By Susan Wagner, DVM, MS, DACVIM
There I was at my friend Jim’s 60th birthday party, enjoying the many stories he was being roasted with. Someone yelled to his wife, Patty, “Tell the cat story”. We had all heard it a thousand times, but never the less, we asked for it again.
Jim had two cats, Frankie and Alexandra, who were pretty spoiled. He loved them very much, and they knew they were the apples of his eye. Once Patty came into the mix, the dynamic changed. Jim was smitten with the human love of his life. He and Patty married.
It appeared that neither cat was thrilled with their new mom. (At least that’s the common interpretation of this story–the one everyone at the party had come to believe.) Frankie and Alexandra showed their displeasure by urinating in the most inappropriate ways.
For example, Patty spent hours of hard work refinishing an old dresser for their new home. When it was finally done, she unveiled it to Jim. What a beautiful job she had done. Layers of old paint gave way to beautiful wood. Frankie walked up to it and sniffed around. “Hmm, I remember this. Must have taken mom a long time to get it looking so good” He then turned his back to the dresser, and let it fly, or should I say squirt. Urine came dripping down the side of the beautiful wood. And shrieks of horror came from Patty’s mouth.
But it didn’t stop there. No matter how nice Patty was to them, Frankie and Alexandra weren’t buying it, or so it seemed. Then the moment came, the one we listeners loved to hear over and over. Patty and Jim were sitting on the couch, and Alexandra jumped on Patty’s lap. How nice–was she finally giving in? Was she finally showing her new mom affection? We held our breaths–it was not so much affection as a strong message. Alexandra let loose a huge expulsion of urine, right on Patty’s lap.
“You have a choice”, she screamed to Jim. “It’s these crazy cats or me!” “I wouldn’t put it that way”, came Jim’s reply. Spoken like a true cat person.
Next page: Things Aren’t What They Seem
Things Aren’t What They Seem
While everyone can enjoy Jim’s reply, there are two camps reading this right now. The cat people are laughing, and thinking to themselves, “Of course the cats stay”. The non-cat people are probably calling them a few choice names. But what if we take an energetic perspective on the situation? Could Frankie and Alexandra have been Patty’s best friends? What if Patty had understood that their behavior was not about dislike for her, but reflections of a negative vibration in her energy field? Could that information have prevented many episodes of professional heartache for her?
What do I mean when I say energy field, and how does it relate to Patty and the cats? Quantum physics has taught us that every thing that exists is made of energy, including living beings. A profound, Nobel Prize winning study done by Brian Josephson showed that tiny particles making up our bodies are actually waves of energy. His discovery is no different than finding a dog that looks like a dog, acts like a dog, yet meows, purrs and generally runs the household. In other words, finding a dog that is also a cat. A particle is a particle, and a wave is a wave–that’s that. Or is it? Since that discovery, scientists now know that every bit of who we are, down to the tiniest of tiniest substances, is a wave. In fact, all of the particles that we thought were particles–electrons, protons, etc–are made up of vibrations of energy. We are all one big wave of electromagnetic radiation. This radiation creates a magnetic field, called the biofield. Biofields receive and send energy waves. Every living being is a cell phone or radio–we receive and transmit energy.
You may be familiar with a different name for our biofield: our “aura.” Yes, the concept that seemed to originate in fantasy nonsense told to us by healers, psychics and ghost busters–has now been measured by scientists. It’s not fantasy at all, but one of the incredible realities that will change the way we live as much as knowing the world is round instead of flat. The concepts of energy and biofields aren’t just theories, they have been measured in laboratories by magnetocardiography, magnetoencephalography, and by machines called Superconducting Quantum Interference Devices (SQUIDs).
Next page: Energy Medicine and the Human-Animal Bond
Energy Medicine and the Human-Animal Bond
Our biofields run through and around every cell and organ system of our bodies. Energy medicine is the practice of assessing and manipulating the biofield to bring it back into balance, and to enhance the patient’s own instinctive abilities to heal. I was introduced to energy medicine through my own journey with chronic pain and fatigue. Because I was able to function at a much higher level after my sessions, I decided to learn energy medicine for my patients. I now approach every case with conventional veterinary training and an energetic approach.
As I continued my practice and investigation into energy theory, I became aware that I could no longer approach anything in life –academic or personal–without honoring the energy behind it. Everything had become about energy. I realized that I was in a second “residency”. I can’t tell you how unprepared I was, and how astonished I was, at what I was learning. This wasn’t just about balancing the energy field and helping the animal’s innate ability to heal, this was a universal curriculum in the human-animal bond. I witnessed animals mirroring emotions and situations of the human guardian. I could feel dis-ease in the household by working with the animal. I began to understand what animals were really here for. These experiences made me realize, without a shadow of a doubt, that the human-animal bond has its basis in energy.
Next page: Back to Our Hero and Heroines
Back to Our Hero and Heroines
So what does the energetic nature of the human-animal bond have to do with Patty, Frankie and Alexandra? The cats were mirroring Patty’s biofield. Our energy fields not only govern our mental and physical health, they create our reality. Physicists and philosophers who study the nature of reality and consciousness tell us that reality is a series of possibilities. These possibilities are made of–you guessed it–energy waves! What we focus on, what our magnetic field gives energy to, governs the frequency of those waves and how they coalesce into matter and experience. These ideas are not new-age nonsense, but are based in science. The works of brilliant researchers such as Albert Einstein and Nikola Tesla have contributed to these modern theories of life.
I have come to believe that animals are not only our companions and furry friends; they walk the path of life with us to teach us who we are, and to help us stay balanced and in a state of well being. I like to think of this as the spiritual nature of animals. With careful observation, we can learn so much about ourselves. Patty went on to create a meaningful professional life that has helped so many people. Yet during her career, she was plagued with a common theme. Many of her superiors did not respect her, her work was de-valued, and colleagues took credit for her ideas. In simple terms, her professional life and work were pissed on, over and over again — just as she and her beautiful chest of drawers were.
What if Patty had known the energetic connection of the human-animal bond, and what Frankie and Alexandra were reflecting back to her? Could she have taken measures earlier in her career to break the pattern, and create a new possibility for herself? If she had known that we could influence our realities, not simply exist in them, could her professional life have been more rewarding?
Perhaps this sounds too silly to be true; just a ridiculous theory from an over zealous animal lover and energy practitioner. Perhaps. I would agree if it were one story. But having watched many stories unfold, and now being able to explain what the pattern is to the human, and what probably happened to them in the past to create it, I don’t believe it is silly at all. When I can spot the unresolved human anger by working with the aggressive animal, I know it is more than coincidence. The response is usually a look of amazement from the human. “How could you possibly know that?” they often say. “Just ask your pet,” I reply.
Patty’s story exemplifies the reason for my work. It shows us that things are not necessarily as they seem. Life can be an illusion. If animals are able to shed light on our lives, then why not other human beings? Perhaps this human-animal relationship is a model for human-human interactions. As long as there is one homeless person, there will be feral cats. As long as one child is abused, there will be cruelty toward animals. Animal welfare mirrors human welfare.
The research potential for this concept is very exciting. A multidisciplinary team of psychologists, neuroscientists, social workers, veterinarians and animal behaviorists are just a few of the professionals that can join together to look at life from an entirely different perspective. As Albert Einstein said, “One can’t solve a problem with the same thinking that created it”
Don’t worry, cat lovers, Frankie and Alexandra remained with the family, and enjoyed the rest of their lives in the great outdoors. They fulfilled their instinctive purpose for their mom, but it wasn’t apparent at the time. On behalf all humans who are learning about energy fields, and desiring a better life, I thank you Frankie and Alexandra.
Dr. Susan Wagner is a board certified veterinary neurologist whose pioneering work acknowledges the bioenergetic interaction between people and animals. She is an advocate for change in the area of interpersonal violence and animal cruelty, and works toward a greater understanding surrounding the health implications of the human-animal bond.
Residing in Worthington OH, she is an active public speaker in the areas of energy theory and healing, spirituality, and the human-animal bond. She especially enjoys teaching about the spiritual nature of animals. Dr. Wagner is published in several peer-reviewed journals. She is also co-author of Through A Dog’s Ear: Using Sound to Improve the Health and Behavior of Your Canine Companion, and was research director for the Through A Dog’s Ear CD series. Dr. Wagner is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University Veterinary College, and a Level IV Healing Touch for Animals practitioner.