CATastrophe in Tahoe!
April 1, 2013
Editor's note: This is the second in a two-part series about three cats, an animal communicator, and how peace was returned to a chaotic home. Read the first installment here
Jackson (a cat) felt much like a child playing at school with friends, when the school-yard bully comes over and starts picking on them. In the case of the child, it can instill a sense of fear that school and other kids are not safe or friendly. While to someone on the outside looking in, we may perceive it as nothing — no big deal. Yet, it can change the filters through which a child may see their world.
As for Jackson, his view had changed. He grew up and became a strong big cat. He decided he wouldn't put up with Jonathan's snotty attitude and began taunting him whenever he could. The feline dynamics of my client's household had changed.
The next question I asked Jackson was if he could learn to forgive and stop creating so much discord in the house. Did he want to live here or would he prefer to live somewhere else? Sometimes these types of questions are difficult to ask an animal. In my experience, they often do not understand what that really means. In Jackson case, he had a reply that surprised me.
His response was unique and very clear.
Jackson knew exactly what he wanted and what he needed.
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It went something like this:
"Okay Cindy here's the deal. I know that I don't belong here anymore. I am not happy, they're not happy. It just isn't something that we can work out!"
With Jackson being so clear about not belonging here, my next question to him was, "Where do you belong?"
Jackson had apparently been listening to my client and her daughter talking about the cat problems. Their discussion included finding Jackson a new home. That particular option only aggravated Jackson's frustration about his current situation.
Jackson communicated to me what he really wanted was to live with "his person" — the one who brought him home as a small kitten, the daughter. I asked him if he could get along with other cats and his reply was, "Yes." His person had moved out and left him. She had mistakenly felt he would be happier left behind. Failing to explain this to him, as time went on, she would return for short periods then leave again. This created for him greater sadness, confusion, and eventually anger.
Sometimes, pet owners do not understand their companions possess strong bonds and attachments. They, too, have feelings. When things get turned upside down in their world, whether it is a divorce, kids moving out, or medical needs necessitating housing changes, animals can't stand up and verbalize how it is upsetting them. They have to try and adapt the best they can.
Many animals are emotionally sensitive. Having "their person," the ones they to whom they are most bonded, leave without them can be devastating.
Now and again, the only way pets know how to deal with their anxious feelings is to act out. Frequently, inappropriate urination and/or defecation can be a symptom. Occasionally, other pets will cease eating or lose their appetites. Aggression toward housemates and even owners can be seen as animals acting out their frustrations and apprehensions.
Animals don't start being bad for no reason.
There's always a reason. In some ways, they are a lot like children. They don't understand what the adults in their world are doing and cannot adapt to the changes forced upon them. The result? They act out.
Animals that are misbehaving for "their persons" is one of the main reasons people call me. Having ruled out medical explanations for their pet's behavior, my clients are still searching for an answer.
My hope is this article will help people understand our animals are an equal part of our lives. They have feelings, emotions, and need structure plus routine. Rather than labeling your pet as bad or putting them on mood-altering medication, consider checking in with them to find out what their problem is.
Animal shelters around the world are full of misunderstood animals that wear the label that says "bad." Perhaps they just haven't been heard and need help to adjust to what human expectations are.
If this story resonates with you, I can help you bridge the communication gap between you and your furry family friends. Whether it is a behavior problem, transitions that families go through, medical problems that can't seem to be resolved, I can assist you.
Many people also call me to help guide them through their pet's end of life. It is my experience many pet owners struggle deciding when the right time is to let go of their companions. I'm often asked to communicate with a client's pet to find out how their pet is doing and what it is they need to make their lives better.
I love being able to be the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves. There is nothing more rewarding then to help them to find harmony and happiness in their lives and the people they love with.
As for Jackson, he's going with the person he wanted to be with in the first place, and harmony is returning to a home formerly in chaos.
Cindy Hartzell is an Animal Communicator, Reiki Master Teacher, Animal Aroma-therapist, and Equine Experiential Learning Coach. Contact Cindy at 530-386-3639 or visit http://www.heartsoulcrittertalk.com.