PureInsight | January 1, 2001
X-Files, shmex-files, the paranormal is a crock, right?
Well, ye of little faith, con sider the story of a Montreal couple who asked an 'animal communicator' in Texas for help in finding their missing cat. Taiway, the temperamental 10-year-old that had disappeared during the summer, showed up in early November after Peter Edwards and Rona Harun had a phone conversation with Sonia Fitzpatrick, who channeled messages from the lost cat.
'We're not a New Age couple,' said Edwards, a 32-year-old musician and computer programmer. 'We don't wear crystals or practice odd rituals. We are realists, and this really happened to us.'
Harun, 31, who taught math at Dawson College and John Abbott until their daughter was born 18 months ago, echoed her husband's disclaimer. They were skeptical of psychic phenomena.
'Using Sonia was our last-ditch effort to find Taiway,' Harun said. 'We said we'll do this, then we'll give up.'
On Aug. 14, a month after they moved into their new apartment in the Mile End district, Taiway went out for her usual 9:30 p.m. prowl. Edwards and Harun got worried when the cat, which they describe as shy and very cautious around unfamiliar people and animals, didn't return by morning.
They tacked up Missing Cat posters and searched alleys. As the days stretched into weeks, neighbourhood cat-lovers told Edwards and Harun disturbing stories.
Some people, it was said, used cat traps, baited with sardines. The captured animals would then be picked up by the city's cat pound, which would euthanize cats that were not claimed within three days.
There were also rumours of weird goings-on. Mile End cats, Edwards and Harun were told, had been snatched by sadists who mutilated animals.
The horror stories intensified their desire to find Taiway. Through the late summer and into autumn, Edwards was a weekly visitor to the city's cat pound. Then he heard about psychics who claim they can communicate with missing animals.
Having checked out Fitzpatrick's Web site (www.petvoice.com), Edwards and Harun sent a picture of Taiway, along with $150 U.S., to Texas. The payment covered a 60-minute telephone consultation.
'Sonia became a cat talking to our cat,' Harun said. 'She felt what Taiway was feeling.'
Fitzpatrick asked if Harun had changed her hair colour, which she had, going from her natural brown to red just before the cat disappeared.
'Taiway is not sure that she likes the colour,' the psychic said - first of many grievances that Fitzpatrick relayed from the missing cat. Taiway didn't like her new feeding bowls, she missed the old bedspread she used to sleep on and she wondered what happened to her blue ball.
There were also complaints about the neighbours, particularly a menacing dog and cat living in the downstairs apartment.
At the beginning of the session, Fitzpatrick said Taiway had 'a bit of an attitude' and was not warming up to her. After 30 minutes, however, there was sufficient trust that the psychic was able to ask the missing cat where she was and what she was up to.
'Sonia asked her if she'd been staying with people and Taiway was highly offended,' Harun said. 'Taiway bragged about her independence. She said she was a strong outdoor cat.'
The session ended with a few hints about Taiway's location. The missing cat was hiding out near a green awning and some large trash receptacles.
Edwards started searching again.
Four days later, Harun was nursing the baby at 1 a.m. when she saw a cat's shadow at the back door. Taiway was back - and she hasn't strayed since.
Edwards and Harun will be featured in a new book that the animal communicator is writing (her first was called What the Animals Tell Me). Fitzpatrick may talk about them when she appears on Larry King Live, once CNN's election frenzy subsides. For their part, the Montrealers have been recommending Fitzpatrick to friends whose pets are missing.
Was it a paranormal incident - or just a coincidence?
'If Taiway had come back after two or three weeks, I'd chalk it up to coincidence,' Harun said. 'But she was gone for months. Then we had a session with Sonia and she came back a few nights later.'
'I had a weird feeling when I was out looking that night,' Edwards added. 'It's hard to explain.'
- Mike Boone can be reached by phone at (514) 987-2569 or by E-mail at email@example.com.