How is it fall already!?

A friendly banana slug.

Isn’t it March 1648th? No?

I am amazed at how quickly this past year and a half has blown by, because now, I finally feel grounded again. It’s a truly wonderful feeling.

I was fortunate enough to affect this reset in my energy and mindset with a very nice two week vacation. I did some really cool things I do want to write about in more detail, when I have a bit more time to do those experiences justice.

Being able to spend time with wild and domesticated animals, and one of my best friends, really made a world of difference for me. I may have mentioned this past spring, noticing how beautiful all the flowering trees are, here in Victoria. I failed to notice them in 2019, or they failed to register as beautiful, due to the stress I was under at the time.

Well, the same thing is happening this fall. I am noticing how very lovely the fall colours are here. In the majestic rainforest of the west coast, where the volume of rainfall per year is significantly more than *anywhere else in the country* the trees that thrive in that environment aren’t species that display fall colours. The environment is does change seasonally, but it’s subtle, not spectacular, and I have to admit I have missed the brilliance of the fall foliage display in Northern Ontario.

In noticing how I’m noticing the beauty around me again, I’m also noticing my body round a new corner. During my vacation, I wanted to *do* so much. Among the super-fun animal things I did which I’ll write about another day, I wanted to paint our condo, which was an activity I found to be surprisingly strenuous. My physical condition has been improving steadily since my surgery *two years ago* now, but I kept hitting walls in my recovery. It has taken a lot of patience and perseverance, but I am thrilled to discover that as of this month, I think my body is NORMAL again!

By normal, I mean I can physically exert myself, and it feels good instead of painful. I actually improve when I increase my activity instead of re-injuring myself. Last fall, I was on an uptick, and I walked *just a little further* than I had the previous day, and threw my back out for a week. That set me back three months. It’s been annoying. It was difficult to resist the thought that maybe this was just my new normal, now.

I must confess though, I think what made the difference was doubling my physio exercises. When Covid hit, and I could not longer access the massage therapy I had been relying upon to stay functional, the sheer anxiety of experiencing another physical setback gave me the determination to do my physio exercises twice a day, instead of once a day. After three months, when I could do back to my massage therapist, I was noticing a difference and some little improvements, but over my vacation I took a big leap forward.

I don’t know whether it was the having the stress relief of a bit of vacation time, or if my body finally just got there, but in the last three weeks, I’ve reached a point where I can hike for several kilometers, and bike for many more! I may not go fast, but I can do it!

The quality of life implications for this are *huge* – because so many of the things I love doing involve this moderate level of exercise. I’m not trying to do anything special, I’m just trying to get back to where I was when I would have a day off and look forward to going on a new hike.

I have also started my Human Resource Management program, which adds another 3 hours of sedentary sitting time to my day, in addition to my 8 hour work day. So in order to avoid becoming an actual banana slug in a hoodie, or, you know, completely screwing up my back forever, I am making sure I get out for a good hike or a bike ride every day as soon as I wake up. I might take an hour or more outside, and feel sweaty and tired when I get back. I’ll hop in the shower, have some breakfast, and then actually be in a really good headspace to study and learn about labour laws and employment relationships.

After a few hours at my desk, I have a snack, pack my lunch and head to work. Although my current job is not my favourite, and I really miss my coworkers at Tofino Hospital, I can see how my new job serves a greater purpose in my future, because it actually *is* human resource related. Without intending to, I managed to get a job that will actually count as experience in my new chosen field when I complete my certificate and am able to pursue new job opportunities. (I plan on continuing on to get an associate’s degree, and a bachelor’s in the next ten years, but let’s just take this one step at a time, shall we?)

Now, when I show up at my job, having exercised and spent a few hours working productively towards my long-term goals, my Monday – Friday doesn’t seem as tedious or frustrating. It feels just right, actually. I’m even grateful I have the evening shift, because utilizing the morning for exercise and the afternoon for studying is working out very well.

I think I just might be able to keep this up.

I will find time in the next few weeks to write about my awesome adventure with whales and harris hawks!

I hope this season has brought some good things into your life as well. We’re getting there, my friends. Stay healthy y’all.

Impromptu Freddie!

Hi folks. How have you all been?

I do want to thank you all who booked the Pet Session Special! My schedule is now full until November 2020, thanks to you all, and the Pet Session Special is now done.

I’ve been thinking about what type of post I’d like to contribute right now. There are a few things I’ve seen circulating I’d like to address.

Last month, Sweetie made me aware of a psychic on youtube who stated George Floyd died for a purpose, and that he didn’t want to see all these protests, because he only wanted love and understanding.

That upset me for quite some time. Of course, unfortunately, this was a white lady.

White lady psychics, man. There’s a reason I’m a solitary practitioner. I have friendly, collaborative relationships with other spiritual practitioners, for sure, but I haven’t engaged in group events because you just never know what a spiritual white person is going to pull out of their butt. I think it’s my frustration with myself, too, my younger ignorance when I did, for example, adopt smudging as a part of my own spiritual practice, without thinking too deeply about it.

Do y’all remember my podcast episode with Hillary and her horses?

Hillary posted on facebook yesterday about the use of the phrases “white witch” and “black magic” etc. This led to a conversation about smudging, and sooooooo many problematic responses from people followed. It was pretty familiar, as this happened to me years ago when I posted about cultural appropriation regarding smudging. I’m glad to see some more people get on board. Slow, arduous progress is still progress. Let’s keep it moving forward!

Anyway, back to this youtube psychic who stated George Floyd did not approve of the protests because *love*. Y’all know this is BS, right? I didn’t need to say it?

I think it’s terribly cruel to the family and community of George Floyd to say he died for a reason – to spark change. Too many people have died already. None of them needed to die. To say they died for this purpose, to me, this lacks some fundamental empathy. It’s not spiritual to say someone was murdered for a good cause. Y’all know that, right? I didn’t have to say it? Thanks for reading. It’s been on my mind, and I just wanted to put that out there.

We need empathy, deep listening skills, and the ability to do what’s right without needing acknowledgement or credit.

I really enjoyed Dr. Lana & Mimi’s podcast episode on Empathy – this hit home for me, and what I’ve been thinking about lately.

So let’s do something fun!

Freddie’s back!

Freddie immediately comes in with the strength of empathy – he says,

F: It’s an interesting / powerful topic, the idea that things, some things, happen for a reason. I used to believe that, in my younger years; it was easy to see the links of one thing leading to another in a short life.

It wasn’t until later, (shows me the HIV / AIDS epidemic) that it became clear not all things, certainly not all deaths, happen for a reason. (He extends deep empathy to everyone.)

The current worldwide pandemic, the virus that has a small percent chance of killing you, (he gives a side-eye as AIDS was 100% fatal in his time as there were no effective treatments) is frightening. But there is a reason it is happening:

The pandemic happened because of the divisions between people. It is worse because of the divisions. It’s mirroring the AIDS catastrophe, because so much could have been done early on, and was not done, because it wasn’t affecting a population which powerful people cared about.

AIDS was “the gay disease” for some time, and gay people were sidelined for so long in our society, that it made it easy for people to rationalise their bigotry, their lack of empathy or sense of responsibility to life a finger to help.

Here, with this worldwide respiratory virus, we see the same human behaviour – and because this is a virus that does not need such close human contact to spread, but can be caught merely by breathing – we might have thought this would have a unifying effect. In some places, it has.

In England, and across the USA, and in certain other countries with disorganised leadership, or a disenfranchised populace, you can see the same thing happening to your communities, on a massive world scale.

I would do another concert, if I could. I would (stream live on the internet, for free) if I could. I wish I could.

Remember, friends, that hard times do not eliminate us. We rise up, again! Life is not easy for most of us. We think of death as the big unknown (laughs) LIFE, my friends – THAT is the great unknown! How we try to bring predictability and control to life, with varying success. Stability is usually temporary, and even those of us who have had wealth in life, know that finance is not the only crucial piece.

This is why we need each other. My friends, my chosen family, the people in my life who I loved, still love, they are what brought me through the hardest parts of my life.

Reach out to each other. Send some love, do someone a favour, ask for a favour, don’t hold on to expectation.

(Freddie remembers when he felt burned out, after a long haul of concerts followed by isolation and some drug use.) Forgive your own limits, too. Try not to be an asshole about it, apologise if you have been rude.

K: (teasing) I guess we all need reminders of the kindergarten social rules, eh?

F: We do sometimes revert to a childlike brain under stress. Children with credit cards. (laughs)

K: Do we need to “parent” ourselves? Our own inner children?

F: Well, that’s the point, sometimes we can’t. That’s where our friends, our chosen family rises up to support us. Love them back!

(Freddie is pointing out that loving feedback from family, friends, community, is LOVE, and that participating in difficult conversations WITH LOVE can help keep the communication flowing.)

F: That’s where the love belongs. Not to halt much needed social movements, or revolutions, but to spur them onward. To say, “I love you, and this needs to change. I love you, and I hear rebuke of me.” That love can create safety amongst family, friends, community. Love is shown through action.

Keep pushing. Keep speaking. Keep marching. And singing!

K: Okay, and now I’d like to go back to pick up the questions people left for you last year (sorry it takes so long, folks.)

*** Elizabeth Agate Edit

What past life influenced you the most?

F: It’s difficult to choose, I would say the childhoods of most of my past lives influenced me the most. I found the more lives I had, the more I relished childhood, and attempted to maintain that… simplicity of approach towards other humans. As we evolve in our individual lives, we construct a language in which we speak to ourselves. Many of us have internal narrators reflecting our own inner thoughts back to us, so we may process them clearly.

Children have not developed this level of sophistication, or complexity. Childhood innocence can be a universal language, speaking to our most profound needs, our core capacity to connect as human beings.

… (as an aside) I wish I had a past lifetime as a centaur to tell you about, but alas! (teasing smile)

*** Toni McNeill

Will my books one day be wide known? ❤

F: Cherie, I cannot predict the future for you. If you love writing, keep writing. Use your talent to connect with others. Pay no regard to the number of people you reach, each person is important.

*** Mark Hoops

Years ago while sitting in a psychic development class I joked about ” I will sing when I can channel Elvis”. Someone suggested Freddie because he is more available. Moments later I saw purple foot prints across the green carpet. My question, was that Freddie Mercury?

F: (singing!) YES OF COOOOOURSE! Talk to me!

*** Phoggy

Sometimes actors play these “dead” celebrities so well that I wonder if they are somehow channeling the actual energy of the entities that they are portraying. I was wondering whether Freddie was actively channeling through Rami Malek during the performance and if other spirit celebrities have done the same in other movies? And if this actually happens, what are their reasons for channeling their energy through the actors?

F: YES! I adore Rami, he spoke to me privately, in the shower (ha ha!) which is an excellent location to talk with friends who happen to be dead. We had our own connection, I congratulated him immediately when he was awarded the part. He felt connected to me before that, and channeled that passion in his audition. I whispered in the casting staffer’s ears, “you had better cast him!” They did! I am thrilled. They did a wonderful job, everyone on that project. My heartfelt thanks to them all, and my family and friends who helped.


That’s our impromptu session with Freddy today. I literally just googled “fun dead people to talk with” and his image came up.

Stay well, my friends.


Hi Folks!

Well, y’all have been booking up my schedule with Pet Sessions like *crazy*!  It’s so fun, and I am looking forward to MONTHS of pet sessions thanks to you!

I have decided to book just two more pet sessions at the discounted rate – these bookings will push my schedule into November, and I want to leave some room there for people to book regular sessions before the end of 2020. 

So!  If you’re thinking of booking a pet session this year, now is the time! 

Thank you everyone, so much, for your support of this summer’s Pet Session Special! 

Pet Sessions for Summer!

pet session special

Hi my friends!

I hope you are enjoying my recommendation of “Screwed Up Podcast” with our friends Dr. Lana Holmes and Mimi Bonhomme!  If you have not read my post of their new project, click here!

It is my deep hope that each and every one of you is safe, healthy, and able to participate in supporting your community.

As well, please take care of yourself, and your mental health.  Whether you’re a social justice activist, a homeschooler, an essential worker (like me) – each and every human on this earth has a special purpose, and we are all being asked to work very hard now, and for the foreseeable future.

I have held back on promotions for quite some time, and I really want to offer a Pet Session discount this summer!  I know there are at least three of you waiting for this (hi!) and I hope this offering will help bring some more joy and lightness into your life.

Our pets lives have changed too – perhaps not in the profoundly significant ways that us humans have been affected, but they know what we are feeling, they know our routines have changed, and they have *certainly* noticed if a new animal has joined the family during the quarantine stay-at-home time.

If you have a new pet in your home, if your pet’s routine has changed and you’d like to check in with them, if you’d just like to feel a little closer to your animal friend, now is a great time to book a phone session.

I have not offered this discount in two years, and I’m going to keep this available *just for the summer*.

I want people whose income may have changed to have a chance to access this sale, which is why I’m letting this discount run until August

I will be returning to part-time studies in the fall (hurray!) so in September, the pet session discount will disappear.

Please feel free to share this special with your friends who have animals they love – this is the best price on Pet Sessions that I’ll be offering for at least the next year!



I’m so looking forward to talking with you and your animal family!  Talk soon!



Introducing: Screwed Up Podcast!


(graphic art by Kaz Windness)

I have fantastic news!  My friend Dr. Lana Holmes, whom you may remember from the time she was a guest on my humble Joyful Telepathy Podcast, has begun a new project!

Introducing:  Screwed Up!  A podcast with Mimi Bonhomme and Dr. Lana Holmes

The topics which Mimi & Dr. Lana confront here have been plaguing our woo-woo, new age community for DECADES, and – daaaaamn – people who claim enlightenment are super-slow to change!

Do y’all remember two years ago, when I wrote about why I no longer smudge, and ever-so-gently suggested that if it isn’t your culture, you shouldn’t either?  That ended up being the most controversial thing I have ever posted in my history with social media.  I *still* get random hate mail from so-called light workers incensed about my criticism of the use of a spiritual practice that may not belong to them.  (Hot tip!  If you read that post and got angry, you really SHOULDN’T be doing it.)

Dr. Lana very kindly agreed to come on to my podcast;  we admittedly trolled the comments for a bit, and we also expanded upon cultural appropriation in the very white-lady space that is modern-day “spiritualism”.

Psychic stuff, by the way, is in no way the exclusive domain of western folks – nearly every culture and religion I can think of includes some form of psychic or intuitive practice.  However, the popularized / standard form of spiritualism you will find when you just walk into an new-age book store now, if you cast your eyes around, you’ll see a *lot* of us white ladies.  The big problem with that is it creates an echo chamber where everyone validates what everyone else is doing, and if there is any dissent into the doers’ right to do, well, let’s just say you’ll spend the next few weeks moderating comments across multiple social media platforms.  That’s gotta change, folks.  Enlightened people need to have open ears, and be willing to sit with our own discomfort, our own imperfections, our own unfair advantages over others, and our own internalized prejudices.

That’s a part of our work, folks.  Engage!

I was so grateful when Lana was happy to help me expand upon this hugely important topic.

Now, two years later, during a pandemic that could not deter Black Lives Matter social activists from weeks of demonstrations in streets all over the world, this discussion in our own spiritualist community is escalating in importance.

Dr. Lana and Mimi have stepped forward to tackle *alllllllll* these difficult topics, and they DESERVE to have us in their audience, cheering them on!

Please join me in subscribing to the new podcast, Screwed Up!

You can copy and paste this feed into the search bar of your favourite podcasting app to find them:

OR! You can subscribe to their channel on youtube, if that’s your jam:

AND! You can like their facebook page:

Solidarity in Spirituality, my friends!













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It wasn’t easy.  It wasn’t cheap.  It wasn’t fun.  But by god, I DID IT!

You know, there was a time when I wasn’t intimidated by technology.  Not only could I produce basic programs, but I replicated a complex accounting program in MS Excel, as a backup and a project to mitigate the risk of just one programmer knowing our custom-designed financial reporting program.

I knew how to work with MS Access databases and I enjoyed troubleshooting.  I was even unofficial tech support for our office for a year or so, helping my colleagues with basic office functions, performing daily backups, and installing updates.

Whaaaaaat happened to me???  OH MY GOD!  Actually, I know exactly what happened:  so much new technology flooded the world, and the old tech I used to know changed everything to look more like the new tech.  (Who else hates those ribbon menus and wishes microsoft would go back to the drop-down menu style???)

Well, anyway, I think I became discouraged because every new technology I would encounter would require not just a learning curve, but a significant time investment just to learn how to use it.

I think I lost patience.

But this time, I was determined!  It took three calls to tech support and five days to figure out, but my friends, we finally have it!

We have quality digital phone call recording!!!!!

I AM SO EXCITED!  I have wanted quality, reliable, easy-to-use call recording since I hung out my shingle as a practicing psychic.

No more phone static!  No more sounding a million miles away!  What I hear on the phone through the receiver is exactly what gets recorded!

For anyone who is interested, here is how I did it.  Maybe you have a reason to set this up for yourself.  Beware, for the path to VoIP call recording is a winding one.  Perhaps your needs could be met with a Zoom or Skype call recording service.

But if you’re like me and need a solution that doesn’t require a web browser to use, steele yourself for a journey through tech support.

First thing:  Have a reliable, high-speed internet connection.

Next, select a VoIP service provider with a really nice technical support team.  You want someone who isn’t going to try to foist you off to the tech support for the phone manufacturer.  These things are made in China, and you’ll be exchanging emails for weeks trying to solve your problems.  If you’re like me, and need someone to walk you through the setup if you hit a snag, you want to find that person before you embark upon this journey.

You need to prepare yourself for frustration.  You need to set aside a good chunk of time, over several days.  You may not need all that time, but it’s good to have it available, as I find that eases some of my exasperation.

After all, shouldn’t this technology just be plug n play by now?

Why yes it should, but you cannot allow yourself to dwell upon the way things should be.  We are dealing with the technology available to us.

My specific setup involves a physical telephone which has a USB port in the back of it.  I plug a flash drive into the back of the phone, and initiate call recording after I have dialed the phone number.  After I end the call I can unplug the flash drive, walk over to my computer, and upload the files to dropbox as I do now with my MP3 recorder.

Perhaps an easier alternative to doing what I did might be to subscribe to a VoIP service that provides a call recording service.  Instead of recording the call on your physical phone, they record it on their servers as the call passes through.  Then you can log into their servers and download the file to your computer.

If I did that, I’d have to download the hours of calls, which takes time, before I could upload it to dropbox and send it to my clients.  I did not want to create another time-consuming step to my workflow.  I also didn’t want to pay a fee every month in perpetuity for the privilege.

I purchased a Yealink T42S.  You have to buy the power supply adapter separately.  Good thing I noticed that when I purchased it.  I also bought a high-capacity flash drive that’s about the size of a fingernail.

When the phone arrived, I called 1-VoIP up and set up an account.  And so began my dance with tech support to get my phone working… see, even though it LOOKS like a landline phone, it’s basically an unprogrammed computer.  It is NOT plug n play.

I had to log into the IP address of the phone, using a computer or my ipad, and configure the settings of the phone with the help of the 1-VoIP tech support.  The kicker was the call recording by default is a hidden feature on the phone which you have to tell the program to turn on.

The ridiculous part was I had to create a freaking TEXT FILE with code copied and pasted into it, and change the .txt file extention to .cfg so that the phone’s online brain would know to allow me to record calls.

Maybe there’s a legal reason you have to actually tell the program to initiate the option of call recording.

All that does is create a softkey on the physical phone which says “record call”.  That’s all you have to tap to start recording the call, and I can either manually stop the call recording or it will automatically stop when the call ends.

Easy peasy, right?

Then I just take my teeny tiny flash drive over to my computer and upload the files to dropbox as usual.

Now that it’s set up, it’s very easy to use, and I sincerely hope I won’t have to spend any time doing software updates for the phone.  That’s something I’ll just have to deal with should it happen.

So my friends – better call recordings are now here!!!

I think I’ll run a special soon 😉

Have a lovely day, everyone.

Happy Mother’s Day

I just finished my Mother’s Day sessions from my new workspace.

I will probably move all of this around soon, but for now, it’s lovely to be surrounded by plants while I am in medium mode.

I hope this Mother’s Day finds you well… and if it finds you in mixed spirits, you’re certainly not alone.

It’s Mother’s Day in heaven, too.

My own mother’s funeral was five years ago, yesterday. It’s been quite a journey, since she passed. I’ve changed, my relationships have changed, and I think that’s an important part of moving through loss – finding out who you are, now, and accepting all the change that follows.

I can look at albums of family photos now, without feeling sad. That, in itself, is strange, because we associate the acuity and persistence of our grief with love we hold for those we lost.

I feel like now, I can love my mother in heaven with less of the grief. More of the good stuff. So today is not so much a sad day, as a day to remember her, her guidance, and her continued presence in my life.

Happy Mother’s Day, to all the moms in heaven, and here on earth.

Stoked for a new phone!


I’ll bet you’re thinking I’m talking about a new cell phone – my friend, I am not!

For, pretty much, the entire existence of my psychic business, call recording has been a challenge.

Generally, the challenge has been the unreliability of skype or zoom technology, with calls dropping, sounding digitized, and with an extra burden on my clients having to know how to use that technology and have access to the equipment to do so.  It just wasn’t a realistic solution for my session calls, though I did try it for my podcast guest episodes…. with varying success.  When it went wrong, it went *very* wrong and the audio was un-salvageable.

Since the beginning, I have stuck with reliable but obsolete technology – a good old landline phone with a patch to capture and record the calls.  My clients have always noticed static in the recordings and asked for a better quality keepsake of their calls with me.  I upgraded from a spyware-quality phone patch to a radio station quality in-line phone patch from JK audio, and while the quality improved marginally, it has never been great.  This has to date, been the best I could do.

While I’m certainly not technology-averse, I have been reluctant to introduce technology into my session calls.  When I’m in “medium mode” I just need the tech to be easy and reliable.  I need a phone, a notebook, and possibly photos from my client.  I really don’t want a laptop in that mix.

Well, since Sweetie and I moved to Victoria, the audio quality has gotten WORSE.  I can’t understand it, but it seems that while the internet is cheaper and better, the old copper phone lines are going to seed, and the phone company is no longer willing to maintain them.  Clients are saying I sound far away!  That’s no good!

So I have engaged in many hours of research, and I am now investing in a VoIP phone setup.  I spent some time with a very kind tech support fellow from 1-VoIP who helped me to solve the problem of how to incorporate the new technology (stop laughing) in the easiest, most user-friendly way possible.

I also need to be able to sit in my chair (an amazing la-z-boy recliner which makes it possible for me to talk on the phone for hours at a time) so I did NOT want to have to use my aging laptop to make phone calls – and lets not forget, I need to be able to record these calls.

Well!  It turns out you can buy actual VoIP phones which – get this – have a USB port in them where you can just stick a flash drive in and record the call RIGHT ON THE PHONE!  And there will not be additional “noise” on the line the way there currently is with the old analog phone lines – all digital baby!  The call recordings should be very high quality!

As a resident of civilization now, rather than rural wilderness, the internet connection is a reliable utility I have begun to take for granted.

I have placed my order for this technology and signed up for the service.  I will of course do all my testing and set up before I get on calls with clients, but if you do have a session with me in the next six weeks, I do ask that you be patient with me just in case I run into new tech challenges.  There’s always an adjustment period.

I’m excited though!  I have always wanted easy, high-quality call recordings, and now I think I’m going to get it!!!



Pets & Coronavirus

I received a media inquiry from a lovely fellow named Calvin, who had some great questions about pets and the pandemic.

I thought I would share his questions and my answers here. When his article comes out, I will post a link in the comments.

Here are Calvin’s questions:

1 Do pets—cats and dogs specifically—know we’re experiencing a pandemic?

2 If so, how are they sensing that?

3 Would that knowledge be distressing for them?

4 Can pets detect illness—specifically something like the coronavirus—when someone they live with contracts it?

Speaking in generalities, Most pets don’t have a context for understanding a pandemic. Their world is their home and people. They are usually quite tuned into their people, and if there has been a change in routine, or their human’s stress levels, they will certainly understand the change, though they might not know exactly why.

My own cats are living their best lives at the moment, as my wife at home most of the time, and while I still go to my (essential services healthcare) day job, I am spending more time at hime in general. Our cats’ happiest place is when in body contact with one or both of us, which they are getting now more than ever.

Having said that, they are both aware when my stress levels increase, as my smell, and my body tension / language changes with tension. Their response, like a lot of animals, is to “fix it” with distractions, antics, affection, or otherwise redirecting my mental state.

For many other animal companions, who have a greater contact with the outside world, they have an acute awareness of the differences they see and hear about from other species.

For example, a dog who has access to several acres of property, or who lives in a rural community where she can live with more off-leash freedom, will have a more enriched world and will have contacts outside her own family.

Dogs and certain species of birds can develop relationships if it benefits them both – crows like to team up with dogs, especially if the dog can help them get food. If there is a pre-existing relationship with a dog who has more freedom, and a wild species who has unlimited freedom, then that dog can have access to information like the widespread reduction in human activity, and the results of that in the natural world.

Songbirds are pretty stoked about the reduction in noise, but crows, pigeons, and other birds who benefit from people being out and about are having to expand their territories looking for new food sources.

Dogs on walks, or who go for pack walks with a dog walker (a great enrichment activity) will be able to see for themselves, and share information with other dogs about their observations. Dogs are generally very invested in what people do and why they do it.

Cats who have unlimited access to outdoors are less likely to talk with species that could prey on them (dogs / wild canids / large raptors) or with species that are potential prey (smaller birds, rodents, mammals). But often cats develop relationships with neighbouring cats, cat-friendly dogs, and other people. News can pass through the cat’s world in this way, so they become aware of the changes in human behaviour that have happened on a larger scale.

All animals understand the concept of sickness and contagion, and all have generally experienced some illness or seen an illness pass through their own family, or in their litters as young animals. However, most animals do not worry about getting sick, or about an illness that is happening to others outside their own world, because most animals don’t stretch their logical thought process into worry about hypotheticals.

Pets who live with us usually become so tuned into our lives that they sense small changes in human bodies before we notice them ourselves. A pet could notice we have contracted a virus by noticing our resting heart rate has increased, our body temperature has increased, or out rate of breathing has increased.

Our bodies are constantly changing all the time, so a pet would not likely notice the first subtle changes and thing “my person is getting sick”, they would simply observe the changes before we would. Of course the moment we start to feel unwell, they are aware of our distress.

Many pets have learned to detect patterns in our bodies that indicate a health event like a seizure or low blood sugar. (Some are trained for this, but many simply learn through observation as their people are most of their world.) Cats and dogs have a much more acute sense of smell than people do, so early indications of illness are far more obvious to them. That combined with their daily observations of us give them an advantage in detecting an illness in their humans early on.

When we come home from outside, we bring in smells from everywhere we’ve been that tells the story of our day. My cats would know I have been to the grocery store, but they would not know if I had been in contact with a virus until my body started to change, hours or days later. Viruses themselves don’t have a smell.

Bacteria does have a smell, and bacteria is everywhere. Dogs may smell an increased bacteria load on some iffy chicken, but would not necessarily conclude it’s bad for humans to eat.

Well friends, what do you think? Do you have any questions about pets and the pandemic. Ask in the comments 🙂