Animal soulmates. Are they real? How do we know? If we know, do we know right away or can it take some time to figure out we were meant to be together? Animal intuitive and sensitive Shannon Cutts with Animal Love Languages shares her own very personal story of meeting her one and only, Pearl.
Pearl and I met at a time in my life when I was still mourning the untimely death of my three-year-old cockatiel, Jacob.
I was not just grieving. I was devastated. Gutted. Bereft.
And I was absolutely determined that Jacob would be the last companion bird in my life. Ever. Period, the end.
Then one day I was at work as usual. About mid-morning my phone rang. It was my mom.
She sounded excited. She had happy news, she informed me. She and my dad were at Petsmart and they had discovered a whole clutch of baby cockatiels ready for adoption.
Well, let me tell you. I wasn’t falling for that. Not a chance.
Somehow she lured (browbeat, bullied) me into driving over to Petsmart on my lunch hour. The very moment I entered the store, I could feel my heart sink and my gut constrict. This wasn’t happening. The closer I got to the open air aviary where the cockatiel babies were chirping and flapping and climbing all over each other, the farther away I wanted to be.
And that was when it happened. My eyes, frantic to locate a handy escape route, instead fell on a tiny rumpled fluff of grey downy feathers. The tiny fledgling looked exactly as miserable as I felt. His older, stronger nest mates were literally walking all over him as if he wasn’t even there. His whole chest was matted down with baby bird formula and he was a hot mess.
So fast I wasn’t able to stop myself, I reached out my hand. He hopped on and quickly scampered up my arm, then to my shoulder, then burrowed into my long hair and huddled his tiny bird body against my neck.
I was smitten. Besotted. “You are love with wings, aren’t you?” I whispered softly.
Fast forward to today. It has been nearly 24 years since Pearl and I met. When I was writing our memoir in 2013, I came across the original Petsmart receipt from the day I brought Pearl home with me. I knew he was about five weeks old that day, January 26th.
My birthdate just happens to be December 19th. Which, as fate and utter amazement would have it, is just about five weeks from the day Pearl and I met.
Which means we could literally share the same birthdate.
When I said yes to Pearl that day in Petsmart, I was planning to say no. Heck, I was planning to not even be there in the first place! This is why I say that Pearl is the bird who brought me to the work I do today as an animal communicator, teacher and mentor. Without Pearl, there would be no me as I know me today.
After our memoir came out, I wanted everyone to meet the inspiration himself. What is so interesting is that it would be another five years before I realized I could talk to animals and decided to make interspecies communication my life’s work.
This is just one of the many examples of how saying yes to Pearl has also been saying yes to me and to my own life. I have no doubt you have your own stories, your own experiences of how your animal companions have opened you up to new possibilities far beyond what you thought, hoped or dreamed would be possible for you in your life.
As for me and Pearl, I tell him every single day that “it had to be you.” In that spirit, I hope you enjoy this short excerpt from Love & Feathers, the book, as part of our interspecies storytime video series. 🙂