however, like the mouse on the string, for instance.

She is open-minded to the idea of another animal, either a cat or a dog, but it really depends on the animal. There was something about how she doesn't mind dogs visiting unless they're annoying but my notes aren't clear there.

Why did she dig out all the soil in those three large pots the other day? "That was really fun! Yes, the litter box was dirty and she doesn't like that." But mostly because it was fun. She drinks the plant water and nibbles the plants because she likes to. Again, she's very outdoorsy.

As for the Japanese soaking tub, which she seems fascinated by and has fallen into a couple of times, Dawn said,"Sometimes she gets carried away with exploring and experimenting. If we were to make a really shallow tub, or bowl, she'd like to play with that. But it's not like she's not longing for fun. She finds her own fun."

About her eye, which was punctured before we got her, occasionally it feels sticky, and perhaps that's when we notice that it's tearing. She can feel the eyelid stretch over the eye, which isn't normal, or comfortable. But that's the worst of it. She is surprisingly tolerant of our wiping it clean and she feels really healthy overall.

I asked Dawn to please convey to her that we are thrilled that she chose us, we really love having her as a part of the family, and if there's anything else to please let us know. Also, does she need to talk to Dawn another time? "Of course she's thrilled you feel that way," Dawn said, "she is really a family cat. She loves everybody in the family. She has no specific need to speak with me, she conveys herself and explains herself very well." That's sure the truth! And hey, I was happy with that response. It occurred to me as I asked this that the response could easily have been that Chance needs to speak with me every week for $50 for 30 minutes. Thank goodness it was not.

So since I had a couple of minutes left I asked Dawn about Felicia, the Seal Point Siamese that I got when I was 11 who became my mother's cat when I went to college. She's been dead for 20 years or more, and Dawn said she could try to communicate with her but it wasn't always successful.

I explained that my mother felt bad because she hadn't taken Felicia to the vet every year, so had missed that the poor thing had an abscessed tooth. People were much more casual about animals (and other things) in those days, and she didn't know that was something she should do. Once she figured it out she ended up putting Felicia down, because she was also dehydrated, and it wasn't clear she would survive the hydration process, never mind the subsequent tooth removal. My mom still feels bad about that, and wishes she'd just paid the money. I think she still misses Felicia, who was a really important part of her life. And perhaps this is coming up because we have Chance--everyone who comes here says, what a great cat! that's a great cat!--and also she and Don are thinking about getting a cat themselves.

So Dawn was quiet a few minutes, and then she said, "It's so quiet, so sleepy, I wasn't quite sure I was talking to anyone! But what I'm getting is that Felicia says the past is the past; she is at peace; she is fine. I thought from the way you described it that the home was neglectful, but she says it was a very good home, that she was appreciated and loved. Her health experience was internal, not external, and she doesn't see humans as responsible for that.

She felt she was well-cared for and appreciated. She kept your mother company, that was her job--and she was really good at it! It didn't occur to her that your mother didn't do enough."

She certainly was good at it. Dawn and I discussed how veterinary dentistry is a whole new field, and isn't dentistry in general taken much more seriously, in the last 20 years? I don't remember being told to floss until I was in my 30s, but Lily is told to floss every day and we insist on it. I felt much relieved to know that Felicia bears us no ill will, and that she felt loved and appreciated, because she certainly was. And of course I am delighted that Chance is so happy here, because we adore her.

Is it hokey? Is it nonsense? Who knows? I remember hearing a friend tell a story about how once, when he was having a really hard time in his life, he dreamed that he was drowning and someone tried to reach out to save him. And when he told a friend about it the next day, she said, that's odd, I had a dream last night that someone was drowning and I tried to help him. My friend concluded that there is more going on than we realize. And that has been my experience too.

I was reassured and comforted by my conversation with Dawn today, and that's all that matters. Draw your own conclusions. By the way, she offers workshops. You can go to her website and see if she's coming to your town. You can develop your own ability to talk to your animals.


  1. Sasha, had you told Dawn about the leather oven mitt and Lily on the stairs before she brought it up?

  2. I have been thinking about contacting a pet psychic about my dog Kirby for sometime. I did it once a few years ago, but the skeptic in me won out. Plus I didn't get anything useful. Kirby is exhibiting a lot of separation anxiety and last night was walking around the apartment crying and whimpering. Does she miss the dog sitter, Tricia, more than me? Like you, I just want to make sure Kirby knows I love her to pieces and want so much to do whatever I can to make her happy and healthy.

  3. I had asked about playing and told Dawn that Chance bit us some times, and stalks us, and almost knocked Lily down the stairs this week. But I hadn't made a differentiation between our wrestling, which only she and I do, and our playing, like I or Lily throw a superball for her, or we use the mouse on the string toy. Dawn talked about two kinds of play, and said the wrestling play was mixed and the other play was great.

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