For all the thousands of years we've lived with cats, they remain mysterious. Perhaps that's why so many cat owners wonder what their cats are really thinking. With Dr. Doolittle unavailable, Temptations Treats for Cats sought out famed animal communicatorSonya Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick was host of "The Pet Psychic," which aired on Animal Planet 2002-2003, and is now heard on Animal Intuition on XM-Serius radio. She's also written several books on animal communication.
"Darling, people want to know what our cats really think about us," Fitzpatrick says. "On my radio show, people are always asking 'Do my cats really love me?' Oh, of course they adore us," Fitzpatrick cheerfully chirps, her phone voice reminiscent of Angela Lansbury. "They're loyal, and they provide unconditional love. They're always there for us, even if sometimes they have an attitude. That's the fascination of cats."
Instead of asking cat owners what they think their cats like, Fitzpatrick went to the horse's mouth, or better put, the cat's meow. Officials at Temptations created a social media event by asking cat owners for photos of their pets, then chose a lucky 250 for Fitzpatrick to "communicate" with. She studied and ultimately "conversed" with the images. You read that right. She used her telepathic powers to communicate with the photographed felines.
Here are the results:
Fitzpatrick asked four questions of each cat pictured:
1. What's your favorite thing to do with your human?
Just over half of the cats "said" catnapping with a favorite person ranked first. Fitzpatrick adds, "They (the cats in the survey) also love it when we talk to them face to face, not from the bathroom or the kitchen, but when our full attention is focused directly on them."
2. What are your biggest pet peeves?
"Of course, I didn't ask them that in human language; you don't do that," Fitzpatrick says. She willed herself to feel annoyed, "and that's how the cats understood what I want to know," she explains.
Close to half the cats surveyed said their No, 1 irritation in life was getting wet; baths were not appreciated. About a third communicated to Fitzgerald that they didn't appreciate being awakened while napping.
3. What's your favorite thing to do?
Maybe cats aren't so lazy after all (think Garfield). Of the 250 surveyed by Fitzpatrick, just over half said their favorite thing was to roam the house. Only 1.6 percent said they enjoyed watching TV, though no word on whether or not Animal Planet was their favorite channel.
4. How often do you like getting treats?
Not much of a surprise here: 45 percent of the cats surveyed "said" they wanted a treat 'right now.' Fitzpatrick says some cats were so excited about the question that she could taste their responses momentarily in her own mouth.
So, how the heck is it possible for a person to look at a photo of a cat in another part of the country and communicate with the animal via a photo?
"Darling, I understand cynics," says Fitzpatrick. "I'm skeptical about things and I believe it's healthy to be that way. But if you haven't experienced what I have, how could you know?"
Fitzpatrick explains that she was born with a severe hearing loss, yet could "hear" animals.
"When I was a little girl, I thought everyone could do what I do. I didn't think I was different," she recalls. "I grew up talking to animals, hearing their feelings, and their emotions and senses." One of her earliest memories is of her father telling someone that a pig leg would be served for dinner. Unfortunately, the comment was overheard by the pig.
"I could feel the fear of the pig," Fitzpatrick says.
But how could the pig have understood what Dad was saying?
"Darling, animals can do this," says Fitzpatrick. "They've been doing this forever, reading what each other is saying and what we're saying. Animals communicate on a higher level of consciousness than people."
Fitzpatrick says we can all communicate better with animals if we try.
"It's not so complicated," she says. "It is possible to get closer with our animals, and understand them better. But, darling, some people are sort of psychic and other people are not."
©Steve Dale, Tribune Media Services, Inc.