Monday, March 5, 2012

TTouch and Reiki with the Picasso Cats: Quick Breakthrough with Cinder

I work with some of the cats from the Mayor's Alliance Picasso Veterinary Fund through Tavi and Friends' TTouch-in-Rescue program.
Working with TTouch with a frightened animal can be a gradual process, but sometimes the effect can be immediate and dramatic.
Today when I arrived, there was a new cat named Cinder. He was in a tight ball in the back of the cage, staring at me, and when I opened the cage, he growled. As I usually do when working with a new cat, I started out using a tool, in this case a back scratcher, to first make contact with him.
When I began to do little strokes and circles on his head with the back scratcher, he began to lean into it and roll on his side and then his back. The growls continued at the same time for a moment but then subsided as he became more and more comfortable.

I gave him frequent breaks, so he wouldn't get too overstimulated, then I would start again. He rubbed himself against the back scratcher, and once in a while I would slide my hand down the handle to do some TTouches on him directly with my hand, then I went back to using the back scratcher.
He got extremely cozy, and when I closed his cage to give him a longer break, if I was near where his cage was, he came to the front of his cage, looking at what I would do next.

I worked with him several times during my day there, the same thing happening each time, and he more and more easily came up to the front of the cage. One time he did get overstimulated and meow at me, but other than that, he just seemed to get more and more comfortable. I did circular TTouches and strokes first around his head, then began to work down his body a bit, then went back to the head, sometimes workking in some TTouches with my hand as well.

I took these pictures last week, and when I went to see him this week, again at first he was in the back of the cage, but when I opened his cage and he saw the back scratcher, he again rubbed into it, and very quickly I was able to transition to doing TTouch on him directly with my hands. When I was working with other cats in the room, he often was standing up at the front of his cage, as though he wanted me to come back there. He was curious of the other cats around him, instead of being frozen in fear.

Thank you Cinder, for being brave enough to trust me so quickly. xo

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