I went again to work on the Mayor's Alliance cats thru Tavi & Friends' TTouch-in-Rescue Program. There were some new faces and I had a wonderful adventure with one of the cats I have been working on for some time.
First, I'll talk about some of the old and new cats. Below is Marty. He is still a hesitant guy, he comes right to the front as though he wants contact but when I open the cage he goes to the back as though he is afraid of it. He can swat a bit when he is not in the mood, so I did a couple of short sessions on him, just touching his head and a few touches on his body with the back of my hand. I tried touching him with a feather but he batted it away. I tried to see if I could play with him with one feather and touch him with another but that seemed to irritate him, so I gave him a break and then came back to do some minimal touches with my hand.
Next is the fellow below named Jack Black. He is extremely friendly and couldn't wait for me to open his cage to give him some TTouch. I did TTouch on his head and strokes down his body. He is quite a relaxed, comfortable guy to begin with and really responded to all types of touch that I tried with him.
Below is Zoe - she is a very particular girl and can get over-stimulated easily, so I simply did TTouches on her head and when I saw her tail start to switch, I gave her a break. I did this a couple of times with her. I am hoping that over time, we can work in longer and longer sessions with her.
Below is Daddy, he is a gentle, sweet guy and was watching while I did TTouch on some of the others, poking his nose thru the hole in his cage to see when I would come to him. He was very receptive to ear strokes, connected touches down his body, etc. what a sweet soul this guy has.
I also did TTouch on Samantha, the little black kitty with the white tip on her tail. She just gets more and more friendly and interactive with every visit, and I went back to her a couple of times as she kept waiting for me at the front of the cage.
Now for the great news of the day - and this had to do with Isabel, the gorteous tortoiseshell cat pictured below (in the first pic she is on the top level, trying to play with Samantha below).
Up until today, I had only been able to do minimal touch on her with my hand, always through the holes in her cage. Something different and unexpected happened today though.
Today I began with her, starting out using two long-handled brushes that are probably used for basting, one I used to get her attention a bit and then the other I used to begin to do circles and strokes on her body. This is the same type of brush I used with Louie in the shelter, but this time I used two brushes instead of one, and that was the approach which helped me to break through with Isabel.
Isabel would touch one brush with her paw and then I would do circles and strokes on her body with the brush. she was a bit hesitant at first but then really settled into it. I worked my way up to strokes on her head, and then with my other hand, worked my way up the handle of the brush til I was touching her with my hand. I was able to do abalone touches and strokes on her body and she REALLY settled into it, I think she was purring. I think she surprised herself :) it really was lovely. I could see her whole body seem as though it was breathing a huge SIGH and her body really spread out. This was the first time I have truly seen her RELAXED. after working with her for quite a while, I gave her a break.
After working on a few other cats, I went back to her again. She was looking right at me and wondering what was going to happen. It was too much to come in there with the hand right at first so I started out with the brush again and then went right to the hand and was doing ear strokes and raccoon touches on her forehead. hooray! You see her below with the sweet, inquisitive look that she can have. I look forward SO much to working with her again and thank her so much for trusting me enough to let us both have this lovely experience.