Woman believes late hamster has been reincarnated in S'pore, appeals for help & offers S$500 reward

The woman was doubtful at first, but her experience with an animal communicator was corroborated by separate supernatural indications, such as a tarot reading.

Nigel Chua | May 12, 2022, 02:32 AM

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[UPDATE on May 17 at 10:30pm: The woman reached out to Mothership on May 16 to share that her hamster, Taffy has been found. The article has been updated with the new information from her, and the animal communicator she engaged.]

A woman in Singapore has started a search for a specific Syrian hamster.

The hamster has to be cream or yellow.

It must have been born around mid-April.

Also, the hamster's mother has to be a specific colour: Brown with white patches.

With these criteria on the table, it might seem like she's seeking the proverbial needle in a haystack.

But this woman is not just looking for any hamster that has these characteristics.

Rather, she is seeking one specific hamster that meets all of her criteria — and more.

This is because she believes that the soul of Taffy, her late pet Syrian hamster, is back in the realm of the living, reincarnated for one more lifetime as a Syrian hamster again.

Taffy passed on earlier this year, in February. Photo via Taffy's on Facebook.

Public appeals

Hoping to be reunited with Taffy, the woman, Mindy (not her real name), has been making public appeals to groups of hamster owners in Singapore for help in locating Taffy's reincarnate.

She's also offering a S$500 reward.

Mindy also has the help of friends, and of regular customers who are on friendly terms with her. This group is helping to keep an eye out for Taffy, and will send her photos and updates when they think they might have found the hamster.

Those outside of this core group rallying behind Mindy's seemingly impossible search might be less inclined to sympathy.

Even if you believe in telepathy, telepathy between humans and animals, remote telepathy between humans and animals, life after death, life after death for animals, reincarnation, and a being's choice in their reincarnation, you would also have to believe that it lies in Mindy's and Taffy's fate to experience all of these things, in order to really share Mindy's point of view.

Mindy is aware that her story will strike many as improbable, or even completely ridiculous.

But, by sharing her story with Mothership, she hopes to at least spread the word to more pet shops and hamster owners, to increase the chances that someone will spot Taffy and help her get back together with her tiny companion.

After all, not sharing someone's point of view doesn't mean that you can't try to see from it.

Started off somewhat doubtful

Mindy's quest to find the reincarnated Taffy started when, while grieving over the loss of her hamster, she approached an animal communicator — even though she was doubtful about animal communication to begin with.

"I was afraid of getting scammed," she says.

But the recommendation of a trusted contact gave her the confidence to initiate her first "session" — this is the term used in animal communication circles to describe the time in which animal communicators help pet owners and pets connect, and somewhat fittingly, also the word from which comes the term "seance".

It took just one such session with the animal communicator to convince Mindy to put away her doubts.

"There might be skeptics and I would be lying if I said I wasn't at all doubtful, but what the session revealed blew me away," she wrote on Instagram after the session.

That experience — and the promise of Taffy's return — gave Mindy new motivation.

Mindy shares that prior to the session, she had actually made plans to end her life, even leaving behind care instructions for her other pets, and letters for her loved ones after her passing.

"My will to live died along with Taffy," she explained in an Instagram story.

"But communicating with her through an animal communicator helps, and it's comforting to know that she will eventually be back here with me."

This wasn't the first time Taffy made such a profound impact on Mindy's life.

What makes Taffy so special?

Mindy has been suffering from dysthymia, otherwise known as persistent depressive disorder (PDD), having been diagnosed over 10 years ago, as well as major depressive disorder (MDD) for the past five years.

There was a point in time when Mindy would "tend to OD a lot" on prescription medication, and had to be sent to the hospital on several occasions.

"At one point I ended up in the hospital for almost a week," she shares.

"But like, the thing with Taffy is that it made me stop OD-ing. Because I realised that when I'm stuck in hospital I cannot see her."

Understandably, the hospital did not allow Taffy to visit.

"So I'm like, ok, hamsters already have very short lives, and I want to spend my time with her, so I don't want to get stuck in hospital and waste my time there."

After this realisation, Mindy stopped abusing her medication.

Her life took a different track, one in which she was essentially living for Taffy.

Having this new reason to live was "both good and bad", Mindy says.

It was good to be able to devote herself to care for another life.

And when she was feeling down, she would have Taffy to talk to, and to play with, when the hamster was in the mood to spend time outside her tank.

On the other hand, Mindy now sees that it was an unhealthy coping mechanism.

"After the other life is gone, you're like... back to the old habits," she says. "I would say I'm very reliant on her."

Taffy's online business, Taffy's

Taffy's entry into Mindy's life, on Jul. 27, 2020, was also the starting point for Mindy's home business, which sells treats for hamsters and other small pets.

Taffy in October 2020. Taffy was lighter coloured as a young hamster, but her coat got darker as she aged.

The business came about because, as Mindy explains, Taffy was rather selective about the sources of her food.

For example, she took a liking to "certain brands of freeze-dried tofu", recalls Mindy., preferring such items over pet food purchased from pet shops.

"She likes the human ones I get from Donki," says Mindy with a laugh.

"In a sense, she is quite picky, but whatever I make and give her, she eats everything. So it just makes me want to make more stuff for her, because, you know, she looks so happy."

Taffy's pickiness, and the fact that pet shop hamster treats tended to contain "unhealthy stuff" like sugar and preservatives, was what drove Mindy to start her home business.

Her home-made treats were "well-accepted" by other hamsters (and their owners), and she soon saw the viability of selling the treats to customers online.

Today, the online store, named "Taffy's" after the hamster, has grown to be quite recognised in hamster circles since its inception early last year.

New releases of its adorable products are eagerly anticipated, and the small batches of handmade treats are quickly sold out.

A hamster treat inspired by Sumikko Gurashi. Photo via Taffy's on Facebook.

Hard to hold down a job

The business — and its success — was a breakthrough for Mindy, who had previously found it hard to hold down a job due to her dysthymia and MDD.

"I cannot keep taking MC when I'm not feeling good, when I'm not feeling well," she says.

The home business allowed her the flexibility of keeping to her own schedule, but more importantly, the satisfaction of seeing Taffy and other hamsters enjoying the treats she made.

"I'm so happy that others are enjoying. Like, I have a purpose."

Thanks to the fact that Taffy was already a familiar name among hamster owners — owing to Mindy's past posts about her in hamster groups, it was not difficult to publicise the new business.

GIF from slow-motion video of Taffy running on a wheel, posted in September 2020.

Discerning hamster owners were also persuaded by the value proposition of Taffy's treats being made with organic, human-grade ingredients that were difficult to find in Singapore, and which came to be the focus of Mindy's online store because those were Taffy's preferred food options.

Taffy's took off quickly, and Mindy continues to earn "enough to live" and enough to care for her pets "adequately".

Taffy, the hamster treat model

Another way that Taffy contributed to Mindy's business was by serving as its model.

"Like, she really does model! She froze at poses, then when I say 'okay' she'll start stuffing her face... I don't know how, but she does," recalls Mindy.

Mindy sends me a video clip — an old Instagram story — of Taffy clutching a treat in the shape of soft-serve ice cream in a cone, holding the position while a box in front of her is adjusted.

"Taffy always spends a few seconds posing," reads the text in the clip.

Taffy's passing

As Taffy approached the age of 16 months in around December 2021, Mindy started to notice that Taffy's movements had started to slow down.

She was, after all, approaching the end of her estimated 18 to 24-month lifespan.

On the day that 18-month-old Taffy passed, Mindy noticed unusual behaviour such as Taffy sleeping outside of her typical hiding spots. Her breathing also seemed more difficult.

Mindy left the room and started to make arrangements to take Taffy to a vet. She quickly booked an appointment but when she returned to Taffy's side, she found that the hamster was gone.

Planned to end her life

Soon after Taffy passed, Mindy announced an indefinite hiatus for her online business.

Her customers were sympathetic, but what they might not have known was that she had a plan to end her life.

Mindy clarifies, however, that this wasn't because she was "sick and tired of everything":

"The wanting to die part, wasn't really like 'want to die' die. It's more like, I want to see her again. So you know, I die and go there and see her."

In the midst of this, it was guilt — the thought that Taffy could perhaps have lived on, if only she'd gotten medical help sooner — that drove Mindy to seek out a trusted contact's recommended animal communicator, Tia Tan.

"I wanted to know if it's my fault, you know. If I managed to get her to the vet any earlier, could she have been saved."

Animal communication

Tan has been an animal communicator for 11 years, she tells me, and has witnessed its growth both here and abroad.

Along with "Dog mum", and "Cat mum", Tan also includes "Reiki master. Pranic Healer. Akashic practitioner." in her Instagram bio.

But she doesn't bring up any of these when I speak to her over the phone one afternoon hoping to understand her field a little better.

Animal communication, Tan tells me, is done telepathically.

Her matter-of-fact description of how it actually works belies the supernatural nature of it all:

"It's just a matter of practicing and trusting the messages that you are receiving, because it can kind of feel like it's your own imagination.

You know, it's not like you and me talking like that. When we talk to animals, it can come in many different forms. It can be in terms of actual words that you hear in your mind. It can be through your sense of smell, it can be through a visual, like watching a video. Or it can be just like a feeling and emotion that you feel.

So it just takes practice to try to interpret the messages that you are receiving."

Tan's training — under the late Rosina Arquati, a renowned animal communicator — focused on the "method" of connecting with a pet, and not so much of the theory or concepts behind animal communication.

"She didn't really cover stuff like reincarnation," recalls Tan.

Instead, students were taught to meditate, to clear one's mind of distractions, "so that you can pick up messages".

Reincarnation not typically so fast

Reincarnation is something Tan has only witnessed once before, in the thousands of sessions she's conducted over her decade-long animal communicator career.

This happened when she helped a client verify that her dog, who passed on over 10 years ago, had returned in the form of a new puppy bought by her brother, and with whom she felt "an instant connection".

It's so rare, Tan explains, because pets "don't usually reincarnate so fast". Typically, "a soul needs to heal first, before it can come back again," Tan explains.

In this way, Mindy and Taffy stand out as a clear outlier, which Tan attributes to the strength of their "intention".

"Okay, so actually, what I'm hearing is that you're saying Mindy's intention actually can influence the way that Taffy is being reincarnated?" I ask.

"Mindy, plus Taffy's own intention as well," Tan gently clarifies.

Pets, Tan says, can return if there are "lessons they need to go through", or if their "contract" with their owners is "not finished yet".

As for owners, "they may wish that the pet would want to come back. But deep down inside they are not ready for it".

While this can delay the process of reincarnation, Mindy's case is apparently different.

"It just kind of felt like they're not done with each other yet," Tan says.

Tan has been engaged by Mindy for somewhere between five to 10 sessions of varying lengths, but now says that she's done what she can, and does not recommend any further sessions.

"It's the same as finding lost pets. What they show us is just the surroundings. But [just] from that, it's going to be very hard for us to go and find them."

"I believe that because Taffy does want to come back to her, Taffy will find her way back to her somehow," says Tan.

Other signs

Besides what she's heard from the animal communicator, Mindy has also received other supernatural signs that point to Taffy's return.

For example, a corroborative tarot reading pointing to Taffy's reincarnation somewhere in the northeast, matching up to what Tan received from Taffy — that the reincarnated hamster was located somewhere in the north of Singapore.

As to how Tan knew Taffy was in the north, she explains that it had something to do with the direction of the sun at different times of the day, as shown to her from Taffy's point of view.

Mindy also caught what she believes to be fleeting glimpses of Taffy's spirit out of the corner of her eye — a paranormal ability that also allows her to sometimes see spirits, especially during the lunar calendar's seventh month.

How will Mindy know it's Taffy?

Mindy is open to the possibility that even when she meets Taffy, she might not be able to recognise her.

Tan, and Mindy's friend who did the tarot reading, both assured her that she will "feel it".

But, Mindy shares that she gets excited over "every hamster that fits" her criteria, to the point of needing to call for Tan's help on one occasion to check if it was really Taffy. (It wasn't.)

She's thus managed to secure Tan's agreement to provide a last-minute session, if she is unsure about a hamster which meets all her criteria.

What to look out for

If you'd like to help look out for Taffy, here are the criteria you need to note:

  • A cream or yellow Syrian hamster.
  • Likely born between Apr. 14 and 16, 2022.
  • The hamster's mother has to be brown with white patches.

Those who think they might have found Taffy can either call or text Mindy at (phone number redacted after May 16).

They should also send photos and videos of the hamster, its mother, and its siblings.

Epilogue

On May 16, I get a series of WhatsApp messages from Mindy, who informs me that Taffy has been found.

Mindy also attaches a short video of Taffy:

GIF from video

Mindy fills me in on the events leading up to this, explaining that in a spate of boredom over the weekend, she and a friend had decided to call a hamster shop to ask if they had any Syrian hamsters.

It turns out that they did — two cream-coloured females, who had been fighting, causing one of them to be sent back to the hamster breeder.

Mindy asked to see the remaining one and consulted Tan for confirmation.

Tan shares that the baby hamster had indeed confirmed its identity, and said "Bring me home!"

The circumstances under which Taffy was found also lined up with what had been foretold in a Tarot reading two weeks ago, Mindy says.

Tan also offered further assistance, at no extra charge, to "double confirm", by performing crystal dowsing, a practice she described as a "divination tool" that helps one "access a divine higher power" or one's "inner self".

The crystals spoke: The baby hamster was indeed Taffy.

Mindy shared that one of her current "to do" items is to get Taffy toilet trained.

That, and spending lots of time together.

Screenshot via Taffy's on Facebook.

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