When I first found Annette, I was at the absolute end of my rope. I rescued a cat from a shelter in NYC shortly after Hurricane Sandy and even though I am a seasoned rescuer, this poor cat absolutely baffled me. I tried and tried to help her acclimate to my home but she was violent, angry, and unpredictable. She constantly took it out on me; she would be loving one minute craving affection and scratching me up the next. Feeling defeated, I spoke openly to my cat rescue friends about my frustrations and one of them suggested an animal communicator. I was skeptical but I figured ... why not? I reached out to Annette specifically on a recommendation from a friend who had used her because I just wanted to help my foster feel loved and happy in our home but had absolutely no idea how to do that alone.
Annette knew very little about my foster going into it. I was skeptical of the whole process - though I tried to be open-minded to it - so I made sure I shared very little details. From the very beginning, Annette connected completely to my foster.
She told me that my foster did not trust other cats because they are 'sneaky' and did things behind my back. She also told Annette that she didn't trust other cats because they always steal her stuff. I will be honest, I thought that was ridiculous. What stuff, you're a cat? But I trusted what Annette said and gave my foster her own food bowl, blankie, and bed, making sure to tell her that this was hers and hers alone. Would you believe, not shortly after that my own cat came stomping down my stairs with my foster's bed clenched in his teeth between his legs. He was stealing her bed! She was so right!
Annette also helped me understand that my foster had abandonment issues. Humans had betrayed her so many times in her short life, so it was hard for her to let herself love me because she thought I'd probably betray her too. Again, this is nothing Annette could have gathered from our consultation. To put in context: my foster had been abandoned in her own home just as Hurricane Sandy hit, and as the flood waters rose in her darkened house, she was also peeing blood from untreated bladder stones. When the storm subsided and her family came back to check on her, their house had been destroyed and they took her to the shelter because they couldn't afford to treat her bladder stones. The fear and pain she must have felt is unfathomable, so I didn't fault her in the least for her attitude toward me as potentially being just another human who would betray her. Annette helped me understand just how deep her feelings went, and how afraid she was of being left behind again. I remember Annette telling me that my foster said to her that she didn't want to let herself love me because she was afraid of loving me. That absolutely broke my heart, but at the same time told me that I needed to make sure my foster knew that I wasn't like those other humans, I wasn't going to leave her behind.
It has been a few years since we talked to Annette and I'm happy to say my foster is a healthy, happy girl. She hasn't had another bladder stone flare-up and mostly doesn't have to put up with my cats stealing her stuff to the extent I can help it. I'm sorry to say we haven't yet found her forever home but she always has a place here as long as she wants it. She sleeps in bed with me every night; the minute I come to bed, she hops up on her pillow, curls up right next to me purring, and she doesn't move until I wake in the morning. She used to lash out at me without warning but we have been able to work out a great communication so that she tells me if my touch upsets her before it causes her to scratch or bite me. She still nips me every now and then if I throw my arm out when I'm sleeping but that's OK.
She has come so far and I can't thank Annette enough for her insight that helped me understand better how to support her. I'm still a little skeptical about communicators in general but I can't deny that my experience with Annette truly helped me better relate to this cat who was so broken, so betrayed, so angry. To see her now as this loving, purring, happy cat (despite having to live with other cats who try to steal her stuff) is so amazing. I don't think we could have gotten there without Annette and for that, we thank you.
-- With much love, Adrienne & Goldie