It’s a strange thing to live with someone (or something, if you prefer) for years and never know what it’s thinking (other than “feed me”). And cats, especially, are weird. Unlike dogs – who “smile”, wag their tails and bark to communicate – they’re pretty much impossible to read, which is why I enlisted the help of an animal communicator in an attempt to better understand my furry companions. The Institute of Scientific Animal Communication was founded by an MIT graduate with a master’s degree in computer science Animal communication itself isn’t a new concept – in fact, it’s been around for as long as animals have. Long ago, before language was invented by humans, we were all supposedly born with the ability to communicate instinctively, intuitively, and (stay with me) telepathically. Fendi CEO Serge Brunschwig on animal rights and conquering China As we grow up, we’re taught to communicate through words instead of our feelings, thoughts and emotions – using elaborate and carefully-put-together sentences that do not necessarily convey what’s inside. In contrast, animal communication is all about returning to our gut and intuition. And mine is telling me that I have no idea what my cats are thinking. My search for an animal communicator in Hong Kong led me to several different personalities online, many of whom seemed to be part-pet psychic, part-Reiki or energy healer, but it was the Institute of Scientific Animal Communication (ISAC) that caught my eye as a slightly more credible source. Should resorts be using animals in their human wellness programmes? Founded by an MIT-graduate with a master’s degree in computer science, ISAC’s Thomas Cheng is the first ambassador in Asia to have completed the professional and teacher-level training by Penelope Smith, one of the original pioneers of animal communication and author of the book, Animal Talk . With its network of trained and accredited animal communicators – all of whom must have completed at least two years of training – ISAC provides animal communication sessions and training courses to help people connect with their pets. The first step to booking a session is filling out a form from its website, which asks for the name, age and gender of the pet, how it came into the home (was it bought, adopted or given) and how you refer to yourself in its presence (by name or “mummy”, for instance). The second part of the form asks for three objectives you’d like to achieve in the session, as well as three questions or messages to express to the animal, if time allows. Most importantly, solo pictures of the pet must be sent along to the animal communicator, as the sessions are done remotely. The third part of the form is a sort of disclaimer, which states that “animal communication is not brainwashing” and that the communicator will try his or her best to talk with the animal with no guarantees on behavioural changes. If, however, there is no improvement within one month of the session, the animal communicator can offer another complimentary session at their discretion to address the same issues. After submitting the form and paying the fee of HK$400 (US$51) per pet, an animal communicator reached out to say that she’d be speaking with the cats in the coming days – remotely and telepathically – and that I should tell them in my “normal language” to cooperate and speak freely when it happened. Apparently, all she needed were their photos to connect with them, and a separate session would be arranged later by telephone to share her findings. So what was the conclusion? Apparently, one cat thinks I’m messy and wishes that we’d tidy up more. Oh, and he wants more snacks. As for the other one, he said he likes going for walks outside the flat in the lift lobby (especially that cold feeling of the floor against his belly) and that I spend too much time taking pictures of the other cat (he’s right). The five-star hotels that treat your pets like celebrities Besides that, the animal communicator seemed to know things that only my cats would have known, which were not so much expressed to her in words but through the senses. For instance, when I asked her what the cats’ favourite treat was, she responded, “Something cold, mushy and sweet,” which I gathered was either a strawberry or blueberry (something my cats used to love nibbling on). She was also spot on about their initial reactions to being approached for the session, as one of them is much more sceptical of strangers. Whether you believe in animal communication or not, it was interesting to have someone who’d never met my cats tell me things I didn’t know about them – most of which seemed to ring true. Because of that, I’ve definitely started to tidy up more, have given them more snacks and take them out for more strolls around the lift lobby. As for the picture-taking, I’m afraid that is one very human (and annoying) behaviour that is most likely not going to change. Want more stories like this? Sign up here . Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .