As someone who lives with four cats, I am surprised at how many cat whisperers and animal psychics there are out there just dying to diagnose all sorts of problems by reading your animal’s mind.
On a late-night drive recently, I discovered a live radio show in which pet owners call in and a psychic tells them, right there on the phone, what their pet is thinking and feeling.
I don’t want to imply I don’t think this is possible. I just want to come right out and say it.
This is NOT possible.
The “animal communicator” (preferred term) has an Angela Lansbury voice that inspires trust and an irrational urge to embroider something. You want to believe her, but the fact you can reason and have opposable thumbs won’t let you. A woman with a troubled horse calls in and answers several questions designed to ferret (ha!) out tidbits that can help with the diagnosis. After a pronouncement of some sort of emotional problem, the pet psychic adds, cagily, “Hmmmm. I’m hearing from someone else. Is there another horse who nips a little too hard sometimes?” And, yes, there was! How did she know that?!? But, if you think about it, it was an easy educated guess. Horses are the sorority sisters of the animal world. You almost never see just one.
On most calls, she zeroes in almost too quickly.
Caller: “My parakeet —”
Psychic: “He’s really quite bored, isn’t he? He’s been wondering if you would consider changing his diet just a bit…”
Caller: “My dog has been acting depressed lately and—”
Psychic: “Well, wouldn’t you be depressed if you had a low-grade tummy ache all the time?”
She’s always right because who can argue? It’s not like the caller can turn to her parakeet and say, “This wackadoodle lady on the phone says you’re sick of sunflower seeds. Is this true?” Ditto the dog owner.
Will she whirl around and ask Bowzer if his stomach hurts and will he say, “Oh, thank the sweet Lord above, I thought you’d never ask.”
The radio pet psychic is proud of her celebrity clients, including poor recently-cheated-on Tori Spelling. If only her dog told the pet psychic during a home visit “Arf! Dean’s in the pool house with the maid again!”
Now that would’ve been a check worth writing.
At the end of the day, I don’t think anybody knows a pet better than their owners. Two of my cats are constantly hissing at and chasing one another, so I asked them to explain, via mind reading, what they dislike about one another.
And here was their response:
For now, I’ll believe in Jason, the affable host of “My Cat From Hell” on Animal Planet who urges us to observe a cat’s body language. “Their claws can communicate with you,” he says.
Amen, Jason. I have a whole dialogue on my lower arm from this morning.
Celia Rivenbark is the author of several humor collections. Visit her website at www.celiarivenbark.com.