Thursday, October 1, 2009

Jigsaw Sr. and pals at Social Tees

Hi folks, above is a picture of my recent pal, Jigsaw Sr. Isn't he handsome? The paw that is draped over the side of the shelf is the one which he doesn't use. He has been very responsive to all the touches I have been doing on him, though he still seems to be more sensitive around his lower back and back leg on the left side, which makes sense as this side has to work harder as the front part of that side does not function properly. I have been continuing to do TTouches on his head, down both sides of his back and strokes and circles down all his legs. Then I make little circles with his toes and do raccoon touches on his paws, around the pads and on the top of his foot, to the extent I am able to reach everything. He signals when he has had enough when he goes up to his little shelf and starts chomping away on his food. He really seems to enjoy the touch and relaxes right into it except for a few sensitive areas.

Above is a picture of me doing TTouch on Buster, one of the teeny tiny kittens, and if you look above left you will see Jigsaw Jr. right in the front of the cage, watching my every move. Very interesting! and if you look closely you can see that I have the little shoestring harness on Buster so that I can hold him securely while I do TTouch on him.

Buster really relaxes into the TTouch, as I do little raccoon touches on his head, ear strokes (which I have been doing every day on these little guys as they came in with kitty colds, which fortunately they seem to be on the road to recovery from), then little chimp touches down each side of his back. Sometimes I will do a few abalone touches on the body. You can see that in the case of these tiny guys, my hand covers nearly the whole body -- and sometimes the big circles of the abalone touch can be comforting. You can see from the photo part of why I use the little harness below (a dog), though the dog seems to be receiving some of the calm energy of TTouch and is taking a nap.

Above is Buster's little friend, Fiona, who is looking much more bright-eyed than she did a few days ago, which is great. She also comes running to the front of the cage to be taken out when I come in the shelter. She is more squiggly than Buster, so I start out by doing the touches at a quicker tempo which is where her energy is, then gradually slowing them down, and that usually will relax her into a more sleepy state and she settles in on my lap.

Above are two kittens who came in a few days ago. They are small, but look huge compared to Buster and Fiona, they are probably 3-4 times as big. This photo was taken a few days ago when they first came in and they were quite shy, flinching and pulling away when I reached to them. The white kitten would hiss, but stopped hissing when I touched her. I started out by alternating from one to the other, just doing a few little touches on the head, then doing some gentle strokes on the ears, gradually increasing the strength of the ear stroke. It turned out that both kittens responded to rather firm pressure of the ear stroke, maybe between 2 and 3. It is best to start out light and then gradually increase, to see what feels most comfortable to the cat.

I am now able to easily pick up both these kittens and to do TTouch on them either in or out of the cage. Initially they still might pull away a bit, but once I begin the TTouch they are very responsive to it. Above you see both the grey and the white kitten, out of hiding and looking more confident (don't you love the two different colored eyes of the white kitten?). Patience is really key with scared cats and kittens, and sometimes you have to start with very short bursts of TTouch (a few seconds) but you can do a number of these little bursts within a session, alternating from one cat to another, giving them a break and leaving them alone for a bit then coming back to them. If you're in NYC, come by Social Tees ( and have a look!

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