(Above: the green plastic you see on the right is a back scratcher. Sometimes I would initiate contact with the back of the hand of the back scratcher, and, if he was comfortable, I would then transition to using my hand.)
I feel honored to work with animals every day, and each one has so much to teach me. But it is a particularly special honor when an animal who is generally too frightened of humans to connect with them feels comfortable enough to let me into their world.
Quinn was a beautiful cat at BARC Shelter. He was dumped at the shelter some time ago. Like many of the animals at the shelter, we didn't know exactly what his past was, but he was extremely frightened of people. I worked with him very gradually, just a little bit at a time. Most often I used tools such as paintbrushes, feathers, back scratchers and the like in order to connect with him, but there were times when he was comfortable with me touching him directly.
I would feel the connection even if we weren't literally making contact. If he did not seem in the mood to be touched, I would often sit outside his cage and send him Reiki energy from there, and I would feel him respond, relaxing and curling up to take a Reiki nap.
Below, you see me TTouching him using the back of my hand, which is more gentle and less threatening than the front surface of the hand.