I know many of you may not believe in things such as psychics or animal communicators. In fact, for some of you it may even go against your religion! If a post about such things would upset or offend you, then you might want to skip reading this post. I respect your beliefs, and I will totally understand if you'd rather not read about this! But my beliefs are a little different, and I do believe in these things.
For many years I listened to a podcast by a woman named Tracy Ann who said she was able to communicate with animals, whether they were alive or departed. Whenever I listened to her show, I really felt like her readings for the people who called in sounded pretty accurate.
Then my beloved 13-year-old dog, Chopper, got cancer. Her health declined worse and worse, to the point where we had to struggle just to get her to eat. Sometimes I made macaroni and cheese (which I really loved to eat) and would spoon some of it into her dog dish. It was soft and cheesy and she'd actually eat it.
She'd never had a dog bed of her own. Well, she probably did as a puppy, but she chewed it up, and after that she never really needed a bed because she always slept with us in the regular beds. But one day at Walgreens I saw a big, soft, red flannel dog bed for only ten dollars. I decided to buy it to surprise Chopper. I thought she'd enjoy laying on it when she was just hanging out in the living room, since my mom wouldn't allow her on the furniture in there.
Around this same time, I decided to make an appointment with Tracy Ann. I wanted to talk to her about my dog. I wanted to find out if there was anything else we should be doing for her. Was there some way we could save her, or else at least make her as happy and comfortable as possible?
Tracy Ann amazed me with the insights she had about my dog. I can't remember all of the things she said. because this was about five or six years ago. But I do remember specifically two things she said that convinced me that she was for real.
One - She said Chopper was showing her a big, soft, red flannel dog bed, and that Chopper was very proud of it and wanted to say thankyou for it. Tracy Ann said Chopper showed her that it was very comfortable. (I still have this same bed... Trixie and Lily use it now.)
Two - She said Chopper was showing her some small, skinny, orange things in her dog dish, and saying that she really loved to eat these and that she wanted more. The macaroni and cheese! It had to be!
Tracy Ann's radio show eventually went off the air. I started listening to a similar podcast, by an animal communicator named Laura Stinchfield. Like Tracy Ann's show, people would (and still do) call into the radio show and ask about their pets.
At the end of 2012, I found out my cat, Sammy-Joe, also had cancer. (On a sidenote, this is a little creepy, don't you think? My childhood dog, Zip, died of cancer when she was only 6 years old. Then Chopper had cancer, and now Sammy-Joe! Is the house cursed? Are my pets acting like canaries in a mine, warning us of something dangerous in the environment?) Remembering my talk with Tracy Ann before Chopper's death, I decided to try calling Laura and asking about Sammy-Joe.
Like Chopper, Sammy-Joe had grown weak and wasn't eating much. His favorite place to hang out was on top of my dad's workbench in the basement, where he was high enough to not be bothered by the dogs. I had even moved his food dish up there to convince him to eat... although for some reason I did not move his water bowl up there. Every day when I had dinner, I would save some of the meat from my meal, cut it up into tiny cat-sized pieces and put it on the workbench for him, and he would eat it up. My only reassurance in life was that he was at least still eating something!
When I called the radio show, I was the last person chosen to talk to Laura, and I didn't have much time. But she did tell me some things. Again, there are two things that stand out in my memory.
One - She told me that Sammy-Joe liked it when I gave him cut-up people food, and that I should continue feeding him that.
Two - She told me that Sammy-Joe would like his water dish "high up" so that it would be easier to drink. Laura gets pictures and feelings from the animals, so she wasn't sure what this meant, and thought it might be that he wanted his water dish elevated a few inches so he wouldn't have to bend down for it. But I noticed she had only said "water dish," and not "both dishes." Sammy's food dish was already up on the work bench, and he was requesting for his water dish to be put up there also, so he wouldn't have to jump down in order to get a drink!
Sammy-Joe finally passed away in February, 2013. I was crushed. I still do miss him so much, and think of him all the time. Often at night, when I am in my bed, I will think of him, and imagine that he is in bed with me and the dogs. I imagine him kneading my arm with his paws, the way he used to do, and purring away.
Sammy-Joe was best friends with Chopper, but after Chopper died he wasn't in the mood to become friends with any other dogs. He and Trixie tolerated each other, but he never played with Trixie the way he did with Chopper. Trixie would have loved it... she is such a gentle and loving dog... but Sammy would have no part of it. And when Lily came, he hissed at her, and she got scared and barked at him, and from then on the two of them were scared of each other! This is when Sammy started spending a lot of time skulking around in the basement and hiding from Lily. So after he died, I started to wonder if he had sort of willed himself to get cancer and die, because he thought I didn't need him any more, since I had the dogs.
It took me over a year to gather my courage to call the radio show and talk to Laura, to ask if Sammy had left me on purpose. Finally, last week, I called about Sammy for the second time.
Laura told me Sammy-Joe did not die because of the dogs... he said he was already starting to be sick before they came, and that they were annoying but not something that would have made him want to leave.
Then she told me that Sammy-Joe's spirit comes into my room at night and that he puts his paw on me and tells me that he loves me.
The next thing she said is what blew me away.
She said that Sammy showed her that I am shy sometimes, and think that I am not communicating well, but that others don't realize I am shy and they think I am communicating fine. She said, "He says to tell you that people love you."
Finally, she said Sammy told her that he would be with me to protect me, whenever I needed strength, and that whenever I was feeling insecure I could know that he was there with me. Laura told me, "He says to tell you, 'I'm a cat with wings.' He shows me himself sitting on your shoulder."
It took me a while to realize what he was trying to tell me. He was trying to show me that he is my angel!
I love angels, my nickname is Angel, and I even used to have a Lisa Frank coloring book that had cat angels in it. I used to color them all gray to look like Sammy-Joe.
I know others may find this story insane. But I believe it with all my heart.