Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Going with the Flow with Georgie

Georgie is a gorgeous 12 yr old orange tabby kitty who I had the pleasure to meet last Sunday.  Her caretaker, Rachel, had contacted me Georgie has been vomiting just about every day for about four years.  Rachel has taken Georgie to two vets and had weeks of tests done, but nothing conclusive had been found, though she is being given a special diet because there was a possibility of her having IBD.
Apparently she is retaining some nutrition, as she maintains a healthy weight, but of course it is still worrisome to see her do this, to say the least.
Rachel consulted an animal communicator, who told her that Georgie is manifesting her issues.  Rachel has been working on her own issues as well as doing everything she can to try to help Georgie.
I told Rachel that I thought our initial appointment would be best spent working with Georgie with TTouch and showing Rachel how to do some of the TTouches, so that she would be able to do the TTouches with Georgie every day.  That way, at the very least, both their stress levels could be brought down.  Of course, what would be wonderful to see over time would be a shift in Georgie's behavior.
There are two other cats in the household, Ginger, who is Georgie's sister (also an orange tabby, and is is rather rare for orange cats to be female), and Newie, who is a 6 year old male kitty.  Ginger is the shyest of the three, and Georgie is generally very friendly with people.
Rachel had come to meet me at the bus stop, and when we entered the apartment, we discovered that both Georgie and Newie were hiding under the bed, and Ginger, who is usually shy, came out to say hello to me!  Rachel thought it could be that Georgie was resistant to letting go of her behavior, and that Newie was there to support her.  We tried to encourage her to come out from underneath the bed, but she just went further under the bed.
Going with the flow of the moment, the next thing we tried was to have Rachel leave the room, and I sat on the floor next to the bed, sending Reiki energy to Georgie (and to Newie as well, as they were right next to each other).  I could feel a very strong flow of energy coming from my hands, feeling that she was accepting the energy.  Yet at that moment she wished to remain under the bed.
After a while,  I ended the Reiki session and we decided it would be best for Rachel and me to go into the other room, where I could teach her some of the basic TTouches using the stuffed cat I had brought as a model.  I showed her a variety of the TTouches, including ones which will especially benefit her digestive system.
Rachel has a very natural feel for the TTouches, and without knowing it, had already been doing modified versions of a number of the TTouches.  So I know she will do a wonderful job with them. 
All of a sudden out of the corner of my eye I saw an orange blur go by the doorway. 
I quietly went to look, and Georgie had come out from underneath the bed!
I made sure to consciously quiet my own energy, and sat on the floor near her, first approaching her by doing a few TTouches and strokes using the back of my hand.  She started to be quite receptive to what I was doing, so I continued, but made sure to give her frequent breaks.  I found that one of the TTouches she was especially receptive to is the Abalone TTouch, which is a circular TTouch which uses the whole hand.  Since it is using a bigger surface of the hand, it can be very calming and comforting.  I did the TTouches very slowly and with a very subtle circular motion, pausing at the end of each circle and a quarter.  Hair slides were also very comforting for her. 
After a bit, Georgie went to one of her places she particularly likes, the window area pictured above, which is lovely and was flooded with light on this sunny day.  Since Georgie was responsive to the Abalone TTouch, I decided to see what she would think of TTouches done using a Jelly Scrubber.  A Jelly Scrubber is actually a horse-grooming tool, but it is also a wonderful TTouch tool.  (Linda Tellington-Jones, first developed TTouch for horses, then expanded it to include all animals, including people).  The jelly scrubber has two different surfaces, and is very flexible, so I did a version of the Abalone TTouch using the jelly scrubber, as well as doing some longer brushing strokes.  She was very comforted by this, and began leaning and rubbing into my hand.  It was lovely to see her so comfortable and at ease.  I felt completely connected with her and in synch with her energy.  After a while, I took the Jelly scrubber off my hand and also did some TTouches directly with my hand.  It felt like a lovely dance between the two of us, and felt so good with the light coming in the window.
After I finished the session with her, she began to groom herself, looking very comfortable indeed!

The following day, Rachel emailed me that all three of the cats had been very relaxed after I left.  Often after a session, either in a home or at the shelter, it seems the energy of Reiki and TTouch relaxes the atmosphere in general, as well as the animal or animals who I am specifically working with.  Thanks Rachel, Georgie, Newie and Ginger, best wishes to you all and I look forward to hearing from you.  And thank you Georgie, for reminding me to be patient and go with the flow of the moment, that things will develop and flow exactly the way they are meant to :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Quinn, R,I.P.

(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 found that underneath his often gruff exterior (most often he would meow and swat at an approaching hand) was a gentle, very sensitive soul.  When we connected in our very quiet way, I felt so honored that he trusted me enough to make that connection. 
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.
I showed some of the other regular volunteers how they could touch him gently with tools, so that he could feel safe, but could have contact. 
As time went on, when I would sit down next to his cage (I would put a chair sideways to his cage, as the sideways orientation is much less intense than straight-on), he would come right up to the front of the cage to greet me.  A few times I thought he was almost considering stepping onto my lap!
I grew to have a very special bond with this cat, who to me seemed like his heart had been wounded. We were able to enter a very quiet, peaceful space together, and I appreciate every moment we spent together.  He taught me so much about being patient and truly in the moment, and always being respectful of what felt safe and comfortable for him in that moment.
The BARC staff and volunteers were very kind to and respectful of him, as they are to all the animals there, and I send them so many thanks for that.  
Sadly, recently Quinn's health suddenly declined sharply, and too soon came his time to cross the rainbow bridge.  I'm sorry I did not have an opportunity to say goodbye to him in person, but I have spoken to him and said goodbye to him in my mind.  He will always live in a very special, quiet place in my heart.  Quinn, I have so much to thank you for and send so much love to you.  I picture you in a beautiful place in the spirit world, curling up on a cozy pillow in the sun for a pleasant nap.  xo