Saturday, January 30, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Recently we have had several cats come in that were just a few of many that came from a hoarder - the cats were split up amongst a bunch of rescue groups in NY. The three cats which came to us do not seem in terrible physical condition but are extremely stressed. We have two black ones in one cage and one who looks like a Russian Blue in another cage.
The Russian Blue, who I am calling Starling for the time being, is rather thin and was frozen in the back of his cage. His body felt thin and I thought he probably was not eating as well, so I was ready with some wet food and some sliced turkey which I planned to give him after I did some TTouch work on him. I started out doing some raccoon touches around his ears and head, on his forehead area, and doing some ear strokes. Little by little I began to do some connected clouded leopard touches down his body as well. Little by little he began to move a bit, and even to rub himself against my hand. He still was wanting to be at the back of the cage, but he wanted me to continue to touch him so I did for a while, working on his head and his body. I could see him start to breathe more easily and to have a more relaxed expression on his face. He was becoming un-frozen. Below you will see him, still in the back of his cage, but much more relaxed than when I started with him.
Then I put a bowl of wet food in his cage, and held out a little piece of turkey, holding it near his nose. At first he looked as though he wouldn't take it, but then he began to lick and nibble at it. Suddenly it seemed that he realized he was really hungry, and he came forward to eat some more turkey and then wet food out of his bowl. It was such a pleasure to see him feeling more relaxed, and relaxed enough to eat. The next day when I went in, we did the same thing and it took very little convicing to get him to eat again, which was great, and he was much more comfortable being touched than he had been at the beginning of the day before. And yesterday, while I was touching him, he began to come forward and rub himself against my hand. He also seems more relaxed in general in his cage, and is not frozen in one position, but will move around, look around at what is happening, etc. Below you will see me working with Starling, doing ear strokes, hair slides, little circles around his head and mouth area. Sometimes I need to improvise and use whatever part of my hand is available -- for example, you will see me using my thumb sometimes to do little circles around his head and mouth area. I am doing the touches
a bit more quickly with him than I do sometimes. I usually try to meet their energy where they are in the moment and then, if I want to relax them more, I slow the touches down. Here, he seemed kind of excited to come forward and make contact. I probably began to slow the touches down somewhat as I continued (after the video).
The two black cats, one larger, one smaller, were in much the same frozen condition in the beginning. I had very quick progress with the larger black cat, who now will respond to me and come forward right away. The little one is still fairly stiffly in hunched position, but by doing TTouch I did get her to relax her back some, and I felt her body spread out a bit more as I worked on her. Her ears are relaxed, and she even let me work around her mouth. I plan to take in some sliced turkey today to see if I can get her to eat it. She may be eating at night when things are quiet, but we want to make sure she is eating.
We also got in a couple of very terrified gray kittens, maybe a few months old. One was more afraid than the other. I began by doing very small, light circles on the head of the most fearful kitten. She started out by hissing at me but as I continued with a few circles, I could see her relax a bit more. The other cat must have been receiving some contact relaxation, because as I did this, he went to his food bowl and began to eat. By the end of the session, I worked my way up to doing TTouch directly with my hands on the head of the less fearful kitten, and was able to see the more fearful one sit in a more relaxed position. At one point, I could visibly see her let go of her breath and begin to breathe in a more relaxed manner. This is always so touching (no pun intended!) to see this happen. I wish all of these cats well. As always, if you are in NYC and want to come by and visit some of these animals in person, please feel free. More info is at http://socialtees.com/.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
One particularly moving experience which I had recently:
There was a Russian blue cat which we had in the shelter whose health suddenly took a mysterious nose dive, her primary symptom being very labored breathing, which told us we needed to get her to the vet. Unfortunately the vet found that she had congestive heart failure and massive cancer inside her body, so they needed to euthanize her. I was very sad for this cat in so many ways - sad that her owners had given her up, probably knowing that she was very sick, sad that the cat must have felt so alone. She had such a very sweet, friendly personality, despite whatever difficulties she had been through.
The night following her passing, she came to me as I was half-asleep, though she came to me as a fuzzy little kitten, but with the same sweet face. She was surrounded with an aura of light. She told me that she was happy and free now, and not to worry. Then she scampered back off into the light. I send thanks to her so much for visiting me from the other side to tell me this. Animals can teach us so much about life, about being in the moment and about treasuring each moment, whether here or in the spirit world.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Here he is surrounded by two of his siblings who are nearly ringwormo-free now, and below is a clip of them. TTouch is really wonderful to incorporate when having to do various procedures with animals, and these cats were really a case in point. The first day they came in, I had to bathe them all in a medicated bath to help clean them and soothe the ringworm. While I was bathing them, I was massaging their ears, doing abalone and clouded leopard touches down their body and legs, which helped to counteract their squiggliness at getting wet. And once we got to the towel-drying, they seemed to enjoy this and began to purr, as I was incorporating touches as I was drying them off.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Jimmy Girl is a lovely young cat who came to us several months ago as a semi-feral kitten, and would hiss when you came near her at first. I called her Jimmy til I found out she was actually a girl, so Jimmy Girl became her name.
I worked on her a lot from the very beginning and we quickly formed a very lovely bond. It is still taking her a while to trust other people, but she is getting there little by little. Here you see a short video of me doing TTouch on her. As you can see, sometimes she pulls away but then she still wants the contact so she will paw me to encourage me to continue. Many times when I first open the cage she still goes to the back of the cage but once I touch her she begins to purr and rub herself against my hand.
I actually did TTouch on her for quite a while after I took this video, doing little raccoon touches on her forehead and around her mouth area, using a very light pressure, as she is a sensitive little girl. She comes to the front of her cage and watches when I am working on cats in other cages near her. Sometimes shy cats do this, as though they really long for contact, though they are not always ready to be physically touched.
She was adopted recently along with another cat but was brought back a couple of days ago because she was more timid than her adopters had expected, I think (though they had been told she was shy). She definitely remembered me when she came back, and actually it seemed that the process of her being with some other people had made her slightly less shy altogether. I am so happy that Social Tees is a no-kill shelter so I have time to work on her until she is ready to be adopted to a forever home.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
I used some Reiki on two sweet tiny calicos the past two days who were in very bad shape. They were adult cats but appeared to have been starved into a very tiny size. There was no doubt that I could feel them absorbing the Reiki and that it made them more comfortable. The smaller of the two cats climbed onto my leg and just settled there for the longest time. I could feel heat pulsating from my hands and energy passing back and forth from my hands to the cat's body. I literally felt a shift in the cat where she grew more comfortable and settled right down. The other larger cat was in a weaker state but I could feel a more peaceful vibration from her after doing Reiki on her for quite a time.
Unfortunately, they ended up having to be put to sleep as they had gotten a bad virus on top of being in a very weak and emaciated state, and in the end they were not able to survive. I shed a lot of tears for them when I found this out from the vet today. I felt so much sorrow for them being abandoned by their owners and who knows what else happened to them. But I can take some comfort in thinking that I was able to give them some comfort in the last days of their lives. The animals also received a lot of love from the people in the vet's office and others in the shelter, including my dear friend Jordyn who helped me do subcutaneous hydration on the cats. I spoke to the smaller cat in my mind today. She told me that she is all right now and that her sister was ok too, that they were peaceful now and they thanked me. I thank them for all they taught me as well, and send them so much love.
In doing the work that I do with animals, it feels as though each animal I touch with my hands touches me and a part of them will live forever in my heart.
Monday, January 4, 2010
Many times in the shelter there are events which happen which seem rather dreamlike or surreal. I have also noticed that some cats seem to make themselves more visible at the moment when they are really ready to be adopted.
At Social Tees Shelter, some of the cats are loose in the space, and there are a bunch of spaces and levels above eye-level for them to go if they want to hide or not be visible to people. The lovely cat pictured above had rarely been seen since it was loose in the shelter - it would appear on top of the refridgerator sometimes, or on one of the upper shelves hanging out.
Yesterday when I was in the back room of the shelter doing TTouch on some cats, this cat appeared seemingly out of nowhere and began to rub itself against me. I began to do some TTouch on the cat and it rolled right over on its back, asking me to touch its belly. I was really surprised at all this!
At this point, Robert (the shelter owner) came into the room with a couple who had been in the shelter several times but had not yet been able to decide on a cat or cats to adopt. Of course I pointed out how friendly this kitty was being, and Robert told me that when he arrived at the shelter in the morning, this cat was standing in the middle of the floor as if to say hello to him. The people who were looking to adopt a cat began to pet him and quickly fell in love with him and home he went with them.
This was such a lovely event to have happen there, particularly on an EXTREMELY cold winter day, and surprisingly enough, we had a bunch of other adoptions happen yesterday as well, both cats and dogs. I wish all these animals well in their new homes.
Friday, January 1, 2010
As we start a new year, I would like to give thanks to all the special beings in my life who teach me so much each and every day.
At the top of the list, my guy Jeffrey, for whom I am so truly grateful. I am so thankful we were able to find each other twenty years ago, it is amazing on how many levels we connect with each other. It has been and continues to be such a lovely journey together.
A big thanks to my family and friends who are so kind and understanding.
I'd love to thank all the animals who are and continue to be my teachers, especially my cat Garbanzo, pictured above. He has been such a wonderful teacher -- he is the animal who got me started with TTouch and he has taught me so much about how to be patient and understanding especially with those animals who have gotten a rough start in life. The animals in the shelter have also taught me a tremendous amount, and I need to thank them all too, the ones who have survived and thrived as well as those who needed to cross the rainbow bridge. I have learned so much about perspective, being mindful and the importance of appreciating and being in the moment.
Of course I also need to thank the people who have taught me so much about working with animals, Linda Tellington-Jones, Kathy Cascade, Debby Potts, Edie-Jane Eaton, Sheryl Berger, Amelia Kinkade, and all the wonderful people I have met in the classes I have taken.
As we start a new year, I look forward every day to learning more and to sharing what I have learned in hopes of continuing to learn more of the many ways in which we can be more compassionate and understanding to the animals in our lives.