Chatting with animals yields good results

Published 9:47 am Monday, October 22, 2012

Column: Something About Nothing

“Dr. Doolittle” wasn’t my favorite movie when I was young. I liked the music, especially the song, “Talk to the Animals,” but I must admit I didn’t think too much about the words as I was singing along to the catchy tune.

However, last week I found the words to the song meandering through my mind. The words, “if I could talk to the animals, just imagine it,” from the song, echoed through my mind as I was talking to the animals. Yes, I am a grown, older woman who in her old age has started talking to the animals.

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I suppose when I was younger I talked to my cats and my dogs. I certainly talked to Alexis, our resident kitty for many years, and Sam, my lovable pooch that was by my side until recently. It was normal to be talking to them because they lived with me. At times, they actually listened to me, which is something that doesn’t happen too often.

Now, talking to animals appears to be second nature to me, and I do it everywhere. I must admit I get strange looks. The squirrels in my yard are used to me talking to them now. I use a soft voice, call them “sweet” and talk to them about the walnuts they keep trying to hide in the cushions on my porch. They never hurt the cushions. I am sure they are gentle because I am gentle with them.

This summer I found myself talking to the baby rabbits at my daughter’s house and telling them to not be afraid of me. After a week, I could actually get close to them. I told them never to leave and to bring their friends and party. I was sure my daughter and her husband would be very happy with the cute bunnies in their yard.

One night recently, my husband and I were lunching by a lake full of ducks. Pretty soon the ducks were out of the lake and gathered around our table. As I tossed them scraps I talked to them. When I had no more to eat a few of them stuck around and let me talk to them. They were very attentive.

A couple of weekends ago I visited an apple orchard with my grandchildren. It was a working farm, and there were many farm animals to see. The geese that were in a pen were loudly protesting. They walked over to the fence and screeched at us. I started talking to them in a soft soothing voice and soon I had their attention. They were listening. I had no food, but they came closer and let me talk to them. They liked the attention. The minute we left the noise level increased a great deal.

I found myself talking to a peacock this summer at the zoo in Des Moines. The peacock was very cooperative and opened its fan wide and beautiful and then pivoted around for me to see the beauty of his feathers.

I wish I were a dog or cat whisperer. I love to talk to the animals. I don’t know if they actually know what I am saying, but there seems to be a connection when I talk to them. The best connection of all is mine. It connects my heart to one of God’s beautiful creatures and gives me a feeling inside of peace.

I talk to the birds in my trees when they are singing. I talked to the birds that were dive bombing my customers because of their nest being close to my door. They seemed to understand because they quit. It is getting to be second nature to talk to the animals. Perhaps I can talk to them because they can’t talk back. It is amazing how many problems they solve for me because I talk to them. Things always are better afterward if I talk to them about my problems.

I must admit I am not as gentle when I talk to the bats that occasionally got in our way at my former place of employment. I do talk nicely to the box elder bugs that invade my home and occasionally land on me. I talk to them gently right before I give them a large drink of the cold coffee that is usually sitting by my side. I let them swim a little, and then I gently pick them up and give them a tour of my kitchen sink drain as I and my garbage disposal bid them goodbye.


Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday. Send email to her at