Thursday, February 24, 2011
TTouch and Reiki at BARC Shelter: Taking it Slow and Easy with Walter
Walter is a young little tabby who recently arrived at BARC shelter. He will come to the front of the cage and vocalizes as though he wants attention, but seems unsure at the same time. I proceeded very gradually with him. You can see from the picture above that he is quite timid.
Before he was checked in and brought into the main cat room, I saw that he looked frightened, so I stood with my body sideways to his cage and offered him Reiki from outside his cage. Immediately I saw his body relax and his eyes closed in a restful position. So I felt as though I had already established a bit of connection with him after he was checked in by the vets and was placed in a cage in the cat adoption room.
I quietly spoke to him, and he came to the front of his cage. He rubbed his head against my hand, so I did a few circular TTouches curling my hand and using the back of my fingers (chimp TTouch), followed by a few straight strokes going down his back with the back of my hand. After this I closed his cage to give him a break.
Especially when I am first working with a frightened cat, it is most helpful and effective to work a little bit, close the cage and give them a break (I can work on another cat or cats in the meantime), then come back in a little while to work with them again. Yesterday I probably did four or five very short little sessions altogether (I have summarized what I did here).
He felt as though he was ultra-sensitive, so I decided to do some TTouches on him with a big, soft makeup brush that I had. This also gave me a little distance between me and him to make him feel safer and to make me safer if he became unsure and wanted to swat, etc.
I started out by doing little circular TTouches with the brush on top of his head and at the base of his ears, stroking out along his ears. He relaxed with this and began to close his eyes, very sweet. I paused and took the brush away from time to time to give him breaks. I started to work in strokes with the brush down his back as well, which he responded to.
After this I closed his cage and gave him a break. His response was interesting, when I would leave him alone, often he complained as though he wanted more, then would settle down a bit until I came near his cage, then he would call to me to come to him again.
The next time I opened his cage, again he was in the front of his cage to greet me. I had worked on several other cats in the in-between time, one of them being the cat next door to him, Camilla, who always comes out to curl up on my lap. What he did next seemed like she may have inspired him or given him courage.
This time I opened the cage door, and he gingerly put one front paw on my knee, took it away, then the other paw, the slowly crawled out onto my lap to settle there. I put my hands on his brachial or "key" chakra (actually two energy portals, one on each side in the shoulder area) and offered him Reiki energy, trying to keep my energy flow from being too intense for him. He calmed right down and settled into my lap. I didn't keep my hands there too long, not wanting to overwhelm him. But I did feel my hands magnetized to his shoulders when they were resting there, the energy pulsing into the chakras. I also did a little TTouch on him there. He settled there for a few minutes, then suddenly meowed loud like he had had enough. He did a hiss as well, but no swatting or biting. At this point I tipped my legs towards his cage, and he went back in there to rest.
A little later, as he was meowing to me again, I offered him Reiki outside of his cage, and he got quite relaxed, as you see here.
Thank you Walter, I look forward to working with you again soon and will keep on taking it slow and easy!