Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Cat Loft at BARC Shelter : Sept 25-Oct 1

There have been a lot of adoptions at BARC lately, and Chairman is one of the lucky kitties who recently went to a loving home - congrats to all!

Muffin and Mittens (Muffin above, both below and then following is pic of Mittens) are so sweet, it is really exciting to see them come around. Mittens is completely friendly and lays on his back when you touch him now. One of the days this week he actually startled himself (and me) and came right out of the cage. Unfortunately as I knew he would be hard to catch, I got him right back in.

Muffin is still a bit more hesitant but she is getting there little by little. The two main TTouches which she really responds to are raccoon ttouches around the outside of her mouth, going back to her jaw area. She starts laying on her back and purring almost immediately when I do this. She also really relaxes to connected abalone ttouches (circular ttouches which use the whole hand). Sometimes Mittens comes over while I'm working on Muffin, so I work on one kitty with each hand.

As I'm writing this blog post a little after the fact, I can tell you that over the weekend, Mittens was adopted. Muffin probably misses him but she seems to be adjusting and has been letting other people pet her more, so that is great.

Patches (above and below) still has to be approached very calmly and carefully, as she can have her moods, but she is getting a lot more comfortable with me. Generally I start out by doing little circles either with the back of my finger on te outside of her mouth area and little circles on her head area. Then I do a little reiki with my hands slightly above her back, until she gets really relaxed. Then she is usually ready to be touched on her back. It is wonderful to see her becoming more relaxed - sometimes it really looks like she is smiling at me! Below you see her all stretched out and relaxed.

Princess is a very challenging cat. Some days I am able to make contact with her, and other times she is just not in the mood. Most often, it seems to be good to start out by offering Reiki to her, as this can make her very relaxed and I can offer it to her from a couple of feet away.

One of the days I went, they had moved many of the cats, and she was hiding under her little bed. This was a great opportunity for me to try a different kind of contact with her. I did circles and strokes on her with the bed in between, so she would feel safer about me touching her. She was very responsive to this, and I could see her really relax.

Just to prove to me that you really need to meet the animal where they are each and every time, I tried this approach the next day and she was not in the mood at all - what she responded to that day was simply for me to offer her reiki from about a foot away. Other days I have been able to touch her directly, doing small circles on her forehead and other places on her head. She still is not comfortable with me directly touching her on her body. I need to continue to be patient to her, listen to her and see what she is ready for each time.
Looking forward to more adventures with these cats, and I have to always thank them for all that they teach me. And thanks to all the loving folks at BARC shelter who help to socialize these kitties as well, and who work so hard to get these dogs, cats and other critters loving homes.

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