As our society's emotional connection with pets has grown over the years, so have people turned to pet psychics or animal communicators to try to discover what their animals are thinking - to solve both behavioral and health concerns related to their pets.
The Pet Psychic is a popular television show which debuted on the Animal Planet Channel in 2002. Featuring Sonya Fitzpatrick communicating with animals, the show typifies our fascination with the possibility of communicating telepathically with our pets.
And what sort of thing might your cat be thinking? Communications may be as mundane as it not being very fond of the kibble you are feeding it or discovering it would prefer a better scratching post.
Truth or Ruse?
While psychics and their clients swear by telepathic readings, others say pet psychics are simply the latest version of an elaborate psychological ruse that's been around for centuries.
Pat Linse, co-founder of the Skeptics Society, says psychics use a skill called "cold reading" to convince clients they have some sort of supernatural ability to know things - in this case, what your pet is thinking.
"Cold reading" relies on the fact that most people generally want to believe on some level that the psychic actually has telepathic powers. The psychic subtly coaxes information and cues out of the client, and offers the material back in the form of insights. The client, who doesn't recall offering the details, is amazed that the psychic seems to know so much about them.
Researchers who study psychics generally divide them into two categories: open-eyed psychics and closed-eyed psychics. Open-eyed psychics have no illusions that what they're doing is nothing more than a psychological routine. In contrast, closed-eyed psychics are usually highly intuitive types who genuinely believe they have telepathic powers. They've learned how to do cold readings without consciously trying.
Seven Simple Steps to Communicating With Your Pet
Sonya Fitzpatrick however believes that everyone has the ability to communicate with their pets telepathically, they just don't know it.
So, whether you are a believer or a skeptic, it may be worth a try.
If you want to try developing telepathic communication with your cat, here are seven steps to get started:
Begin with a calm and tranquil mind, and seek out a calm and tranquil atmosphere for you and your animal.
Say your animal's name telepathically to get his attention.
Visualize your animal as you say his name.
Send a picture of his physical body. Direct this to him, along with his name.
Ask if there is anything your pet would like you to do for him. Imagine your animal is sending an answer back to you and accept whatever you receive in your imagination.
Always acknowledge the answer, whatever you receive in your imagination.
Continue to ask him other questions, and remember to trust your imagination for what you are receiving back from your animal.