For centuries there have been people who claimed they could communicate with the dead, and a subset of such folk who insisted they could tell you what your dog or cat is thinking.
I suspect many if not most pet owners dismiss such claims as hokum.
But the Wall Street Journal says a degree of newfound respectability has come to the cottage industry of pet psychics.
“Pet psychics are making their way from the fringe to socially acceptable,” the paper reports. “Those who tell others about their experiences with animal communicators say they are more likely to be asked for referrals than be mocked.”
Maybe this is a reflection of the less-than-serious times we seem to inhabit. Or maybe it just speaks to the close ties between people and their critters, especially after the pandemic.
Whatever the case, when the Wall Street Journal is treating pet psychics seriously, it’s fair to say it’s a thing.
“People book sessions with animal communicators to unravel behavioral issues, to learn about preferences for end-of-life care, and when the time comes, to make sure their pets are enjoying the afterlife,” the Journal reports.
“But increasingly, pet psychics say the questions are as simple as, is the cat happy? What more can we do?”
Speaking from experience, I can say that more treats won’t be unwelcome.
What kind of money do pet psychics pull down? Fat stacks, baby.
The Journal cites the case of Dawn Allen, 48, who says she’s been communicating psychically with animals for 25 years.
She does 30 phone sessions a week at a rate of $85 for 40 minutes. And people don’t think that’s weird.
“There’s been a cultural shift,” Allen said. “It got way, way normalized.”
Then there’s Nikki Vasconez, 34, who can tap into the thoughts not just of household pets but also horses, cows and pigs.
She charges $550 for 90 minutes. And she has a wait list of more than 7,600 people.
The website How Stuff Works says that “pet psychics can use energy to contact animals, no matter how far away the animals are or whether they are still living.”
Not surprisingly, however, there’s no science to back this up. You have to have faith not just that your pet has decipherable thoughts but also that those thoughts can be understood telepathically by a human being.
Paranormal investigator Joe Nickell told the Journal that pet psychics work much the way human psychics work.
“The so-called successes are an example of counting the hits and ignoring the misses,” he said. “You can scan over a lot of what’s being said and you can find some things that you can connect to.”
Which is to say, you’ll believe because you want to believe.
As you pay hundreds of dollars.