Teachers come in all sizes and species


I’ve always loved and have been fascinated by animals of all kinds. To me they’ve often seemed less complicated and simpler to love than humans. When I was very young, most pets were restricted from our home because of family allergies. I compensated by carrying worms around in my pockets and bringing them inside to play on our brown, braided living room rug. I had a strong need to forge a bond with sentient nature of any kind, however I could.

As soon as I lived on my own as an adult, cats became part of my life. I’ve had cats—singular and multiple—since the late 1970’s. I am unashamedly a cat lady. I cherished each one of my cats and knew they returned my love, but like most other pet owners, I was frustrated by my inability to understand much of their behavior and vocalizations. I desperately wanted to know what my cats were thinking and feeling.

The universe had a plan to help me out, in the shape of a black cat name Beauregard, who entered my life just before Christmas in 1989. He was inky black and substantial with a white bow tie. His voice was most accurately described as a pissy yowl, and he used it frequently to great effect. He seemed to have a lot to say. Beau was athletic, persistent, and insatiably curious, and I sometimes wondered if we would both survive our first years together. I rephrased a new take on the old quote, just for him: “Persistence, thy name is Beauregard.”  He clearly loved me and would often look at me and cock his head, just so, as if trying to get something across to me. Unfortunately, I simply didn’t understand.

Chaotic events in my life in 1997 led to me to Reiki energy, in a search for balance and healing. As a result of the Reiki attunements, my once dormant psychic abilities became active. I began meditating and exploring rocks and crystals. Spirit guides and shamanism entered my life too. Beau had been waiting patiently for years for my awareness to expand, and he sensed his opening and pounced.

I began to notice that stray “cat” thoughts would cross my mind. “I bet Beauregard would like dinner now.” “He probably would enjoy some tuna.” “I haven’t played with Beau and the laser pointer in a few days; that would be a good thing to do right now.” The connection expanded to me feeling hungry at odd times of the day. I found myself unaccountably wanting snacks and gaining weight, until I finally realized that it wasn’t me who was hungry. Beauregard loved to eat and was projecting his hunger to me. This was followed by him in parental mode. If I was away from home late in the evening, I would see a furry black face in my field of vision and hear, “Where are you? When are you coming home? Come home now.”

Beau was bonded with me and he wanted to share in everything I did. For this to work well, he figured I simply was going to have to learn to communicate with him better. He meditated, did Reiki, and laid in crystal arrays with me, taking advantage of the heightened spiritual energy to sneak past my unconsciously imposed barriers. He showed up in my dreams and astral projection forays. He even learned to read Tarot with me, pawing at the deck of cards and slapping the appropriate one with his front paw. Beauregard was a far more accurate reader than I was, and folks would come to me for a reading with him!

Beau was nothing if not persistent. It finally occurred to me to initiate extended conversations with him. He rewarded me with his observations on life, characterized by a dry and droll sense of humor. Our communication expanded from simple expression of needs and desires to thoughtful dialog of equals. We philosophized together.

Beauregard even chose his successor. Late in 2004, he was in the late stages of kidney failure. He had patiently and uncomplainingly endured administration of subcutaneous fluids, as well as numerous herbal and homeopathic remedies and Reiki sessions. But his health was deteriorating rapidly, and I didn’t know what more to do. A few days before Christmas I asked him, “What else can I do for you?” I was appalled by his immediate answer: “Get another cat.” I struggled with the idea for a day, and then expressed my consent. He mentally guided me to a Russian Blue on a rescue mission website, who joined our family on Christmas Eve. He carefully observed how the new cat interacted with our other resident cat, and when he was satisfied with their bond, he chose to make his exit a week later. We continue to communicate to this day, and he still teaches me from across the physical divide, although his communications these days are less about tuna and laser pointers and more about the spiritual nature of reality.

Once Beauregard had shown me that communication with him was possible, I found it was easy to talk with other animals, too. My other cat, Elph, and a friend’s dog, Clifford, were eager to help me learn. A resident Cooper’s hawk that I dubbed Horus would appear when mentally summoned and showed me the location of his nest. He’d also alert me when hunting wasn’t good, and I would put out meat scraps for him. I brokered a deal with a rabbit that was eating the green beans in my garden—she was allowed beans from only one of four rows. If she strayed from our agreement, I would rap on the window and shake my finger. She would quickly scamper back to her allotted row. I was amazed at how willing animals were to talk and cooperate with humans.

Over the years, I’ve found that animals of all kinds are very direct, honest, matter-of-fact, and loving. I truly enjoy conversing with them and I’m often amused by their observations.  This is why I help other people with animal communication—I’m not only offering a service to assist humans and their pets, I also receive so much joy from conversing with animals. They seem to like it too!