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Photo: Katrina Pressman
Pet mediums Cindy Huff and Terri Noftsger work from their Maineville home.
This story is featured in CityBeat's Feb. 8 print issue, which focuses on pets.
Have you ever wanted to know whether your fish likes its tank? Or dreamt of speaking to a pet who has passed? Or been desperate to understand once and for all what your cat is thinking about you?
There’s a specialist for that – a pet communicator, and there are several serving the Greater Cincinnati area. They speak to every type of creature, including dogs, cats, chickens, horses, reptiles and even insects.
Helping animals and their people is the primary goal, communicators tell CityBeat
. Clients come to them for various reasons, whether it’s helping a new pet adjust or encouraging a dying pet to cross the rainbow bridge. Some people turn to pet communicators to help find their lost friends, and sometimes they’re interested in speaking with a pet that has passed. And communicators say they can address questions about behavior or health concerns that vets may not be able answer.
“Animal communication is basically telepathy with animals,” Terri Noftsger tells CityBeat
. Noftsger works full-time as a registered nurse and as an animal communicator on the side. “Through telepathy, you get information in the same five senses.”
Noftsger and her partner Cindy Huff have been working as animal communicators for two decades. They do the work mostly by phone from their home in Maineville, since their services aren’t performed in the physical realm, Noftsger says.
“Animals talk to each other telepathically all the time,” Noftsger says. “In that realm, there’s no time or space, so I can talk to a dog in Singapore right now as if I was in the room with the dog.”
Although the concept of telepathy is a little out there for some, Noftsger has a way of explaining it in more approachable terms. According to her, animals pick up on emotions without the use of words, just like humans do. For example, if someone enters a room in which an argument has just ended, they may pick up on that, even if no one is saying or doing anything to give it away.
“You feel that and you’ve gotten that information somehow, right?” Noftsger asks. “With animals, it keeps them safe. They can catch the intention of something.”
Noftsger’s and Huff’s home is filled with animal photos and painted pet portraits. Right now, their family includes two dogs – one greyhound, one podengo – plus two horses. Like Noftsger, Huff has a background in science, working as a biology teacher and in information technology before retiring.
So how did two people with STEM backgrounds come to believe in the power of animal communication? First came curiosity, followed by what they say is apparent evidence. When Huff met an animal communicator at a psychic festival more than two decades ago – which she says attended mostly for the crystals – she decided to hire them to speak with her dog just to see what the process was like. During the remote phone session, Huff’s dog went from restless movements to lying down on cue from the communicator. Huff was sold, she says.
“She’s not interacting directly with this dog, [and] I’m not cuing the dog,” Huff says. “She’s talking to him in some way that I don’t understand.”
People are more inclined to try something unconventional when it’s for their animals, Heather Anderson, another communicator, says. Anderson practices from her home in Mt. Washington, taking clients over Zoom or phone. The high school French teacher says she began researching animal communication eight years ago after the passing of her cat.
“When people have a struggle, they don’t often do anything to help them- selves, but when their animals are struggling, they will stop and take care of themselves,” Anderson says. “They’ll kind of take my ‘woo-woo’ suggestions and say, ‘Well you know, if it’s going to help my dog, I’ll give it a try.’ They’re more open to it on that level.”
The pet communicators CityBeat
talked to say they typically start a session by directing medical questions to vets and behavioral questions to trainers. They consider themselves a part of an animal’s wellness team, stepping in when trainers and vets can’t help. Their job is to give the animals a say in things, they say.
“We help the person have the voice of the animal so that they can make the right decision for the animal,” Huff says. “We help the animal understand the human better, and we help the human understand the animal better,” Noftsger adds.
A session starts with setting an intention that it be “for the greatest and highest good for the animal [and] for the human,” Anderson explains. The communicator may do some grounding work, like mindful breathing, before asking the animal to enter their space.
From there, the key is to listen, not interpret. Huff emphasizes the importance of turning off the analytical left brain, which she says doesn’t come naturally to a scientist like herself.
“It does not have to make sense,” Huff says. “We’re using the right part of the brain to do the work. I’m listening, I’m getting information. It does not have to process into logic for me.”
Huff says that throughout a session, they report on the information they’re receiving. If they let the left brain take over, they might interpret things incorrectly, like the time Noftsger was trying to visualize a dog’s favorite toy and read it wrong. What she saw in her vision looked like a lambswool toy, but the dog’s favorite toy was actually a stuffed sock with a similar shape and color. Instead of just describing what she saw, which might have led to the correct interpretation, Noftsger called it a lambswool toy, so the client called her a fraud.
But for every story of skepticism, there are multiple stories of success that stoke their passion for supporting animals in unorthodox ways, Huff says. Noftsger estimates that she and Huff have a 50% success rate in their missing-animal work, and Anderson says she sees her work’s impact in her repeat clients and referrals.
“I get more people sending me information about how it’s been very helpful,” Anderson says. “Every reading that I go into, I’m just hoping that I’m going to help in the way they need to be helped.”
All three communicators agree that skeptics are best ignored and that the reward comes from making a difference for animals and humans.
“I don’t need to go and prove anything to people,” Anderson says. “I feel like the people that find me are the people that are supposed to find me.”
Animal Communication and Wellness services, acwservices.net; Heather Anderson Intuitive, heatherandersonintuitive.com.
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