I talk to my cat all the time. Her name’s Mimosa, and she’s a sweet, domestic shorthair rescue. When she meows at me, I mimic her and make catlike sounds back. Sometimes, I’ll answer her in plain old, non-feline English. I’m sure you talk to your cat, too. This back-and-forth exchange can go on for a minute but, if we’re being honest, however well-attuned we are to our cat’s whims and welfare, we never really know her inner thoughts, daily musings and deep-seated secrets. That’s where cat communicators come in. Blessed with an ability to speak to cats — whether that’s a current incumbent snoozing in a sunbeam or a former feline who’s passed away — they claim to be able to let you know exactly what your cat is thinking. That includes answering questions about a cat’s welfare and history.
I asked Sonya Fitzpatrick, a cat communicator based in Texas who’s been working in the field for 20 years. She didn’t speak until she was 5 years old but says she was talking to animals before then. “They taught me their language really,” Sonya explains. She speaks to animals by tapping into “magnetic fields that run through the universe, our physical bodies and their physical bodies.” She adds that Aborigine and African tribes have traditionally used this telepathic method.
“It’s a very subtle language,” Sonya says when asked what communicating with a cat feels like. “I get images from them that I don’t see with a physical eye. We’re putting out pictures all the time without realizing it.” As an example, Sonya says cats will sit by the door five minutes before their owner arrives home from work. “They do that because of the telepathic communication getting through to them.”
Sue Pike is another cat communicator based in New York City. She began studying the healing art of Reiki and one day thought, “Hey, if I can channel messages with people, why not animals?” She says the process is a bit like turning the dial on an analog radio:
“You keep adjusting until the signal is strong. It’s about a true, strong, heart-to-heart, mind-to-mind communication.”
When cat owners book a session with a communicator, they often ask a common set of questions. For living cats, inquiring about an adopted feline’s background is popular (especially to find out if a trauma was involved), as is asking whether the cat would be open to a new furball addition to the household.
Behavioral issues like a sudden aversion to peeing in the litter box also regularly come up. Sonya says the cause is sometimes emotional and sometimes practical: “Cats have told me they avoid the litter box because they don’t like the smell of abrasive chemical cleaners their human is using. They’re used to grass and trees and natural smells and have very sensitive noses.”
Beyond behavior problems, a big draw for many people is a communicator’s ability to speak to a cat who’s passed away. This involves sending the communicator a picture of the feline before the session, which often takes place via phone or internet video. “It’s the physical body that dies with animals and people,” Sonya explains. “I can still see the world as the animal sees it.” (Sonya says there is no difference in sensation when speaking with living versus deceased cats.) Most times, Sue adds, “Someone simply wants to know how their cat is doing. Everyone wants to know if their animal is happy.”
The animaltalk.net website contains a registry of communicators and lets you search by area. It also tells you whether the communicator does in-person or phone sessions and whether they deal with cats who have passed away.
✔ Get prepared. Send over a picture ahead of time, and think about questions you’d like to ask.
✔ Keep an open mind and stay calm.
✔ Be patient. The communicator will often pause while talking to your cat.
✔ Be aware of your time, and don’t let the session run out before you’ve asked the big questions.
✔ Write down key information you’re told during the session, much like you’d do when talking to a vet on the phone.
After speaking to Sonya and Sue, I went ahead and booked a cat communicator session myself with another practitioner, Sage Lewis. I chose to focus on an old childhood cat called Sheep, who wandered over from a house across the block and decided to live with us. I sent Sage two pictures of Sheep, including one of him lounging in his favorite spot inside a tumble dryer.
Sage told me Sheep had lived in two other places previously and chose our house because it was a “warm, loving environment.” He knew the dryer wasn’t a “normal” place to sleep but felt it was “safe.” He didn’t have much of an affinity with Hattie, our other cat, and felt “neutral” toward her. (Hattie, in return, definitely did not like her new housemate.)
Sheep passed away by literally falling off the arm of the couch one day, although Sage said the underlying cause was his kidneys. He’s currently content in the afterlife and doesn’t feel the need to return back in another form. The information Sage relayed to me was couched in broad rather than specific terms, but it definitely brought back fond memories of Sheep. Most importantly, it left me feeling that wherever Sheep’s currently napping now, he’s in a calm and peaceful place.
Thumbnail: Photography by ROBERT REDELOWSKI/THINKSTOCK.
Read more about cat talk on Catster.com:
Phillip Mlynar likes to consider himself the world’s foremost expert on rapper’s cats. When not chronicling the antics of his rescue, Mimosa, for Catster.com, his musings on music can be found at Red Bull Music Academy, the Village Voice and NYLON. He’s won a number of awards at the Cat Writers’ Association Communication Contests, some of which are proudly on display at his local dive bar.