Animal whisperer

Paulina Lawrence

Photo By dominick porras

By 8 years old, Paulina Lawrence realized she had the special ability to communicate with animals, which has helped her on the job as a veterinary technician. Now she’s branching out a bit, bringing her intuitive skills into people’s homes so that they can open the lines of communication with their pets. “This is something I really need to be doing,” she says. Lawrence came to Midtown to answer a few questions for SN&R and to field a few questions from my cats.

Find out more about Lawrence at Also, she’ll give a talk at the Well Being Fair at East West Books—White Rose Center (2216 Fair Oaks Boulevard) on Saturday, July 19, from 3-3:30 p.m. Call (916) 920-3837 for more information.

So, say, if your cat starts crapping in the sink, now you know exactly who to call.

So what’s going on with my cats?

Loki’s your question kitty.

What kinds of questions does he ask?

“What’s going on?” “Why is [a new kitten, Kato] here?” He just has that type of personality. He likes Kato a lot. … And you named Kato appropriately. He’s a very energetic little soul but he’s very curious. And he asks if this is his home; all you have to do is reassure him on that.

You mean I just tell him?

Yeah. They pick it up from us. With these guys, they use everything: what’s going on around them, our facial expressions, what we’re thinking. They pick all that up.

Do you know exactly what they’re saying at a given moment, or do you just get a feeling?

It’s both. They don’t really speak in English. It’s how I interpret it. I’ll get the emotion, I’ll get the question, and I’ll try to formulate it for people. They live in the present and it’s not because they negate all past experiences, it’s just that they happen to work in the present.

Unfortunately, what we’re seeing now is a lot of animals developing the same type of neurosis that we as humans have because they live in our world.

So animals take on the characteristics of their owners?

Well, whatever their environmental situation is. They will accommodate to what’s going on.

So my cat might go around making stupid jokes and annoying people?

Some are just really funny. It just depends on their personality. You never know.

Do the animals ever say things that scare you?

Yeah. They do. Sometimes I’ll go over to a home and they’ll ask me to work with a specific animal and another animal will come in and sit next to me for a little while and go, “You need to help the person.” That was one of the things I was very surprised about. I use my abilities working as a veterinary tech, however, I wasn’t expecting that I would be helping the humans as well. I’ll have an animal say, “She’s depressed,” or “She’s worried about this.”

Are my cats telling you that I’m depressed?

No. They’re very laid-back.

Do animals ever want to violently turn on their owners?

We do have ones that go over the top because they have no discipline. … People seem to forget they have distinct characteristics for each species. And if you do challenge a dog, or you do challenge a cat, or even a bird, they’re going to take you out.

Remember when Siegfried and Roy’s tiger ate one of them? What was going on there?

I don’t know about that, but I can speak generally. That animal is a wild animal. That’s why I like volunteering at the Folsom Zoo, because it gives me another perspective. Circus animals have definite show egos.

So you’re really just shifting your perception toward the way an animal thinks a little bit?

Yeah, just a little bit. Just to understand where they’re coming from, behavior-wise.

So would you be able to tell if my cat had cancer?

I can tell when a cat is not feeling well. Unless the cat is verbalizing it. … I can look at the animal and see how it’s feeling.

Are people in your veterinary field ever doubtful of you?

That’s part of the reason why it’s not something [I flaunt]. When I work with people who don’t believe me, it usually changes … because they’re like, “Well, how do you know that?”

Whenever I would cry, my parents’ old German Shepard would come up to me and sit down and cuddle.

They bring a lot of joy and comfort to people.

And he would bark at black people.

Sometimes they’re just not used to—

So he’s not racist?

Some animals develop a prejudice because of the way they’ve been treated. It’s just what they’ve been exposed to.

Anything else you want people to know?

Mainly, we just need to really connect more to our animal friends.

Do you think my cats like me?

Oh my God, yeah.