Professional animal communicator talks to pets

Pet psychics say they use telepathy to connect, even if the pet has died

By Tracy Hu

May 2020

Have you ever longed to have a furry little animal to love? Have you ever wanted to pet a puppy as he innocently plays? Have you snuggled with your cat who acts like a spoiled kid?

I have. And there are around 241,900 people in Hong Kong who feel the same, according to government statistics. We buy imported pet food; we spend hours constructing home playgrounds; we walk them after a long day’s work. Some of us don’t treat them as pets, but as daughters, sons, siblings, a part of the family who accompanies us through the ups and downs of life.

So how do we maintain a close relationship with our family members? Ching Chen Xingyi, a professional animal communicator, says the answer is communication. “That’s why we are more and more popular among pet owners,” she said.

There are no official statistics on the number of animal communicators in Hong Kong, but the Institute of Scientific Animal Communication list 45 animal communicators are on its website.

Communicators charge between $150 and $200 on average for 30 minutes. But more well-known animal communicators can charge more than $1000 and it can be hard to get an appointment.

The job is not just limited to Hong Kong. There are dazzling internet advertisements for animal communication all over the world. Sonya Fitzpatrick, a British pet psychic, hosted a now-defunct television show called Animal Planet’s The Pet Psychic.

My own cat, Duoduo (in Chinese that means beautiful flower), was given to me as a 20th birthday present for my parents a little more than two years ago. She has brought me so much happiness, and sometimes it seems she can understand what I say. For example, when I open my palm and say:“ Give me five, Duoduo,” she always puts her soft paw in my hand.

Animal communication is something I couldn’t resist. Ching, who lives in Taiwan, has been running her own animal communication studio for almost a year. Considering about the positive comments on her Facebook page and the cost of $500 for 40 minutes, I sent her a message to make an appointment.

She quickly replied and scheduled me in for five days later. In the next five days, she contacted me again to remind me to prepare my pet’s portrait from within the last three days without any editing. Animal communicators believe photographs retain the wavelength of the soul, she said.

On the appointed day, Ching appeared on camera wearing a white dress, her long
flowing black hair framing a friendly face. She asked for me three basic pieces of information: my pet’s name, age and how long I had owned her.

“This information helps me to connect the correct animal. I will call her name and check her identity,” Ching said.

She stared at Duoduo’s picture, sitting motionless like time had freezen. The serious atmosphere forced me to also hold my breath. The silence lasted several minutes, then Ching nodded to me and signaled me to start asking questions.

I took out my list of questions and asked: “First, could you please help me to ask her why she always hides behind the curtain when visitors come the house.”

“She says she doesn’t like strangers’ smell. Someone she knows a little but is not so familiar with, she’ll smell them before she gets close,” Ching said.

“But to what degree is her familiarity? My cousin has comes to my home so many times, but Duoduo still refuses her cuddle,” I added.

Ching leans backwards and hold her hands and legs in the air. “She doesn’t like this. She prefers to lie on people’s thighs,” she said.

“Yes, my cousin often holds her in that way.”

Animal communicators sometimes call themselves “pet psychics.” The language used in animal communication encompass images and sensations, feelings, smells, and emotions—phenomena that cannot necessarily be put into words — so the messages they receive from animals are expressed in various ways, animal communicators have said.

And pet psychics are each better in certain areas. Some of them are particularly sensitive to pain, others to vision. Ching’s focuses on images and sensations. Her interpretation was mixed with detailed pictures and sensory descriptions. Sometimes I felt immersed in a world where only Duoduo and I existed.

Forty minutes passed quickly. Her enthusiasm was contagious, but the experience confused me. There were several times she really scared me, accurately voicing my cat’s habits, but then, sometimes it wasn’t right. pulling me away from trust.

Around three quarters of Ching’s clients hire for “ dialogue after death,” which means they want Ching to connect with their dead pets.

Chia Ling, 31, hired Ching to talk to her dog Hello, who had died two years before. Chia felt terrible guilt because she had forgotten to take a leash on their walk, and Hello was hit by a car.

Chia provided a non-edited photo and three basic pieces of information on Hello, the same preparatory work I had done.

On the video, the glass behind Ching reverberated in the sunlight. Cedarwood incense was burning near her. “ I see a coniferous forest. The image moves swiftly, panning over squirrels, mink, grey rabbits and wolves. It stops! There is a large space here—a stag with magnificent antlers looks around and a doe walks through the woods, lying beside him.”

“Is that my Hello?” Chia said.

“No…I…now I am surrounded by a warm feeling like…like in the womb. Oh! Hello is in the doe’s womb,” Ching said, her eyes widening in surprise. “Hello said hi to me.”

Chia, hearing Hello became a fawn, got excited. “Are you happy now, Hello? I
am so sorry about my mistake that day. I’m stupid! I shouldn’t have made such a stupid mistake!” she said.

“He doesn’t blame you. He says, when he was a child, he wandered about everywhere, and it was not until you brought him home that he realized what love was. He appreciates you,” Ching replied.

I can see that Chia loves her dog deeply and feels tormented, while Ching, reassures Chia with her messages. The elements—pet and the owner, apology and understanding – feel Hollywood perfect.

For Chia, this means the last meeting, a formal farewell and a precious chance to officially say goodbye. “I know it’s Hello. I never told Ching that Hello was a homeless dog before,” Chia said. “Knowing Hello will have a new life really comforts me. And I also appreciate Ching’s tenderness which guides me to imagine what kind of picture and feeling.” (I have to point out the information that Hello was a stray dog can be found on her Facebook page, but I didn’t say anything.)

People who request “dialogue after death” mainly desire to know whether their pets are happy or in pain, Ching said. But most pets are calm, so Ching pays more attention to soothe the grief of the pet owner and help repairing scars.

On Facetime, Ching shows me where she lives and explains her purification ritual: she locks the window and plays music at 432 Hertz to imitate raindrops falling, the wind blowing and birds chirping. The room smells like the morning forest, because Ching burns Palo Santo and white sage. Then, she closes her eyes, sitting cross-legged, and slides her forefinger smeared with Cedarwood slowly from forehead to heart, round and round, three times. The mediation takes two hours.

“My mind goes blank. Everything around me quiets. I just can feel the universe’s breathing,” she said. “Meditation helps improve my concentration which is important for being an animal communicator and strengths my energy to be in touch with cosmic forces,” she said.

Energy… For me this word arouses distant images of shining crystal balls, magic sticks and wicked witches. For pet psychics, energy is like a battery, impacting their ability to connect animals.

The client’s reaction also can influence energy, Ching said. In one case the client tested her by asking what his home looked like. “I told him the living room is rectangle. One place is a grey flannelette sofa opposite the door. Then the TV is on the left side of the door,” she said. “But he thought my description was so vague that everyone’s house looks like that.” For this kind of pet keepers, in most instances, Ching will postpone the meeting or just return the consulting fees.

Out conversation was interrupted several times by small animals darting in front of the camera. They put their faces into the camera, blocking my sight, and had to be moved gently; they nestled in Ching’s arms or tried to get her attention. Ching fosters seven animals: one dog, one tortoise, two cats, and three birds. She either found them by the roadside or adopted them from animal shelters.

Every two months, Ching will drive six hours to Hua-lien to see a pony named Lulu. She fell in love with the horse on first sight, she said, but someone else bought it for three times the price. So now Ching just visits with the owner’s permission. She even claims she made friends with a snow leopard who appears in her dreams. She posted this on her Facebook and got 39 thumbs up.

“I love animals, you know. When I was 5 years old, I told my mom that my dream was to be able to talk to animals, because in cartoons, the princesses, they can talk to animals. Then I had this dream, that is my first big dream talking with animals. I think this ability is very precious. Even though I’m familiar with this work, I still sometimes, for example, wake up, and then suddenly think that I would talk to animals, which makes me feel appreciative,” said Ching.

There is an unusual temperament around her. To portray her out of context could make her appear naive and unworldly. She seems to enjoy the world she had created.

A light suddenly flashed in my head. I blurted out, “Are you afraid to get along with people?”

She was a little surprised but shook her head and said, “But sometimes I want
to escape from human society.”

Ching grew up in the country and her best friend was a dog named Manman. Their favorite game was hide and seek in the back hills.

“I go slow. It’ll take me long time to know or trust strangers. Human is complicated. I don’t like to play mind games,” she said.

Telepathy is the ability to connect brain and consciousness, pet psychics say. Ching believes  babies can communicate with adults because their telepathy hasn’t gone away yet. But grownups don’t possess it anymore because their souls are corroded by modern materialistic society.

Becoming a professional animal communicator needs training, not just meditation, Ching said and lets out shriek. “Developing intuition is to follow your heart. If you want to sing, sing; if you want to dance, dance. Don’t depress yourself. Express like animals,” she said.

Psychologists have tried to teach language to animals for decades, particularly dolphins and monkeys. Orangutans are considered to have an intelligence closest to humans and have been able to learn sign language. But in general, the majority of scientists think that human-animal communication is not a scientific field.

However, a growing population of non-academics claims to have had long and meaningful conversations with all sorts of animals. Rupert Sheldrake, a biochemist, working at Cambridge University, argued that science cannot explain observable phenomena, such as the social coordination of bees, ants and termites. He wrote in his book that unexplained phenomena can be accounted for by positing a connective force he calls “morphic field.” Animal communicators enthusiastically cite him as proof that their claims have scientific backing.

Ching wrote an article that said, “ A radio wave can be transmitted without medium, as fast as the light. And brainwave is sort of radio wave directing from brains and energy of human and animals can stick to this stuff, accepting two-way messages.”

I posed the question to a friend, Li Wujie, 27, who now is studying for his doctorate in physics at Fudan University. “It’s impossible,” Li said. “First, there is no evidence that the soul has anything to do with electromagnetic waves which can interact with each other and are absorbed by metals. If souls were electromagnetic waves, staff who work in power stations would have already died.”

“Sorry, are brainwaves and electromagnetic waves the same thing?” I asked.

“Yes, while the nerves in the brain transmit signals they also emit electromagnetic waves,” he said. “I believe that all useful theories must be repeatable, not only by the inventor himself, but, more importantly, by anyone who can achieve consistent results under the same circumstances and conditions.”

Looking through Ching’s Facebook, it is clear she has a soft heart. She records interesting dialogue from her work, captures warm moments with animals and shares information on homeless dogs who need adoption.

At the top of her homepage is an essay she wrote to commemorate her dead cat, Gigi. The last sentence reads: “My dear baby girl, My Gigi, thanks for coming. Thanks for containing my vulnerability.”


My mind goes blank. Everything around me quiets. I just can feel the universe’s breathing.