From Kim

Things got a little crazy last year. I sold the house and went to live with my cousin and her husband in Spain for several months. Cleo, my cat, was uprooted from the only home she knew and initially went to live with a friend, who I discovered when I brought Cleo over, was not a suitable caretaker for my cat. I scrambled and a friend of a friend wanted a cat to keep her aging father company while she was away at work. She and her dad understood that I wanted Cleo upon my return. Their condo was a very comfortable, welcoming place and I thought Cleo would be happy keeping her dad company.

A couple weeks later, I was in Spain and got a concerned e-mail that Cleo was using the living room to defecate, rather than her litter box. I was dumbfounded. This was something that Cleo had never done while living with me. She was urinating in the litter box, yet deliberately walking to the living room, front and center, and just let loose with the poop. Thinking there was something physically wrong, my friend took her to the vet, where the vet found she was fine and pronounced, “This cat is pissed!”

This would never be acceptable behavior in my house; I didn’t want her to get rid of Cleo and I was nowhere near ready to return home, as I had planned to be in Spain for six months. I called Karen and she was able to connect with Cleo about what was going on. Karen instantly connected with her and let me know that Cleo missed me. Cleo wanted to go outside and she wanted some attention from my friend and her dad. Well, she was getting attention from them, all right, but not the kind she wanted. In fact, my friend said that in every other way, she was quite a wonderful cat. She was conversational, affectionate, but this pooping thing had to stop.

Karen talked with Cleo to let her know that I would be gone for a while and would return for her. When Karen told me that Cleo wanted to go outside, I suggested to my friend that they let her out on the lanai (it’s completely screened in) and let her be there by herself for a while.

A couple weeks later, another e-mail let me know that Cleo decided to scratch the furniture. I talked again with Karen and she no longer wanted to use the log, her scratching post, anymore there. Karen said she wanted, NEEDED to stretch out. So I researched, ordered and had delivered a cork scratching post that was guaranteed not to tip. Problem solved.

Karen saved my trip to Spain. Cleo is a very, very special cat and the problems my friend and her dad had with Cleo were those I had never even suspected, much less had while living with her before — or even since. Karen said Cleo’s purpose there was to help them communicate more. I’d say that she got them to talk more, wouldn’t you?

Before Cleo, Karen was a huge help when my Alaskan Malamute, Saasha, was diagnosed and dying of lymphoma. I had “met” her a few weeks earlier and Karen helped me to understand that an animal doesn’t view death as we do and they are glad to move on, as long as we get the lesson or message they want us to know. Sometimes, the grief is what gets us to that point of understanding. Karen helped me to see what Saasha wanted me to know — and do — as a result of her cancer and subsequent death. Through Karen, I began to understand what Saasha wanted for me: to change my life. The times Karen and I spent on the phone during her passing and the following months helped me to move toward that life change. Saasha gladly shared with Karen what she wanted for me and it’s been a long time coming, but my life is completely different now than it was three short years ago. Thank you, Karen, for all the insight and growth that has come through conversations with my pets. With you, I’m far more sensitive to what an animal wants to communicate and understand when something’s going on, although I need you to translate!!!

Thank you, Karen, for what you do so well — connect me with my animals and more importantly, with myself. I’m a different person because of your work.

Kim J.

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