Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Quiet Moments in a Shelter
Wow, the power of TTouch never ceases to amaze me. Today I went to Social Tees http://www.socialtees.com/, a shelter on East 4th St in the East Village in NYC. I was asked to work with several semi-feral cats who did not want to be touched. One of the staff tried to touch all three of these cats and though they did not bite, they turned away and/or hissed, as though they were afraid that the touch was going to hurt them. Two cats were in one cage and the third was in a separate cage in a separate room. First I worked on the two cats in one cage. I alternated between them with very slow, light circles using a thin wooden dowel with an ace bandage wrapped around one end, which we call a corn-dog. The circles were done with the ace bandage (corn-dog) end of the stick touching the animal on its side, the wand slowly moved in a circle and a quarter. After a while, both cats calmed substantially and I could feel a calm in our space, even though the shelter environment is quite busy. Especially the smaller cat in the cage became quite sleepy, and both were giving me calming signals. Then I took some deep breaths and moved on to try some very light llama ttouches, done using the back of the hand and moving the hand in a circle and a quarter. I did these on the body of both these cats. They were both quite receptive to this as well, and remained calm. Hooray! Then I did the work with the wand and corn-dog on the third cat but unfortunately time did not permit as much work. He was initially very skeptical and hissed at me but calmed right down after doing a few gentle circles on him. I am so grateful for this work, and look forward to returning to the shelter and doing more TTouch on the animals there. I also reflected on how doing TTouch is like making art , it is not me making the work, I am merely a vessel through which the magic of the work travels. And, last but not least, if any of you NYC folks are looking to adopt a cat or dog, check these folks out, they have many animals, particularly cats, seeking homes.