Updated: Jul 3
This story actually started months ago, as Joe made perfectly clear. He was the only companion cat to his human, Nate. They shared an apartment, and Joe liked it that way. Just the two of them, no other people or animals.
Then Rebecca came into the picture. And that changed everything.
He didn’t want to like her, but she grew on him. And it was obvious Jake liked her, too. So, okay, fine. A threesome. More massage and playtime for me, he thought.
That went on for about six months. Rebecca was at Nate and Joe’s place often, and Joe got used to all the extra attention. You could say he was a bit spoiled. He admitted it.
He also admitted he had not paid much attention and didn’t really understand that there was another cat anywhere in the picture. Sure, Nate and Rebecca had been talking to him. But he wasn’t getting it. It was just a bunch of words mixed with more petting and play time for him.
Okay, there may have been some willful not listening in the mix, he admitted. But he clearly felt blindsided when he and Jake moved in with Rebecca – and her cat, Josie.
What… another cat?!!! Oh, no. He does not appreciate surprises. He has been making his displeasure with the situation abundantly clear, to everyone. Which is why Nate and Rebecca called me.
We spent a good bit of time listening to his protest. And then I got Josie’s story. She has been Rebecca’s baby for over 9 years. Her sister, Rose, had passed the year before. Josie was a very social girl and Rebecca thought she would love a new sibling, or even a boyfriend. She and Nate had hoped their cats would take to each other easily, but clearly that was not happening. Josie seemed really sad, and Joe was not playful anymore. He was actually kind of broody.
Here’s what we learned: It wasn’t so much that Joe disliked Josie. He simply felt surprised and totally caught off guard, and he was really stuck on being blindsided.
He had no need for a sibling. He liked it just fine when it was just him and Nate. Heck, he even accepted Rebecca, eventually. He thought that plenty enough of him yielding to change. He felt we should all be praising him for being so incredibly flexible. He expected to be honored for his adaptability and at the very least acknowledged for not once attacking that strange cat. And he didn’t like that the call seemed to be about him being the problem. We all gave him a good moment of really listening. We heard the history from his point of view, and really got how unprepared he felt. He had no warning. He was in shock, and still mad about it all. He thought the people had tricked him.
Josie didn’t feel that way. She got the memo. She had been anticipating Joe’s arrival and was looking forward to a new playmate. Once they arrived, she developed a serious crush on Joe right away. She’d made lots of attempts to be friends, but Joe just ignored and dismissed her. He was having no part of this arranged marriage.
So, what happened here? Nate and Rebecca thought they were doing a good job of talking with both Josie and Joe… preparing them for the merging together of their households. Josie got it. But clearly Joe did not.
Josie had been anticipating with excitement… a new buddy and an expanded family, which she wanted. Joe felt tricked, unhappily surprised, and actually quite compromised. He reiterated that point a number of times, like he had to get it off his chest. He wanted Nate to know he felt his best friend had cheated him. Nate felt terrible, and apologized, as did Rebecca. And Josie let Joe know she hoped for friendship but would accept it if he did not want that.
And then, once he felt heard and understood, he immediately settled down and got noticeably calmer. Nate said he watched and felt Joe relax, and he said Joe’s eyes softened. That conversation was in January, just after the New Year.
Fast forward five months, and happy news… I heard from Nate and Rebecca last week. They said Josie and Joe are starting to play together, and they’re even napping together. That’s progress!
Josie is actually a big fan of Joe. She took to him right away. Which is kind of surprising as she is nearly twice his age. But she really likes him and kept pushing for being related. It took a few months, but she finally got her way. They're quite the pair now.
As for Joe - he's actually happy also, at long last. He’s loving the big house, and genuinely enjoying getting to know Josie. I’m so happy for all of them!
Now, I’m sharing this story for two reasons.
1. We might think we’re communicating with our animal friends - but they might not be getting the message. It could be like Joe, where there’s an element of willful not-listening. And/or…
2. We have to stretch a bit more than we might realize when talking with animals. Words alone are not enough. Animals need images – like you’re playing a little movie for them. And you have to be attentive to timing. Nate and Rebecca were doing a great job of showing and telling Joe - but it was all in the future. Joe could not connect the dots of one day is happening right now, today.
If you’d like a crash course on working intuitively with animals, join me in September for Animal Communication 101. I'll guide you through the Opening Invitation and give you all the Basic Tips & Tools for successful animal communication. We’ll also practice deeper listening and full body presence, so you can receive what they're saying with more clarity and confidence. It’s the Bonus Class added to my new series of classes - check it out: Inspiration Station.