It was just a normal Friday.
Our two cats that we’ve had now for a year — Django, a Korat boy, and Precious, a grey Tabby girl — have not let me trim their nails yet, so I have taken them to the vet. A bit of a wait, minimal cost, and the job is done. No more claws getting snagged and no more scratches on my arms when they really want to play. Because Precious is overweight, I put her in the larger travel crate once used by our dog, and I put Django in the new black cat carrier bag. Both cats were relatively quiet all the way there and back.
When we got home, I opened the crate door and Precious stepped out, and I unzipped the carrier bag and Django sped out and ran through the living room to the kitchen. Nothing new. I haven’t known a cat who likes to go to the vet, even for something as mundane as a nail trim.
The day proceeded without anything out of the ordinary until I fed the cats in the early evening. I opened a small can of chicken pate they have grown to love, divided it onto two saucers and placed them on the floor where each of them eat. Precious began devouring hers, and Django looked my direction and ran over to the steps that lead to our upper level. I told him to go eat and then I prepared for dinner myself. My wife, Rachel, goes to sleep early because her work day begins at 6, so after she headed upstairs, I went downstairs and listened to some music and then returned to the living room to watch some television.
Sometime that evening the cats were chasing each other as they do, and then I heard some growling from Precious. The only other time I heard her growl was a couple of days after our friend Jean Wallis passed away. My wife and I were talking in the kitchen when Precious began to growl. I looked at her and she seemed to be staring up towards the ceiling. I smiled and mentioned to Rachel that Jean must be paying us a visit, that Precious was picking up on her energy.
That evening I noticed that Django’s plate of food still had not been touched.
The next couple of days went by quickly. I was busy answering questions and preparing computer files for the couple buying The Edge, so I was distracted from what was happening underfoot. What was clear, however, was that Django had stopped eating the food that I knew that he liked — and I was growing more and more concerned. I googled how long cats can go without eating, and I learned that two days can result in malnourishment.
Django stopped responding when I called him by name and wouldn’t let me carry him up the steps the way he liked. He even seemed to walk differently, no longer doing the “Bob jog,” which Rachel and I jokingly compare to the slow-motion, half-jog of Bob, of Bob’s Garage, on the Schitt’s Creek television series.
My first response was to check in with animal communicator Lena Swanson to understand why Django has stopped eating. I emailed her that Django meowed like he wanted to be fed, but he walked away when I gave him food. Of course, I tried one variety after another — all types of canned food he has always eaten, and even dry food — without success. I resorted to finding cat food with beef and fortunately he ate that, so both cats ate beef for days.
That evening, Lena was able to fit me into her schedule. During the twenty minutes we spoke, Lena informed me that a black, long-haired male cat named Max, who was euthanized at the vet clinic where Django had his nails trimmed, had hitched a ride home with us in Django’s body.
Max was now in control.
Our animal communicator informed me that Max was a good cat, but one who had lived with people who didn’t know anything about having a cat. They only fed him human food, thus Max was unfamiliar with canned cat food. He lived with a poor family who passed him on from one person to the next. Eventually he was taken to the vet and put to sleep.
Lena explained that at the veterinary clinic, Max saw Rachel and me with our two cats in carriers and thought we’d be a family who could help him, and Django, the kind soul that he was, actually invited him to join us. (Note to self: talk to Django about not doing that again!) Lena encouraged us to clear the space of our home with sage, smudging the same way as when earthbound human spirits need to be sent to the light. She urged us to “be in a place of love and compassion for these souls or beings who are simply in the wrong place.” Lena encouraged us to smudge our space and then wait a few days and repeat the process.
Rachel and I cleansed like never before. We envisioned a light above our home and encouraged Max to go to the light, to the people and animals who are waiting for him with love.
Unfortunately, Max stayed put. And as each day passed, I began to mourn the loss of our Django, the nearly 2-year-old soul that we had fallen in love with. Even when the Max-occupied body jumped up and napped with me at the bend in my knees — something Django had not done yet — I was filled with sadness. I just couldn’t believe that this even happened. It never had in all of the years I have had pets, and I never knew anyone who had such an experience.
Three days after Lena informed us about what was taking place and how to cleanse our space, I emailed her: “Do you have any suggestions on how to more forcefully implore Max the longhaired black cat to leave Django’s body. Been one week and I am so sad. Want Django back.”
She replied a few hours later: “More force won’t help, in fact it will have the opposite effect…. Be compassionate and loving as you ask him to leave and hopefully cross over. Do another clearing and see what you get. If it’s still not resolved I can do a remote shamanic journey to help.”
What I haven’t mentioned yet — and what I wasn’t aware was a tremendous gift in this case — is that our animal communicator also is an experienced shamanic practitioner who has developed relationships with allies in spiritual realms who assist in the balancing and healing of a person or animal. Bridging the physical and spiritual worlds, the shamanic healer uses prayer, ceremony, journeying and other tools to address the spiritual aspects of illness. They mend broken souls and help point them in the direction they are seeking for wholeness. The work they do in the spiritual realm translates to healing in the physical dimension.
After affirming that we smudged our home twice now, but our kitten still ignores us when we call his name, and continues to act differently than he used to, Lena responded, “I’ll make time tomorrow to do the ceremony. It seems particularly urgent. I’ll be in touch when I know what time will work. In the meantime try not to focus on Max being there but think about the Django you know. That will help Django.”
For the first time in a week, I began to feel somewhat hopeful, but it was still difficult to see our cat behave unusually without worrying about what Django was experiencing, pushed aside by an earthbound spirit who just wanted hamburgers for lunch.
The next afternoon, I began checking in with Lena to learn when she planned to call us to help send Max to the light. At 2 p.m., she emailed to say she was working with another client. She asked if anything had changed since we did the house clearing. I responded that nothing had changed. About three hours later, she said her afternoon was very busy but that “it will get done this evening, guaranteed!” I was encouraged, but I sat on pins and needles waiting for her call.
Waiting for the call
That evening, I tried to watch television but my concentration was on checking my phone for a call from Lena. About 9 p.m., Django (or should I say Max?) moved from where he had been sleeping next to my legs on the recliner and curled up in a tight ball and fell back asleep on the other side of the couch. An hour later, I received an email with a six-minute audio message detailing what had taken place. Apparently the shamanic healing journey had been completed!
Lena explained: “I had a feeling that Max wanted a ceremony and some healing before he crossed over, so that’s why the house clearing wasn’t working. Sure enough, when I did a short diagnostic journey at the beginning of the ceremony I was told by my helping spirits that Max needed a soul retrieval and an extraction. He had a very fragmented soul. The helping spirits said that Max had literally been at ten different homes. He was born in a poor area of town to people with no interest or knowledge about how to take care of a cat. So he bounced around from cousins and families and neighbors. Not because he was not a nice cat. These people couldn’t afford him and couldn’t figure out how to take care of him. They just didn’t want him.
“He had so many fragmented soul pieces, so one of my power animals gathered them all up and created one soul part. That’s what we gave back to Max so he would be healed and ready to cross over. I had to be very careful that Max didn’t like me a lot and wanted to stay with me, which is always a dangerous part of doing de-possession or extraction work with attachments. I had enough protection around me, and I’ve been doing this long enough, so it was fine. I explained to Max that he could find his own wonderful family better from the other side, and he understood that. He’s a smart cat. I think he’s so smart, that’s why he came to you guys to get some help.
“Then I wanted to check in about the extraction. I saw him as a light body, but he had a lot of poisoned arrows stuck in him. My power animals took those out and replaced them with beautiful gold coins to give him a real feeling of abundance, because he never had that in this lifetime. Then the gold coins turned into crystals and he was full of white light. That’s when I know that the extraction is complete.
“My power animals took those poisoned arrows and put them in water, which is such a good transmuter of energy. They took the arrows to the American River near where I live now. I saw the arrows go over the rapids and break apart, and when they emerged from the rapids they were beautiful Bird of Paradise flowers. My helping spirits will always show me the extraction, or the spiritual intrusion, transforming into something really beautiful.
“So Max was completely clear, and the power animals who helped with the soul retrieval helped him cross over. On the other side, my teachers in the Upper World and my helping spirits greeted him and took him to a place where he could heal — an ancient Egyptian temple, where they honored him by having him be a temple cat and have an auspicious role there in contrast to the role he had here in this last lifetime.
“So then I checked in with Django, because I figured he might need something extracted, too. Sure enough, some of those poisoned arrows had gotten into Django. So I did the same extraction with Django, and my helping spirits did the same thing, adding crystals and white light to where the intrusions had gone in. They didn’t put gold coins into those spots, because he feels plenty abundant with you guys. So his soul body was completely filled with white light, and the poisoned arrows again were taken to the river and were transmuted into Bird of Paradise flowers. Django didn’t have near as many, only a few, but I suspected he might have some residual effect.
“Then Django looked at me and said, ‘I actually allowed Max to do that at first because I felt so bad for him at the vet clinic. But it became such a problem because I couldn’t have my own personality.’ My helping spirits wanted the journey to take place later at night so Django would go to sleep and then get back into himself. It might take a while. Often, this type of healing is not a light switch that you turn on and off. It might take a while for him to re-acclimate and reorganize. So we’ll see how he does in the next few days.”
By the time I finished listening to this experience, my eyes were soaked in tears. I looked over at Django, on the other side of the couch. He lifted his head, and I petted him under his chin the way he likes it. Then I turned off the lights and went to bed, figuring an early bed time would help everyone involved.
I left a note for my wife that Max had crossed over, and to be gentle with Django when she sees him in the morning. He wasn’t running around with vigor that next day, but in time he gradually began to fall back into his old habits and he seemed to be happy to be back. I certainly was overjoyed to have the happenings of the past week behind us. And I was extremely grateful for Lena to have the ability to assist us so effectively.
I walked around that next day just in disbelief that such an event actually took place — the possession of our cat’s body by an earthbound spirit. Django probably would have preferred fewer hugs and pets than he received the first few days back with us, but we were just so happy to have him back with us.
Q & A
Several days after Django’s return to us, I followed up with Lena with a few questions I had related to the experience we had with the earthbound cat soul called Max:
Have you had similar experiences as ours with other clients?
Lena Swanson: It really varies. The majority of cases involving earthbound spirits are those that have wandered into the house for whatever reason, and sometimes they hitchhike home with people. But to have an animal spirit at a vet clinic attach like that is pretty unusual. In this case, it was so obvious that Max just wanted to have a nice experience with your family.
From my experience, the majority of earthbound spirits being in the house, or attaching, are people, not animals. I think it’s because animals have an easier time with death, with crossing over and with reincarnating. That whole process for them is not so emotionally laden. They just go through the process. Early on in my animal communication practice, there was a cat who died and I wanted to ask him about the dying process. He said, “For animals, death is just going up another rung on the ladder in the soul’s evolution. People have the fear that they are on a conveyor belt and when they die they just fall off and don’t know what’s going to happen.
That’s why there are fewer attachments of earthbound animal souls. They just hang around a little while with their people, or not, and then they just cross over. It’s an easier process for them.
Why do you think Django invited an attachment by Max?
That was because Django has a kind heart. Max is a good cat and he had harmless intentions.
For those who did not intervene like I did in contacting you and asking for the shamanic journey to send Max to the other side, how long would an attachment of another animal’s soul in one’s pet stay put? Would it have just released and gone away after a period of time?
That’s a very good question. I don’t know. If Django had a different owner, would he just have remained a different cat for the whole time if someone had just gone to the vet with concerns about the change in his behavior and only Western medicine was the treatment? They may go to the vet and say, “Our cat used to be so friendly, and now he’s not.” Would they write it off as just some kind of personality change? Sometimes if the change is dramatic enough and people don’t know what to do, veterinarians might suggest kitty prozac with the hope that the personality will mellow or change.
I had a case a few months ago in which a woman wrote me out of the blue saying, “I have to euthanize my cat because he is so aggressive.” This cat would just attack her and really do some harm. This was the same situation as Django, except it was not an animal spirit, but a very aggressive human soul that attached with the cat. Once we did the ceremony and had the soul cross over, the cat was fine. The woman texted me and said, “My cat is a new cat, as it was before.”
What do you think Django experienced during that week?
What I’ve heard from other animals in similar situations is that he felt like he was being covered up by the other soul. They no longer have a lot of choices in behavior or actions.
I imagine it would be frustrating for them after a while.
Yes, especially in cases like I mentioned when the cat became so aggressive. Django is a very nice cat, so let’s say an aggressive, mean one went into Django. He would feel really bad about the behavior but he wouldn’t be able to control it. So that would be a problem.
For the owner of a cat, dog, horse or any animal, what are signs that their animal may need shamanic healing?
The most obvious sign is a pretty sudden and dramatic behavior change. That’s when people call me and say their animal is acting differently now. In my mind, I’m already beginning to wonder if there is some spirit stuff going on. I don’t go into the conversation with that as a possibility, because it may be something else that is influencing their behavior. It’s not always a spirit influence.
A lot of people are adopting rescue animals, and a lot of these animals come with spirit attachments because they’ve been in some pretty awful situations. A lot of animals tell me they came from a household where there was chemical dependency and domestic violence. So they may bring in some nasty spirit hitchhikers from their previous experience. You may adopt a new cat and suddenly the cats you already have at home hate the new cat and want to attack it. Well, they’re not attacking the new cat per se; they’re attacking the spirits that are attached.
So those animals who have a pretty rough beginning could use a soul retrieval, because they’ve had soul loss or might have attached spirits — just as people who have trauma have soul loss.
Lena Swanson is available for assistance with animal communication — and shamanic healing for animals and people. Visit lenaswanson.com. Read The Edge Interview with Lena at www.edgemagazine.net/2020/12/doing-what-you-love-lena-swanson/