Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Hi folks, the handsome cat who is at Social Tees Shelter (http://socialtees.com/) above we have been calling Jigsaw Sr. He is a delightful, friendly cat but unfortunately has a problem with one of his front legs. It is a healed injury which has left him with the bottom part of the leg and foot limp. His name is because a while back we had a kitten we named Jigsaw with similar coloring and the same leg problem on the same leg!
Apparently the poor guy was found on the Williamsburg bridge. There was no info on how his leg was hurt, but perhaps he was hit by a car. The injured leg is the front left leg, and when he walks, he ends up landing either on his knee (if he puts more pressure on it) or on the bottom joint before his foot (if he is putting lighter pressure). He can get around, and can go from the upper shelf in his cage to the lower shelf, but rather gingerly, and walks very low to the ground.
This cat comes to the front of the cage and meows to me for TTouch when I come in the room. I started out by working on his head, doing raccoon touches, ear strokes and a little work on the outside of his mouth. He responds to being touched in general, and seemed to want me to do quite firm ear strokes on his ears. Cats all seem to have different preferences, especially when it comes to doing ear strokes, so it's better to start out lighter at first and see what happens. Sometimes they will start rubbing their head against you as though they want you to press harder.
Then I did connected chimp touches and clouded leopard touches down either side of his back, and some strokes with the back of my hand down all of his legs, including the one which is not working. He is more sensitive on the lower back and thigh of the back leg on his left side, though he still lets me touch him there.
Over the past few sessions, after talking to some of my fellow TTouchers, I have added some more touches. Among other things, I have been able to work on his paws on all four feet. I have done little raccoon touches all around the toes and on the pads of the feet, and have done little circles with the toes, especially on his front feet. The point is to bring awareness to as much of his body as possible. I will be very interested to see what happens after a few sessions with him.
He is incredibly cooperative and often wants to jump out of the cage into my arms! What a sweet fellow.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Pictured directly above and below are two little black and white kittens who initially arrived extremely scared and hissing at me when I first began to do TTouch on them. These are the "before" pictures, where you can see them huddling in the back of the cage and looking at me pretty skeptically! After some weeks of slow, patient TTouch (which you will see detailed in past posts), first using a feather to touch them, then working up to doing TTouch on them with my hand, they grew more and more acclimated and after a while, when they saw me, they would come right to the front of the cage, pushing to get my attention and practically coming out of the cage.
In the next two pictures you will see both of these kittens iooking more comfortable and, in the last one, right in the front of the cage.
I am so happy to say that both of these little ones got homes these week, and I am so grateful for TTouch, this work helped these very shy, frightened little beings to be more comfortable in their bodies and able to truly enjoy contact, ultimately making them more adoptable. So here's a toast to these dear little ones. They taught me so much about the importance of patience, sensitivity, and being aware of what each animal can handle in the moment. I wish them all the best in their new homes.
Next I took out this kitten's little black and white friend, who Este (another volunteer at Social Tees) has named Buster, which I think is perfect. Little Buster is even smaller than his friend but seems to have quite a strong little spirit. He really settled into the TTouch, and really responded to the ear strokes, seeming to enjoy a bit firmer pressure than I would have imagined he would like, particularly taking into consideration how delicate and small his ears are. I would say I am using a 2-3 pressure, instead of a 1-2. (For cats, the heaviest pressure I would generally use would be a 3 pressure. For dogs, other larger animals and humans, the pressure can be quite a bit more, depending on the creature's personal taste). I did TTouch on his head, his ears, around his mouth area, and up and down his body. I also used the damp paper towel on his face and on his tail. After I used it on his tail, he started grooming his tail all on his own.
Buster began to purr continuously, and his little purr grew pretty loud for such a little guy. Eventually he put his head down and took a little nap. After I let him stay there for a while, I put him back in his cage.
I put new food out for the two kittens and they both began eating vigorously, even though they had eaten only a relatively short time before. Many times I find that after having TTouch, the cats start to eat their food with a great deal of gusto. Here is Buster chilling out with his pal after having a good chomp.
Next I worked on a little tortoise-shell kitten in a different cage who I posted about previously. This kitten was quite fearful when I began to work on it and its black cage-mate a few days ago, but now the tortoise-shell one is completely outgoing. I took it out of the cage and, using the harness, did some TTouch on it. It wanted to move a bit, but was responding to the TTouch as well. It was great to have the harness so that I could let it move a bit but still have it contained and keep it on my lap or on a table. Eventually I put it back in its cage, and it started to meow very loudly. This was because it wanted me to take it back out.
It was lonely because earlier in the day, its cage-mate had to go to the vet to be checked out. So we decided to give it some new friends, and put it in with the very friendly orange brothers. At first the orange guys were growling and hissing and began to swat. I opened the cage and began to do TTouch on the most friendly of the orange guys who is always in the front of the cage. The shyer orange guy quickly came forward to receive TTouch, and the kitten then pushed to the front of the cage so it could receive TTouch as well, so I was doing the best I could to touch all three, alternating between them, keeping my hands on at least two at a time.
After a while I closed the cage, and went to get the kitten's food from its cage, and put it in its new cage. The kitten has been eating wet food and the adults have been eating dry food. The funniest thing happened next. The two orange cats began eating the kitten's wet food and the kitten began to crunch away on the orange boys' dry food. You can see this in the photo below. I was encouraged that the three were in good harmony with each other at that point. Something else that is rather humorous it that the kitten has a little orange tabby fur at the end of its tail, as though the tail was dipped in the orange brother's fur.
Monday, September 21, 2009
In my last posts I showed you how I made the kitten harness on a beanie baby, and here it is in action on a real live kitten. Above is one of my tiny friends receiving some raccoon touches from me while I hold on with the shoelace harness. I had to wash her little face again because she had just eaten so I cleaned it off with a damp paper towel, which I put my finger inside so that I could clean her a bit and then do a few TTouches through the paper towel. After that was done, I used a tiny makeup brush that is for brushing out eyelashes and I was able to brush her fur a bit. I did raccoon touches on her head and raccoon touches and chimp touches on her body. She is a very tiny kitty! She settled right in and at one point put her little head down to take a snooze, making a little miniature purr.
Below you see that while I was doing TTouch on the kitten, one of the dogs also decided to take a snooze. I am sitting up on a table. The kitten is peering over the edge of my leg to see the dog, and is held safely as I have her secured with the little harness.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Hi folks, the day before yesterday I arrived at the shelter and saw these little punk-looking kitties waiting for me, with dirty little matted faces. Apparently they had just eaten and hadn't learned how to wash up after eating! Another volunteer and I washed them up using warm damp cloths, and they were then clean and seemed more comfortable after that. I also did TTouch on all four (one is behind the three others in this picture of these kittens using the little kitten harness I described in my previous posts, and it worked very well to contain them gently. I think they felt more safe being contained this way when they were out of the cage, as there are grownup cats and dogs roaming around. I did raccoon touches on their head, around their ears, and around their mouths, and very gentle ear slides. On their bodies I did raccoon touches, baby chimp touches and abalone touches. As I mentioned previously, the little black and white one, who is the smallest, became the most relaxed and took a little kitten nap, purring with the tiniest little vibration. When I put them back in their cages, they continued to cluster at the front of the cage. They are so eager for contact.
I also worked with the two slightly older kittens who are in a separate cage. They are still shy but are not hissing when I approach them now. Once I touch them, for the most part, they settle into the touch now instead of moving away.
Below are two orange brothers who are lovely and very appealing. One boy is extremely friendly, hanging out in the front of the cage and talking to people who pass by and he began to touch me with his paw while I was working on a cat in adjacent cage. His brother is shy and generally hangs out in the back of the cage (he's the one you see on the left here). Of course I had to see what would happen with a little TTouch. I reached to the back of the cage toward the shy brother. When I touched his head, he was a bit shy at first but once he figured out that the touch made him feel good, he began to rub against me for more, so I continued to do TTouch on his head and then did some strokes down his body with the back of my hand, along with some chimp touches. Eventually he came from the back of the cage to the front of the cage alongside his brother as you see here, and both cats were rubbing against my hand. They are both such charming fellows, I am sure they will have a home soon, together. If you want to see these guys and the rest of the gang, they at Social Tees (http://socialtees.com/) in NYC, come down and check them out!
Friday, September 18, 2009
So here is the second part of the clip showing how to make a temporary harness to use on kittens so that you can do TTouch on them and still have them gently secured so that they don't squiggle away. Another nice thing about this harness that you will see is that by simply pulling the end of it, it unravels and you can take it off easily without worrying about the little kitty getting hung up in it. Fit it so that it is close to the body but not tight. When putting it on an actual live kitty, you need to do the putting on of it fairly quickly. I suggest practicing on a little stuffed animal many times, until you are really comfortable with it. before trying it on a live animal. And please ignore how FAST I do the little TTouches in the demo, I rarely do them that quickly! I just wanted to show how you could hold the harness with one hand and do TTouches with the other. When doing TTouch on kittens, in general a rather short session is good but I have to say that these particular kittens responded to TTouch so well, especially in my first sessions with them, that I did longer sessions. The little black and white kitten actually fell asleep while I was doing TTouch on it, purring the tiniest little purr.
During the TTouch training I did with Kathy Cascade a few months ago, she showed us how to make a temporary harness using rope. When I was working with the kittens yesterday at Social Tees, I decided to try a mini-version of this using shoelaces, which worked quite well. Here is part one of a video demo of how to do this (I am demonstrating on a stuffed doggie, but you can get the idea!). See the next blog post for part two, as there is a size limit for the movie clips.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Yesterday I went again to Social Tees to work on some of the new critters, especially the very young kittens. I was happy to hear that they were all eating heartily, that is always a good sign. My two tiniest new little friends came right to the front of the cage, especially this little white one. She seemed to have more energy today than yesterday, and was eager for me to take her out, so I did. I sat her on a little towel on my lap as I sat on a table, and positioned myself with my left hand around her chest area and my other hand was doing TTouch on her, so I could easily contain her in case I needed to quickly contain her. Again, she was very receptive to raccoon touches around her head area, including around the mouth area, and very gentle ear strokes. I did raccoon touches, baby chimp touches, and sometimes abalone touches down either side of her back. These all seemed quite soothing. When she got restless, as though she had enough, I put her back in my cage. The funny thing was that she wanted to come right back out with me again! I did, but not until I had Ttouched her other three friends in the same cage. The little black and white kitten below is the second extra-tiny one (I think he is the tiniest of all) and he came out with me second. He settled right in for some raccoon touches on his head and body, and some little ear strokes. He appeared to be quite soothed by the TTouch, and also looked at me as though he wanted to come back out when I put him back in the cage.
Then I took out one of the "larger" small kittens in the cage, a little grey tabby. This one was more active and squiggly, so I just kept it out for a short time. It responded to TTouch but was in a real mood to explore so it was safer to put it back in the cage, though it really didn't want to do that! I decided that for that kitten and its other friend, a smoky-grey kitten, it would be easier to do TTouch on them inside the cage, as I didn't want to risk them getting loose in the space. At first those two kittens seemed to be a bit confused by TTouch, as though it was a new way of being touched and new way of feeling, but they responded to it well and would come back to me if I took my hand away. Later I took the two extra-tiny ones out again for some more TTouch. Below you see three of the four (the tabby is behind this little clump of kittens, I think) relaxing, as the white one looks at me and wonders what I will do next.
Next to this quartet is a cage with two "larger" kittens, probably a few weeks older - a black kitten and a tortoise-shell kitten. The black one was quite shy when I first put my hand in the cage, as you will see from the picture below.
It softly hissed at me when I started to touch it but the hissing went away once I did a few strokes and raccoon touches on its head. I would work on its head for just about half a minute, give it a break, work on the other kitten and then come back to it. It had pretty much stopped the initial hissing by the time I was done. The other kitten moved away at first but settled pretty much once I began to stroke it with the back of my hand and do some TTouch on its head. After this, I worked on some other cats then later came back to these two. They seem to be gradually getting used to contact. They look a little more relaxed below. Meanwhile, today the tabby I spoke about a couple of posts got adopted today, hooray!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
All four kittens clumped together on top of each other in a kitty nap when I was done.
Below is a new cat who looks like a fully-grown version of our recently-adopted pal, Jigsaw, so we are calling him Jigsaw Jr. He even is crippled in a similar way on the same front leg, how strange is that? He was frightened when he first arrived but he relaxed quite quickly as I did some gentle TTouch and ear strokes on him.
The two youngsters below are also new and extremely friendly. The tabby has amazingly soft fur. They both received TTouch readily. The tabby seems to have a bit of trouble with its neck and balance, so we should be finding out more what that's about soon. I did some gentle TTouch on its body, very light pressure, and it kept rubbing itself against me.
The past couple of weeks there have been many adoptions at Social Tees (http://socialtees.com), seems like most of the cats there have gone to new homes, which is great. This includes a few of the more special kitties such as my tabby and white pal who is missing one of his back feet, and the little black and white kitten named Jigsaw who has a crippled front paw. We wish them well in their new homes!
The two little black and white kittens above are still there and so friendly. They come to the front of the cage and call to me when I come in. They both were so frightened when they first arrived, putting their ears back and hissing if you tried to touch them. After some careful and gradual sessions with them over the past weeks, they have become extremely social and friendly. I am sure that someone will fall in love with them soon.
Below is a gorgeous tabby who is a recent arrival. She was a little bit shy upon arrival but not aggressive in the least. I first presented the back of my hand to her and she was soon nuzzling against it, so I was able to begin some TTouch on her head and some ear strokes, then some Noah's marches down the sides of her body using the back of my hand. She started to get a bit over-excited at being touched, walking back and forth and rubbing against me, so I would give her a little break and then come back. She is very social and will make someone a very loyal companion.
Below is one of the feral cats who inhabits Social Tees. He often sits right beside me or near me while I am doing TTouch, though he is afraid of people in general. I have begun to lure him toward me with little crunchies, putting them closer and closer to me. I nearly touched him the other day. Robert said that if you give him treats that you can eventually touch him. So far he has come within inches of me but I don't want to scare him by trying to touch him too soon. We'll see what happens!
Sunday, September 13, 2009
I spent yesterday volunteering at Tavi & Friends (http://taviandfriends.org/) fundraiser and animal wellness fair in Mineola next to Best in Show Pet Resort. A bunch of my pals from TTouch trainings were there to help out as well, so we had a great time. There were people from various local animal organizations and rescue groups there, as well as a bunch of wonderful cats and a couple of dogs up for adoption. The animals were there courtesy of freeport animal shelter (http://www.freeportanimalshelter.org/), A Home at last (http://www.stfrancis.petfinder.org/) and Tavi & Friends. In the photos directly above and below are two kittens having a great time wrestling.
I did TTouch on many of the dogs who wandered by the fair. There was a very large dog who was some kind of houndlike mix who settled right down on the ground and wanted to take a nap after some abalone touches on his body and raccoon touches on his head. The founders of Tavi, Mary Bruce and Peggy Marks, and TTouchers Marge Piatak and others did TTouch on the dogs up for adoption and other dogs who came by the fair.
In the two pictures below you will see the little guy who tried very hard to come home with me yesterday. He is several months old and his name is Andy. He called to me from his cage, and when I opened it he was pleased to receive ear strokes, Noah's march down the sides of his body and chimp touches. He kept nuzzling against me and so I took him out and held him for a bit, continuing some chimp touches while I did that. He's a very loving little guy and I'm sure he will find a great home soon.
Here he is again below. The pictures are blurry but sometimes that is how I feel when I am doing TTouch, like everything is a little dreamlike and fuzzy and cozy. This is also how these animals appear to me sometimes in my dreams, which they are doing more and more often.
Below is a tiny little kitten who was being bottle-fed every two hours by the kind people from the rescue organization who had taken him in. It was amazing to do the tiniest little raccoon touches on his head and to lightly touch his ears.
If you are interested in adopting any of the animals pictured above, please contact the organizations listed at the top of this post.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
A while back at Social Tees (http://socialtees.com) I had tried working on the lovely calico cat above (this picture is from several weeks ago), with limited success. She was just so afraid. First I did some air touches with the wand with an ace bandage wrapped around the end, keeping about 6 inches away from her body. This seemed to be calming for a few sessions with her, but eventually she decided she did not like the wand and swatted at it, hissing etc. I decided to leave her alone and did some Reiki on her for several sessions, which I had been advised was a good idea by my friend, animal communicator Eileen Garfinkel (http://dreamsofamelia.com). She still often lies with her head towards the back of the cage but sometimes started facing forward, and I began to open the cage and talk to her, without touching her. Finally I just went ahead and did some TTouch on her head with my hand, which she was fine with for a short while. I told Robert at Social Tees what had happened, and this was the funny moment - he said he had been petting her already. I think I had been afraid to even try for a while because of her body language. Anyway, the same day I went back and tried some more, and she began to purr. On subsequent days, I have been able to do short sessions with her, simply doing TTouch on her head and ears, as she still gets over-stimulated and will start to swat. I look forward to working on her more.
The little grey tabby darling above is a kitty I have been working on patiently, gradually and quietly, and yesterday she came more fully out of her shell than I have ever seen.
She has been reluctant about eating so I brought some tasty wet food for her to try, and she was very happy about munching away on that. As she came forward to eat, I began doing Noah's march with the back of my hand, gentle zigzags and chimp touches on her body. She responded very well to these, which I did all with a very light pressure. Then I took a jelly scrubber, which is often used for doing TTouch, and used it to brush her. As she is a kitten, her fur is quite short and close to the skin, so the rubber brush was perfect for her and she responded very well to it. I was able to get a lot of loose hair off her, which I think helped her feel more confident as well. I gave her a break and then came back to her several times during my session at Social Tees yesterday, working on her little by little. She looked very comfortable and stayed at the front of the cage for the rest of the day while I was there. I am crossing my fingers and hoping this was one of those lovely types of breakthroughs when the cat stays out of its shell - which tells me they are feeling more confident and comfortable, and increases their chances of adoption as well. Here's hoping!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Outside of Social Tees today, I ran into Lulu, the dog pictured above, who was recently adopted from Social Tees http://socialtees.com. She was being walked by her former foster mom, and she looks great - she's about twice as big as she was when she arrived at Social Tees. It was great to see her, she jumped into my arms and gave me a kiss!
There's a full house at Social Tees, a few dogs and many cats, in every color, size and shape, all up for adoption. There have been a lot of adoptions lately, and some new animals coming in to fill their spots. Among other animals, the grey cat who always liked to sit on the refridgerator was adopted. I wish her well in her new home! Also adopted were two little black kittens who were very bonded and went to a friend of a friend of mine who was specifically seeking two black kittens. A perfect match!
The dear cat pictured below has been a little shy with me, but I found that a treat changed her attitude. I had brought in some extra-yummy canned food to tempt a cat who has not had much of an appetite, and I had some left over so I gave it to this little cat. She was very appreciative, and let me more readily do TTouch on her after the food, and then has been more friendly with me the days I have been there since. I do gentle TTouch first on her head and ears, then very soft abalone touches, chimp touches or Noah's march with the back of my hand on her body. She is very delicate in size and very sensitive, in addition to being shy, so I use light pressure. Doesn't she have a pretty face?
The gorgeous cat below was brought to us recently in a carrier, and she was terrified, so before we transferred her to a cage, I did very gentle TTouch on her head with a feather, which calmed her down a great deal. She got scared again when we transferred her, but has quickly become very friendly. The first time I went back to do TTouch on her in her cage, I opened the cage and softly called to her. She came shyly forward and bumped her head against my hand. I began to do a little TTouch on her head, giving frequent breaks, letting her come back to me for more. That way we quickly built up trust, and I was soon able to do some Noah's march w/the back of my hand, some hair slides on her nice long fur and some connected chimp touches down her body. She has a very dear personality and seems SO wanting to go home with a nice person soon.
Below is my pal who I have been working on for a while who is missing part of one of his hind legs. He doesn't have a name yet, so for the time being, I'm going to call him Joey. I connected with him right away and whenever he sees me, he calls to me for TTouch. He is quite sensitive on his lower back, probably because it is hard for him to walk without his hind foot, but I have been able to do some TTouch on there in increasing amounts as I work with him. The past couple of times I used a jelly scrubber to brush him and to do some TTouches on him. He had a couple of small mats in his fur in his lower back area which I was able to untangle w/the jelly scrubber, plus it was a great way to brush him gently in that sensitive area. He responded very well to it, and lately when he sits up, I have noticed that he sits very evenly on both legs, it is very cute because he sits up so straight and tall. But of course, in addition to being cute, it is lovely to see him in a more balanced position. I believe the TTouch is giving him better awareness of his lower back and hindquarter area.
The little cat below is quite a character, as you can see. I have to be slow and easy with this cat, as it can easily get over-stimulated and start to swat, though it appears to crave the contact so much. I have been doing some TTouch on him using a paintbrush, some with a feather, and a bit of touch with my hand, which I mostly do on his head using the back of my hand. When I feel him getting revved up and about to swat, I stop and give him a break, and either wait a bit before going back to him or work on another cat for a while then come back to him. As you can see, this cat has a lot of personality and is very appealing, it just feels like he needs to figure out how his energy level can come down so he can receive the touch that he seems to crave.
Below is my darling little kitten friend - as my friend Este, who volunteers in Social Tees as well (and took this picture after I had done TTouch on this kitten), says, she always looks like she's sunbathing. She loves to lie on her side or on her back all stretched out when she takes her naps. She was shy when I first started to work on her, and is still a little shy but much more receptive to touch. She is very tiny, so I do gentle raccoon touches on her head, gentle ear strokes, and then very slow abalone touches on her body.
The big boy below just arrived last time I was there, and was such a good sport. Right after having the stress of being transported in a carrier, then put into the cage, he was still very friendly. I didn't want to overwhelm him, so I just spoke to him very softly, reassuring him that he was going to be all right and I stroked his ears and did some raccoon touches on his head. I look forward to seeing him again soon. He looks like he could be the brother to the other handsome orange and white boy there.