Learning Day: Is Your Pet Psychic?

At this point in my 🌭 career, I’ve read a lot of books about psychics. The common thing I’ve found about all of them is that they’re written to convince people they are unique and magical, but one brave psychic author has broken the mold because he wants you to believe that your pet hamster is more special and magical than you! 

The author of this book, Richard Webster, has written several others related to psychic phenomena, including Pendulum Magic, Write Your Own Magic, and Astral Travel for Beginners, which I imagine is the best and only way to skip the line at Disney World. Although he is presumably a psychic, the idea of this book isn’t so much that you develop a psychic power; it’s that you can become aware of the immense psychic energy radiating from your pet iguana. 

The book begins how every great story should, by immediately making me question everything. From its very dedication, this book is looking to make you spiral out of control. 

Is Ken Ring an animal or a person? If he’s a person, why the paw print underneath? If he’s a dog, why does it have a last name, and why is that last name different from Richard Webster’s? My good friend is something I would call a person or a dog. Did this man dedicate the book to a dog that wasn’t his? Did he give his dog a full Christian name? Is this just a signature? Gasp, could Richard Webster be the dog?

I googled Ken Ring, which is apparently the name of a Swedish rapper with a popular album called Mitt Hem Är Blir Ditt Hem, obviously named after what the Swedish Chef says when a chicken is escaping. So, is Richard Webster good friends with a famous Swedish rapper? Or does he have an extremely formal dog? I don’t know which of those options is more likely OR funnier.  

After its confusing dedication, Is Your Pet Psychic opens up by immediately answering its own question: yes, your pet is probably psychic. It turns out most pets are psychic unless you got a real dud. Richard Webster proves this through a series of anecdotes about animals with psychic and even precognitive abilities. For instance, a dog named Hector was once observed in Vancouver boarding and inspecting four different ships. A ship on the way to Japan eventually found him stowed away. When they docked, Hector immediately exited and ran to a Dutch ship his owner was departing from! What a magical story that a sailor from the 1800s insane from eating nothing but whisky and beef jerky didn’t make up!

Let me stop you right there, Richard. This man has way too much faith in dogs. Sure, maybe some dogs are brilliant. Maybe they’re noble beasts of great intellect, but some dogs are this dog, my dog:

This dog has never had a thought in her entire life, let alone a psychic premonition. This man thinks my dog, who doesn’t always remember she has a neck, has precognitive abilities? Sir, she doesn’t have cognitive abilities. I decided to try one of the tests from the book with her. 

She got nervous because I was sitting on the floor with her but not letting her climb into my lap because she can’t practice her psychic powers if she falls asleep, and she falls asleep the instant she sits on my lap. She started to shake, got distracted by a fly, tried to kill the fly, failed, hit her head on a door frame, then cried. I guess that’s what she wanted to do? Fail at murder, then get upset by it? If so, maybe my dog is psychic? I’m so sorry I misjudged her. She can do whatever she puts her mind to. 

The book isn’t just dog-centric, though. Even though we obviously start by talking about dogs, there are also chapters devoted to cats, horses, and “animals tall and small.” The cat section is one of my favorites because it proves historically how magical cats are because Persians used them as shields against their enemies. 

Were they running into battle holding the cats in front of them, or was duct tape already invented in ancient Persia? Also, I don’t know if being pushed to the front of a battle for slaughter proves incredible power. It seems like if cats were so powerful, they wouldn’t have to worry about getting forced to the front of the murder parade. Also, how many times did this Persian king try Operation: Cat Shield before it worked?

Normally, when I verbally ask my cat to come to me, she telepathically responds that I can eat a dick and snuggles into whatever dark, dusty corner of my home is currently her tyrannically ruled territory. However, when I tried this, she did show up about ten minutes after I stopped asking her to. It actually spooked the hell out of me because showing up ten minutes late and looking annoyed as hell is the most respectful thing she’s ever done to me. My cat is boring, so here’s a picture of one with her spiritual energy for reference. 

I’m starting to realize most of these tests designed by Richard Webster to prove your animals are psychic basically amount to animals doing all of the things they would normally do without psychic powers. Your cat showing up in your house doesn’t prove it’s psychic. A psychic cat is one who appears right as you’re choking on a fish to swallow your last breath, purring as the prophecy comes true. Let’s hope the tests for horses won’t be so goddamn stupid. 

This test raised a very important question in my mind: could Ken Ring be a horse? It seems to follow the same naming conventions as Cork Beg. I Googled “do horses have last names” because I’ve never owned a horse, and maybe they all have last names, and I don’t know. From this research, it doesn’t seem like last names are more common for horses than any other animal. I then Googled “Ken Ring horse,” and that’s when the mystery cracked wide open for me.

Somehow Ken Ring horse led me to the Twitter account for a New Zealand weather forecaster named Ken Ring. Where did Richard Webster, author of Is Your Pet Psychic?, grow up?

Ken Ring is a person! Not a dog or a horse at all! Sorry, I’ve completely forgotten what this article was about. Luckily, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from working for 1900HOTDOG, it’s that comedy is mostly discovering and solving previously undiscovered mysteries, especially murders. Anyway, back to horses. Here’s another exciting horse telepathy test:

Can you imagine speaking telepathically to your horse for the first time only to learn that it does not love you? What if the horse says, “I see you only as a stylish little hat I sometimes wear? You are not more than a fashion accessory, a thing, a pet, now brush me, stooge, brush me and feed me treats, tiny fool!” That would be pretty cool. Now I want to know all horses’ opinions of me. What could be cooler than talking to a horse?

Oh right, there’s an entire section of this book about ghost animals. It proves ghost animals are real with an anecdote about a woman who was once Richard Webster’s secretary, and when her cat died, she still felt it curled up at the end of her bed at night. Richard’s solution to this was to invent a special animal seance that allows someone to say goodbye to a beloved pet currently haunting them. It’s a lengthy process that essentially involves thinking about the animal and seeing if it shows up. In fact, most psychic animal communication is aggressively thinking at animals. 

For a book claiming to be about psychic animals, it sure requires a lot of work from me. Work, that I’m noticing none of my animals have put in. If they’re so psychic why haven’t they checked this book out from the library themselves? I’m starting to think none of this is legitimate animal science at all. Does Ken Ring even exist? And can I enter him in the Kentucky derby? I’m still not sure.