An unexpected blessing
Animal communication is facilitated telepathic communication between animals and humans. Messages and information are passed bi-directionally between animal and human, with an animal communicator as intermediary. As I once explained to a client who was unhappy with a non-complying cat, “It’s animal communication, not animal control.” This is the story of how I learned that lesson on a deeply personal level; this is the story of Shaman.
Jasper, a Russian Blue, was ten years old when we adopted him from a wonderful regional cat rescue, Specialty Purebred Cat Rescue, whose cats find a temporary home with volunteer foster parents. I admire their mission and like to help their cause, consistent with my abilities. After Jasper came to live with us, I started visiting their webpage regularly and well wishing all the adoptable cats, so that they might find a loving, forever home. I noticed some cats were adopted out rapidly; others lingered.
I began to do animal communication with those who seemed to elude permanent placement, hoping to help them bypass any boundaries preventing their adoption. This took the form of me assisting them to identify and clear any emotional issues which made them leery of adoption, as well as helping them picture the type of home atmosphere that would make them the happiest. When they laid out their wishes I would visualize along with them, sharing their vision of a happy, healthy, safe, forever home.
I noticed some of my targets moved out of foster care quickly, while others seemed to take longer. But all eventually were adopted, whenever they felt they were ready. I would work with one special cat at a time, whoever seemed to be “stuck” in foster care. One spring, during the months of Jasper’s final physical decline, I noticed in passing an adorable lynx point Siamese called Mr. Friendly. His photo looked sweet and cuddly, but it took a little bit of time for him to be adopted. I was busy tending to Jasper, however noted with surprise that summer that Mr. Friendly was back in foster care. Who wouldn’t want such a cute cat?
Jasper passed in August and I had time to well wish the cats on the rescue’s webpage again. I was chagrined to see that Mr. Friendly still was unadopted. I chose him as my next target and introduced myself to him psychically.
“I’m here to help you find a loving, good home. I’ll help you feel ready and we’ll picture exactly the type of home you want, together.”
He had issues with feeling unappreciated and unwanted. This is not uncommon in a rescue animal, particularly one that has bounced back into rescue. I told him how handsome, loveable, and intelligent he was, and sent images to him of me petting and loving him up. He absorbed it all like a sponge, but still seemed to mistrust that this could happen in a permanent home. Day after day we spent time together, until after a month he consented to begin to picture his new home.
“I would like there to be a lady. She should not be too old, but not too young either. There should be other cats; I would like a friend to cuddle. Oh—and would they feed me beef?”
I assured him he could have exactly the home he wanted and began to visualize along with him. This went on for about another month. Each day I would check in with him, beam him love and approval, and would picture the perfect permanent placement along with him. I could tell he enjoyed our time together and he seemed to perk up with each contact. Then one day he dropped the bomb.
“I want to live with you.”
Jasper and Orion, our blue point Siamese, had had a somewhat troubled relationship. Orion was very pushy and Jasper had been meek. Orion and our other current feline resident, Makhota, a black cat, had reached a comfortable understanding. I was reluctant to offer Orion another cat to dominate, and I told Mr. Friendly so. His response dripped confidence.
“Oh, that’s okay. I know just how to handle him.”
I reiterated my reluctance and told him we would continue to visualize a perfect forever home for him, but one that was not mine. Another couple of weeks of daily communication went by and he laid out his wishes again.
“I want to live with you.”
“No, that’s not going to happen. I don’t think you and Orion would be a good match, and I want you to feel safe in your new home.”
I could sense him getting downhearted, but sent him a big dose of love and attention. We persisted with our daily chats and visualization sessions. I could tell Mr. Friendly was a seriously nice boy, and was hopeful he would be ready to move on from his fixation with me soon. He was going to be a superb companion for someone lucky. Fast forward a month—it was now early October—and he tried it on again one evening. His tone was very determined.
“I know I’m supposed to live with you. I want to live with you!”
I was equally determined. I explained all the practical reasons why this was not a good idea. I showed him images of how Orion could be domineering. I went on at length, and firmly stated my decision was final.
“I really like you and you are a great cat, but you’re not coming to live with me. As long as you are stuck in that wish, you won’t be successful at finding your real forever home.”
I could feel him sliding into a deep funk. We spent a few more minutes together, but Mr. Friendly was withdrawn. After I signed off with him, I decided to do a trance dance for him. It is a great way to raise energy, and I thought he could use a concentrated dose of positivity beamed his way. I lit candles, put on music and began to dance, opening a connection to him and sending love and healing his way. Suddenly I felt a presence join me in the room, a small, sturdy, determined presence. Mr. Friendly was dancing with me in spirit!
I knew I was beaten. The cat had joined me on my own turf, to gently show me why he belonged in the house. How could I deny such persistence and ingenuity? His next hurdle was my partner, Nate. Nate and I had recently agreed that two cats were just fine, and that we would not add another to the household. I needed to convince him we had both been wrong. Luckily for the cat, Nate is an easygoing and kindly soul and Mr. Friendly’s picture on the website was really adorable. The next morning I filled out an adoption application.
Mr. Friendly was fostered at a vet clinic about an hour and half’s drive away. I set off one October afternoon with carrier, litter box, catnip, and cat treats in the car, to make his vision a reality. He had been living in a large cage in the waiting room of the clinic for some time and was overweight, sort of a tube of cat. But he had gorgeous seal lynx point coloring—deep, dark brown with rich creamy stripes—and huge, round, blue, soulful eyes. Somewhere underneath all the extra weight was a splendid figure of a cat. I knew we needed to make changes in diet and activity level. But I wanted to let him know he was officially with us forever, and had roast beef waiting for him at home for his first meal, as well as active-play toys.
After a two-week stay in the guest bedroom, his gradual integration into the cat household was not entirely smooth. Orion tried to dominate him. Shaman—we decided to call him that based on his expertise at trance dancing—knew just what to do. When Orion raised a threatening paw at him and leveled his stern, regal Siamese glare, Shaman barreled in low and flattened him. Orion was astounded; no one had ever stood up to him in that way. From then on, he accorded Shaman more respect.
Makhota presented a larger issue. Shaman was winning, friendly, and deferential with him. He just wanted to play and snuggle with Makhota. Makhota was totally unconvinced and hissed loudly at Shaman any time he got near. We separated the two cats and slowly reintroduced them again, without any change in results. Shaman became nervous around Makhota and would spray when spurned by his brother. I asked Makhota why he found Shaman so objectionable.
“I just don’t like the way he smells. He doesn’t smell right.”
I also let Shaman know that I understood his frustration and stress, but spraying wasn’t an approved method of expression in our household. He said he would try not to, but didn’t understand why it was undesirable. He thought his urine smelled good, like him. He did spray less after that—I could tell he was making an effort—but still had episodes. One day, less than a minute after Shaman had sprayed and I had objected, he sprayed again very briefly right in front of me.
“We just had this discussion. Why did you spray again?”
“It was such a little bit; I didn’t think you would mind. Besides, it smells just like me and I like it.”
Makhota began to mimic his brother’s behavior, to cover Shaman’s smell with his own. Nate and I were chagrined. We were determined to give Shaman a forever home, but were frustrated with cleaning up cat pee. Nate began to wonder if we should return Shaman. We had recently found out Shaman had feline megacolon. I was concerned that no one else would want to adopt a higher maintenance cat who also sprayed and had been returned to rescue repeatedly. I also was adamant we needed to keep our promise of a forever home to Shaman. I decided to enlist Shaman’s help.
“You need to suck up to Daddy massively. He’s annoyed by the spraying and is talking of returning you. Show him how lovable you are.”
Up until that point, Shaman had been mostly my cat. I had brought him into the house, after all. But that night I found him perched on Nate’s chest at bedtime, paws extended to gently pat Nate’s face, purring up a storm. Shaman repeated this every night, tucking Nate in. After a week of Shaman’s determination, Nate also was convinced and said so.
“Isn’t he just so cute? I know he still sprays from time to time, but it isn’t that obnoxious. Of course he has to stay with us.”
Shaman had won us both over, by force of his sweet, persistent nature. Soon afterward, Nate and I hit an “aha” moment together, when we realized that during a meditation in August after Jasper passed, we had asked Spirit to help us detach from material things a bit. Shaman was simply helping us realize our wishes. We had not been specific about how we wanted to learn to detach, and Shaman had manifested to help us as part of the Universe’s humorous plan. Nothing helps one detach from a throw pillow faster than having a cat pee on it. When our emotional reaction to the spraying abated, the spraying itself happened less frequently, too.
Makhota took at bit longer to accept Shaman. His statement about Shaman not smelling right was accurate, according to vet examination. Shaman had more testosterone than the usual neutered male cat, and probably smelled threatening. We put both cats on medication for a few months to ease their adjustment to each other, bolstered by animal communication and loving persistence, to help them become friends. After about a year, all the cats were well integrated with each other and our household was harmonious again.
As I’ve stated in the story of Elphinstone, I firmly believe our pets are spiritual teachers. Shaman’s role in helping me evolve spiritually wasn’t done yet. He had another great service to provide to me. To my profound surprise, a couple of summers after Shaman joined our household, I found myself channeling a book about the spiritual nature of reality and how we as humans fit into it—The Sharing: The Owner’s Manual for Being Human. Some of the concepts were entirely new to me, and at times I found myself challenged to understand what I had written down. I would pause, bemused, with pencil in hand and try to make sense of the concepts. Whenever I was stuck I would feel a soft tap on my thigh, look down, and see a brown lynx point paw on my leg, grounding the concepts into me physically. In those moments, I was keenly aware of how apt his name was. He magically helped me transform into a fuller, more spiritually awake version of myself.
Shaman passed after a brief illness in March of 2020. He was a beloved companion to all in our household, and his physical presence was truly an unexpected blessing. He continues to grace us with visits in spirit from time to time and is still very much loved and appreciated.