According to the Humane Society, Americans own approximately 78 million dogs and 86 million cats. That's a lot of pets. Clearly, as a society we value our pets and most pet owners consider their pets a member of the family. The American Pet Product Manufacturers Association published a report in 2007 which showed pet owners spent close to $40 billion on their pets. FORTY BILLION! That's more than many small countries' entire economy.
These numbers offer tangible proof that domesticated pets are a significant part of our culture. However, no matter how many pets we have or how much we spend on them, there's still a missing link keeping humans and our furry friends from truly understanding one another: direct communication.
Sure, we can teach Spot to get the ball, or catch a frisbee, and certainly our feline friends can master the cat box, but what about those deep-seated issues we just can't seem to comprehend?
I had to take our lovable and typically easygoing orange tabby Weenus to the vet recently for what I thought was a some sort of skin condition. It seemed every time he sat still (and he's a big boy, so he sits still a lot!) he would chew the fur on his forepaws. I investigated and saw the fur was completely chewed off and only a smooth patch of skin and light fur remained. Assuming this was ringworm or something worse, we took him to the vet.
Our vet ran some tests and nothing out of the ordinary came back as the cause. He asked me some questions about recent changes in the home; I mentioned we'd taken in a pregnant stray who'd given birth to kittens — could that be it?
The light bulb went off and as it turns out, our Weenus (aka Mr. Laidback) was stressed and anxious, perhaps even fearing he was being replaced. The prescription: Ritalin for cats! Weird, I know.
This was the first time it occurred to me that pets, and especially those who aren't spending their days just trying to survive, may have some of the complex emotions I assumed only humans possessed. It definitely changed my view on how I interacted and treated my own special pet friends.
Weenus's problem was a fairly easy one for our vet to figure out, but what about truly strange and/or sudden behavior changes in your pet? Or worse, what if your pet goes missing? How on earth can we mere humans hope to understand or see the world through our furry loved one's eyes? Fortunately, there are folks out there (if you believe as I do) who have a special sense and can communicate on a deeper level with animals and act as a conduit between their world and that of humans.
Sonya Fitzpatrick is just such a person and has been communicating with animals since her earliest childhood memories. Sonya has helped famous pet lovers such as Ellen Degeneres and Rosie O'Donnell with their pet problems and is the premier pet communicator and pet psychic.
Sonya offers her skills by giving a bird's eye view (so to speak) of what animals are feeling, thinking, and experiencing, and she was kind enough to talk to us about her gifts of animal communication.
An author and radio host (Animal Intuition on Sirius Radio Channel 102, Tuesdays, 6pm - 8pm), Sonya offers personal readings and has a genuine desire to help pets and their owners communicate and understand each other better. For more about Sonya, or to get in touch, please check out her website. Check out our Q & A below:
Can you describe how and when you discovered your gift for communicating with animals?
I was born with it. I was speaking telepathically to animals long before I spoke verbally as I had a hearing loss from birth.
What is your process for tuning into and connecting with pets?
Talking to the animals is like second nature to me. I use the other side of my brain to tune in to what they are saying. I use my feelings, emotions, and telepathic communication when I am speaking to animals.
Are some animals easier to communicate with than others?
No, I just adapt my communication accordingly. When animals live with us they learn our verbal language, but when I am communicating with wild animals I use my feelings and emotions more.
Can you describe the most uncanny experience you've had while communicating with an animal?
I continue to have so many it's hard to pick just one.
Do you feel your gift is something you were born with, or something you've honed over time? In other words, can a person can teach themselves to communicate with their pets or is this an otherworldly gift you either have or don't?
For myself I was born communicating with animals and do believe it is a gift as they have taught me so much. Many people are already communicating with their animals and do not realize they are doing so. I believe that you can learn to tune into your skills and communicate if you want to.
Have you ever had animals reach out to you, or does the path to communication always start with you?
The communication works both ways.
What does the communication feel like? Can you describe what you see, feel, experience during a session?
I use all of my senses when I communicate with animals. Feelings, emotions, images, communication, as well as using my body to detect where animals are hurting. Many times vets can't find the cause of the problem or where the animal is hurting. I become the animal seeing the world from their perspective. I become them. I am low to the ground, feel as they feel, sense as they sense, small like they smell, and can read where the pain is coming from.
Mediums who connect with human spirits often find the experience painful or difficult to turn off; do you share any of these feelings?
No. The work that I do can be very draining, I have learned to close down when I am not working and rest.
Have you ever connected with humans while using your gifts?
Many times people that have passed on will come through during a reading to give messages as well as animals that have passed over.
Editor's note: Sonya kindly helped us when our beloved momma cat disappeared this past summer, and was able to offer some very uncanny information she couldn't have known, which was unnerving to say the least. Sadly, we haven't recovered our sweet Socks; however, the information Sonya provided offered a measure of comfort and closure and that alone was invaluable. This experience and a personal interest in the paranormal was the impetus for our interview with Ms. Fitzpatrick.