Everyone who has cats that spend time outside knows that there are risks involved with letting them be outside. Cars, other cats, dogs, small predators — even humans — can pose a danger to cats. But for people who live in the mountains in the USA, the dangers are greater and the predators bigger. Most cats become savvy and expert at avoiding danger . . . but their people always worry, even though they know it’s their cat’s choice to run the risk.
I spoke with Nancy about her cat Oscar at a fair in Colorado. Nancy said she’d always had indoor cats, due to the dangers outside in Colorado. But things changed when her cat Oscar entered her life. Oscar made it clear to Nancy that he wanted to spend time outside. Nancy didn’t want to stifle Oscar or make him unhappy, so she started letting him go outside — but only under her strict supervision. Oscar was allowed to go out on the patio and run around in the fenced back yard but only when Nancy was watching him. Oscar loved his new freedom and enjoyed every minute of outdoor play and looked forward to each chance to get outdoors.
Then Nancy moved to a new house closer to the mountains in Colorado. In the new house, Oscar discovered the dog door and began to let himself out into the yard. Oscar was totally loving the new freedom he had — but Nancy was worried. The new yard was fenced, but backed up to a hiking trail and Nancy had seen fox, bear, coyotes and even mountain lions in the trail area. Any of these could make a meal of Oscar.
Nancy told me she had seen Oscar go over the fence in the backyard, into the trail area. I asked Oscar about this. He admitted to going over the fence, but only once. In fact, he showed me that he spent most of his time sitting on the roof of the shed near the fence, watching the trail activity.
Nancy confirmed that Oscar had spent a lot of time on the shed roof, watching the woods and trail. She also said that she’d only found Oscar missing on one occasion. But she was very worried that if Oscar didn’t stay in the yard, he would be killed by predators.
I explained to Oscar that it was very important to stay in the yard. I told him that there were big animals (I showed him images of foxes, coyotes, bear and mountain lions) that would end his life and cause him to go to Spirit. I told him that Nancy was very worried about him and didn’t want this to happen — so it was very, very important that he stayed in the yard.
Oscar told me he understood the dangers. He said, “I’ve seen some really bad things happen out there to other animals.” The images Oscar showed me were of predators killing and eating other animals. He’d seen this the day he was missing from the yard and he’d seen it again from the roof of the shed on another occasion. He was shocked and clearly scared by what he’d seen. Oscar told me that because of what he’d seen, he was never going to leave the yard again. Oscar knew it wasn’t safe outside the fence. He told me he knew he was safe inside the yard because Nancy’s three dogs would protect him.
Nancy said that Oscar was welcome to use the dog door to go out whenever he wanted to, but he needed to stay in the fenced yard. She said it was OK for Oscar to go on the shed roof if he wanted to. I told Oscar this and while he was more than happy to agree to stay in the yard, he said he didn’t think he’d spend much time on the shed roof any more — not after what he’d seen.
I heard from Nancy a year or so later. She reported that Oscar continues to keep his promise to stay in the yard and hasn’t been sitting on the roof of the shed. Nancy said Oscar is happy to watch the birds, scout for mice and look through the fence into the neighbor’s yard.
“I am so relieved that Oscar has kept his promise and stays in the yard. Hearing Oscar’s promise directly – through Sky, along with his behavior verifying this, is such a relief to me. I want Oscar to be happy and free but not at the expense of his safety. Thanks, Sky for helping protect my loved ones!” — Nancy J., CO.
A beautiful Siamese kitten found her person, Julie, in October of 2014. Julie named the kitten KitKat and says, “I didn’t rescue KitKat, KitKat rescued me.”
Julie and KitKat became best of friends. KitKat definitely loved being outside and this caught up with her in April of 2016 when she had a litter of 5 adorable kittens. (KitKat did get spayed as soon as possible after the kittens were born, so there will be no more kittens in the future.)
No cat could have been prouder of her kittens that KitKat and she was a wonderful mother. The kittens were so adorable that Julie had no problems finding homes for them as soon as they were old enough to be adopted. Julie thought that it would be nice for KitKat to have one of her kittens stay with her so KitKat had a companion to play with, so she kept one of the kittens — a black and white kitten that Julie named Shadow.
Good intentions do sometimes back fire!
Julie contacted me in early September 2016 and asked me to see if I could figure out what was going on between KitKat and Shadow. KitKat would hiss and growl at Shadow whenever he came near her. To Julie, Shadow seemed quiet and gentle. Julie just wanted them both to get along and couldn’t understand how KitKat could behave this way toward her own kitten.
When I talked to KitKat, she seemed quite grumpy and annoyed. Julie said that this was how KitKat seemed to her as well — which was not normal for KitKat. When I asked KitKat about Shadow, she said, “Why is he still here? Am I not enough for her?” I explained to KitKat that Julie’s intention was to have Shadow be a friend to her and give her someone to play with. KitKat said, “I want nothing to do with him.”
I felt that there was more going on than just KitKat not wanting Shadow around. I asked KitKat how she felt about her other kittens going to new homes. KitKat was very clear that, to her, it was the natural order of things — a cat has kittens, they are weaned and then the kittens are on their own. KitKat felt she should be able to go back to her own life, without kittens. But that didn’t happen because Shadow was still there.
From KitKat’s perspective, Shadow was always there, wanting to play and getting in her face. She felt like she was supposed to be responsible for him and didn’t want to be. I asked KitKat about growling and hissing at Shadow. She showed me she felt she had to be loud and clear with Shadow about wanting him to leave her alone — but “he still doesn’t listen or remember!”
KitKat’s solution to this was to spend as much time as possible outside away from Shadow. She showed me that she would make a loop through the neighborhood when she was out. If Shadow was being particularly annoying, she would make an even longer loop. But she always came home at night and Julie was grateful for that. When KitKat was in the house, she was very tense — always waiting for Shadow to pounce on her, which he did all the time. KitKat couldn’t wait to get outside every day. Julie asked me to tell KitKat that she was concerned that KitKat wouldn’t come back one day. KitKat said, “This is my home, where else would I go?” That helped Julie feel better about KitKat being gone all day.
All of this discord made Julie very sad. She just couldn’t understand KitKat’s attitude toward Shadow. I knew we had more to figure out.
Julie wanted me to ask KitKat if there was another reason that she didn’t want to be around Shadow. KitKat immediately said she thought that Shadow was “stupid.” When I told Julie that, we both started to laugh — it seemed like such an unlikely thing for a cat to say. Julie admitted that she’d gotten the feeling that this was the case. I asked why KitKat she felt Shadow was “stupid”. KitKat showed me that, unlike herself, Shadow was “not brave” when he was outside and stayed close to the house. Julie confirmed that this was true. I asked Julie if there were any “smart” things that Shadow did outside. Julie told me that Shadow sometimes climbed the tree in the yard and had figured out how to get up on the porch roof — which KitKat never did. KitKat smugly pointed out that Shadow only climbed the tree because he copied her and very grudgingly admitted that climbing on the roof was clever. KitKat said that Shadow “wasn’t smart about being outside” and she didn’t want to have to be responsible for him. We assured KitKat that she did not need to feel responsible for Shadow inside or outside — that was Julie’s job now. That took the pressure off of KitKat and made her feel better.
I felt that we had a good understanding of what was going on from KitKat’s perspective, so it was time to talk to Shadow. I told KitKat we would do that next and she told me to tell Shadow to “back off!” I assured her we would do our best to help Shadow understand. I told KitKat that she needed to give Shadow a chance and to try not to be so reactive to Shadow — to ignore him as much as possible and avoid him when she was in the house. KitKat said, “I’m not the problem — he is!” But she said she would try, even though it would be hard to ignore him.
When I talked to Shadow, his energy was totally different from KitKat’s. Shadow had very happy energy — and lots of it! I asked Shadow about his interactions with KitKat. From his perspective, he was just trying to get Shadow to play with him. He couldn’t understand why KitKat didn’t want to play and have fun. He showed me that he was very persistent and didn’t take “no” for an answer — even though it never got him anywhere. I explained to Shadow that KitKat really, REALLY did not want to play with him — she was just not that kind of cat. I told Shadow that if he wanted to play or get rid of energy, he could run around the house, play with his toys or come to one of the people and ask them to play with him. Shadow said, “Is it really so important to her [KitKat]? Then I guess I will try not to bother her.”
Julie wanted to make sure that Shadow understood how important it was for him to leave KitKat alone. Julie asked me to tell him (and she meant it) that if he and KitKat couldn’t get along, she would have to find a new home for Shadow because KitKat was there first. Shadow responded by saying, “Oh no! I like it here. I don’t want to go anywhere else!” He said he felt special because he was the only kitten that got to stay. He said he just wanted to play with KitKat, but he would try to remember to come to a person if he wanted play or get extra attention. He said it wouldn’t be as much fun as playing with KitKat, but he would really try.
We asked Shadow how he felt about going outside. Julie wanted to know why he stayed by the house, rather than roaming more. Shadow showed me being chased up a tree by a dog when he first started going outside. He said it really scared him and he thought he was going to “be up in the tree forever,” but he finally felt safe enough to come down. He said he never wanted that to happen again. He thought the outside was “a very big place” and it was safer to stay close to the house and only be out for short periods. Julie confirmed that Shadow only went out for an hour or so at a time. I asked Shadow what he thought of KitKat being out all day. He said she was “very brave” and he felt she moved through the yard “like a wild cat” — he was a bit in awe of that!
I reinforced with Shadow that if he wanted to stay in his home with Julie and KitKat, he need to leave KitKat alone. I reminded him that playing with his toys, running the house or going to the humans for play instead was the right thing to do. Shadow very sincerely said, “I will try.”
I heard from Julie again late in September. She reported that Shadow was doing a great job and was backing down when KitKat warned him to stay away. As a result, KitKat no longer had to be so “loud” about telling Shadow to move away. Peace was restored and KitKat was able to relax.
But an occasional issue had gotten worse — Shadow was peeing outside the litter box — not all the time, but way too often. When I asked Shadow about this, he said he, “didn’t mean to pee everywhere, but I just HAVE to go!” Shadow didn’t show me that he had pain typical of a UTI or bladder issue, but he did say that he thought his urine had a strong smell. UTI’s can have subtle symptoms in cats and I was concerned that Shadow might have a UTI. I told Julie that I would encourage Shadow to use the litter box, but if he continued to pee outside the litter box, she should have Shadow checked by the vet. Julie agreed to follow up with the vet if needed. I showed Shadow that it was very important that as soon as he felt he needed to pee, he needed to run for the litter box and pee in the box. We went over this several times and Shadow was able to show me what he needed to do and said he would do his best to try, since it was upsetting Julie so much.
A week or two later, Julie reported that a couple days after the chat with Shadow, she and Shadow were in the garage and Shadow suddenly dashed for the house at a full run. Julie was afraid he’d gotten startled by something and went to look for Shadow. To her delight, Julie found Shadow in the litter box peeing! Clearly, he followed the directions to the letter and there were no more incidents of peeing outside the litter box.
I heard from Julie again in November. Shadow was now a big boy and starting to really throw his weight around — much to KitKat’s distress. KitKat was still spending most of the day outside, but Shadow knew just when KitKat normally came in and would wait for her in the hallway, ready to pounce on her.
When I asked KitKat about this, she was beyond frustrated. To her, Shadow was just being a bully. Coming into the house, which should have been a relaxing time for KitKat, had become a tense and unhappy time. I assured her we’d talk to Shadow about this. I asked her if it would work for her if we told Shadow not to wait in the hallway, so KitKat could come in safely. She agreed that would work for her. KitKat felt they were getting along OK otherwise.
I asked Shadow about lying in wait for KitKat to come in. Shadow was delighted about this new game! As before, he had no intention at all of hurting KitKat and just wanted to play “pounce”. I explained to Shadow that he very much outweighed KitKat and that she was not enjoying the game at all. As before, Shadow didn’t understand KitKat’s reluctance to play. I told Shadow that it would be best if he stayed out of the hallway during the time when KitKat normally came in. I showed him that he could go to any other room in the house at that time, but not the hallway. I reminded him again that playing with his toys, going outside, running in the house and playing with his people were all great ways to play.
Shadow agreed to the plan and was able to show me what we requested he do . . . but he still wanted to interact with KitKat. I suggested that it would be OK for Shadow to sit or lie down near KitKat and just be quiet with her. I reminded him that when he wanted to be active, he should play with his toys, run in the house, go outside or play with his people. Shadow said, “I’m not that good at being quiet, but I’ll try.” I also encouraged Julie to play with Shadow more often so he could get rid of some energy. Julie agreed to do that and said she would keep reminding Shadow of the plan.
I heard from Julie again in January 2017. This time it was good news! Peace had been restored between Shadow and KitKat! Because Shadow had learned to be “quiet,” he and KitKat had become close friends and could lie quietly — and happily — next to each other, as in the photo above. Julie was thrilled that beautiful momma KitKat and her adorable son, Shadow, could be happy together in their forever home. Finally, everyone was happy!
“I am so grateful for our sessions with Sky because we couldn’t have worked out the difficulties without communication through her. You are our saving grace, Sky!” — Julie E., CO.
The first time I spoke to Nancy was at a metaphysical fair in Colorado. She told me that she had two dogs who’d recently crossed to Spirit — Sophie, a chow mix and Buster, a pit bull. Nancy had adopted the dogs within days of each other. She missed both dogs very much. Nancy said she was at ease about why Buster needed to cross to Spirit — he was very arthritic and weak. But she had questions for Sophie. Nancy didn’t tell me anything more at that point, so I connected to Sophie.
As soon as I connected to Sophie, I could feel what a strong, determined and very “in control” spirit she had. The first thing Sophie said was that everything was all right now — she was fine. Sophie showed herself to me as healthy and strong. It was clear to me that it was very important to Sophie that Nancy know this. Sophie also showed me that she was with another dog who was shorter than Sophie — I had no doubt that this was Buster. Buster looked happy, contented and perfect. Nancy explained that she had helped Buster and Sophie cross to Spirit on the same day. Nancy was greatly relieved — but not surprised — to find that they were together in Spirit.
Nancy told me she really needed to understand what happened with Sophie.
When I asked Sophie to show me what happened to her at the end of her life, she showed me being perfectly healthy — until just a few days before she crossed over. She showed me her nose and throat feeling congested and full of fluid. She also showed me pressure in her chest, but I couldn’t tell what was causing it. When I told Nancy this, she said it made sense.
Nancy reported that she had woken up one morning to find Sophie bleeding from her nose. Nancy rushed Sophie to the vet and the bleeding stopped. Tests showed that Sophie had an inoperable, fatal tumor behind her heart. Nancy was devastated — Sophie had always been so healthy! Nancy had been planning to help Buster cross to Spirit soon, but had assumed she’d have Sophie with her for many years. Obviously, with the inoperable tumor and threat of bleeding (which never recurred), Sophie would need to cross to Spirit very soon.
Nancy brought Sophie home and a few days later, helped Sophie and Buster cross to Spirit together.
What Nancy didn’t understand was where the tumor came from, since Sophie had always been healthy and had no symptoms prior to the nose bleed. Her confusion about what happened made her grief over loosing both dogs even worse. She desperately hoped that Sophie could explain what happened.
Like our Guides and Angels, animals and people in Spirit see things from a different perspective. I think of it as “seeing the big picture” — being able to understand the reasons for things that happen and choices our soul consciousness makes that we might not be able to see clearly when we are alive. Because Sophie was now in Spirit, she was able to explain what happened.
Sophie told us that Buster told her that he would need to cross to Spirit soon. His body was failing and he knew that Nancy would help him cross to Spirit — but he was afraid to cross over alone. Sophie showed me that she and Buster had been inseparable since they’d been with Nancy — they loved each other and were bonded, like brother and sister. Sophie showed me that she was always the leader and Buster always followed her happily. Sophie knew that she couldn’t let Buster be alone and afraid when he crossed to Spirit, so she decided she would go with him. Sophie knew that she needed to make sure there would be no doubt in Nancy’s mind that Sophie needed to cross over with Buster — no question of whether she needed to cross over or not — so she created the tumor in her chest. Sophie said that she knew that Nancy would be OK after they crossed. She knew that Nancy would be sad, but she would be all right. Sophie didn’t think Buster could manage without her, so she chose to stay with Buster.
When I told Nancy this, she was shocked — but she agreed that it made perfect sense. Sophie always looked out for Buster and it only made sense to Nancy that she would continue to do so, even in Spirit. Sophie was a dog who knew her own mind and always followed her own plan in life — no surprise that she would do the same in death.
Nancy said that Sophie had read her right as well. Sad as Nancy was to loose both dogs at the same time, she knew in her heart that Buster needed Sophie more than Nancy did and she was very happy that they were together in Spirit.
Sophie told us that she would always look after Buster. She also said that she would look after Nancy — she showed me that she spends many nights sleeping on the floor beside Nancy’s bed. Sophie told Nancy that, “We are always there and watching over you.”
Nancy told me later that she knows this is true because recently both dogs played a joke on her . . . a friend of Nancy’s got a new dog and named her Sophie and her nephew got a cat and named him Buster! Nancy knew that her Sophie and Buster were responsible for the name choices and it made her laugh with joy!
“Having Sky get this explanation from Sophie was a great relief to me. I had counted on Sophie being there to help me get over letting of Buster. The shock of an inoperable tumor behind Sophie’s heart was more than I could fathom. Talking to Sophie and Buster was such a relief to me. I am so happy that they are together and their loss is more manageable now that I know it was Sophie’s decision to stay with her best friend.
I am so proud of Sophie!” — Nancy J., CO.
There seems to be an optimum number of animals for some people to have in their lives. Sometimes it’s one animal — sometimes more. For one of my long time clients, Liria, the number seems to be six and in her case, the animals are cats. When she has less than six cats, one seems to appear to get her back to her optimum number.
That’s what happened March of 2014. Having lost her beloved cat Shayla in December of 2013 the Universe made sure that another cat came to Liria. One of the nurses at the animal hospital where Lira’s cats are patients is also a volunteered for a cat rescue organization. She let Liria know that there was a rescued cat available for adoption. As soon as Liria saw Dylan’s picture, she knew she had to bring him home.
Dylan had a rough life before Liria adopted him. He was a stray, being fed by a kind person who got concerned because Dylan’s right eye “looked terrible”. The same nurse at the hospital trapped him and brought him to the rescue’s hospital. Dylan’s eye was so bad, they had to remove it and stitch his eye lids shut. By the time Liria saw him, the skin was completely healed over Dylan’s missing eye. She brought him home on March 22, 2014 and introduced Dylan to the cat family.
I spoke to Dylan for the first time on March 25th. He said he was grateful to be in such a nice place to live. He said he didn’t know if anyone would want him because he’d lost an eye. Liria asked me to reassure Dylan that he was perfect just as he was and that he would always be safe now. I could feel Dylan relax a bit when he heard that. Liria asked me to “scan” Dylan’s body. He wasn’t having any pain, but I felt that something wasn’t right with the left side of his face — something besides the missing eye. His mouth/jaw didn’t feel the same on the left as on the right, although I didn’t feel it was painful. When I told Liria this, she said it made sense — on his first vet exam, the vet found Dylan’s jaw had been broken and healed. Because of the broken jaw he had teeth that were missing and others that were not lining up properly which would cause him major problems in the future, so he had to have dental surgery.
Liria wanted to know if Dylan could tell us what happened to his face. He was very reluctant to talk about his past — Dylan said he really didn’t want to think about it because it was too upsetting to him. He did show me that he had lived with people, but he also showed me being kicked in the head — this is what caused his eye injury and broken jaw. Liria said that since Dylan didn’t want to talk about his past, she didn’t need to know any more about it. We assured Dylan that he was safe and that nothing like that would ever happen again. We told him that he was now in his forever home. Dylan said that he only wanted to think about how things were now and he thought he would be happy with Liria because, “She really understands cats.”
It always takes time to integrate a new furry family member, but Lira has lots of experience at it and things progressed smoothly. We talked to Dylan again at the beginning of June. Dylan had integrated well into the feline family, but two issues had surfaced.
The first issue was that Dylan clearly had lots of energy and wanted to “play” with the other younger male cat, Cooper. Cooper was thrilled to have someone to play with, since the other cats in the house didn’t really like to play as actively as Cooper did. The problem was that although Dylan would initiate and participate in play with Cooper, it would very quickly escalate into Dylan being seriously aggressive and biting Cooper. Cooper definitely did not want that — he just wanted to play!
We talked to Dylan about this behavior. It was clear to me that Dylan really didn’t understand about playing. I asked Dylan about the aggressive behavior — he showed me having to fight other cats when he was on the street. He showed me very clearly that there was a very fine line between play and aggression for him. Dylan crossed that line very quickly when he was playing and once he crossed the line, he couldn’t stop himself — biting and beating up Cooper was the result. Dylan said he did not want to hurt Cooper. He knew Cooper was his friend. But when Dylan crossed the line into aggression, he completely lost self control and went into “feral” mode — it felt to me like the energy of fire in his brain. Dylan was very upset that this kept happening. He did not want Liria to be mad at him or make him leave. He was very sorry about attacking Cooper. He said he “hated it” when he lost control but didn’t know how to stop it.
I told Dylan that Liria loved him no matter what and understood what was happening. I told him we’d help him get past this and make things better. I assured Dylan that this was his forever home and he would never be made to leave. I could feel Dylan give a sigh of relief and relax. He was ready to listen.
Dylan was able to show me very clearly what it felt like when the aggression feeling started to build up inside him when he was playing. I asked him to pay attention to that feeling and that as soon as he felt it starting, he should disengage with Cooper and get up and run. I told him that running would help release the aggressive energy. He showed me that he and Cooper loved to play chase, so Cooper would probably chase if Dylan ran. Dylan felt that if they ran for a while, he’d be able to calm down and play again. Liria and I both felt this was a great plan and we encouraged Dylan to do that. He said he would try, but it would be hard because he didn’t know if he could control himself. I told Dylan that we’d make sure that Liria helped him too, which made him feel better about the plan.
I explained to Liria that she would need to help Dylan learn self control. I encouraged her to keep an eye on him and try to stop or redirect Dylan’s play with Cooper before things had the chance to escalate. Catching Dylan before things got out of hand was critical to Dylan learning that he could control himself. Liria said she would do that.
The second issue we needed to work with Dylan on was related to an older cat named Trevor. Trevor was a large Maine coon cat who was very dignified and liked to keep to himself — but considered himself to be “king” at Liria’s house. Liria reported that Dylan had started attacking Trevor for no apparent reason — to the point that “the fur was flying”. When I asked Dylan why he attacked Trevor, Dylan said, “I don’t like the way Trevor looks at me.” From what Dylan showed me, it was clear that Trevor’s superior attitude was like sand paper to Dylan’s easily irritated nerves.
I told Dylan that if he left Trevor alone, Trevor wouldn’t bother him. Dylan’s response was, “but he LOOKS at me!” I told Dylan that the best solution was just to avoid Trevor. If Trevor was sitting somewhere, Dylan should go somewhere else . . . If Trevor was walking toward him, Dylan should turn around and go the other way. Dylan said he would try really hard. “I don’t want to be angry and I don’t want her [Liria] to be mad at me,” he said. We assured Dylan that Liria wasn’t mad at him and that she would help him with Trevor, just like she would help him with Cooper. Dylan said he would try really hard to avoid Trevor. We also asked Trevor to avoid Dylan.
I offered to do distance energy work for Dylan to help release the energy that gets built up causing the aggression. Liria said, “I’ll do anything to help Dylan get past this!”
I did Dylan’s first distance energy work session that day. Among other things, I felt Dylan was not grounding his energy well and it was building up inside him, creating his aggression and lack of self control. This built up energy was actually painful of me to feel, so I can only imagine how painful it was to Dylan! I worked on releasing those energies, balancing his energy, grounding his energy and replacing the feeling of aggression with the feelings of relaxation/calm/tolerance of others. I asked Liria to let me know how things went after the first session of energy work and if Dylan was better, we could schedule more sessions.
Liria emailed me a few days later. She said that after the energy work, Dylan went on to the screened patio, laid down and slept for several hours. [This is a pretty common reaction from animals — it’s their way of allowing their bodies to adjust to the energy shifts and healing from the energy work.] Liria reported that Dylan seemed happier and more relaxed when he woke up. She said she could also see Dylan trying to control himself with Cooper and Trevor. Liria understood that it was going to be a process and was prepared to keep working with Dylan. She was not going to give up on him!
In time we figured out that the best way to keep Dylan on track and control his aggressive energies was to do energy work on a regular basis — at least once a month. When other issues came up — one of the other cats crossing to Spirit, adding a new cat to the household, changes in Liria’s work schedule, a cat being ill, etc. — we would increase the frequency of the energy work and communication sessions. Without fail, after energy work Dylan would sleep for several hours and would wake up relaxed, happy and with better self control. Liria did her part and reminded Dylan, when needed, to play gently and avoid Trevor. If Liria thought Dylan was having trouble coping, she scheduled extra energy work and communication sessions.
Things improved rapidly with Cooper and a new kitten named Paisley who joined the furry family in 2016. Dylan was able to play with both of them safely and happily. Coping with Trevor was an ongoing issue but Liria reported that she could see Dylan thinking about how he should interact with Trevor. Most of the time, if possible, Dylan would choose to avoid Trevor.
Trevor became ill in the fall of 2014 with cancer. We talked to Trevor and he said he wanted to fight the cancer and keep living as long as he could, so he and Liria fought the cancer. But by June of 2016 it was time for Trevor to cross to Spirit. Although Dylan no longer had the stress of coping with Trevor, Liria felt Dylan should continue to get monthly energy work sessions because he loved them so much.
I did energy work for Dylan on August 12th, 2016. He was happy to talk to me and eager for his energy work. He was relaxed and happy. I could “hear/feel” him purring as I did his energy work. All seemed well and he had no complaints.
Liria emailed me on Sept.3rd to tell me that Dylan had crossed to Spirit. I was in shock! She said that she woken up the morning before and had heard Dylan wheezing from the other side of the house — something he’d never done before. His breathing was extremely labored and Liria rushed him to the animal hospital. Dylan was given anesthesia so an x-ray, then a CT scan, could be done. The scan showed that Dylan had multiple lesions on both lungs and one of the lesions had invaded and compromised his trachea. The lesions were inoperable because of how extensive and invasive they were. He had never showed any kind of a problem breathing in the past. The doctors felt that if Dylan were brought out of the anesthesia, he would struggle to breathe. Liria did not want Dylan to struggle to breathe, have pain or be scared at all — so she made the decision to allow Dylan to cross to Spirit without bringing him out of the anesthesia. Liria held Dylan in her arms and he quietly and peacefully crossed to Spirit. When I finished reading Liria’s email, I closed my eyes and “felt” for Dylan in Spirit . . . I knew he was there, safe and at peace.
We talked to Dylan, in Spirit, a few days later. Dylan showed himself to me as strong, healthy and whole — except that he only had one eye. Animals in Spirit generally show themselves to me as being “perfect” — physical issues are gone and their bodies appear perfect to me. I asked Dylan why he didn’t have both eyes, now that he was in Spirit. He said he was told he could have both his eyes or just keep the one. He showed me himself with only his left eye and then with both eyes — he couldn’t decide! He said that Liria told him he was “perfect” the way he was when he was alive, so he didn’t think he needed the missing eye. Liria and I both laughed when I told her this and we assured him that he WAS perfect just the way he was, with only his left eye. I could tell he was happy to hear that and he went back to showing me himself with only his left eye.
Liria asked Dylan if he knew something was going on with his lungs prior to the day he crossed to Spirit and he said he did not. He thanked Liria for letting him cross over peacefully. Dylan said that he hadn’t wanted to be sick and ill for a long time and he didn’t want to have to take medicine or have surgery. Dylan didn’t say it, but both Liria and I knew he was referring to what happened to Trevor after he was diagnosed with cancer. Liria asked me to tell Dylan that she would have done everything she could to save him. Dylan told her that he knew that, “But I didn’t want that. Trevor did, but I didn’t.” Dylan said that he was happy with what happened. “I lived happy and healthy until my last day, then it was over quickly” — Dylan felt that was perfect and he hoped that Liria could understand. Liria said she did and that her heart could be at peace because it was what Dylan wanted and she knew that he felt safe and loved while he was with her.
“If not for Sky talking to Dylan and doing regular energy work with him, I know he would have remained a very troubled kitty. He would have been fighting with himself all the time. He never would have allowed himself to relax, play and enjoy life. He would never have been truly able to feel the love that I had for him then and have now for him.” — Liria B., FL.
Julie contacted me in 2011 when one of her search and rescue dogs, Dakota — a very handsome Belgian Malinois — had fractured his leg during a training search. Dakota had a cast below the elbow on his left front leg and he kept gnawing at the cast, trying to remove it. Julie was afraid this would disrupt the healing of the broken bone and wanted to see if I could get Dakota to leave the cast alone.
When I talked to Dakota, I was first struck with the strength of his personality. He was very focused and intent. When I asked him about his work as a search and rescue dog, it was clear that his work was everything to him. His work ethic was immensely strong. He hated being incapacitated and just couldn’t wait to get back to work. Dakota was most happy when he and Julie were doing search and rescue work or training. He knew exactly what his job was — to search for people by scent, to “alert” by barking/pointing his nose at the spot where the people were and wait for Julie to come to the spot. He really lived to work! Dakota knew that his job was very important too. Julie confirmed that this was exactly what Dakota was all about.
I explained to Dakota that it was very important — critical — that he not touch his cast. At that point in his healing, there were only a few more weeks that the cast would need to be on, but they’d already had to replace the cast a couple time because Dakota was chewing it off. I “showed” Dakota the time frame that the cast would need to stay on, compared to how long it had been on so far. Dakota said, “But I want it off NOW!” He said the cast was itchy and uncomfortable and he knew he couldn’t work again until it was off. He said his leg felt fine and he didn’t understand why the cast had to stay on. I told Dakota that we understood how he felt, but even though his leg didn’t hurt, it was still not healed and he needed to be patient — this was a really difficult concept for Dakota to understand! We even resorted to telling him if he chewed his cast off again he might lose his leg and then he would not be able to search on the rubble, I think that message had the most impact.
Dakota finally said he would try to leave the cast alone. I told Julie that although Dakota said he would try, she really needed to keep an eye on him. It was clear to me that patience was not one of Dakota’s virtues! Julie switched Dakota from one of the big white plastic cones to a very cool leather muzzle to keep him from chewing at the cast. This really made a difference in his attitude — Julie was pretty sure he thought he looked silly & unprofessional in the cone! Thanks to the leather muzzle, Dakota was able to keep from chewing the cast and keep the cast on so his leg could heal. Dakota returned to work after his cast and the rod in his ulna was removed. He was so happy to again be able to do the search and rescue work and practice that he loved! Dakota lived to work, if he couldn’t search then he felt he had no life. Retirement was not an option for him.
Once the cast was removed, Dakota continued to be a FEMA disaster search dog. He was re-certified in Nov of 2014 on monstrous rubble in Indiana. He floated over the rubble like the skilled veteran he was. The evaluators all complimented him. This was his last recertification and he did it in “Dakota Style”. Julie was so proud to be his partner.
As time went on, Dakota started having issues with the wrist on the leg that had been fractured — he lost almost all of the flexion and the leg would ache. It just wasn’t as strong as previously. Julie got a wrist brace/support for Dakota and for a long time, Dakota wore it when working and had no problems. However, as time went on, Dakota started having difficulty with maneuvering on “the pile” — the giant pile of broken concrete stabs and pipes that they used for search and rescue training. Knowing that not working would be torture for Dakota, Julie started looking for other things that Dakota could do.
Julie found a wonderful new job for Dakota — training to be a drug sniffing dog on cruise ships docked at Port Everglades, near where they lived. When Julie first started training Dakota for drug work he had a hard time with the passive sit response, which was the opposite of needing to bark, as he did when he did searches for living people in disaster situations. Dakota was nicknamed “The Squeaker” because he knew he wasn’t supposed to bark but he couldn’t totally be quiet when he found something on a drug search, so he did a little squeak at the scent source with his sit.
Another challenge for Dakota came up when he was first learning to search for drugs in buildings and rooms. Drug sniffing dogs must put their feet up on the walls, to sniff behind pictures, outlets; go up on furniture, counter tops and all kinds of places Dakota wasn’t normally allowed to go. Dakota was very reluctant to do this. When we asked Dakota about his reluctance to do these things, he said he thought this behavior was very rude. We explained to Dakota that when he got his “Find It” command that he was allowed to be rude and go up on furniture, counter tops, wall, etc. – when he was searching.
Once Dakota understood what he was supposed to do, he was very quick to implement the directions. He was so happy to go to work and knew that the new job of drug sniffing was as important as his search and rescue work. Julie still let Dakota practice with the search and rescue team, but she monitored him closely.
Over the next few years, whenever we talked to Julie’s other search and rescue dogs, we always checked to see how Dakota was doing too. Although he didn’t like to admit it, as time when on Dakota did say that his leg was aching more and that the brace really helped. Eventually, he wore the brace nearly all the time.
Julie contacted me in June of 2016. She said that Dakota had been hopping on three legs for two months. I was not surprised to hear that Dakota never complained about the pain in his wrist or was reluctant to go to work. He just figured out a way to manage around the pain — by going on three legs instead of four. Of course, as soon as this started happening, Julie took Dakota to the vet. Julie said that Dakota had been diagnosed with a MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infection in the bad wrist. The wrist had become necrotic and had encapsulated the infection so the antibiotics could not get in to heal the infection. After four months and multiple antibiotics, the vets felt the only option for stopping the infection from spreading to other parts of Dakota’s body was to amputate Dakota’s left front leg at the shoulder.
We talked to Dakota the day surgery was scheduled, several hours before the time of the surgery. Dakota showed me that the pain in his infected wrist was very significant. We talked to him about the infection, the amputation, the surgery itself, the loss of his leg and the months of recover ahead. We explained that this was his only hope to survive. Dakota understood that Julie would do anything to help him get better, so if that was all that could be done, he knew it was the right thing. I asked Dakota if he felt he could manage on 3 legs. He said, “I’ve been managing for two months — I’ll be fine!” In fact, Dakota said, “I’m faster on three legs than the other search dogs are on four legs!”
At Julie’s request, I let Dakota know that he wouldn’t be able to practice on the pile after the surgery. Although he was disappointed, he said he understood — “but I can search on the ground and do my [drug searching] can’t I?” Julie said he absolutely could do that again, as soon as he recovered. Dakota said that as long as he could work, he would. He said he didn’t know what he would do if he couldn’t work, so he was glad he could continue to do what he loved to do with Julie.
Julie wanted to be sure Dakota wanted to go through with the amputation, rather than be allowed to cross to Spirit. I asked Dakota about that — he said, “There is nothing wrong with the rest of me!” Dakota’s will to live was very strong and he was not ready to cross to Spirit. Julie knew that the recovery period would be challenging for Dakota, but she also knew that with his strength of will, Dakota could do anything he set his mind to do.
Julie sent me a message shortly after the surgery to say that all went well and Dakota was doing fine. I knew she was relieved and happy that all had gone well.
My schedule was very busy the next day and I was in the middle of a communication session when I realized I’d received a voicemail from Julie. When I was able to listen to the voicemail, I was stunned. The message said, “Dakota is in cardiac arrest. Please tell him I’m with him!” I called Julie back immediately. She told me that Dakota had died moments after she called me from a clot that went to his heart or brain. She said that she and the vet were stunned. Julie had been standing in front of Dakota when he threw his head back and quit breathing. The vet immediately started working him, but Julie knew in her heart that Dakota had had crossed to Spirit. She said she felt a warm rush pass by her as Dakota’s pupils totally dilated. Julie asked if we could talk to Dakota in Spirit, right away.
I connected to Dakota in Spirit. Julie wanted to be sure he had crossed over and wasn’t “stuck”. It was clear to me that this was not the case — Dakota had crossed over fully. There is a serenity to those in Spirit that I do not feel from those who are “stuck” and tied to the earth. Dakota’s spirit had that serene energy.
Julie wanted to know why he changed his mind about staying — why he’d said the day before that he wanted to live, but then suddenly crossed over. Dakota showed me that there was something wrong somewhere else in his body, besides the MRSA infection at the site of the fracture. I couldn’t get a clear picture of where it was in his body, but to me it felt like many places in his body were affected. It felt to me like the MRSA infection has spread and was infecting him all over. Dakota showed me that he hadn’t known about this when we talked several hours before the surgery — he didn’t know until just before the surgery. Dakota told me that if he hadn’t crossed over, he would have been “sick/weak/broken”. He said that he would not have been able to accept or tolerate that. Julie asked why he didn’t cross over during the surgery. He said he wanted to “go out strong”. He was proud that he got through the surgery and was doing well — he said, “that was the right time for me to go.”
Julie told me later that this made complete sense to her. Just after the surgery, the vet had gotten blood work results back that showed that the MRSA infection had traveled to Dakota’s kidneys — so it would not be surprising if it had spread to other parts of his body as well. If Dakota had lived, he would have been very sick indeed in a very short time.
As painful as it was for Julie to lose Dakota, she knew that with Dakota’s strong will, he was going to make sure that everything went exactly the way Dakota would want.
Dakota showed me that he was in the “place” in Spirit that I think of as the Recovery Place. It is where the animals show me they go when they first cross over. Although he was no longer physical, Dakota showed me a picture of himself in the Recovery Place — he appeared strong, handsome, confident and happy. He was proud of himself for doing what he knew was right for him and he knew that Julie would understand. He told Julie that he would always be with her — he showed me walking by her side, wherever she went. Julie wanted to be sure she wasn’t keeping Dakota from moving forward on his spiritual journey. Dakota made it clear to me that since he was not physical, he could be there (in Spirit) and here, with Julie. That was what he wanted.
Dakota also told me that he was going to start working right away. Most animals rest and relax in the Recovery Place — but of course, that wasn’t Dakota’s way! Dakota said that he knew his job was going to be “finding people and connecting them with their animals in Spirit” — basically search and rescue in Spirit! Both Julie and I laughed with tears in our eyes when he told us that. It was just so Dakota!
Sad as she was, Julie knew that the right thing had happened for Dakota. As Julie told me, “I miss Dakota everyday, but I know he needed to go … He is no longer by my side but forever in my heart.” I know she will always be in Dakota’s heart too.
“I’m pretty intuitive with my dogs and cats, but it is so awesome to be able to communicate directly with them through Sky. When I need to get something important across or try to understand something my dogs are doing on a search I immediately contact Sky so I can get a direct line of communication with them. It really puts my mind at ease to be able to talk to my living dogs and cats — and to my spirit dogs and cats.” — Julie P-J, FL.
I met Brittany and her boyfriend in 2010 at a metaphysical fair in Colorado Springs. Brittany had a chinchilla named Morgan, one of several chinchillas that she loved and cared for. Brittany said that Morgan seemed quite happy when she first brought him home, but in time he started to become very aggressive.
When I connected to Morgan, the first impression I had was that he was very grumpy. There was really no other way to describe the feeling I got from him! When I told Brittany this, she laughed and completely agreed that “grumpy” was a perfect description of Morgan.
Morgan couldn’t wait to tell me about his problems and complaints. He was angry with Brittany for not understanding what he liked and didn’t like. To Morgan, it was obvious what the problems were and he felt he was being very clear with Brittany. He couldn’t understand why she hadn’t changed things to his liking. I explained that although Morgan felt he was being clear, Brittany truly didn’t understand what was wrong — although she did know something was wrong — which was why she asked me to talk to him. Brittany wanted Morgan to be happy, not angry. Hearing this helped Morgan calm down a bit, but he still had a lot to say!
Morgan showed me that he didn’t like the location of his cage. To him, the cage was in a dark place and lacked air circulation. He didn’t want a cold area or direct sun, but he wanted his cage in a brighter place. From what Morgan showed me, it seemed like the room his cage was in was below ground level. Brittany confirmed that Morgan’s cage was in a room below ground level — her bedroom — but what Morgan said about the room being dark didn’t make sense to Brittany. I checked with Morgan again, to be sure he meant the room seemed dark to him and he confirmed this again — very clearly — the room was dark and he wanted more sunlight.
Suddenly understanding dawned on Brittany! She realized that she had purchased blackout curtains for her room, which she kept closed all the time. No wonder Morgan said the room was dark! I asked Morgan what kind of room he’d prefer. He showed me a different room that had windows that would let in sunlight. My impression was that this was a room in the house that he’d been in before. When I told Brittany about the room Morgan described, she knew exactly which room he meant — the room next to hers, which is where Morgan’s cage was when he first came to live with Brittany. Brittany said that room had windows that provided indirect sunlight and ventilation. Brittany said she would move Morgan’s cage into that room as soon as she got home, if that would make him happy.
Brittany wanted to know why Morgan wouldn’t let her pick him up. Morgan showed me that when Brittany picked him up, she would put her hands behind his front legs/shoulders and lift him up — this squeezed his ribs, which he didn’t like at all. I asked him if he could show me a better way to pick him up. Morgan showed me that he preferred to be “scooped up” — one hand under his belly and the other under his hind quarters. When I told Brittany this, her boyfriend started laughing. He said that he always picked Morgan up using the “scoop” method and Morgan never fussed with him. Brittany agreed to try to use the “scoop” method in the future when she picked up Morgan.
Morgan did say that he was happy with some things. He showed me that he liked the running wheel in his cage and the “orange things” Brittany gave him now and then. Brittany knew exactly what the “orange things” were — the special treat of papaya pieces that she gave Morgan.
We checked in with Morgan about nine months later to see how he was doing. Morgan said he was much happier because Brittany had made the changes he requested. Brittany said she had been using the “scoop” method to pick Morgan up and he was being much more cooperative about letting her pick him up.
Brittany said that she was “grateful for the help in figuring out what was going on with Morgan so I could make him happy, just as he was when I first adopted him.”
Morgan told me that Brittany takes good care of all the chinchillas. But he showed me he still watches Brittany to be sure that she doesn’t do anything he doesn’t like. Brittany confirmed that Morgan is always “right there”, keeping an eye on everything.
I’ve talked to Brittany’s chinchillas and two cats regularly since our first meeting at the fair. Some the chinchillas have crossed to Spirit, but Morgan is still going strong. A bit less grumpy, but still keeping an eye on things. Brittany is devoted to her beloved furry ones and makes sure to keep on top of any issues that arise through animal communication whenever needed.
“Sky has helped me understand all of my rescued chinchillas so that I’m able to make them feel more comfortable and happy. In return they appreciate me more and it makes caring for them a lot easier. Sky is amazing, I’m so happy to have met her. Thank you, Sky, for everything you do – you feel like family.” — Brittany M, CO.
Lacey and Alison contacted me about their dog Diego, a beautiful silver grey standard poodle. Diego had lived with them most of his life. They said Diego was a wonderful dog, but had issues with the dogs in the neighbor’s yard next door.
When I connected to Diego, I first asked him to show me how he felt in the house. He showed me that he was calm and happy and he said he loved his family. He said that he knew his people would love him no matter what and would always love him even when he was stubborn about things. He also made a point of telling me that he was very smart — he was very proud of this fact! Lacey and Alison confirmed that Diego was very smart and laughed about what Diego said about being stubborn, which they said was so true!
But when I asked Diego what it was like when he was out in the yard, he gave me a completely different picture of his behavior. He showed me that he was always on high alert in the yard. The yard was not a place for fun and games to Diego. I asked him what made him so tense in the yard and he showed me the fence between his yard and the neighbor’s yard. But it wasn’t the fence that was the problem — it was the neighbor’s dogs behind the fence. When I asked more about the neighbor’s dogs, Diego showed me that the dogs were small, but they appeared to be quiet and not aggressive at all toward Diego. Lacey and Alison confirmed that this was true — they said all the aggression came from Diego.
I asked Diego how he felt about the neighbor’s dogs — he said he “hated them and wanted to scream at them!” He showed me that he only had to smell the other dogs outside and he would completely loose control. Diego showed me barking relentlessly, running the fence line and attacking the fence in an attempt to get at the dogs next door. While he was doing this, he was completely oblivious to anything going on around him — including Lacey trying to get him back into the house so he could quiet down. Lacey and Alison confirmed that this was exactly what happened. Sometimes Diego would knock Lacey over when Lacey tried to get him into the house because he was so focused and relentless about attacking the fence.
I was concerned about Diego’s compulsion to attack the fence — I was afraid he would injure himself. Lacey said that they were concerned too and in fact had built a second temporary wire fence 4 feet away from the wooden privacy fence so Diego couldn’t get too close to the neighbor’s dogs. Despite this, Diego was still trying to get at the neighbor’s dogs.
Lacey and Alison confirmed that the neighbor dogs had never done anything to upset or attack Diego. My feeling was that Diego’s reaction was related to past experience, before he came to be part of Lacey and Alison’s family. When I asked Diego if he’d had a bad experience with other dogs, he immediately showed me an incident that happened when he was a puppy. His person at the time had taken him to the dog park and he was cornered and attacked by 2 or 3 small dogs. He could not defend himself and it was a terrifying experience for him. It was clear that he would never, ever let that happen again.
It is sometimes difficult for people to believe that experiences that animals have when they are young have such a big impact on their later lives. Diego’s original person may not even have seen this episode as a matter of concern. But an animal’s perception and reaction to things may not be the same as our own. Also every animal (and person) is different — episodes that have a profound impact on one may not even register as a problem for another. For Diego, the episode of being attacked as a puppy had a profound effect on him.
I told Diego that the dogs next door were not the same dogs that attacked him. But to Diego, they were the same — or close enough that he might be attacked again. I reminded Diego that he was a big dog now and that the neighbor’s dogs were little — that had no impact on his feelings. He said, “I have to tell them to back off!!” I asked Diego if he felt he had been telling them that. He admitted that yes, he has told them very clearly. I assured Diego that the dogs next door knew and understood that they should stay away from him. I asked Diego if the neighbor’s dogs ever tried to come through the fence. He admitted they did not. I told him that the dogs next door were scared of him and would never try to come through the fence.
It was clear to me that Diego understood everything I was telling him . . . but every time I asked him to show me what he would do in the yard when the dogs next door were out, he showed me extreme agitation and attacking the fence. Diego was obsessed with the dogs next door.
I told Lacey and Alison that I did not feel that explaining the reality of the situation to Diego was going to help him stop or moderate his behavior. Instead, I felt we should focus on giving Diego something else to do when he was outside. I reminded Diego that he had told the neighbor dogs to stay on their side of the fence and that now all he needed to do was make sure they did that — by just watching the fence. In fact, watching the fence was Diego’s new job when he was outside. I assured Diego that the fences were VERY strong and would keep the other dogs out, so all he needed to do from now on was watch the fence. I told him that if Lacey or Alison came out in the yard, they would watch the fence too and make sure he was safe. I went through this over and over. Diego was able to show me that he understood, but I could still feel a great deal of tension and stress from Diego regarding the neighbor’s dogs. Diego kept saying, “They better stay on their side of the fence!” I continued to reassure Diego that he would be safe — that Lacey, Alison and the fence would keep him safe.
I told Lacey and Alison that they should continue to talk to Diego about his new job (just watching the fence) and that they could help him by monitoring him outside and providing reassurance. They were more than happy to do this!
Lacey contacted me about a month after our chat with Diego. They saw an immediate improvement in Diego’s behavior. At first, when the dogs next door were out and Diego was out by himself, he would bark sharply at the fence two or three times. When Lacey came to the door, Diego would immediately begin to calm down. If Lacey asked Diego to come away from the fence, he did so — which Lacey said was “unimaginable before we talked to him!”
As long as Lacey or Alison is in the yard, Diego won’t bark at the fence. They can even leave Diego in the yard alone for a few minutes, reminding him that the fence is strong, that he is a good boy and all he needs to do is watch the fence. Diego will be quiet and relaxed in the yard — even when the dogs next door are outside — for a few minutes. Lacey stated, “This was just not possible before!”
Lacey reported that Diego laid down to watch the fence . . . then just relaxed! He ate some grass, scratched and enjoyed the sunny day. Lacey says that Diego no longer exhibits the behaviors he’d had for so long — charging the fence, trying to knock down the fence, frantic running along the fence. Instead, if Diego does bark at the fence, he is happy to come inside immediately if Lacey asks him to — and sometimes he asks to be let inside on his own. Lacey observed that, “Now that Diego isn’t compulsively reactive to the neighbor’s dogs he’s making a conscious choice sometimes to remove himself from the situation. It’s a level of awareness that I’ve never seen from Diego before. I’ve been telling him how good he’s doing and how proud I am of him for changing his behavior and becoming a smarter poodle.”
Update 4 months after Diego’s first communication session: Lacey tells me that Diego is exhibiting some of his former fence obsessed behavior. Obsessive behavior — in humans or animals — is difficult to eliminate. I am hopeful that with occasional communication session reminders and possibly distance energy work, we can get Diego back on track.
“We got so much out of our session with Sky. This was a behavior I’d almost given up on changing and now Diego’s improved so much.” — Lacey M., MN.
Choosing to bring an animal into one’s life is a big commitment — a “til death do us part” kind of commitment. As least, that’s how it should be. But the large number of animals in our shelters and rescues shows that for many people, that is not the case.
Sometimes people to ask me to talk to their animals because something has changed in their lives and they can not — truly can not — keep the animal. For the people I work with, this a heartbreaking and traumatic decision. Communicating with their animal helps both the human and the animal cope with what is a “no other option” situation.
I never would have thought I would be a person who would have to give up animals that I loved with my whole heart — but it happened when we moved to the UK.
My husband, who is Welsh, moved to the US with me in 2011 when we got married. After about a year, his Mum started having heath issues. She was already health compromised and her status was very worrying. It is difficult to cope with an ill parent when you are not far from them, but from 4,500 miles and an 11 hour plane journey away, it is even more difficult and worrying. My husband is an only child, so the responsibility fell on him.
For a year we wrestled with the decision to stay in the US or move to the UK. I understood my husband’s need to be near his Mum in case of emergency but I was not prepared to leave my US animal communication clients in the lurch, give up working in the US or leave my beloved cats, Julep (a torti) and Fox (a grey/tan tabby). I gave my worries and concerns to the Angels and my Guides to work out.
By the beginning of 2013, I had my answers. Everything fell into place and I knew I’d be able to continue to work with my US clients, clients in other countries and — once my UK visa was approved — work with clients in the UK as well. When I got my UK visa I would be able to continue to visit the US for the spring and fall fair seasons. Until then, I would be able to travel back and forth from the US to the UK every three months.
But the heartache began when I started researching what needed to happen for our cats to come to the UK with us. At that time, the UK was still requiring a 6 month quarantine on pets coming to the UK. A pet passport would shorten that time to 3 months, but was very expensive — at the time, several thousand dollars for 2 cats. But it wasn’t the money that was the issue . . .
I desperately wanted this to be possible . . . but I had to face reality. When I moved to Colorado in May of 2009, my ex-husband put my cats on a plane and they flew from New Jersey to Colorado — a 4 hour plane trip. They were so traumatized from the flight that I literally did not see Julep for over a week. Worse still, I didn’t see Fox for over 2 weeks! I talked to both of them before they left NJ and after they arrived in CO, but they were terrified. Even after they finally showed themselves, they would not let me touch them for another week. When I thought about the effects of flying them from Denver to Philadelphia (4 hours), waiting for the next flight to the UK (6 hours), then flying to the UK (7 hours) and finally being in quarantine for 3 months . . . I was afraid it would kill them. I felt my only option was to try to re-home them in Colorado.
However, I did not want to make that decision without talking to Julep and Fox about their options. I explained that we were going to move very far away. I explained about the plane trip — like the one they took to come live with me but much, much longer. Julep was clearly not happy about the option of a LONG plane trip or quarantine. I kept getting the image from her of cowering at the back of the carrier on the plane and in quarantine, terrified. Fox, on the other hand, was very blunt — “I would rather die.” I did my best to explain that it was just temporary, that we could be together again in the end, but neither cat would agree to even try. Frankly, I couldn’t blame them.
So I had to face the horrific task of finding a new home for my beloved cats. I talked to them about the option of finding a new home for them. I assured them that I would be sure that their new person would be loving and kind — I would very carefully check the person out to be sure they would be the right people for Fox and Julep. I also explained that I might need to take them to a shelter if I couldn’t find a home for them — but that was a last resort. Julep thought this was a good plan — much better than the flying option — although she was not thrilled. I knew that living with a new person would take some adjustment, but I felt that Julep would be OK in the end. Fox on the other hand was non-plussed. Although she did not say so in so many words, it was clear to me that Fox would rather cross over than face trying to adjust to a new person — and a shelter was simply NOT acceptable to her. Needless to say, that was heartbreaking to me.
I talked to every kind and caring person I knew to see if they, or someone they knew, would take my Julep and Fox. No matter how hard I tried, there was no one who was able to take my beloved cats. I knew I couldn’t take them to a Humane Society type shelter . . . but what were my other options? Then I remembered Happy Cat Haven, a no kill cat rescue in Colorado Springs. I’d done communication sessions there. The facility is immaculate and the staff kind and caring. I knew they were very careful about placing their cats because they’d asked me to communicate with several cats pre-adoption about what kind of people the cats would like to live with. I called my contact at Happy Cat Haven and explained my situation. We settled on a date when I could bring the cats to HCH. I agreed to make a donation to the shelter — I gave them more than they asked for — which was a small price to pay for knowing that my beloved kitties would be safe and well cared for and, most importantly, re-homed to a good situation.
I explained to the cats about going to Happy Cat Haven. Julep tried to be brave and said she would be OK. Fox continued to say she wasn’t going. I did my best to explain it would be OK — but Fox would have none of it.
I needed to have a vet check done for Julep and Fox a month before taking them to Happy Cat Haven. Both cats were given a thorough exam and were cleared by the vet. I thought that Fox was a little thin (she was never a big eater and I thought that the stress of the situation might be affecting her), but the vet was not concerned, since she wasn’t showing any other symptoms. I took the cats home, let Happy Cat Haven know the cats were cleared by the vet. Plans continued to move forward . . .
Two weeks before I was scheduled to take Julep and Fox to HCH, in the course of 36 hours, Fox went from being perfectly normal, to being weak and withdrawn. She stopped eating. The change was dramatic and observable. I made an appointment to see the vet — the next day was the soonest they could get Fox in. I talked to Fox and let her know she would be going to the vet the next day. I asked her how she was feeling. She showed me pressure in her abdomen — I was sure she had cancer in her liver and abdomen. She said that she was ready to cross to Spirit — “I’m NOT going to that place [Happy Cat Haven]”. She showed/told me that a cat of mine who was in Spirit [a big and beautiful orange tabby named Jinx] was with her and would help her cross to Spirit. I saw Jinx clearly and knew that Fox would be safe with him. Fox was completely at peace with crossing over. I told her that we would have to see what the vet said . . . but I knew in my heart that I would be helping Fox cross to Spirit the next day and so did she.
I talked to Julep to make sure she knew what was happening — which, of course, she did. Julep said that Fox was really sick and needed to cross to Spirit. Julep said that Fox wouldn’t do well at the shelter but Julep continued to be brave and said she would do fine in the shelter.
The next day at the vet’s, I checked in with Fox while we were in the waiting room. Jinx, in spirit, was still there and Fox’s spirit was calm and ready to cross over. We saw the vet, who did a through exam and had blood work drawn. The vet said she’d call me later in the afternoon with the results — but I already knew what they would show.
The vet called me in the afternoon. She said Fox had high ketones, VERY high liver values, swelling in her liver and a mass in her abdomen that couldn’t be explained by constipation. The vet said, “I honestly can’t give you much hope.” I told her I understood and we made arrangements for a return to the vet’s in an hour to help Fox cross to Spirit. I let Fox know what was going to happen — she was at peace and content — it was what she wanted.
At the vet’s, I was able to spend time with Fox before the vet came in. I cuddled Fox and told her how much I loved her and how grateful I was for all the years of love and companionship she’d given me. I assured her I’d never forget her and that she would always live in my heart. Fox, who never liked to be cuddled or held for long, snuggled into me.
When it was time for Fox to get the medicine to help her cross over, the vet was very gentle and kind. I could see/feel Jinx, in spirit, with us — supporting both Fox and me. Fox, who was normally terrified at the vet’s, was calm and relaxed. Fox snuggled up against my heart and crossed to Spirit peacefully, like she was going to sleep. As Fox’ spirit left her body, I saw Fox and Jinx running up the green, grassy hill into a sunrise that the animals show me when they cross to Spirit. As they disappeared over the hill, I was filled with the most intense feelings of love, joy, peace and freedom — and I knew Fox had crossed to Spirit. I couldn’t have asked for a more peaceful crossing for my Fox, but my tears of grief wet her fur none the less.
When I talked to Julep about Fox’ crossing, she said she was glad that Fox was OK now. Julep added happily, “Now she can go with you!” Our animals can be so wise . . .
Update: Julep was at Happy Cat Haven for about a month and a half. The staff asked me to talk to her after 2 weeks. Julep wasn’t interacting with people and was acting fearful. It would be difficult to get her adopted if this behavior didn’t change. Julep was never the bravest of cats, but I encouraged her to be “brave like a lion” and to be friendly with people so she could find the right person to take her to her new home. I showed her that she needed to come toward people, not hang back in her enclosure when people came to see her. She said she really wanted a new home and would really try to be braver.
Julep started interacting with people and coming out of her shell within a few days and was adopted shortly there after. She is living in a happy home with two new kitty friends. Although I miss her and think of her often, I know she is in a good place and happy.
Fox has indeed come to the UK with me. I see her periodically in our house and feel her with me often. As I write, I can see/feel her around me, along with all the cats I have shared my adult life with who are in Spirit. I am so grateful for their love and my on-going connection to them all.
I have been an empath and intuitive all my life — although I had no words or concept of either of those things for the first 40 years of my life. I’d never met anyone who was like me and the only things I’d ever heard anyone say about anyone who was “psychic” was that they were fakes or crazy. It was challenging for me, but I learned to fit in — the old “round peg in a square hole” story. I got really good at using my left brain (the logical, organized part of the brain) because that is what society wants us to do. Even though I didn’t acknowledge my intuition and empathic abilities, they were very much a part of me — just unidentified, unacknowledged and “undercover”.
I had been a Registered Nurse for 14 years when I began to feel that I needed to leave my nursing job and do something else. This feeling got more and more intense over the last year I was working as a nurse. I didn’t realize it then, but my Guides were communicating with me, telling me I needed to do something else. I didn’t know anything about Guides at the time and it was only later that I realized what what happening.
I didn’t listen to my Guides’ gentler suggestions and finally my Guides hit me with a metaphorical Mack Truck — I had no choice but to pay attention to that! I had to take a 2 week leave from work to recover from a massive muscle spasm in my back. (I definitely learned my lesson: always listen to your Guides the first time!) During that time, I realized I had to quit my job as a home care case manager — which I actually, for the most part, loved. But what was I going to do for a living?
I’d been taking riding lessons since college and was always SO happy at the barn. In the previous 3 years, I’d been studying several kinds of alternative therapies for horses — including T Touch and equine massage. It came to me that I should go to school to become a certified equine massage therapist. It was the first true knowing that I’d ever had — a miracle in itself. I knew this was what I needed to do and that I would be good at it and would succeed . . . so I quit my nursing job and registered for a certification course. My riding instructor gave me horses to practice massaging for the 6 months before I could take the course and by the time I got back from the training, I had clients who couldn’t wait for me to start working on their horses! Within 2 years, I’d quit my part time nursing job and was massaging horses full time.
A year after I was certified in equine massage, I was looking for continuing education courses and ran across an ad by a woman in PA who was an animal communicator. I had no idea what that was although it sounded interesting, so I checked out her web site. The web site said she communicated with animals telepathically and she was teaching a class in 6 months. I thought it was completely ridiculous! How could anyone talk to animals, let alone telepathically?! But I couldn’t stop thinking about the class. Finally I rationalized (that good old left brain again) that maybe some people could communicate with animals, but they couldn’t teach me — so I signed up to the class to prove it didn’t work.
Over the next 6 months I started getting intuitive impressions (although at the time I didn’t know that’s what they were) about the horses I was working on — most of whom I didn’t know well, since it was early in my career. It really freaked me out! I would suddenly, blurt things out without thinking . . . “Your horse is really sensitive but he likes it when you . . .,” “Your horse loves his work, but doesn’t like it when you . . .” “Your horse likes to push your buttons, so . . .” Etc. I would stand there paralyzed in the silence that always occurred after the “blurt”. But invariably, the horse’s person would say, “You’re right — how did you know that?” I didn’t have any idea how I knew those things — but I was right every time. Eventually I got used to it and it didn’t freak me out any more.
Two weeks before the communication class I was out working on a horse I knew pretty well. Her name was Charm. She was a beautiful quarter horse mare and she was a princess! She had been a halter horse when she was young. Being a halter horse is all about being beautiful and she knew she was the most gorgeous horse ever. She also felt that her person – Gwen, was put on earth to serve Charm’s every whim. Fortunately Gwen felt the same way — in fact, she feels that way about all her animals. Charm was very particular about everything — including getting wet. If one drop of rain fell, she would “yell” until Gwen came out and put her rain sheet on. The second the rain stopped, she expected to have the rain sheet taken off — and if Gwen didn’t get out fast enough to do that, Gwen would hear about it! Charm was a bit of a drama queen, but she was also very smart and was great about reading people and situations. She trusted me from the moment I first started massaging her. But Charm loved Gwen with all her heart — and Gwen loved her right back.
After her first couple massages, Charm knew when it was her day for me to work on her — and she would always be ready and waiting to come into the barn with me. Charm loved her massages and would totally relax and let me work deep into her muscles.
This particular day, I finished her left side, which was normal for Charm and started on the right side of her neck. It was a solid muscle spasm — Charm was in a lot of pain! I would loosen a spot, she would drop her head (a sign of relaxation in horses) then throw her head up in the air when I got to the next spot. I knew she was really hurting that day. I decided to apply an herbal liniment with arnica to Charms’ neck in the hope that it would help with the severe muscle soreness/tightness — it was in my bag about 10′ away. Even then, I’d normally tell a horse “I’ll be back” if I had to walk away — but that time, I was so concerned about Charm’s pain that I forgot.
I walked over to my bag, with my back to Charm and started looking in it for the liniment. I wasn’t wondering what Charm was thinking, wasn’t trying to connect with her — I was focused on what I was doing. Suddenly, in my head I heard, as clearly as if someone right next to me was speaking, “Where are you going? Don’t stop!” I froze . . . I could hear cars on the road, I could hear the birds, I could hear the other horses moving around — and there wasn’t another human being on the property. I turned around and saw that Charm had walked to the end of the cross ties and was focused on me like a laser beam.
I stood there frozen . . . I will never forget that moment! I remember thinking, “Well, I guess people CAN talk to animals — and I guess I can too!”
I was hesitant to tell Gwen that Charm had spoken to me, but I thought she would understand — and I had to tell someone! Gwen was completely accepting of the idea that I could communicate telepathically with Charm. She said she always felt she knew could understand what her animals wanted and how they felt, so it only made sense to her. She immediately wanted to talk to all of her animals and find out what they had to say!
I took the class to “learn” animal communication two weeks after Charm spoke to me. I talked to many animals of a variety of species, living and in Spirit and the information came through clearly and accurately. It was like I’d been doing it my whole life.
The world changed for me the day Charm spoke to me. It was a true miracle — something that I thought was impossible, actually happened. Now, every time I speak to an animal, the miracle is still fresh and new for me. I will never take animal communication for granted. It is not something that is mine — it is a gift that Spirit and the animals have given to me. I am always and eternally grateful and humbled by this gift.
I continued to massage Charm and Easter (Charm’s daughter — who is a whole other story) for many years, until Gwen and her horses moved to FL. We talked to Charm and Easter, Gwen’s dog and other horses, many times before they moved and after their move as well. Charm crossed to Spirit in 2011 and Easter crossed to Spirit in 2015. They will both always have a special place in my heart.
Joni contacted me about her cats in mid-November. One of their three cats, Cow Cat (who was white with black spots like a Holstein cow), had recently crossed to Spirit. Joni wanted to talk to Cow, but was most concerned about her other two cats — Jack and Tanya. Jack had been Cow’s special friend and he was not handling the loss of Cow well.
We talked to Jack first . . . his energy felt extremely stressed and depressed to me. Jack showed me that he felt that the “balance” in the house was gone. He felt he didn’t know what he was supposed to do. Cow had always been the leader, but now Cow was gone. Jack was trying hard “to be Cow” but it was not in his nature to be the leader. Jack felt immense pressure to take over Cow’s job as leader and it was creating a great deal of stress for him.
I assured Jack that he only needed to be himself. I asked Jack about what his normal role in the house was. He said he was the “lover” — he loved everyone and they loved him. He kept every one happy and he felt like he did this job very well. I assured Jack that if he could go back to doing that — loving his people and letting them love him — that this would help his people with their grief over the loss of Cow and it would help Jack too. Jack’s relief — at knowing he did not have to try to be Cow any more — was palpable.
However, Jack was very concerned about who was going to be the leader of the cats now that Cow was gone, if the leader wasn’t going to be him. I asked Jack if he thought it would work if his people agreed to be the leaders, rather than one of the cats. Jack said that would work fine for him — and again, his relief at not having to try to be the leader, was very clear.
I found it interesting during my conversation with Jack that he never mentioned Tanya. I asked him about Tanya — he said, “I think she hates me.” Jack showed me that Tanya completely ignored him and wouldn’t come near him. This was OK when Jack had his best friend, Cow — but now that Cow was in Spirit, it only made Jack feel more isolated and insecure. I asked Jack if he thought he would like to be friends with Tanya. Jack said he would but didn’t think Tanya wanted that, which made him feel sad.
My feeling was that Jack could use some distance energy work because he was so depressed and stressed. Joni thought this was a great idea — “anything that will help him!” I did a short distance energy work session while on the phone with Joni. I was guided to do Integrated Energy Therapy (IET), which releases emotional issues that get stuck in the physical body. I found that Jack needed release at the points for fear, stress, anger/resentment and distrust. I suggested that Joni see how Jack was doing over the next few days and that we could schedule more energy work if she felt it would be helpful.
Next we talked to Tanya. Tanya was the polar opposite of Jack. Tanya was very confident and self sufficient. Tanya showed me that she kept to herself and told me that she liked to be “near my people but not on them”. However, Tanya showed me that she did demand attention from her people when it suited her — but when she’d had enough attention, she was off on her own again. Joni confirmed that this was the case and that Tanya could be VERY demanding when she wanted attention. My feeling from Tanya was that she was very independent and liked to be admired — Tanya assured me that she was extremely beautiful — but liked to be admired from afar. She felt very superior to the other cats — very queenly. Joni laughed when I told her this, because she said it was a completely accurate description of Tanya!
I asked Tanya what she thought of Jack. She said that, of course it was sad that Cow was in Spirit now, but Jack “was a mess” about it. Tanya said she loved Cow, but not in the “clingy needy way that Jack did.” She seemed to have little sympathy for Jack’s feelings of loneliness, but my feeling was that she just didn’t know how to behave in a comforting and supportive way with Jack. I suggested to Tanya that she could really help Jack if she would just sit near him and not go off on her own so much. I told her that spending more time with her people would help them too. Tanya said that “maybe” she could try — but she didn’t seem very sincere about trying.
Finally we talked to Cow. Cow was very concerned about Jack — he said he tried to let Jack know he was OK in Spirit, tried to “visit” with Jack from Spirit, but he didn’t think he was getting through to Jack because Jack was so sad. I told Cow that we’d done some energy work with Jack and also talked to him about just being himself. Cow said he was so glad — he just wanted Jack to be happy again. I asked Cow if he could continue to visit with Jack and to send him love and support. Cow said he would because Jack was his friend and he loved Jack. Cow showed me that he would sit close to Jack and would tell Jack that everything was OK.
Before we closed the conversation, I told Jack that Cow had said he would visit and sit with him. I also told Jack that Tanya would try to be nicer to him too. Jack was thrilled to hear that Cow would be visiting — but was doubtful about Tanya being nice to him. I encouraged Jack to be open to the possibility of being friends with Tanya and he said he would.
I heard from Joni again a few days later. She said that after the first session Jack slept for a good part of the day — an indicator that he’d had good physical and mental release from the energy work and communication session. However, Jack was still not back to normal, although he was more relaxed and less apt to try “to be Cow”. Tanya was being VERY demanding of attention from her people. So we scheduled another session for communication with both cats and hopefully energy work for both cats as well.
When we talked to Jack, he said that Cow had been visiting with him which he really liked. He said that Tanya was still not being nice to him, though, which made him sad. I told him we’d be talking to Tanya again and Jack said he hoped she could be nice to him. Jack did say that he was aware that Cow had been visiting him from Spirit, which he found very comforting. I asked Jack if he would like more energy work — he could not say “yes” fast enough!
Jack needed more IET, as well as Reiki. I found that his energy was better than at the start of the first energy work session, but he still needed a lot of release and inputting of positive/healing energy. At the end of the session Jack showed me that he felt very relaxed and his energy felt “lighter” to me.
We talked to Tanya. She said she was paying a LOT more attention to her people, but they seemed to be upset. I told her that it was good that she was paying attention to her people, but that she needed to be more gentle about it. She had no idea what I was talking about! I showed her sitting/lying down near her people, rubbing and head butting them, letting them stoke her and just being close to them. She said she understood now — but the stroking couldn’t go on too long. I told her that was OK — when she was “done” she could just jump down or walk a little away. She said OK. Clearly, everything needed to be on Tanya’s terms!
I asked Tanya if she would like some energy work, explaining it in a way she could understand. She said, “No — I don’t need it!” I told her that was fine.
A few days later I got an update from Joni. She said that Jack was doing MUCH better — he was no longer depressed and was relaxed now. He was cuddling with Joni and her husband a lot, which they loved. Unfortunately, Tanya now seemed depressed. We scheduled another communication/distance energy work session a few days later.
I talked to Jack first. He felt like a completely different cat! His energy felt lighter and brighter to me — I felt very little stress and he felt quite happy! Jack wanted to know if it was OK that he was wanted extra cuddling from his people. I assure him that his people were happy to give him as much cuddling as he wanted. Jack was very happy to hear that! Jack was more than happy to get more energy work. Jack needed very little release, but I did input the positive energy that comes with IET and did more Reiki. Afterwards, Jack said his heart felt better — to me, he felt relaxed and happy.
I talked to Tanya. She felt depressed and sad to me — very different from the previous sessions. My feeling was that Tanya was finally feeling her feelings at the loss of Cow. Tanya said that everything had been “out of balance” since Cow crossed to Spirit. Tanya felt that her people had expectations of her — that they expected her to be Jack’s friend now, which was not something she felt she was good at. I told Tanya that no one wanted her to do anything that didn’t feel right to her. I told her that her people were giving Jack lots of cuddles and that was really helping Jack. I suggested again that she might feel better if she just hung around with Jack more — sitting near him to keep him company. I suggested that Tanya might find this as comforting as Jack would. Tanya said she thought that might be OK and I felt she was much more positive about following through this than she had been when I suggested it previously.
I asked Tanya if she would like some energy work, since it had helped Jack feel so much better. Tanya said, “OK — I’ll try it.” My feeling was that she was really wanting to feel better.
I did Tanya’s energy work. She definitely needed IET and Reiki and I found she needed release at the IET points for fear, stress, anger/resentment and heartache. During the energy work, I suggested to her that she could sit with Jack and that this would help both her and Jack. When I checked in with Tanya after the energy work, her energy felt much lighter to me. She said, “That was really nice!” She seemed surprised to find that she really liked the energy work.
I had a report back from Joni a couple days later. Jack was back to his normal happy, loving self. Amazingly, Joni said, “Tanya was a completely different cat!” Tanya was spending a lot of time with Jack and was being very affectionate — even “kissing” Jack and playing with him!
We had a few more chats and energy work sessions, but both Jack and Tanya never looked back and they continue to be good friends. Balance has been restored in Joni’s house!
“Tanya really seems to really like Jack now and visa versa. They eat together, share the same places in our home and truly seem happy to keep each other company. They even play together! Jack will ‘swat’ Tanya and she will meow and run away — but with in a minute, she’s back for more. Jack will even share his food with Tanya. This is a true miracle!” — Joni M., MT.