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all is calm on bonfire night

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As bonfire night approaches and the fireworks season begins people are often concerned about how their animal companions will be affected.  I often get asked what people can do to help their animal companions at this time, so I thought I would share an animal communication perspective.

cat hiding in a bag

Every animal has its own unique sensitivity and response to sound like we do. In our family this is illustrated by the mixed response that the vacuum cleaner gets with the cats ! Some dash off to find a quiet place at the sound of it coming out of the cupboard. Others carry on snoozing in their favourite spot and don’t twitch a whisker whilst it is used around them. Much to my amusement one of the boys follows it around, watching it with intrigue, as if ready to pounce!

How we respond to a situation can also impact how an animal responds. This is because animals are constantly sensing our feelings. Take the situation with the cats and the vacuum for example. By responding to one of the cats that is hiding by seeking them out with ‘are you ok? don’t be afraid‘ I can worsen things. This is because I am adding my feelings of concern or fear, about how they have responded, to the situation. The animal receives this feeling from me as a confirmation that there is something to be fearful of.  Their response may be to retreat further into their hiding place, to which I may respond to with concern. Again they feel this concern and it fuels their reaction. This is what I call a ‘fear fire’. The feelings pass back and forth between the person and the animal, growing in intensity as they do.


We experience this passing back and forth of feelings in our interactions with people on a day to day basis, although we are sometimes not aware of it. We might use the phrase their ‘mood rubbed off on me’ if how we are feeling changes after having spoken with someone.

So with the situation with the cat that has gone into hiding if I just let them be and leave them I am not fueling their feelings. Without my involvement or reaction to the situation I am not adding my ‘fear to the fire’.  If I am ok with the situation they will feel that. In addition by actively choosing peaceful feelings it can help them to relax and let go of their fear. In such a situation peaceful feelings can be like pouring water on the ‘fear fire’.

Feelings can be felt over distances. That’s why you sometimes know that someone is about to call or text you.  So you don’t have to be in the same room as your animals for them to benefit from your peaceful feelings.

So here are a few suggestions you may wish to use with your animal companions on bonfire night:

  • Make sure there is somewhere that they can go to feel ‘safe’ if they choose to. If they go there then let them be. Avoid fussing them.
  • Be aware of how you are feeling and the feelings you are sending out.
  • Practice allowing yourself to feel peaceful – for a simple technique check out my blog on ‘being in the moment’.
  • Choose messages that are supportive and positive such as ‘all is well’,  ‘we are all calm and peaceful’.
  • Change your focus from the fireworks and noises to something that you can become engrossed in – music you enjoy, a film you love, a hobby that really engages you.

With awareness of how we are feeling and by choosing to project supportive and positive feelings we can help our animal companions (and us) to have a calmer bonfire night!

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