Animal Instinct

Rose Furney knows what your pet is trying to tell you. Photo by Matt Rose

When she was only 10, Rose Furney clicked with a feral cat she named Snowball. The Henderson County-based animal communicator remembers knowing just what the skittish tom wanted — and can only relate the sentiment to sheer intuition. “It’s like when we get this feeling that we should call our sister and then she calls,” Furney says. “I’m not psychic; it’s just a spiritual connection.”

Pet owners know the quirks of their four-legged family members and can trust their gut about some issues — but certain behaviors can still be mysterious and merit intervention. Caroline Gunther, owner of Wag! A Unique Pet Boutique in Hendersonville, says Furney is a go-to for enlightenment on behavioral issues, illnesses, or just general curiosity.

Furney even graciously lent her time to Bold Life to conduct a quick phone session. The client? A one-year-old ragdoll cat with a seal-point coat and a host of persnickety habits. Formally, she goes by Nellie. But one could also yell Oscar, Felix, or just Kitty. Either way, she’s not coming.

Furney starts her sessions with a nondenominational prayer, querying the universe for positive energy and guidance and closing with, “Thank you, thank you, thank you.” The pet owner is asked to repeat his or her full name three times, followed by those of any housemates and the furry client in question.

The session is studded with meditative silence as Furney awakens the animal’s energy. Some pets are less receptive than others, she says — so understanding species is key. Dogs are predictably eager, rushing to the threshold of consciousness to greet Furney. Cats are more skeptical. “Felines stay within their bloodline, so outsiders are perceived as threats,” she explains.

But animal communicating isn’t like a coffee-shop conversation — the messages come in sensations and images, not words. For instance, when Gunther scheduled a session for her 11-year-old mutt Winifred, Furney “felt” the dog’s lower-back pain.

“I had noticed small lumps right above Winifred’s kidneys,” Gunther says. But here’s the kicker: she didn’t think to mention them to Furney. “There’s a million things [Furney] could say,” says the pet-boutique owner, “but it’s always relevant and incredibly accurate.”

After a bit of prying, Nellie’s unveiled past explained her present vibe. In a previous lifetime, Furney says Nellie was a hardworking barn cat. Farmhands tossed her scraps, but she experienced more famine than feast. “She feels entitled,” Furney says. “She worked hard enough then, so now she deserves to be pampered.”

Then, as an afterthought, she adds: “Nellie would also like a different brand of food. Something with texture.”

Gunther left her session with a few extra obligations, as well. Winifred apparently dislikes her Italian leather collar and demands a custom dog bed. “Here she’s got the entire world at her paw tips,” Gunther says. “But at least now I know, right?”

Rose Furney will appear at Wag! A Unique Pet Boutique (231 North Main St., Hendersonville) to offer 15-minute mini sessions for $20 on Sunday, May 7, 1-4pm. Owners can bring their pet(s) or a photo. Furney will donate 25 percent of the proceeds to Boxer Butts & Other Mutts animal rescue. To schedule an appointment, contact Wag! at 828-697-7799.

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