As the World Cup final approached, the public seemed less interested in the actual athletes that in Paul the Octopus, a German cephalopod who "psychically" predicted the outcomes of several soccer matches. If nothing else, says Caroline H. Dworin at Newsweek, Paul's celebrity suggests that "people all over the world are becoming more curious and determined to figure out exactly what it is animals are thinking." Luckily, professionals like Lisa Greene, a Houston-based pet psychic, claim they can figure that out. "Horses are the most gossipy," Greene tells Dworin. "Snakes usually have a pretty bizarre sense of humor. And rodents like to spell for me." Here's an excerpt:
Americans spent a total of $45.5 billion in 2009 on their animals. That was up 5.4 percent from 2008. Such booming services as massage therapy, antidepressant treatment, and [pet-related] grief counseling account for the increase.
An annual study by the American Pet Products Association noted that “pet services continues to be a growing category as they become more closely modeled after those offered to people.” So it stands to reason, perhaps, that pet communicators who can help us know what our little friends are thinking are a relatively easy find these days.
Greene, who has worked as a pet psychic for just over 10 years, may, in a busy week, receive anywhere from 15 to 40 calls. “Not all the animals want to talk to me,” she says. “I have some animals flip me the paw.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- Why Pakistan won't hunt down the terrorists within its borders
- Pope Francis' American problem
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- A brief history of the Christmas present
- The week's best photojournalism
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 10 things you need to know today: December 20, 2014
- Sorry, GOP, tax cuts don't pay for themselves
- 4 things NASA can teach you about a good night's sleep
Subscribe to the Week