Pet psychic talks to local animals

Romona Washington

SEBRING – What is going through your cat’s head just as it gets ready to jump on the kitchen counter? Why does it do it? Is it looking for food – or attention? Does your dog really know you love it like a best friend? Do you really treat it like a member of the family?

Getting inside their pets’ minds is just what Lee and Robin Taylor Corbridge did recently when their entourage of animals were visited by< Animal Planet's pet psychic Sonya Fitzpatrick. The stories of Romeo and Cindy, the Corbridges pet cougars, will air sometime in January during two episodes of The Pet Psychic. Some of their domestic pets will also Fitzpatrick's unique ability to communicate with all creatures great and small has brought her international attention as the premiere animal communicator. The new episodes being filmed for the second season will feature Fitzpatrick traveling the country, visiting animals at shelters and refuges, as well as in private homes and entertainment venues. Robin has been a fan of the show since its inception last year. In fact, she immediately sat down at the computer and e-mailed Fitzpatrick about her cougars - specifically Romeo. "I wrote that if Sonya was ever in the area, I'd love to have her here for a visit. The Animal Planet producer said he kept my e-mail because he was very interested in it. When I finally got an e-mail from them saying they would like to come for a visit I had to tell Lee what I had done," Robin said. Lee, a local veterinarian, was not as convinced of the psychic abilities that Fitzpatrick claimed to possess. Now, after the visit, all he can say is "there's definitely something there." "I was the biggest skeptic. I thought how do I explain this to my colleagues, but there is something there. I can't explain it. She (Sonya) said things that she would not have known otherwise. We went out of our way to make sure we didn't drop any hints about our animals," Lee said. The couple tells that when Fitzpatrick arrived, she was greeted by the flock of chickens and guinea hens, animals that normally scurry away. Not only did they greet her, but they followed Fitzpatrick as she walked the sidewalk between the house and the cougars' cage. "Words cannot do her arrival justice to the magic that came with her. I could feel her presence was something special. She's for real. I know it with every fiber that makes me alive. It was absolutely wonderful," Robin said. Fitzpatrick said the fowl were simply saying they wanted to be on television too. Talking with the animals had begun. Robin said it was almost like the animals knew the pet psychic was coming. "They were just waiting for her. Jack, the couple's border collie, wanted to know why Robin's 15-year-old son, Brian, "couldn't be lazy." That was the first time that Lee started to feel some validation in Fitzpatrick's claims. "It shocked me. How would she know that we are always teasing Brian about being lazy?" he asked. Fitzpatrick simply told Jack that teen-age boys should help with chores and do things. Then there was Fubie, a cat that was once rescued from a client. Fubie shared her stories of severe abuse from a previous home. When the Corbridges took possession of Fubie, she had two fractured hind legs, one that had to be pinned and the other that eventually was amputated. "She told Sonya she was very happy here, but wanted to know what happened to the tall lady. 'Will I get to see her again?' is what she asked. I realized she was referring to a tech that used to work with me who is now living in Naples. That was all she wanted to know. She got up and just walked away," Lee said. Cori, Robin's 18-year-old daughter, wanted Fitzpatrick to talk to Zelda, her pet cat. Without prompting though, Fitzpatrick asked about a two-tone cat that was scared and hiding under a bed, snuggled up to a blue pillow where it always is. The Corbridges knew immediately it was Zelda. Zelda told Fitzpatrick that Cori has a snake in her bedroom, but she (Zelda) likes it. "She also asked Sonya to ask Cori if she was going to get any more animals. 'Tell her it's kind of crowded in here.' " Robin said. LeRoy, a gray cat, told Fitzpatrick that he was the smartest cat of all. Hilda, a Siamese, wanted to be called "your highness. She said none of the other cats have any couth or class." Then the big cats took the spotlight. "Cindy talked about everything. She shared things with Sonya about her and Robin that I never knew before," Lee said. Cindy was Robin's cougar before she and her husband met. Cindy has been with Robin for eight years, Romeo for six years. One thing that surprised the Corbridges was Cindy's question of another cat coming to the house ... a species of her kind. "I told Sonya that we were not taking on any more big cats. We weren't planning on it. A week after the filming, we get a call to rescue a jungle cat or it will be put down. He is very tawny colored, just like the cougars," Lee said. "It was like Cindy knew this other cat was coming our way." Cindy's biggest problem, she told Fitzpatrick, is that she likes the cats and Romeo doesn't. The cougars cage sits next to another large cage housing mostly domestic cats. Romeo's complaint was that he didn't like the goats drinking from his blue water bucket. The Corbridges had recently given Romeo a new water disk, but he liked his previous one better. He also confessed he didn't like the other cats because "they stare at me. I bat at them and Cindy gets mad at me for that." Before Fitzpatrick left, she asked to see the Corbridges lynx, Jimmy. She told the couple that he wanted to talk to her. "I told her he wasn't real cooperative with people. She said 'it's OK, he won't hurt me. He said he would swat me, but not hurt me.' He did. Sonya told us that he (Jimmy) said he wanted to swat her because she said he could," Lee said. Fitzpatrick's experiences range from the bizarre to the unbelievable, from learning about a human companion's private life from their dog to saving the life of a horse who had stopped eating. The Pet Psychic opens a new door to the world of animal interaction every Monday at 8 p.m., with new episodes beginning in January. Fitzpatrick will be returning to Sebring for another visit with the Corbridge family, humans and animals alike. She wants to film Jimmy and the servals, Kiara and Sierra, for another show. Copyright ® 1999 News-Sun, Inc.

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