Friday, July 31, 2009

Cats and Kittens Galore at Social Tees, and a Kiss from a Kitten!

Yesterday I was at Social Tees to do TTouch on the animals, and they have a full house there - so if you are looking to adopt a cat or dog, check them out! I had a lot of little critters to work on - so I will just mention some of them.

Below is a gorgeous long-haired orange cat. She was quite afraid, but didn't seem as though she would bite. I was able to do TTouch on her head right away, but she was more hesitant about me touching her body. I then used the wand and corn dog (ace bandage wrapped around wand) to do circles on her body and head. She was very responsive to this so I continued for a few minutes this way. I gradually worked my hand down the wand to her body, and she was much more comfortable this time when I touched her with my hand. I didn't work on her for TOO long because I didn't want to overwhelm her. I think with some quiet, careful work, she will come around pretty quickly.

The gorgeous gray cat below was very friendly. He is a very big guy and wanted to come out of the cage and into my arms shortly after I began to do TTouch on him (I couldn't let him do this as there are cats and dogs running around loose in there). I did ear strokes and raccoon touches on his head, then clouded leopard and Noah's march with thte back of my hand on his body and he was very responsive. He told me when he had enough by doing a soft swat (not with claws out).

I also worked on three kittens in one cage who I have been working on before (a b/w shorthaired kitten, a tabby kitten and a longhaired b/w kitten). The tabby kitten continues to be completely friendly and came to the front of the cage, continually rubbing itself against me and against the cage. This time, the b/w shorthaired cat, who has been coming around, started to compete for my attention, rubbing itself against me also as I was doing chimp touch and hair slides, etc on both.
I have to admit that the highlight of the day was probably when the little black and white kitten put its head through the cage door and gave me a tiny kiss!
Below you see this cat taking a refreshing drink of water.

The long-haired black and white kitten in the same cage (who you see below left) is still quite shy, but is coming along slowly, so I have to respect the pace at which it is able to go, working on it a little at a time, doing soft hair slides and llama touch on its body and raccoon touches and ear strokes on its head. You can see the tabby cat right up in front in the picture below. It really was trying to come home with me!

Another touching occurrence at Social Tees is that this dear black and white feral cat below, who is loose in there, always comes and sits by my feet as I do TTouch. Here it is, cozily cleaning itself. I wasn't sure if I would be able to touch it but it has been rubbing itself against me, so today I carefully did some gentle TTouch on it, which was quite interesting as it has trouble walking as its back end is not functioning too well, and after I did some gentle strokes down its back it started licking itself there as though it was more aware of that part of its body.
PS I also did some TTouch on the black and white dog, Ricky, who I worked on before and it does seem she is starting to walk more easily, hooray!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

2 Dogs and A Bone

Doesn't the black and white dog look as though she is smiling?

Yesterday at Social Tees, I saw the endearing sight of these two dogs and a bone resting on the floor there. I had worked on the black and white dog, named Ricky, for a while and she was ready to rest at this point. She has trouble walking as she had been kept in a cage for years (I think they said something like four years!). I did a number of things with her to hopefully increase her awareness and connect the front and back ends. I did zigzag touches and Noah's march down her back and strokes going down the front legs and the back legs. I did python legs on both the front and back legs. I also did connected clouded leopard touches going all the way down her back, and at one point just rested my hand on her lower back just to have her feel the warmth there. She was very receptive and did not appear to have any pain as I was doing this. At various points after doing some touches on her, I would have her walk a little bit to see how she was incorporating things. I'm not sure what happened exactly to her medically after being enclosed for so long, but after watching her today it appears she will gradually be able to have more balance and mobility. She is a terrific dog and has a wonderful attitude. She seems so grateful to be out of a cage and to be able to have contact with people and other animals.
I also worked on a bunch of cats as they had a whole lot of new kitties in there. The most challenging is still the calico cat who is so fearful. There were also three new little kittens who were quite scared and were hissing at first. Shortly after I began to do TTouch circles on their head with a feather, they calmed down. The black cat on the upper left and the b/w cat on the bottom were receptive to TTouch both on the head and on the body, but the one on the upper left was more scared, and so only wanted to be touched on its head at this point, so I respected its wishes. It did seem to be very calmed by circles on its head and strokes on its ears with the feather.

Below is a very handsome kitty who I also did TTouch on. He is a very friendly guy. There are a bunch of other cats there who I didn't have a chance to take pictures of, but if you are looking to adopt an animal, and are in NYC, check Social Tees out. There are a lot of dear little critters who need a home. Robert Shapiro, who runs Social Tees, gets most of his animals from the kill shelters, taking these animals off of death row, a great thing for sure.

3 Little Kittens in a Row

The other day I went to Social Tees ( to do TTouch on the animals there. I had a rough day beforehand (the details of which I won't go into right now) and was feeling quite sad, but my spirits were lifted by working on these three little adorable kittens who had recently arrived there and were scared. I did circles on their heads at first with a feather in order to get them ready for being touched by my hand, and they were quickly ready for my hand to do TTouch on them. I used a very light touch, especially with the little black kitten at the back of the cage, who was the most scared. With kittens I generally do raccoon touch on the head with just one finger, then do strokes on their ears, and often use baby chimp touch on their bodies. However, sometimes if I feel they need a calming touch using more of the hand, I will do abalone touch on them. I think both the kitties and I felt better by the time I was done :)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Noodles and Petey get in Balance

Hi folks, this past week I was working with my friend Jordyn ( and her dear dogs Petey and Noodles. Can you tell I love these dogs?
We set them up with step-in harness and double-end leashes, which we like to use in TTouch as these tools give us various options for configuring the setup to have two points of contact. This is useful especially for dogs who pull on the leash.
Petey is a long-haired mini-dachshund and Noodles is a mixture of beagle and other lovely types of dogs (seems like there must be some dachshund in there too). Both dogs are low to the ground, so the setup that works best for them is to clip the leash to the two side clips on the harness. This setup is also good for very small dogs, as we saw in the Santa Fe training with the little
Chihuahua Mr. Brown. You can see this setup most easily in the picture of Petey below. One can stroke one side of the leash and then the other if the dog starts to pull, or sometimes spreading the arms further apart can work as well.

Jordyn and I each walked one dog at first, walking side by side, and then switched, so each would get used to being with me. Both of these dogs can be pullers, and Noodles can decide he doesn't want to move sometimes, but I have to say that they were both quite cooperative on our walk. When Noodles did try to stop, I gently pulled the leash and called to him, and after a minute he did come along. Below you see a picture of me with both dogs. The leash we used for Noodles may be a little wide for him so we are going to try a thinner leather leash, and we need to tighten his harness a bit for next time, but both dogs responded very positively to having this leash setup. Below you see me with both dogs. Don't worry, my right hand does not have the leash wrapped around, that is a scrunchy around my wrist! I am actually holding the leash with a light touch.
Good job, Noodles and Petey!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Friday at Social Tees

Yesterday I went to Social Tees ( to work on the cats. The calico cat is still having a rough time, it is still so afraid. Each time I am able to do some air circles with the wand, but I cannot get too close or it attacks the wand, hissing, growling etc. I have done some short Reiki sessions with this cat and, as Reiki does not need to involve physical contact, that may be the way to go with this cat for a while.

I worked again on the swirly-striped cat, it is still shy, at the back of the cage but it knows that I am there to make it feel good, so after one little hiss, it settles down and is very receptive to TTouch.

I also worked on the two timid kittens who are together in one cage. They are becoming more acclimated to touch little by little. They still initially back away from being touched, but once you touch them, they settle down and become more relaxed. I did two short sessions with them, giving them a break in between. They previously had colds and are not sniffling any more, so this is great. I did some ear strokes and raccoon touch around their heads, in addition to baby chimp touch and llama touch (these touches use the back of the hand, which is less threatening than the front of the hand.

Then I worked on the set of three kittens below that I mentioned in the previous post. They had all been timid at first but are really coming around, particularly the little tabby kitten and the black kitten with a little white. The long-haired black and white kitten still hisses one time at first and tries to move away a little bit, but it once you stroke it gently, it begins to relax and settles into the touch.

The tabby kitten has completely come around and was rubbing itself against me and constantly asking to be touched, even when I was doing TTouch on the other kittens. I was able to touch it on every part of its body, including doing a bit of TTouch on its little tail.

The short-haired black kitten with white boots and chest is really coming around as well. I felt it do a tiny purr as I began doing TTouch on its head and ears and then some clouded leopard and chimp touch on its body. After a while, it rolled over on its back, letting me to TTouch on its little belly. This was the first time this kitten has done this and it felt like a big breakthrough for it.

In these photos you see all three cats getting cuddled up together in their box after receiving TTouch. Though they look a bit annoyed here because I am taking a photo, afterwards they snuggled in and looked like they were smiling.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Adoption News and TTouch at Social Tees

Yesterday I went to Social Tees ( to do TTouch, and was happy to hear that the little Chihuahua who was pictured in a recent post was adopted, I'm sure he's being a great little pal to his new person/people.

I first worked on the swirly-striped cat, who still does one hiss when I open the cage, but does not continue once I touch her. She is still shy, wanting to stay at the back of the cage but is quite relaxed with me doing TTouch on her head and body.

I worked again on the two kittens, they are still scared when I first touch them but becoming more comfortable as I continue doing TTouch on them. I am finding that doing circles on them with a feather is a good way to start. I got one of the little cuties to play with the feather a bit and I thought that was a good sign. Also, a beautiful, friendly Russian blue who is in the cage next to them was purring up a storm, trying to get my attention while I was working on the kittens. He seemed to relax as I worked on the kittens, first eating some of his food and then settling down for a nap. After doing circles on the kittens with the feather, I did some very light TTouch on their ears and some baby chimp touches on their body. As they are still quite timid and sensitive, I used a very light touch and spoke to them softly as I worked. The atmosphere was nice and quiet yesterday, and the TTouch seemed to add another layer of calm.

An endearing thing that happened while I was there was that a huge cat who is in the window there gave a little cat a hug, AWWWWW!

I was also asked to do TTouch on three kittens in another cage. Two of these kittens I had worked on previously - they were the black & white kittens who were the more scared ones from 2 sets of 3 kittens I had worked on -- and there was also a little tabby kitten in with them. The fluffy b/w one was scrunched in the back of the cage behind the litter box, the shorthaired b/w one was lying in the litter box and the tabby was scrunched in there somewhere as well. I first did TTouch on the shorthaired b/w cat, and was surprised and pleased to feel it doing a little silent purrrrrr shortly after I began to do TTouch on its head and then its body. At one point it stretched and rolled over on its side, and then its back. Next, I did TTouch on the little tabby kitten, which seemed skittish and shy at first, but once I did a few ear strokes and a little TTouch on its body, it realized that this was something it liked and it began to rub itself against me, wanting me to do more. It also started eating its food with gusto. It is amazing to see how some of these kittens can turn around right away, it really touches my heart! The fluffy b/w kitten was a bit hard to reach but I did do some TTouch on it, mostly on its head. It did one hiss but then when I touched it, it stopped hissing. After I finished and closed the cage, the fluffy b/w kitten came forth from its scrunched position into the front of the cage and began to drink some water. Hooray!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Brooklyn and Pals at Whiskers

Brooklyn, looking very handsome

Yesterday I went by Whiskers ( to work on the cats in the Rescue Ranch there: Brooklyn, Rascal and Emily.

Brooklyn, who initially was hiding in a cat tent and now loves to sit in the window and watch everyone go by, first greeted me, rubbing against me. I did some TTouch on his ears and around his head, then did some TTouch on his body. He seems more and more comfortable every time I see him and each time I am able to do TTouch on him for a longer period of time, though I am keeping the sessions with him rather short because he gets over-stimulated after a short time, and Rascal also starts asking for attention after a time. But Rascal has been allowing me slightly longer sessions w/Brooklyn each time, waiting a little longer before he starts demanding attention.

Rascal, wanting me to do TTouch on him instead of take a picture of him!

After I finished with Brooklyn, he went back to his perch to the side of me and kept me company while I did TTouch on Rascal and then, later, Emily. From time to time I was able to do a few circles on Brooklyn. He has come such a long way!

So, next Rascal was at my feet, pawing at my leg and asking me to touch him. I sat down and he plopped right in my lap. He was very excited and started to dig his claws into my legs (I think I'll take a towel to put on my lap for next time! Anyway, he was very pleased for me to stroke his ears, do TTouch on his head, do some zigzags and then clouded leopard touches and/or chimp touches down his body. I was also able to work on the outside of his mouth today, which seemed like a good idea as he can get a little "mouthy" sometimes (not biting, just mouthing once in a while). He was fine with me doing this, and became more relaxed as I continued.

After a while I wanted to encourage Emily to come down from her upper perch, so I lured her down by calling her and tempting her with a little piece of kibble. It took a couple of minutes to convince her to come down but once she was on the lower level she stayed there for the rest of the time I was there. First I did TTouch on her head and body while she stood on a perch at about waist-level to me, then she came down and sat next to me, then finally came on my lap to receive more TTouch. Rascal is her brother and is more dominant so sometimes Emily is shy, but she was quite comfortable and seemed reassured once she felt me touch her. She and Rascal touched noses a few times, and Emily touched noses also w/Brooklyn, which was nice because Rascal and Brooklyn are basically fine around each other but Brooklyn swats at Rascal if he gets too close to him.

At this point, all three cats were very close to me and everybody was very peaceful. Emily then started kneading a nearby cat bed and settled there. Rascal was in the window and as you see below, teased Emily with his tail.

Emily, with Rascal's tail teasing her on the right

I started to get ready to go so I started telling the cats that I would be back soon, but that if they got adopted before I got back there, I hope that everything goes REALLY well for them and that I wish the best for them. At that point Rascal seemed to know what I was saying and plopped into my lap again, putting all of his weight on me and draping his legs over me, trying to keep me from leaving. So I stayed a little while longer, doing TTouch on Rascal and talking to the cats. Rascal seemed a little sad when I left, but I sent a huge feeling of love to all of them. All three cats are sure to be delightful companions for whoever decides to adopt them. If you are in NYC and interested in adopting any of these cuties, stop by Whiskers or give them a call. Rascal and Emily need to stay together.

Friday at Social Tees

Friday I went to Social Tees (, there were a bunch of new kitties there, who will hopefully be getting new homes soon. Also, over the past week, a number of the kittens I have worked on were adopted, hurray!
Above you see the adorable swirly-striped cat I have been talking about, it is shy but very comfortable with me doing TTouch on any part of its body. The cat really seems to recognize me and know that when I open its cage, I am going to do something that will be soothing. I think I forgot to say last time that after I worked on this cat, it started grooming itself, as though it was more comfortable, as before it had been crouched and not moving.
I continue to try different strategies to work with the multi-colored longhaired cat, it is still very afraid. I tried touching it with the wand today and it is still too afraid for me to make contact. It is ok with me doing circles from a distance but that seems to be it. I have done some short Reiki sessions on this cat as well and that, combined w/TTouch circles from a distance may be the best strategy, to try to relieve some of the cat's tension at a distance.
I also worked on the two timid kittens I worked on last time and we are making good progress. They tried to move away from me again initially today, but once I began to do some TTouch on them, they both calmed down and were comfortable with me doing TTouch on their ears, head and body for a while. At some point I let them be and worked on some other cats, and when I came back to the cage, the more timid one was sitting towards the front of the cage. I started to do some TTouch on its ears, and it was as though it had forgotten that it was timid, it did not move away this time. I am realizing more and more how important it is to take breaks with these timid cats -- to do a little work, go away for a while, then come back and do some more. Often when you come back the next time, you are able to get to another level of contact with them.
A lot of neighborhood people come by to volunteer at Social Tees, which is wonderful to see. Friday also seems to be a day when a lot of folks drop by looking to adopt. Hoping for a lot of these cuties to get new homes soon.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Summer Afternoon at Social Tees

Yesterday it was finally starting to feel like summer outside. When I went into Social Tees ( to do TTouch on the animals, this darling chihuahua was peacefully taking a nap in a patch of sun there. He is a very friendly little guy and is up for adoption, by the way :)

I worked for a while on the very afraid multi-colored, long-haired cat who I have been working with lately. It is still extremely afraid, but little by little, I am able to get closer. Today I was working with the wand and corn dog (Ace bandage wrapped around end of wand), doing small circles and strokes, starting a foot or more away. I was able to get within a couple of inches of the cat and then it became startled, hissed and started batting at the wand. I tried this several times, giving the cat a break in between each time. In general, the cat does seem to be more comfortable though. When it is being left alone, it is sleeping towards the front of the cage rather than the back of the cage, usually facing front.

The swirly-striped cat I have been working on had been tried out in a foster home, which unfortunately didn't work out so it was brought back today. When I first opened the cage, it hissed at me but after a couple of minutes doing circles with the wand, I touched it with my hand and it was completely receptive, so I did TTouch all over its head and body. It was staying in the back of the cage, but it was comfortable with being touched, and seemed to remember me. Over time I think it will be more comfortable in its own body, it will just take time and patience.

Next, I worked for a while on the two darling kittens above. They are very shy and wanted to stay in the back of their cage, but they were receptive to being touched, and seemed to relax a bit as I touched them. I did very small, light raccoon touches and baby chimp touches on their bodies and very light ear strokes. Shy kittens need an extremely light touch as they are so small and ultra-sensitive. I wish all of these animals the best!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Quiet Awakening Moment

Today I was at Social Tees, and first I did TTouch on the black cat I worked on last week. It was still in its litter box with its head down, every once in a while barely peering its eyes up but mostly very hunkered down. I first did some circles w/the wand and corn dog to see how the cat reacted, and it was a bit startled at first, but then did not resist, so I continued doing some circles with the corn dog and quickly transitioned to doing raccoon touches on its head and connected clouded leopard touches down its body. I felt it very gradually relax as I did this. I spoke very softly to the cat as I worked, reassuring it. Then I gave it a break and went to try to connect with the multi-colored longhair cat who is even more afraid.

With the multi-colored cat, I was pleased to see that it was laying on the ground towards the front of the cage and did not move right away when I walked towards the cage. I offered the cat Reiki and imagined a bubble of light in front of the cage. I stayed like that for about 5 minutes or so, and the cat was continuing to stay calm. A pit bull puppy who was wandering around came near me to check out what this bubble of energy was, as did the two kittens in the adjacent cage.

Then I opened the cage and gradually approached w/the wand and corn dog. The cat was startled and swatted at it, so I started again as I had previously, doing air circles w/the corn dog about a foot away from the animal. I very gradually got closer, and tried doing circles near different parts of the cat's body to see where it was most comfortable. I ended up doing circles and strokes in the air above the cat's head as though I were doing circles on its head and strokes on its ears. I got closer and closer until I nearly touched it and it got startled, so I apologized and backed off. I spoke softly to the cat and did Reiki outside of its cage for about another five minutes. Then I went back to where the black cat was, and below is a picture of what I saw. The cat had finally emerged from the litter box and was looking straight at me.
I opened the cage and it initially made a sad little whimper, but it was not threatening to bite, it was very responsive and seemed very comfortable as I did TTouch on its head and body, and it grew more relaxed than it had been before. One of the staff was surprised and pleased, she said that it was the first time the cat had emerged from the litter box since it had been there. I feel this cat really turned a corner today and will visit it again soon to encourage it to continue to come out of its shell.
Next, I went back to the multi-colored cat. I did not want to overwhelm it, so again I did just a couple of minutes of Reiki outside of its cage. I feel that I need to just have patience with this cat, that it is coming around but it needs time to build confidence.
Here it is below, resting peacefully, which is a pleasant sight to see, especially for this cat.

Again I went back to the black cat to work on it briefly and say goodbye. Again it did a sad little sound when I first touched it, and then was very relaxed as I did a little TTouch on its head.
Before leaving, I worked briefly on a swirly-striped cat who has become very friendly and two kittens who had been recently brought in who were timid. With the kittens, I touched them with a feather first briefly, then did little raccoon touches and baby chimp touches on them. They became more relaxed as I worked on them, especially one of the two, and it enjoyed having its ears rubbed as well.
Social Tees has many cats and a few dogs up for adoption so if you're in NYC and looking to adopt, stop by :)

Sunday at Whiskers

Rascal (above), who lives up to his name

Brooklyn (left) and Emily (right)

Sunday I went to Whiskers ( and was greeted by Brooklyn, who had been looking out the window at everyone outside, curious and unafraid. As I came into the enclosure, he looked right at me and came right up to me to receive TTouch on his head, then he plopped on the ground on his side to receive TTouch on his body. It was such a pleasure to see him so relaxed - he has made such a transition over the past few weeks from the scared kitty hiding inside the cat tent. He would have stayed there for a while but I heard "meep meep meep", the sound of Rascal, who came running down from the upper perch and jumped up in my lap to demand my attention.
Brooklyn then went to a perch right near me to keep me company as I did TTouch on Rascal on my lap. Rascal at first was digging his claws into my legs but by the end of his paws and claws relaxed as well. I worked on his head and all the way down to his tail, little by little feeling his rather revved-up state become quite calm. Emily remained sitting on one of the perches above. She did not seem afraid, and I was able to do some ttouch on her head with the wand and with my hand, but she was comfortable where she was and so I did not want to force her to come down.
Afterwards, I spoke to the staff at Whiskers and they were very pleased especially with Brooklyn's progress (the other two cats were on the friendly side to begin with), and they feel that Brooklyn is now truly ready for re-homing. They thanked me and said they thought I had a lot to do with this. Here's hoping all three get new, happy homes soon!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday at Social Tees

Hi folks, this afternoon I was back working at the shelter at Social Tees ( First of all, the photo above is of the dear feral rascal who I mentioned in my last Social Tees post, who was sitting atop the refridgerator and bopping each person who walked by on the head with his paw. Today he was up to the same trick - and so here he is in the photo with that "who, me?" look that cats can have.
Next, I was VERY pleased to hear that the two tabby girls who I have been working on over the past several weeks or so have been ADOPTED, and fortunately they were adopted together. I wish them the best in their new life!
Today I worked on the black cat I worked on last time, who at that time was VERY stressed, hissing etc but I was able to do a short session around his ears and head last time. Today, he was in a hunched-over sleeping position squished inside his litter box. I first approached him with the wand and corn dog, and he hissed initially, but right away then put his head down out of view in a sleeping position. I did circles all over his head and body with no complaint. I was hoping to see some relaxation of his back, which felt quite tense. I did get some relaxation, and he was not hissing and threatening to swat as he had done last time. He seemed afraid though, as he did not lift his head to look at me at any point but stayed in a sleeping position. I was not totally sure how to read his body language so was a bit hesitant to touch him with my hand, but I worked up the nerve and did some ttouch on his head and ears with my hand, and he was very relaxed with this. He is making progress, he will just need time.
Then I worked on the multi-colored VERY scared cat who I began to work on last time. Today I began by doing a short reiki session. He did not come to the front of the cage as before, but he did not give any visible resistance either. I kept talking to him and occasionally he would blink at me. After this I slowly approached him with the wand and corn dog. This time I did slow air circles starting nearly a foot away from him. Little by little I decreased the space between him and the corn dog until I was a few inches away from his body. This was as close as he was comfortable with, but it did feel like progress today, as I found that his body appeared to grow more relaxed as I continued the air circles, as long as I did not get too close to him. This cat will need patience but I am sure if I continue to approach him slowly he will come around in time. After I finished, he faced away from me, as though that was all the contact he could take for now. Here he is below - you can see what a gorgeous coat this cat has.
Then I worked on the swirly-striped cat that I have worked on before, and this cat has become SO much more comfortable. Today there was no hissing even upon initial approach, and he was very relaxed as I did raccoon touches all around his head and ears and abalone touch down his body. Below you see a photo of him looking at me after our session, with a sweet, relaxed look I had not seen on his face before.

After that, I briefly visited with and worked on the two sets of three kittens I have been working on, and they all continue to make progress. I hope they will be adopted soon!
And I met a friendly new little Chihuahua in there today, who was very pleased to have some clouded leopard touches done on his body. Some people were considering adopting him when I left today, so I'm crossing fingers for him. Have a good weekend!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

TTouch - Ear Strokes

Hi folks, I was trying to describe to someone how to do the slides or strokes on the ear that we do in TTouch, and decided that a little film clip would be an easier way to explain! This is a little funky, as I was holding the camera as well as stroking the ears of my cat Garbanzo at the same time. I am stroking from the base of the head out to the tip. On a cat you can often do this on both ears simultaneously. On a dog, this touch works best if you put the other hand under the jaw to support the head. Be sure to stroke all the way out to the tip.

Doing TTouch on the ears is a lovely thing to do for your animal (or on yourself), as there are acupressure points on the ear which involve respiration, digestion and circulation. It can also help an animal or person in an emergency situation who is in danger of going into shock.

Also, especially with a cat, start out doing this using a very light pressure and adjusting depending on what the animal responds best to. Garbanzo happens to like a firmer stroke than many cats, but I have been doing this for quite a while on him. Another method which is wonderful which Linda Tellington showed us is to first do a small circle with the thumb and then slide it out to the end of the ear. Doing raccoon touches (small circle and a quarter using the tip of the finger) around the base of the ear is also very soothing to an animal.

Santa Fe Training, Danelle and Amber

Above: Danelle and Amber

Above: Danelle and Wanda
Danelle and Amber (top picture) come from Albequerque and were in our Santa Fe TTouch training led by Kathy Cascade. As you can see, Danelle and Amber are both lovely ladies :)
Amber can get fearful and reactive when faced with other dogs, and can become anxious when separated from her mom Danelle. During the course of the training, through wraps, body work and confidence course work that Danelle, Kathy Cascade and others did with her, she made progress and here is what Danelle had to say when I asked her about her thoughts about the training and Amber:
"I believe that Amber is a little less "reactive" when we meet other dogs on our walks. I still reacts in kind when we walk by a fenced in yard that has a dog or dogs going berzerk. " She says she does TTouch on her every morning and a body wrap for 10 minutes/day and fully expects that in time her behavior will reflect the greater degree of self-confidence and less reactivity that she saw happen with some of the other dogs in the training.
Ttouch work can require persistence and patience, and I'm sure that Danelle and Amber are on a very positive road together.

The bottom picture shows Danelle with a darling dog named Wanda, who I also worked on when we visited the shelter in Santa Fe. Danelle said she thought she connected so strongly w/Wanda probably because she looks like a young Amber.

Mia, Cuddles and Scooter

Sarah with Esme and Marge with one of Joan's dogs in the labyrinth at Dayton Training w/Linda

Kathy and Mia at Dayton Training

On July 9 I got together with Marge and Kathy, who are both Feldenkrais ( practitioners and were both in the TTouch training I took in Dayton with Linda Tellington-Jones. Linda was one of Feldenkrais' students, and TTouch has its roots in the Feldenkrais method. Both of these modalities are so subtle, yet so powerful.

Feldenkrais work has helped me a great deal over the years with a number of aches and pains, as well as being able to help me in times of great stress (and Kathy is a wonderful practitioner who has worked on me many times), and Feldenkrais work is what led me to TTouch in the first place. Kathy, Marge and I had some wonderful exchanges during the Dayton training, and above you will see a couple of photos of us there (Marge and I are walking other people's dogs).

So back to the story at hand. We met at Kathy's house, so we could work together on Kathy's animals: her dog Mia and her cats, Cuddles and Scooter. Kathy and Mia recently moved into her mother's house where Cuddles and Scooter were living, so suddenly there was a new dynamic with Mia in the animal mix.

The biggest problem in the household is Scooter's spraying. Kathy believes Scooter's world has been upset because Mia has come to live with him. Mia and Scooter have a "tolerant" relationship with occasional staredowns that end with Mia doing a start-chase (doesn't follow through) and Scooter runs and then sprays some piece of furniture or a door. Mia is very jealous of any being to whom Kathy gives attention--including Scooter and Cuddles. Kathy feels that both Scooter and Mia are insecure. Scooter is the shyest. Mia is very needy and Kathy thinks a lack of self-esteem lies below that. Cuddles is the youngest and the most calm and secure. Kathy believes it is her nature being part Maine Coon. Her still nature seems to annoy Scooter. (she really likes Scooter and Mia). As Kathy was working with Scooter she sensed that his tail and hind quarters were very tight and it was hard for her to get to these areas. She thought I might be able to get through to Scooter, and I was delighted to have the opportunity to work on him for an extended amount of time and to work briefly on Mia and Cuddles as well.

Kathy and Mia

Kathy picked Marge and me up at the train station with Mia in the car. When we got to the house, Cuddles was relaxed and hanging out on the ground floor, and Scooter was in his favorite morning place, the window of her mother's bedroom.

Scooter being shy

I wanted to approach Scooter very slowly and see how much contact he is ready to have with me. I wanted especially to eventually try to get to his lower back, where Kathy said she was having trouble touching him.

Kathy came very quietly with me into the room where Scooter was, and she stayed with me for the first part of our session. This was a great idea so that I wasn't a totally new person all alone with him.

I spoke softly to Scooter, introducing myself, and first started on Scooter's head, doing small, light raccoon touches around the base of his ears. He was very calm, sitting in the sunny window and gave me no resistance to touch from beginning to the end of our session, which probably was approx 15-20 mins.

I worked with very light pressure (1-2 pressure) and was able to go all the way up and down his spine and he continued to become more relaxed. Then I worked my way up to doing baby chimp touches and clouded leopard touches all the way down his spine and down his tail, and later on I finished up with some work around the mouth. All the while, I felt the calmness, the warm sun and the cool breeze gently coming through the window, and felt Scooter's comfort with the touch and with the environment.

Scooter grew more and more relaxed the more I worked on him, and he started to drool, which Kathy says means he is very relaxed and comfortable. As I started to feel I was done with Scooter's session and was winding down my movements and speaking to Kathy, Scooter also felt he was done and leaped gracefully from the window.

Later on, I saw Scooter in a different room and he was lying on his back, like he wanted to play. I did a few touches on him, played a bit with him with one of his toys, and that was it. He seemed very comfortable.

While I worked on Scooter, Marge worked on Mia.

Here's Marge's report on Mia: "Me-Me, Mia, working with her was very subtle indeed. After we first got there. I did some Noah's Marches with back of my hand. I actually did several and connected from her head down her body and to the end of each leg. Did some clouded leopard across her neck, shoulders and along each side. We had a little break and when I worked with her again, it was with the jelly-scrubber. I used the side with the tiny, fine nubbies against her body. I did the T-touch circles all over her body including around her tail and thighs. Inside the scrubber, I was using the abalone touch, but the scrubber really provided a lot of surface and a very soft, supple touch. I also did Noah's Marches with the scrubber."

and Marge with Cuddles: "I didn't really work with Cuddles with my hands, but when we started playing with the wand & corn dog, I made circles while she had the corn dog in her paws, did circles on the floor near her. She's so easy, I didn't really try anything specific with her - just incorporated circles into the play she likes so much."

Kathy and Mia

I had not used the scrubber much, so I tried it on Mia and felt how it could be comforting for certain animals, especially with all those little nubs creating a massaging type of feeling. Mia definitely responded to it well. My cat Garbanzo is not fond of it, he prefers the warmth of my hand. Different strokes for different folks! And I did some TTouch also on Cuddles, who was perched comfortably on the couch at that point. She is comfortable with just about any part of her body being touched, but I did use a rather light touch on her, as most cats prefer that.

Cuddles getting ready to pounce and play
Kathy and her mother were very gracious hostesses and gave us a lovely lunch after our TTouch session. Thank you so much!
Kathy's report the night after our session was very exciting. It seemed to me that Scooter had really turned a corner and was now receptive to Kathy in a way that he had not been before. The report on Mia was remarkable as well, and Cuddles was also very cuddly.

Here is what Kathy said:"Scooter: he just wants more and more attention. It's so cute. I was lying on the floor around 4pm doing a little Feldenkrais movement…-- had my eyes closed as I was moving, Mia was resting at my feet. All of a sudden I opened my eyes and there was Scooter, sitting beside me, waiting to be pet. It was so cute. He was very relaxed, different because it's very rare for him to come to me in the living room with Mia so close. And Mia was resting comfortably. I was able to do a bit of TTouch. I didn't do too much because i knew he had a lot of touch and it was MY time (I never get much time to myself). It was a very sweet surprise to see him sitting next to me. Same thing tonight when we came home. He just wanted to be touched, didn't even want to eat. I wish I could read his mind to know what it is he is looking for in the touch! This evening I was able to work into his hind area. Again, I only did a bit because I knew he had a lot today, but only a bit and he was drooling again. One thing I realized tonight is that I really should show my mother some of the touches because he kept coming around me and he's her cat. But it's good to have gotten an "in" with him. Mia: Mia continued to sit with her left arm straighter. So interesting, it's like she heard me talking about her R forearm and she decided to sit in a way where her arm/paw lie flatter along the ground. She was very relaxed. When we went walking in the field with my sister and her dogs, Mia was running with energy I have not seen her run with for a while. I know part of it is the cooler weather, but I could see also that she was really enjoying moving. I hope to get one of those scrubby brushes (sorry, it's late and I forget what they're called) soon! Cuddles is still her sweet loving self. But she too was very insistent on being touched."
Cuddles looking cute!
And here are Kathy's comments from 7/11, two days later: Tonight Mia allowed Cuddles to be on my lap without whining. I had done some TTouch (a short session) on Mia first and she seemed pretty relaxed. I never know, is she more tired anyway? Since it so rarely happens, I'm going to credit TTouch. It really is wonderful what can happen with this work. Scooter is begging me now to pet him. He has always liked to be pet when i'm on the computer at night, but tonight I was able to do circles all the way around his ears...pretty cool. And let me get to his hind area. He let me work down is tail--it has tension still. I also noticed that he stand with his back legs together closer than I think I usually see. Makes me wonder if we could get him to shift, widen his stance, would he spray less?
When I was working with Mia on Thursday (after Marge) I explored the jelly scrubber (abalone) and also tried using a smaller portion of it a la clouded leopard. Then I worked without the scrubber: abalone around her shoulders, clouded leopard down through her torso, with pauses as I found that this was a way to be able to get all the way down her legs (she's very sensitive around her legs). One very interesting thing was that as I was working through her torso this last time, as I got to the thoracic lumbar junction it seemed like something let go. I had a feeling it was connected in some way to her shoulder and as we were mentioning, her Left shoulder/leg seemed inwardly rotated. I'm thinking that the accumulation of everything that was done with her that morning enabled her to release some pattern and we later saw her sitting much straighter over her R elbow. That has remained and also her foreleg and paw are lying less rotated on the ground, all her pads now are facing the ground and they weren't before. "
So thank you to one and all, this experience was truly a pleasure and a great learning experience as well. And especially Scooter, thank you, it was a very special experience to connect with you on such a deep level. I hope we have a chance to do this again -- and meanwhile, I am sure Kathy, with TTouch and the sensitivity that she has due to her deep knowledge of Feldenkrais work, will continue to make wonderful progress with her animals.

Brooklyn and Pals at Whiskers

Above: Brooklyn (b/w cat) and Emily (upper left)

Yesterday I went back to Whiskers Holistic Petcare (, and Brooklyn, Emily and Rascal are still there and up for adoption. I was greeted with a lovely surprise - Brooklyn was down in the lower level and looked right at me with friendly blinks when I entered the enclosure. I was able to do some TTouch on his head and ears right away, instead of having to approach indirectly with the wand. It was a short little burst, but he was quite receptive. After working on Brooklyn briefly, he went back to an upper perch as Emily and Rascal came running down from above.

Above: Emily

Below: Rascal

Both Emily and Rascal were substantially calmer than last time, and were even more comfortable with me than last time. Rascal sat on my lap for a while and Emily was right next to me. They both wanted TTouch and so I worked on them simultaneously for a bit and then alternated back and forth between them, working on their ears, doing clouded leopard down their backs, some strokes down their legs and even some mouth work on Rascal. Last time I saw them they were both friendly, but a bit hyperactive but this time they really settled in for some TTouch. After a while Emily went back to an upper perch and Rascal remained with me and followed me for the rest of the time I was there. I enticed Brooklyn with a few bits of kibble to come within my reach and did a bit more work on his head. Then I went back to Rascal and workd on him more with abalone and clouded leopard touches. He was quire relaxed as you can see below, with his front legs draped over a perch as I worked with him. Quite a few customers noticed the cats collected around me in Whiskers' window - and I hope one of them will give these cats a new home soon!
Below: Rascal hanging out on his perch.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Social Tees Cats and Kittens

Yesterday I went to Social Tees to do TTouch on the cats and kittens there. I was SO happy to see that the three kittens who were pictured in my last post no longer hiss, even the shyest of them, the black and white kitten, hooray! I hope these little dear ones will have new homes soon. Their reaction when I go to touch them is completely different than the other day, and for the black and white cat, completely different than even the day before. I am so grateful for this work and the power it has to help the animals.
The other set of three kittens I worked on previously is also continuing to do well, although there is one that is still shy, again, for some reason, a black and white kitten. It went into a corner but I did some gentle raccoon touches all over its body. I am sure that in time it will come around.
Yesterday I worked on a number of other cats as well. I again worked on the two tabby girls. The all-tabby girl is still afraid to be touched directly with the hand initially, so I have to start out with the wand and corn dog and be very patient with her. However, what is really interesting the past two days is her initial reaction to me upon opening the door to the cage. She used to look at me with a wide-open, huge, terrified stare, and now she continues to lay down relaxed, exchanging blinks with me. I think with some persistence she will be able to be less afraid of touch, it will just take time with her.
And, a humorous moment in there yesterday. One of the cats that is loose in there (I believe it is a feral cat) was stationed on top of the refridgerator and had decided its game for the day was to stay there and hit each and every person who walked by on the head each and every time they walked by. He was having a good chuckle to himself, I'm sure!
Now, as for the new challenges. First of all, I began work on a black cat. This cat raised its head up in an arc, hissing and getting ready to swat when I opened the door. I approached the cat with my body to the side of the cage, as usual, and began to try to do small circles with the wand and corn dog. The cat again hissed, and bit the corn dog. I took a deep breath (important to remember to breathe, as this is stressful for the TToucher as well as the TTouchee in this case!), spoke to the cat softly, and tried again, this time starting the wand out on the body area instead of near the head. This went much more peacefully, and I tried to really slow my own mind down to help create a more quiet atmosphere. I continued strokes and circles on the cat's body for a few minutes, then worked my way up to its head. Still no hissing, so I continued to talk in a quiet voice and little by little worked my hand down the wand until I was touching its head with my hand. I had to focus on keeping breathing, as I have to admit, I was a bit afraid of what this cat would do next. I was able to do strokes on its ear and raccoon touches on its head for several minutes, which is a long time for this cat. At some point, it did jerk, hiss, and swat at me (though without its claws out - assuming it has claws). I decided this was enough, as it really was a move forward for this scared creature.
Then came the biggest challenge of all, the gorgeous, but very serious customer pictured above.
This cat was brought in a few days ago, and the day it was brought in, I was working on a cat near it and it suddenly appeared to suddenly levitate, kicking litter out of its cage and into my face. That was a bit of a startling introduction, but I really felt for this poor cat and tried to send some soft energy its way.
Today, when I opened the cage, it is even hard to describe exactly what happened, but some combination of the cat lifting into the air, hissing, spitting, swatting one front leg after the other. OK! I tried the wand and corn dog but the cat simply wanted to bat at it, bite it, and wanted no part of it. I was a bit nervous about it biting me or jumping out of the cage, so I put the wand and corn dog in through the closed cage the next time, all the while speaking softly. I got in a couple of circles but again, the cat was terrified, hissing, swatting, biting etc.
I usually don't mix two types of modalities together in one session but in this case I really thought I wanted to try to see what could help this animal. In addition to being a TTouch PIT, I am also certified to do Reiki with animals. I stood outside of its cage and began to imagine a bubble of Reiki energy in front of me, in between me and the cage. What happened next was so interesting. The cat immediately responded and came to the front of the cage, curious about what this energy was outside the cage. I stayed there for a short time, maybe five minutes, doing this, as I was afraid to try too much. Stay tuned, we'll see what happens next time!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Kittens and Cats at Social Tees

Yesterday I went to Social Tees ( First I worked on the three shy kittens above. I had worked on them the other day and the session had begun with them all hissing at me. This time, the two in the top picture did not hiss at me so I did TTouch on them directly with my hand instead of using the feather. The black and white cutie on the bottom was still hissing and growling but was less intense about it than before.
To get the more scared kitten used to having my hand in the cage and have it used to me being there, I began with TTouch on the other two kittens, particularly the grey and white cat as it seemed the least scared and was closer to the front of the cage. I did raccoon touches on the head and around the ears, ear strokes, and on the body I did baby chimp touches, llama touches, and in some cases just the back of my finger went in a circle, as these are really tiny little creatures. The grey and white kitten moved away at various points. At one point it started climbing up the side of the cage. At those points I moved my hand away and focused my attention on the black and white kitten. The grey and white kitten then would come back towards the front of the litter box again and settle down. Intermittently, I would also do ttouch on the head and body of the black kitten, when it was possible for me to reach.
As for the black and white kitten, each time I went towards it, it would initially hiss and growl a bit. I persisted, and touched it initially with a feather, stroking its head, around its ears, and down the body with the feather. The hissing would then subside, though any loud noise that would happen in the space would startle all three of these kittens, they are still on very high alert. At any rate, with the black and white cat, there were a number of moments where it truly was able to relax with my hand doing TTouch on it, several times I saw and felt a sigh, and then a relaxation as it grew more accustomed to me. I kept each little burst of touching short, as after a while it would get scared again and hiss at me, so at that point I would switch to working on one of the other kittens. At no point did any of the kittens try to bite me. Altogether, I would say they are feeling increasingly safe there, it will just take time and patience, as whereever they were previously must have been extremely traumatic.
I then visited with the three kittens I had worked on previously. Now the two stripey cats are TOTALLY friendly, wanting to cuddle and be touched. The black and white kitten is still shy - not hissing or biting, but just introverted and afraid of being touched. I did some gentle, soft chimp touches on its body and around its ears. I'm sure it will come around very soon.
I visited the adult swirly-stripe cat who now only initially hisses when you put your hand in the cage, but after a few circles with the wand and corn dog, I worked my hand down the corn dog and was able to do TTouch over its entire body and head - ear touches and strokes, hair slides, and connected abalone and clouded leopard touches down the sides of its spine.
The two tabby girls are still there as well. The small one is still completely receptive to TTouch and the all-tabby girl is making her own kind of progress. When I first looked at her today, she blinked and blinked at me, instead of having the frozen, terrified-looking stare that I am usually greeted by her with. When I went to touch her with my hand, she still was scared of this and began to move away, but I found that if I start with the wand and corn dog, I can quietly transition to doing TTouch using my hands on her. She still needs quiet, patient attention.
As always, these cats, as well as a number of other cats and dogs and other animals are up for adoption at Social Tees, so if you are in NYC and looking to adopt an animal, check them out!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Santa Fe TTouch Training: Jennifer and Booba

Above you see Kathy Cascade (left) with Jennifer (right) and her dog Booba. Booba has a wrap (Ace bandage) on her, which was very helpful to bring down her stress level.

Booba finally hit the doggie jackpot when Jennifer adopted her from a shelter, where she had been for a way-too-long period of time. It is often hard for pit bulls and pit bull mixes to get adopted, especially when they are extremely fearful, as is Booba.

Jennifer had already done a lot of patient and positive work with Booba, but Booba was able to make progress up to another level during the training. In the beginning, it was very difficult for her to be anywhere near other people or dogs. By the end of the training, she was able to lie on the floor looking quite relaxed with her head towards the center of the circle at times, and I was able to sit quite close to her without her being afraid.

Kathy worked with Jennifer and Booba in the TTouch training in Santa Fe in a very thoughtful, respectful, clear and caring way. The homing pigeon used quite a lot. This is the configuration shown above using two leashes. It is especially helpful with fearful dogs as it is a way they can become used to someone other than their owner walking with them.

A full wrap was used on Booba. Below, you see Jennifer walking with Booba, who is wearing a full wrap, which adds a wrap around the back end of the dog in addition to the half wrap.

Jennifer, Kathy and Booba did a lot of work together on the confidence course. Other people and dogs in the class were careful to be mindful and give Booba the space that she needed in order to feel safe.
I really appreciate the patient way Kathy chose to work with Jennifer and Booba, and I give Jennifer so much credit for giving Booba such a loving, safe home and admire her dedication to helping Booba achieve as much comfort as possible in the world. Thanks Jennifer, Kathy and Booba for teaching us so much about the power of patience and kindness.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Jazzy the little Goose

Above you will see a clip of charming little Jazzy, a baby rescue goose who is living with Terry and her many animals (see previous post) on Little Falls Farm, and who I had the opportunity to do TTouch on as he sat comfortably next to me on the couch. As you can see, he is a charming little guy - enjoy!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fun at Little Falls Farm

Friday I visited Little Falls Farm ( in Long Island. I met Terry, her husband and two of her goats at Amelia Kinkade's animal communication seminar some time ago, and had followed up with Terry about visiting her farm, where she has about 20 goats, as well as a number of chickens, a couple of pheasants, peacocks and some other types of birds, about 8 cats, 4 dogs, a rat and a little baby goose.

As for the goats, for the most part I kept my work on them in short spurts. The most receptive of the goats was a baby named True Blue, or Trudy (pictured above) which had been bottle-fed, so it was the most acclimated to people, and it happily stood there as I did ttouch and ear strokes on her long ears, and hair slides, zigzag, abalone touches down her back. She was very affectionate and turned around and looked me right in the eyes.

Diamante (on left) and Show Stopper (baby on right)

My Symphony and Show Stopper

I did some TTouch on the baby girl on the above left, My Symphony, as Terry held it. It had a very cozy look on its face as I worked on its head and around its ears. I also did some baby chimp touches on its body, which it responded to very well.

Another of the young goats, Heavenly Delight (above), who I had met before at the animal communication seminar, was also quite friendly with me, but she wanted to walk, so I followed her a bit, doing a few strokes, giving her a break, then trying again. I did abalone touches down the sides of her spine and some gentle strokes down her legs.
I also did some light Noah's march and llama touches w/the back of the hand on some of the male goats.

After this, Terry introduced me to the chickens, pheasants and other birdlike critters. Above you see the pheasants, George and Gracie and below you see a peacock named Thing (some of the animals have names following an Addams family theme) with unusual coloring (unfortunately it's hard to see the beautiful blue markings around its head), and to the right is Larry, Moe or Curly, not sure which!

I had an opportunity to touch Dori (pictured above left along with Ash on the right), who is a "Silkie", which looks like a fluffy chicken and its feathers are so soft, they feel exactly like rabbit fur. Shortly after this, it started to rain.
At this time, we moved inside and I had a chance to visit and work on one of the dogs, several cats, and the baby goose, named Jazzy.

Jazzy, or Goosie, was rescued by someone else and Terry took it in. The little downy goose stays in a very large crate inside sometimes and other times she lets it walk and hop around the house, all the while making a little cooing sound. She let it out of the crate and I put my hand gently on its back and started doing some light abalone touches. At this point the goose sat down, straddling the arm of the sofa as I touched it. AWW! It settled there for a while, seeming very cozy as I lightly did the touches on its back.

Later, it was walking around on the floor, and you could see that the dogs, cats, etc were very respectful to Jazzy as well as to each other. It really is lovely to see this variety of creatures coexisting peacefully.

Here you see Jazzy with one of the cats. I have to say that Jazzy is quite a charmer, he truly touched my heart. I will post a clip of him walking around and cooing in a separate post.

And of course I did some ttouch also on several of her 8 or so cats and 1 of her 4 dogs. The dog I worked on, who has arthritis, laid right down on its side and did not want to move from its position. The cat pictured above is Half-Pint, a darling little fellow who had been extremely shy but certainly seems to be less so now. He came up to me to receive some TTouch and seemed to be interested in climbing into my bag as well.
Wow! so as you can imagine, when I got home, I was pretty tired. Thanks Terry, for sharing your wonderful crew with me, I truly enjoyed visiting with all of them.