How A So-Called 'Animal Communicator' Scammed Me After My Beloved Cat Died

To temper my grief, I looked for comfort anywhere I could.

Woman and cat with medium tommaso79 | KatarzynaBialasiewicz | Getty Images

As a lifelong cat lover, I’ve had my share of cat deaths.

Some have been peaceful, and others involved much suffering and pain.

All made me sad, but none of them broke me the way my cat Yoshi’s death did.

Yoshi the cat


Photo of Yoshi by author

Yoshi was almost 19 years old when he died, and we were lucky to know him for most of his life. While we didn’t get to enjoy him as a young kitten, we did get to witness his extraordinary life as an adult cat.

Yoshi wasn’t an ordinary feline; he was spectacular — beautiful, loving, and talented. Yes, talented! He was a model, artist, nurse, and most of all, he was my muse.

He inspired many of my published pieces and continues to do so.

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For my partner and I, our lives revolved around Yoshi — when he was gone, we were lost. No one could take his place.


It was like when Beyoncé left, there was no reason to listen to Destiny’s Child any longer. No matter how much you enjoy Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams's solo works, there wasn’t the same excitement for Destiny’s Child without Beyoncé.

With Yoshi gone, our other cats, no matter how great, didn’t have the presence to generate the sheer joy that Yoshi did.

My grief was a life-altering emotional earthquake. To carry on, I needed help, so I reached out to an animal communicator.

I’m not religious per se, but I do have a spiritual side. I believe in a higher power, an afterlife, and that people can communicate with the dead.


I’ve seen many psychics in my life and had regular appointments with an intuitive.

I’m open to anything but I am not entirely gullible.

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After my tiger cat Evan died, I contacted a psychic and got a very thorough reading via email. In it, the psychic talked about my relationship with Evan, knew details about Evan’s behavior that I hadn’t told him, and spoke of how it had been Evan’s decision to leave this earth.

After Yoshi died, I looked for a repeat of the email psychic and learned that pet psychics are out, and animal communicators are in.

I learned that once an animal dies they go to the Rainbow Bridge to wait for you. It’s fabulous and all their pet pals who passed on before them are there and ready to play.


When you die, your pet or pets who have preceded you in death escort you over the bridge into the great beyond.

The word "escort" bothers me because it sounds as if your pet drops you off at the door and disappears — I want to be with Yoshi forever.

I started researching animal communicators and noticed that one of them had more videos than the other ones, so I checked out her website. She had a ton of favorable reviews, so I paid the fee and booked an appointment.

We had a very pleasant call and talked about The Beatles and her pets who passed, and now helped her with her work, but time was ticking. As enjoyable as it was to talk to her, I wasn’t paying for a gab session with a new friend. I wanted to know Yoshi was okay and not angry with me for how I’d handled his final hours.


I wanted some piece of information to help me heal.

"Yoshi is having a wonderful time in the afterlife. He’s treated as a king — what he always considered himself to be."

Okay, I can buy that.

"He’s with another cat, black and white."

"Oh, yes, that’s our cat, Ray. Yoshi and Ray were good buddies."

The animal communicator paused as if listening to the spirit of my deceased cat speaking.

"Both Yoshi and Ray eat a lot of ice cream."

Wait. What?

"Um, really? Because neither Yoshi nor Ray ate ice cream when they were alive."

"Well, yes, and that is what makes it more special. They didn’t eat it on earth, but they can have all they want on the Rainbow Bridge. No calories," she said chuckling.


I’m sure there are cats who enjoy ice cream but as badly as I wanted the animal communicator to be legit, this piece of information felt false.

Is the Rainbow Bridge the Baskin Robbins of the hereafter?

Maybe the animal communicator was telling me exactly what she heard from Yoshi himself or perhaps she was making it up, but it didn’t make me feel better.

I’m not saying she’s a scam artist — I got the impression that she truly wants to help people, but she wasn’t the right animal communicator for me.

RELATED: 5 Ways Anyone Can Connect With The Afterlife To Find Peace & Healing

To temper my grief, I looked for comfort anywhere I could.


I researched signs from the afterlife, and it felt as if Yoshi was holding back.

He made a brief appearance in a dream, but it wasn’t a visitation. The dream cat was called Yoshi, but it was a calico, and he peed on a rug which Yoshi would never do. Pee on a suitcase when we were going on vacation? Sure, but a random rug, no.

It’s been said that if you’re too wrapped up in grief, your loved one can’t make contact.


My profound grief may be keeping him away. I haven’t felt his presence, or seen a glimpse of him out of the corner of my eye.

Feathers are also a sign of spirit activity, and there were some green feathers on the floor from a cat toy.

Yoshi, is that you?

One YouTube animal communicator said there’s a version of you already with your deceased pet and I found that reassuring.

Animals are very sensitive to spirits, and I was hoping Yoshi would have a heart-to-heart talk with our fluffy gray and white cat, Uri, but that didn’t happen. Uri is too full of himself to listen to suggestions on how to be a better cat, even from a spirit cat.

Three years after Yoshi’s death, Carlos is behaving a lot like Yoshi — super affectionate, lying next to me on the couch and even letting me hold him.


Carlos channeling Yoshi comforts me more than hearing Yoshi and Ray are eating banana splits and hot fudge sundaes in the next world.

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Christine Schoenwald is a writer, performer, and frequent contributor to YourTango. She's had articles featured in The Los Angeles Times, Salon, Bustle, Medium, Huffington Post, Business Insider, and Woman's Day, among many others.