Archive for Monday, July 25, 2005

Reading the mind of a feline

Alternative healing for pets can include psychic techniques

July 25, 2005


Ruth Kenyon is devoted to an 18-pound gray cat named Joseph.

"I love him dearly and he gives unconditional love," said Kenyon, 76. "He's a wonderful companion."

Last year, U.S. pet owners spent $34.4 billion caring for their pets. They will spend $35.9 billion this year, according to estimates of the American Pet Products Manufacturers Assn. in Greenwich, Conn.

Keeping 9-year-old Joseph happy and healthy is a top priority for Kenyon. She's willing to spend the money and also looks at alternative ways to keep her feline pal in good shape. She buys organic pet chow from Lawrence's Natural Pet Food & Supply and uses alternative health care in addition to annual visits to a veterinarian.

Several pet owners are turning to providing their furry companions natural foods, alternative healing and homeopathic remedies.

Nikki, a calico cat, relaxes as owner Karmel Astarae demonstrates a technique she uses to soothe animals and calm them into balance at her Lawrence home.

Nikki, a calico cat, relaxes as owner Karmel Astarae demonstrates a technique she uses to soothe animals and calm them into balance at her Lawrence home.

Others are skeptical of the methods.

Garrett Sedlacek, 18, of Lawrence, said his two dogs and two cats receive regular dog and cat food from the grocery store.

"I wouldn't feed them organic food unless they were dying and a veterinarian told me to do it," he said. He also scoffed at the idea of alternative healing for pets.

"It seems sort of silly," he said. "I can't believe people would do it. I don't think I need someone talking to my pets to tell me what they're thinking. They pretty much let you know what they want."

Alternative healing

Kenyon also is a client of Karmel Astarae - formerly Karmel Mangan. Astarae, in some ways, is a pet psychic, Kenyon said.

"It works for me, and it works for my cat," Kenyon said. "What others may think really doesn't matter to me."

Astarae owns Spirit Whispers. She specializes in "energy medicine," which is based on the premise that human and animal bodies are composed of various energy fields. Astarae said that energy fields for people and animals can become blocked when they are sick, in distress, out of balance or otherwise disturbed. She attempts to restore health by first detecting and then removing the blockages.

"It's really all about balance," said Astarae, who has received training in energy medicine through other practitioners in Kansas and throughout the country.

She has trained with experts in the field in Arizona, Wisconsin and California and specializes in the ElectroMagnetic Frequency Balancing Technique. Astarae said the technique helps balance the body and allows for a higher quality of life.

"Energy medicine - whether it's with a human or it's with a pet or a plant - it's basically complementary to standard medical care," Astarae said.

Her new-age type medicine is not governed by the Kansas Board of Healing Arts.

Kenyon swears by Astarae, saying she has helped her cat several times.

"Karmel can communicate with him using psychic powers," Kenyon said. "I've found it handy, and Karmel has been very successful with Joseph. Sometime in June, he quit eating, and he's always had a healthy appetite. So it was alarming. I called Karmel to see what she could pick up. Joseph told her it was just too hot."

Astarae, who has been working in Lawrence for about seven years, usually works with people. But the number of pets she is working with has increased. She said she has probably assisted with more than 100 pets - usually cats and dogs. The number is growing though.

Working with pets is a little different than with people, Astarae said. For one, they are smaller.

"But they don't really have the human issues that we as people carry," she said. "I usually work about 45 minutes with a pet. They'll usually speak to me in very basic comments, like 'I don't like food out of a can' or 'I don't like what is being put in my water.' They usually pretty much directly say what they mean. It's very basic stuff. Then I work with them from the heart and let them know how wonderful they are and how special they are."

Results as usually immediate, she said.

Sometimes the animals are brought to her house, which she uses as her office. Many times, however, Astarae said she works with pets remotely by locking in and sending waves of energy to the pets.

"I hear and I feel my angel is giving me insights so I am able to communicate with the pets and help them," she said.

Organic foods

Some area pet owners, including Kenyon, purchase food at Natural Pet Food & Supply, 3025 W. Sixth.

The store has been open about a year, said owner Sara Brooks-Czapinski. Since then, the store has amassed a database of about 1,000 customers. The organic pet food business is doing so well that Brooks-Czapinski opened another store in Leawood.

Her store is stocked with different animal food products. One brand provides a New Zealand venison and sweet potato food formula. Another offers an ocean fish formula. There's a refrigerator and freezer allowing pet owners to purchase fresh foods. A 13-ounce can of pet food ranges anywhere from $1.50 to $3. A 3-pound bag of raw frozen diet food is about $12.

"I think a lot of people are interested in trying organic foods for their pets," she said. "I think people see benefits to it, and this is a matter of people looking at their animals a little more like humans. When we're not eating well, we can feel the results. It's the same with pets."


audvisartist 12 years, 11 months ago

One of my cats poops on the carpet when she's getting picked on by another cat. Can anyone tune into her thoughts and see just what the heck she's thinking when she does that?! I'm tired of breaking out the steam cleaner!

Ragingbear 12 years, 11 months ago

I had a rather spoiled calico cat for nearly a year when we adopted a stray kitten. Jealousy was thick in the air from her highness, and she had no problem letting the kitten know it. Every time fresh food was given, the older cat would run over and eat all of it, and then throw up later because she ate so much. The other cat eventually realized that she had just as much right to be there as the other, and in a standoff one day, just knocked the other one across the room. Relations went from bitter, to tolerant over the next year. In most cases, unless they were raised from kittenhood together, that is the best case scenario.

As for your cat, she is both stressed, and acting out. Much like a child. She most likely has discovered that the other cats get treated differently, and she gets attention. Yeah, it may be negative attention. But she will take it, as cats tend to demand your sole undivided attention when they want it.

I would reccomend that you take this cat, and place her in a smaller room of the house with the others. If they fight, let them. Eventually they will establish thier place in the hierarchy of the house. Also, devote some time to each individual cat, and let them know that they are all equal.

If the pooping continues, then I would reccomend that you talk to your vet about some Valium or Xanax for your cat (yes they make that). This will help alleviate the obvios stress she is under so that she may properly adjust. And if all else fails, make her an outside cat for a week after she does it again, just make sure she knows what she is being punished for.

BrianR 12 years, 11 months ago

I don't buy the psychic stuff. Hell, the Psychic Network went out of business and no one saw that coming...

Adrienne Sanders 12 years, 11 months ago

audvisartist- please don't put your cats in a room and let them fight it out. Cats can actually get hurt this way! There's no mystery to it, the cat that's getting picked on is upset and unfortunately is expressing herself by pooping on your floor. You should concentrate on getting the other cat not to pick on her, making sure they each have enough territory, enough litterboxes, etc. There are many good behaviour websites and books out there (check out "Cat vs. Cat", by Pam Johnson-Bennett), perhaps you could peruse some of those for ideas. A seditive should only be a last resort. Vets, like other doctors, can be too quick to medicate.

As for pet psychics... whether you believe it or not, really it seems rather dangerous. If my cat stops eating, I'm calling a vet, not a psychic. It could just be too hot (which seems like an overly obvious answer to me), but wouldn't you first want to make sure that, for instance, your cat didn't have a tooth that hurt? Traditional medical care should be primary, not secondary.

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