I Changed My Cat’s Name Because He Told Me to Do It


I’ve always believed that communication with our animals is possible, and I’ve had moments where I thought I had some success with this. I wouldn’t call myself gifted. I am not the person who can tune into this at any time and have results, like others who have been written about on Catster.

But I have had moments when I felt a connection, or just “knew” that something was up, or something was a certain way, or that a cat wanted a particular thing. And I have used animal communicators — often toward the end of a cat’s life when I am trying to get some clarity about what the cat wants or the best direction to go, or if I need to affirm my own intuition about the right choices.

Around 1998, I decided to take a beginner animal communications workshop from Penelope Smith in the small coastal town of Point Reyes, California. I had family in San Francisco at the time, so I had a place to stay and a vehicle to get to Point Reyes. The weather was gorgeous, I was excited, and the beauty of the countryside blew me away. If you’ve ever been to Point Reyes or Point Reyes National Seashore, you’ll know what I mean.

The workshop ran for two days. To be honest, I remember very little of it. And I don’t mean to disparage it at all. It was a remarkable experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m just one of those people who is interested in SO many things. Sometimes, some things have to fall by the wayside so that I can focus on main things. Animal communication, for me, is something that has fallen by the wayside.

There were at least 20 to 30 people signed up, including some experienced communicators who had trained with Penelope and were assisting with the workshop. I recall we got some training in quieting our minds, learning to listen, mentally asking a question to an animal, and then being open to whatever came. It is a simple process, but it involves the not-so-simple skill of getting quiet within, and trusting what comes. (The trusting part is the part I have the most trouble with — stuff comes, but I negate it or tend to write it off. )

We were also able to practice with a number of animals that Penelope brought in from her animal family. I remember communicating with a chicken; I remember a cat and a dog on the premises, and there were likely other animals as well.

At the end of the first day, we were given an assignment. We were to practice tuning into a particular animal that we had a bond with. We were to use the simple method we’d been taught (get quiet, ask a question, be open to a response). And we were to report on any results the next day. We could communicate with the animal directly or remotely. In my case, the communication would be remote since my animals were five states away.

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend doing what I did, but I tuned in with my cat while I was driving back from Point Reyes to San Francisco. The California back roads and the beauty of the landscape put me into a good place, and my mind relaxed. I had it in mind to ask my cat if he minded the name “Putz.” We had named him as a kitten, and I had never been that crazy about the name — names are important! But I’d forgotten about it in the busyness of life. Now, it resurfaced.

I can’t remember exactly how it felt to connect with my cat, but it was instant and it felt quite true. I do remember the landscape around me as I drove on a two-lane backroad, in the hilly California chaparral. I got instant affirmation that my cat did not like the name “Putz.” And, the name that came to me just as quickly was “Jamie.” The entire realization took about a second. And it felt so right. I felt completely affirmed, as if I was on the right track. “Jamie” came out of nowhere — I’d never thought of the name for any of my cats, and there was no one in my life with that name.

Penelope connected with Jamie the next day, and told me that I had picked up the correct information. Jamie carried his new name for the rest of his life, and lived to be 21 years old. “Jamie” certainly felt like a better name than “Putz”! Names ARE important.

I don’t claim to be a professional animal communicator, but it does interest me. Maybe I will pull out those old tapes I have and immerse myself in this again. It does keep arising in my life, especially when a cat is at the end of life and I feel very tuned in, because I’m emotionally too spent to get in my way.

Have you communicated with your cat? What were the results? Have you used an animal communicator? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Learn more about your cat with Catster:

More on cats and communication:

About Catherine Holm: Told that she is funny but doesn’t know it, accused of being an unintentional con artist by her husband, quiet, with frequent unannounced bursts into dancing liveliness, Cat Holm loves writing about, working for, and living with cats. She is the author of the cat-themed memoir Driving with Cats: Ours for a Short Time, the creator of Ann Catanzaro cat fantasy story gift books, and the author of a short story collection about people and place. She loves to dance, be outside whenever possible, read, play with cats, make music, do and teach yoga, and write. Cat lives in the woods, which she loves as much as really dark chocolate, and gets regular inspiration shots along with her double espresso shots from the city.

Get Catster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.

Let Catster answer all of your most baffling feline questions!

Starting at just


Follow Us

Shopping Cart