Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Taking it Sllllow and Easy with a Shy Cat: TTouch and Reiki with Krishna, Nov. 2
Krishna is a beautiful black cat who is generally very afraid of anyone except for his people, Rebecca and Tim. I have worked with him off and on over the past months and he has gotten progressively comfortable with me, though I still have to give him the time he needs to warm up to me and go very very slowly as far as contact goes - mostly touching him with a paintbrush, or, at most, a few seconds of TTouch with my hand on his head area.
Rebecca contacted me recently, as she wanted me to have a session with Krishna and also to cat sit for a couple of days with him. She said that after their move to a larger apartment, Krishna is doing better - that he seems more comfortable in general, and doesn't seem so terrified when other people come over -- that, in fact, he can even seem OK sometimes with other people around, which is great.
I hadn't seen him for a few months so really wanted to take it slow. I started out by sending him Reiki from a short distance away. After a few minutes, he settled down and started to get somewhat more comfortable. Then I started to do some TTouches on his head using a paintbrush - just a little at a time. Little by little he became more comfortable, stretching out his body and rolling a bit on the floor. It seemed he was also more comfortable today because Rebecca sat near us (instead of across the room, or further away) and occasionally would pet him or reassure him, as sometimes with me he will be very comfortable, but then suddenly get unsure and frightened. We agreed that will probably be a good strategy when she is getting him used to another person, and that the person should touch him with a tool instead of their hand at first.
I gave Krishna breaks as I went along, so any tension building up had a chance to dissipate. Today I found I was able to incorporate TTouches on his body with the paintbrush, going from the head to the body and back again. This was the first time I was able to do this, so this was great progress. As I was doing the TTouches, I was also consciously letting Reiki flow through both hands.
I tried using a thin dowel about a foot and a half long w/a bit of Ace bandage wrapped around it, and he was pretty comfortable as I stroked his back and rolled it a bit down his back. Again, it felt like real progress for him to be comfortable with this. I also tried TTouching him with the back of the hand of a plastic back scratcher, but this seemed to scare him a bit, I think the size of the tool was too big to him.
Later on, after Rebecca and I spoke for a bit, Krishna really seemed to know that this meant that they would be going away soon, so he started to get pissy with Rebecca, trying to attack her feet a bit. Then he went over to his blanket on the couch, one of his cozy places. After he was there for a few minutes, I went and sat down on the couch, a couple of feet away from him and began to send him Reiki. I could see him start to calm down again, grooming a bit.
Then I began to do some TTouches on him, using the paintbrush. I could see him being calmed by these, so I slowly worked my hand down the paintbrush and began to do some raccoon TTouches on his head directly using my hand. Occasionally I would go back to using the paintbrush if he seemed like he was starting to get a bit unsure. He started relaxing into the TTouches done with my hand, and so I did some more around his head area, going down the back of his head and around the back of his neck area. He seemed quite relaxed there, til he suddenly became unsure and jumped off the couch - so that taught me that next time I need to keep this part (doing TTouches with my hand) a bit shorter - but I felt that we made really great progress today. I do believe that, given time, he will get more and more used to contact with people other than Rebecca, it will just take continued time and patience on everyone's part. Rebecca said that she has been regularly doing TTouches with Krishna, and now Tim is also regularly doing TTouches with Krishna as well, so this is all good. In addition to the TTouches being calming for Krishna, they will help him to be more comfortable, as he has a congenital hip issue. So I'm sure it will maximize his potential for comfort and mobility as well.
Look forward to seeing you soon, little guy, for some cat-sitting, Reiki and more TTouch!