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'Animal Matters' January 2014:


“Oh shame on the mother of mortals/Who has not stooped to teach/Of the sorrow that lies in dear dumb eyes/The sorrow that has no speech” (from “I am the Voice of the Voiceless” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox)


How is it that Ramana Maharshi managed to settle the disputes of monkeys if it were not possible to converse with animals? Or for St Francis to prevail on the man-eating wolf to give up doing so because the townspeople he preyed upon promised to feed him? Peggy Mason in “Sai Baba: The Embodiment of Love” tells us that “Baba has said He understands the languages of animals, adding that it is often far sweeter than that of humans.” All else considered, that is not difficult to believe!

An apparently new phenomenon has come to light in recent years: that of animal communication. There has been much talk of people who can communicate with animals and certain animal communicators have helped pet owners understand issues that their pet may have when all else has failed, thereby helping to put matters right for both the human and animal beings concerned.

Recently a beautiful new film has come out on You Tube and gone viral. It features a South African interspecies communicator, Anna Breytenbach, bringing about a total transformation in a very angry and dangerous black leopard. The black leopard had been taken in by a man who runs a sanctuary for big cats. While the other big cats can be seen docilely meandering about the grounds, the angry black leopard stays in his cage for six whole months, unwilling to come out and explore even though he can go out if he wants to. As a result of the cruel treatment he received in a European zoo, he is emotionally scarred and has come to hate and distrust humans and wants no contact with them. He spends his whole time snarling and threatening anyone who comes near. His keepers do not want to lose him but do know what to do with him. Eventually, in spite of their deep scepticism on the matter of animal communication, desperation drives them to call Anna in to ‘speak’ to him.

As soon as Diablo sets eyes on Anna, he stops growling and snarling and simply gazes at her silently, gently squeezing up his eyes, in the way that cats do when showing affection and trust. How is that? She has not even started ‘speaking’ to him. However, before coming, Anna communicated telepathically with Diablo, preparing him in advance for their meeting. During the course of her communication, his two keepers, so sceptical at first, break down in tears, so moved are they by what they hear and witness. To cut a long story short, Anna’s conversation with Diablo and her reassurance to him on certain matters, brings about a complete transformation in his attitude and behaviour in a very short time. Shortly after this ‘conversation’, Diablo, comes out of his enclosure for the first time in 6 months to explore his new home. He is renamed Spirit at his own request that his name, with its dark associations, be changed. For those who believe that animals have no inner or emotional life to communicate, this film will certainly change their perceptions forever and it is so humbling and awe-inspiring that no one should miss it.

From what gifted animal communicators tell us, animals think in pictures and communicate their thoughts and feelings telepathically to anyone who is able to ‘receive’. One must still the mind and slow down one’s vibrations in order to be receptive. The message will come as a feeling, an image or in words, remarkably clear words too at times. I have experienced this myself much to my own surprise.

From what gifted animal communicators tell us, animals think in pictures and communicate their thoughts and feelings telepathically to anyone who is able to ‘receive’. One must still the mind and slow down one’s vibrations in order to be receptive. The message will come as a feeling, an image or in words, remarkably clear words too at times. I have experienced this myself much to my own surprise.

Once, an American animal communicator, Samantha Khury, was invited to visit a racing horse who was upset, angry and unwilling to train. When she arrived and connected with the horse, she felt such pain and fatigue. The horse ‘told’ her that he needed a rest. When she told his keeper this, the man was taken aback. Apparently, the horse, Raise a Bet, had just come back from a period of rest at another stable. She ‘talked’ to the horse about this and found that although he had been sent to another stable for a while, he was in fact forced to train. He had had no rest at all. When she told this to his keeper, he immediately telephoned the other stable to find out if this was true. After a silence on the other end of the phone, the stable owner eventually confessed that yes, this is what had happened. The racing horse never got the badly needed rest that had been ordered for him and spurs had to be used because he clearly objected to being made to train.

In her books, Magrit Coates, a gifted animal healer and communicator, recounts many moving experiences of communication with animals and the healing that she was able to bring them through this. In particular, there was a young dog called Ben who in all his four years of life, had only known isolation and deprivation from puppyhood onwards, as he was used as a stud dog in the notorious ‘puppy mill’ business (factory farming to produce puppies). Even though he was eventually ‘rescued’ from this sad and miserable existence, he was so traumatised and broken down that he constantly and frantically shook with fear, dribbling with anxiety all the while. Through Magrit’s interaction with him on a telepathic level, he was able to show her the only time when he had ever been happy… when, as a puppy, he was playing with his puppy siblings… albeit a time tinged with the sadness of sensing his mother was ill and dying. When she died, he was removed and imprisoned in a shed and sentenced to a life of solitary confinement for four years in order to be used to breed puppies to be sold on the internet. Fortunately Magrit was able to give the little dog healing and bring about a wonderful transformation in him.

I have had several experiences of animal communicators helping with my own pets and other animals in distress. One concerned a small terrier I had who sustained an injury to his spine, causing him to scream in agony. The vet could not help. Fortuitously, I was lead to an animal communicator who ‘spoke’ with him several times from a distance. Not only did she find out where the pain and inflammation was in his spine, she was able to prescribe homoeopathic medication for him which cured his nerve damage and pain completely. On top of that, he communicated much more to her on various matters, some of it rather private! Two of my cats also communicated separately with another animal communicator who used to visit my house. Around the time of their passing, both separately, they conveyed important messages through her to give to me which were not only very individual but also very pertinent and helpful. One even gave instructions for her own burial!

In fact, my very elderly cat, Bambi, spoke to me early one morning clearly and adamantly. I found it hard to accept it came from her… yet in that place beyond the ‘mind, I ‘knew’ that it did. This was later confirmed for me when I attended an animal communication workshop and another attendee had had the same kind of experience. Her cat ‘spoke’ to her loudly and clearly. How can an animal speak? In fact, one risks sounding simple and naïve but we are otherwise sane people! The fact is that Bambi did speak loudly and clearly…on the matter of being put down. She definitely did not want that. The vet had suggested it as her health seemed to be failing and her ‘quality of life’ was being compromised. However, in the end, Bambi lived another 15 months and died at the very end of her natural lifespan. As cats can’t actually ‘talk’ in the human sense, how could I be hearing Bambi speaking loudly and clearly, with vey clear diction and most emphatically! Impossible I thought! Nevertheless, I have come to understand that somewhere …in that space where all life is One…again beyond the conscious mind…Bambi’s feelings on the idea of her life being taken away prematurely without her permission, communicated itself to my consciousness with crystal clarity. In that mysterious region which we only fleetingly have access to, it was picked up and transformed it into language that I could understand. Of course I honoured her wishes. Her natural lifespan was as precious to her as it would be to any human being.

Again, if we are sensitive enough to pick up the cues, an animal can communicate with just a look. For a long time, I was haunted by the look I received from a young cat once…it was as if he was looking deep into my soul from his own soul and his expression conveyed desperation and pleading. He seemed to be beseeching me for help. I later found out that his life situation was very far from peaceful and he was seriously stressed. Sometimes too, a strong emotion is communicated directly. Once I found myself weeping inconsolably when I picked up one of my cats whom I had had to leave in someone else’s care for six months. She had never been separated from me from infancy and was very attached to me. Since my return, she had been standoffish and distant. The feeling I felt on picking her up was one of indescribable heartbreak, sorrow and utter dejection and tears came flooding down. I ‘realised’ I had picked up the silent sorrow she had been carrying all that time and it was released in my own tears. After this, she returned to her normal, cheerful, loving, old self again.

A more direct form of communication occurred once when a beloved young cat of mine went missing. When I went out to search for her, it was night-time. I was greeted at the door by an old, scruffy stray cat, miaowing meaningfully. My heart sank when he greeted me as it was not typical behaviour on his part and I knew that it was an ominous sign. He accompanied me while I looked in the gutter along the side of the road. In the darkness I could see nothing. At one point along the way, he stopped and kept turning around, miaowing and looking at me all the while. I could see nothing so continued on. At that point, he left me and walked away. I could not find her. In the morning I went out again, anxiously looking. In the daylight, I saw her. She was lying by the side of the road, covered in autumn leaves, in the exact place where the stray cat had stopped. She had been run over and killed. In the darkness, I could not make out her body lying there and did not understand his actions. I immediately realised that this ‘dumb’ animal knew of my distress even before I came out of the door and he came with a mission. He had known my little cat while she was alive. He knew I was looking for her and lead me to the spot, displaying a consciousness that many humans would not normally attribute to a stray cat or any other animal.

As we are learning more and more, animals have emotional lives and there is a lot going on in their minds and psyches even though they can’t express this in words to us. Going now are the days when it was argued that because they couldn't speak, one couldn't prove that they had any kind of emotional or mental life so to be on the safe side, it was best to assume that they did not.

Mark Bekoff, Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Colorado University and a leading scientist in animal behaviour, knows a lot better and says:

“When animals express their feelings, they pour out like water from a spout. Animals’ emotions are raw, unfiltered and uncontrolled. Their joy is the purest and most contagious of joys and their grief the deepest and most devastating. Their passions bring us to our knees in delight and sorrow.” (Mark Bekoff in “The Emotional Lives of Animals”.)

Finally, the Native American Indians, who had a sense of oneness with all God’s creatures, have much to teach us: “Kinship with all creatures of the earth, sky and water was a real and active principle. For the animal and bird world there existed a brotherly feeling that kept the Lakota safe among them, and so close did some of the Lakotas come to their feathered and furred friends that in true brotherhood they spoke a common tongue.” (Chief Luther Standing Bear).

(Article written by Mercini Sherratt for Vedanta Empire's charity incentive)

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