Monday, July 4, 2011

TTouch and Reiki at BARC Shelter: Update on Quinn

Hi folks, happy July 4th!

Quinn is a big grey and white cat with a big personality at BARC shelter. As with many if not most shelter cats, I feel must have gone through some serious trauma before arriving at the shelter. He seems to have some feral-ness in him, and seems to want attention but to be afraid of it at the same time, and seems to be very ultra-sensitive. He sticks his paw out of the cage to say hello, but then if you open his cage to try to touch him, he seems to be overwhelmed by a hand coming into his cage. He will sometimes swat, and, though he has never used his claws along with the swat with me, the swat is a bit unnerving because it is fast, and he also vocalizes along with the swat.

I have been working with him using a paintbrush, but thought it was time to try another texture, as he initially responded to the paintbrush but then seemed to be irritated by it. I also felt that I needed to approach him from the side of his cage instead of from the front.

So the next took I decided to try is a long feather. I did little strokes and circular touches around his head and face, working in a few strokes down the body. He immediately found these soothing, as you can see by his expression below.

I am touching him with the flat part of the feather, not the end of the feather, and using just enough pressure to move the skin around in a clockwise circle and a quarter. It is a very light touch. I stop to give him breaks frequently, and do not do too long of a session, to avoid him becoming overstimulated (which he will tell you about with a MEOW). Every once in a while I can sneak my hand in there for a few touches. I am standing to the side of his cage and putting the feather through the bars in the cage.

Using the feather with him felt like a real breakthrough, as though he was able to really settle with these touches in a way that was not possible before.

Saturday I felt another level of this breakthrough with him, as I had made him a Bach Flower remedy (a custom blend which I made of several of the essences which suit his personality and emotional state). I am trained and certified in Bach Flower essences, so I often incorporate these into the work I am doing with the animals. As I put a few drops of it into his water bowl, he started licking the dropper as though this was something he was craving or knew he needed (I washed the dropper before putting back in the bottle, which is only for him). I noticed an almost immediate shift in him -- subtle, but definitely there, as others noticed it as well. The irritatedness which I often sense in him looked like it was easing.

As I worked with him with the feather, he grew so sleepy and relaxed, it was lovely to see. I was able to work with him for a longer time than usual, and felt the relaxation to be deeper than I had seen before in him.

Much love to you Quinn, thanks for all you are teaching me on my journey, and I look forward to seeing you soon.

1 comment:

  1. So interesting and inspiring. Thank you for all you do for the animals, Sarah. We are learning from you, too!