When I leave a successful client session, I want my clients to feel like I’ve talked with their pets, and solved their issues.
I want to foster an environment of trust, so that they know, without a doubt, that I am talking with their pet.
I have heard skeptics say,
Beware the soft belly of Lotus the Cat. It's a trap! Unless you're her mom.
How hard is it to read a cat? “What’s your favorite food? Tuna. How do you feel about swimming? I hate it. What do you want to do right now? I want to go outside and catch birds.”
Skepticism has its place in our society.
Certainly, there are people in my line of work, who do cold reads, who only read animals in person, who take body language and owner cues and turn them into answers.
A cold read is taking the subtle information that someone gives you and giving it back to them as fact.
It’s frustrating because some pet psychics (and other types) don’t even realize that they’re doing it. They actually believe that they’re reading effectively. Or they cold read a bit, and then fill in the rest with their intuition, and the cold read contaminates the rest of the reading.
I am a huge fan of the CLEAN READ.
A clean read is a read where a person simply reaches out, asks the questions and returns the answers, without other information to cause speculation.
In person, a good psychic tries hard not to cold read. Observable information can get in the way of a clean read.
"Comfy" appears courtesy of LJhar6 via a creative commons license
For example, let’s say that you’re having a birthday party for your beagle. You’ve invited people guests, and a few well-behaved dogs.
Your beagle, let’s call him Buddy, is walking around with his tail a bit tucked and he’s panting a bit, and just in general, seems nervous.
A cold reader might say, Buddy isn’t used to so many people. (That seems like a natural observed assumption, right? (Nervous dog, lots of people))
A good psychic would ask Buddy, and might say, Yep, there are a lot of people here, but Buddy likes that, he’s stressed because someone left an unattended plate, and he ate a bunch of “green stuff” (I think, maybe, guacamole?) and he really needs to poop.
or Buddy would like it if that guy would stop touching his dad’s trophies.
How to tell a clean read from a not-so-clean read
1. Clean Reads share personality features that match the pet’s personality. Clean reads sound like the pet.
I was recently helping a couple talk with their golden retriever. Lucy tends to wake up in the middle of the night. They were concerned about her anxiety.
It would be easy to make the assumption that they have an anxious dog, right?
But, they don’t have an anxious dog.
So, when I said, You know, in talking with Lucy, I’m not getting the personality of an anxious golden retriever. She doesn’t feel anxious to me.
And one of them said, You’re right, she’s not one of those anxious goldens. We just can’t figure out what’s wrong.
If I was cold reading, I’d get a ping about “anxiousness” and find myself going down the trail of how to resolve the issues of an anxious dog (which are totally different issues than Lucy’s issues).
When I talk with an animal, the first clues I get are related to personality, just in the same way that when you talk to a person, you can immediately tell whether they are jovial or stand-offish or blustery.
It’s vital that I share that, first-off, so that the owner knows that I have reached their animal. In the (relatively rare, but it still happens) occasion where I am talking to the wrong dog, I want to recognize that as soon as possible.
If I say, Your dog is bouncing up and down so happy to talk. and the owner says, um…could you mean my neighbor’s dog?, I could certainly be ringing up the wrong dog!
Here are my lovely clients, Ramses and Izzy
A good psychic is going to trust their abilities to the point where if they’re wrong, they’re totally comfortable admitting it and trying again. No psychic has a 100% accuracy rate, any more than an interviewer or journalist has a 100% accuracy rate.
2. Clean Reads are Not Dependent on Breed Information
A clean reader will not make assumptions according to a pet’s breed.
I have met Jack Russells (a breed with a well-known prey drive) who love to curl up with the resident kitties.
I have met Newfoundlands that hate water.
I know a cat that likes to eat melon.
And a rabbit who loves to stare at herself in the mirror.
I know a horse who thinks he’s people, who likes beef jerky.
If a pet psychic starts describing your pet according to their breed specifications, you’re probably dealing with a cold reader.
They should be able to tell how your pet is like its breed, and how he or she isn’t.
This is not to say that there aren’t breed similarities to keep in mind. Whenever I meet an orange cat, I tend to bring up the fact that the recessive gene for a cat’s orange color is also the same gene for small pre-frontal lobes. Orange cats tend to have similar personalities, but there is a wide range of personality within the orange cat family too.
I know a lovely orange cat, Grimalkin, who likes to make jokes.
I live with a sweet orange cat who is excessively paranoid, and has OCD.
Do all orange cats like to make jokes? Nope.
Are they all OCD? Nope.
Do they have a tendency to be a little quirky? Oh yeah.
3. A clean read does not take into account the personality, affluence level, or geographical location of the human client.
Bo - the paranoid and OCD cat takes a nap
Some of my clients are wealthy. And some are famous. They may be people that you’ve heard of. It doesn’t matter.
If a dog shows me a country road, but I know they live in the city, I talk about the country road.
If a cat shows me a cardboard box that he’s particularly fond of, and I know that his owner has great taste in home furnishings and money out the wazoo, I’m going to talk about the cardboard box. The cat knows what his box is made out of. Why should I not trust that?
I once had a horse tell me that he was from Idaho. His owner was calling me from Indiana. I said, Did you know your horse is from Idaho? and he chuckled and said, Yep, I bet he wants to go back there and visit. Can you remind him how far the trip was?
4. A clean read will have bits in it that the psychic does not understand, but still relates.
I may not know why your cat continues to show me a gecko wearing a hat, who is staring at her from under the couch.
But if I tell you this, and it turns out that it’s your kid’s favorite toy and you’ve been looking for it, I sound a lot less like I’m crazy, don’t I?
Sometimes, it’s weird. Sometimes pets show me things that their owners can’t place and maybe I sound like I’m a little bizzaro. That’s part of the job. It’s okay.
So, I will share whatever I get, in the way I get it, without speculation. Because that’s a clean read.
Let’s Hear It For The Clean Read!
I would love to hear about your experiences with clean and not-so-clean reads. And also, about other questions you have about being a pet psychic.