Monday, September 24, 2012
The Adventures of Emmylou and Natalia: Discovering the Comfort of the Bed
Emmylou and Natalia are two feral cats who we adopted from BARC shelter recently. They are doing great and getting used to the apartment in a very gradual, gentle way. We had them in a cage for a couple of weeks, began to let them out gradually into the smallest room, the bedroom, and now they are in the process of getting used to the larger section of the apartment, the living room/kitchen/bathroom.
It is wonderful to see their progress, and to observe that it really makes a difference to take everything with them in small steps. In the bedroom, they were very comfortable quickly with the area they had seen a lot in the cage, which is on the floor of the bedroom, but they were not so comfortable at first going up the stairs to the platform bed in there. Every once in a while they would slowly go up the stairs and peek at the bed and then run back down. Little by little, they discovered that they could see out the window if they sat on the stairs, so that was appealing. Then one day they started running up and down the stairs to the bed over and over. Soon after that, I noticed that after they finished a play session, or if I left the apartment, they would go up to the bed and stretch out for a nap. They often groom each other as well, which is so sweet!
At first they would run back down if I started to climb the stairs to the bed, but little by little they have gotten used to that. I want them to know that it is fine for them to be up there, so I tell them that in a very calming voice. I wanted to start to connect with them when they are up there, so what I have started to do is to have most of myself on the stairs, just rest my head and arms on the bed, talking to them in a calm voice, and sending Reiki to them as I do this. They have started to relax into this process.
Natalia is most often near the edge of the bed, so it is tempting to want to reach out and touch her, but I don't want to scare her away, so I have been resisting this impulse for now. Intead, I send Reiki to both of them from where I am, and sometimes do air TTouches (do the circular TTouches in the air), speaking to them in a soft, comforting voice.
These girls are teaching me so much every day, and I am so happy to have them in my home :) It is truly a humbling and beautiful experience getting closer to them every day.