Friday, January 28, 2011

TTouch with the Mayor's Alliance Cats Jan. 24: Tango, Mittens and Brie

When I went to work with the Mayor's Alliance cats through Tavi & Friends' TTouch-in-Rescue program, a bunch of the cats had been fostered or adopted, so there were not too many cats there. This gave me an opportunity to do longer sessions with the cats, which was great. In a separate blog post, I discussed my work with Pattie, who is really coming around. Below are posts about the other cats.
Tango is a new young kitty who is extremely friendly. Right away he started leaning his head against me, leaning his whole body into me, purring the whole time. As he is quite energetic, I wanted to use touches that were on the more calming side, meaning touches using more of the surface of the hand and/or the back of the hand, so I did a lot of chimp TTouches (circular touches using the back of the fingers), llama TTouches (which use the back of the hand) and abalone TTouches (which use the front of the whole hand). I also started out at a rather medium tempo but then slowed down the tempo of the TTouches as I went, for a calming effect.

When I let him out of the cage to walk around a bit, I noticed that he has something going on with his back legs. He can get around fine, but he sort of swivels his hips to move his hind legs forward, rather than flexing and using the legs in a usual cat way. After the session, I found out that this may be due to a neurological issue.

Mittens is a young, small kitty, looks to be about five months old. She seemed slightly hesitant at first but quickly got extremely friendly and comfortable. I did raccoon TTouches on her forehead, clouded leopard TTouches and chimp TTouches on her body, as well as Noah's marches (strokes which go straight down the body) with the back surface of my hand. She was comfortable and rubbing her head and body into my hand within a very short time. Again, I was trying to slow the TTouches down a bit as I went, for a more soothing effect on the cat.

Brie is a sweet cat but can tend to get over-stimulated. I think that part of that is because she gets so excited to be let out of her cage, that she is more in a mood to run around and play than she is to be touched.

So with Brie I let her run around and play for a bit, then did some TTouches using the back of my hand (llama TTouches), and also did some circular TTouches using a back scratcher, which is a great tool to use if you have a cat who can get over-stimulated, as it provides some distance between you and the cat and lessens the chance of you being scratched if they suddenly get over-stimulated and swat or decide the scratcher is a toy.

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