Book © 2005 by Amelia Kincaid, Review by Denice Moffat

This book review was a fun one. I really liked the book, Straight From the Horse’s Mouth by Amelia Kincaid, and loved all the lists of questions to ask your pets and the exercises in the book set up to enhance your intuition, so I decided to do one of the exercises and talk to my own cat, Dagney. When I asked the first question, though, she said to me, “I don’t have to do your bidding.”

Your bidding? What kind of verbiage is that!? Well, Miss Queen of Sheba—I’ll just find some other cat to talk to then. So, I did the next best thing and used a cat in my practice that seemed to always have things to say to me. I relaxed on our bed, took a few cleansing breaths and had my list of questions ready. I put forth the energy toward open communication and I asked Sherman if he’d like to be interviewed. Of course he said yes. I knew he would.

Here’s how the interview went: (My questions in italics, his answers in quotes.)

Sherman, which food is your favorite food? “I like canned cat food, especially tuna ––and at room temperature.

What is your favorite toy? “I like the red angled rubber ball that’s hollow in the center.” (I later shared this interview with Sherman’s owner. She said he has loved hollow caged balls in the past, but she hadn’t seen that toy for quite some time.)

What do you think about all the birds around your house? “Must get them,” He said. “But the neighbor chases me away. I don’t like him.”

Why are you not using your litter box? “It could use more cleaning. I don’t like standing in chunks. It’s in a good place though. I’m marking over a cleaning agent and my back hurts so it’s hard to get into and out of the box.” Thanks, Sherman. That will be helpful for your mom when she brings you in next time. Now, what do you like to use to sharpen your claws on? “I like to sharpen my claws on upright things. I especially like the feel of Berber carpet.”

Do you really understand what I’m saying to you? “Of course!” (At this point I really didn’t believe that I had made actual contact and that the answers I was hearing in my head were real, but I figured I’d get through Amelia’s list of questions to see where it would take me. At least I could say I did the exercise.)

Do you like catnip? “I can take it or leave it.” He said.

Do you like climbing trees? “I don’t like to because it’s too hard to get down.” (He is a bit portly—about 4 pounds overweight. Maybe I’m influencing the answers?)

What do you love? “Humans. I LOVE humans. . . and sunshine. I like being out at night in the moon. It feels like skinny dipping naked in human feelings.”

Would you like a companion? “I like little dogs, but I don’t want a Daschund. I’d like something around 10-15 pounds. Something with longer hair.”

Do you like having sounds in the house when mom is at work? “Television noise sometimes annoys me. Mom has the TV too loud at times. I’m liking peace and quiet best, especially when I’m sitting in front of a window.”

Do you like cars? “I’m afraid of cars. Cars are non-thinking animals.”

How does it make you feel when your mom is upset, anxious or angry? (A common occurrence with this owner.) “Oh, I don’t like that—at all. I try to clam her down, but there is no helping her. She has to wear out of it to forget being anxious. Her talking comforts me. No one sounds like her. I love her.”

What about when she’s late coming home from work? “She always tries to make excuses for being late. I don’t buy them.”

What is the meaning of life Sherman? “Interaction and relationship.”

Where do you go when you leave your body? “High up in the trees so I can look down.” (Cat’s leave their bodies I’m thinking? What kind of a question is this?)

What do you dream about? Driving a red truck, catching goldfish in a fish bowl. . .the usual stuff.”

What do roses smell like? How about Pine trees? Your yard? “Heavenly. You know, people should take more time out to get in touch with their environment. You don’t really know what you’re missing until you really tune in.”

Where do you like to be petted most? “I like my chest scratched. It tickles. That’s why I try to use my back feet. I like all the other places, too, like the chin, my ears, and tail base. My back hurts a little bit around the bottom of the ribcage. My litter box is too high to jump into and it tweaks it right now. I’ll get over it in a week or two. I don’t like being patted on my back. I love sleeping with mom. I love feeling her breath on my face. I watch her sleep.” (He’s really getting into this interview now! Geez!)

What’s your favorite thing to do? “I like chasing my toys. I especially like the ones dangled on a string.”

What kind of music do you like? “Jazz.”

Do you want to hear more of it, like when your mom is at work? “No.”

Do you visit the human neighbors? “Oh yes. One woman feeds me soft tidbits. I like her. I make my rounds in the neighborhood and have lots of cat friends—even a dog or two. One little gray dog in particular I like.” (This was later verified by Sherman’s mom.)

How big is your territory? “Several blocks, but I don’t visit the whole territory every day.”

Do you have a curfew? “Oh yes. Around 10 p.m.” (This was also verified.)

Do you have a mate? “I wish…”

Can you see spirits on the other side? “Yes. I especially see people.  A woman hangs out with us a lot. She knows mom and is related to her. She helps her with her cooking.” (Apparently this was “mom’s” grandmother who lived in Iran and always loved cats. They cooked outside in communal areas and she was always seen sitting and petting the cats and giving them some of her own food.)

Are there any health problems we need to attend to? “You’ll find them with your exam. I need some raw fish occasionally, some calcium, iron, zinc, and something to repair my nervous system.” (I found the places in his back that were subluxated and we put them back in. He also tested on one supplement which had all the minerals he said he needed!)

Do you have a thyroid problem? (Another vet had diagnosed this the previous month.) “No.”

Thanks for talking with me today, Sherman. I knew I could count on you. (Head nod.)