Sunday, April 1, 2012
Quinn Reminds me to B-R-E-A-T-H-E......
Quinn is a very handsome big cat at BARC Shelter. He is very frightened of human contact, but little by little he is becoming less afraid and learning that people can approach him in a gentle and non-threatening way.
I have been working with him for some months, using both TTouch and Reiki. I find that it is important with him to keep varying the tools that I use. Sometimes he will decide that he is not fond of whatever surface I am using to touch him, so I need to try something else.
Most recently he has been coming right up to the door of the cage to greet me, even looking as though he's contemplating stepping onto my lap (which I have been visualizing him doing).
But then he seems to get scared, perhaps swatting at me and then moving back in his cage again. I stopped trying to touch him for a while, just sitting next to his cage and sending him Reiki from outside his cage, which he really responds to, closing his eyes and becoming very relaxed.
I wanted to try using a tool I had not used before with him, so I got one of those string toys that have a long plastic wand for a handle, and just used the wand part. But before touching him with it, I began to do some very deep breathing. Sometimes I can get a bit nervous when I touch him, even with a tool, as he can suddenly swat, which can be a bit unnerving, even if he does not use his claws (which he often doesn't).
So I began doing deep, relaxing breaths, feeling Reiki energy coming out of my hands. And I began to visualize stroking him with the wand and him relaxing with it. Then I took three deep breaths, and on the third one, I stroked his back very gently one time, but without hesitation. And sure enough, instead of getting spooked and swatting at me, he remained lying down and relaxed.
I got into a pattern of three deep breaths, then on the third one just, again just doing one stroke down his back.
I think we were both a bit surprised! I didn't want to push the issue, so I stopped when I started to see his body language going in the direction of overstimulation.
Once again, he has reminded me of how important it is to stay truly in the moment with animals, and to always keep my mind open to trying something new.
Thank you Quinn! I will be so interested to try this again with you and to see what can happen next. xox