Monday, December 10, 2012

The Adventures of Emmylou and Natalia: Closer and Closer

Emmylou and Natalia are my two lovely kitties who I adopted from BARC Shelter in July.  They were brought into the shelter as feral cats, so I have been going through a very gradual process of helping them to become acclimated to the apartment and to us, which has been going so well - better than I ever could have dreamed.  Every day there is visible progress. 

When I get home, they greet me at the door, waiting for me to give them attention, which is so sweet.  As soon as I can after getting back home from somewhere, I sit on the floor to do TTouches with them.  Each day they are comfortable with longer periods of contact, and with me being in closer proximity to them.  I can pick Emmylou up briefly, and sometimes can put an arm around one or the other before beginning TTouches with them.  Natalia is starting to come up to give me nose-kisses. 

They still can get startled with sudden sounds or when friends come over, but even that is becoming easier for them to handle. 

It has been very important for me to continue to use the socialization tools which I have been using all along with them:  TTouch, Reiki, play, and often just sitting on the floor and hanging out with them.  Feeding them baby food off our fingers is also a great tool, as they will come right to us and even climb up on us to get to the food.  They are coming around for attention more and more, and emjoy hanging out near where I am.  For example, as I type this, Natalia is sleeping on the floor right near the computer chair.  Yesterday when I was in my art studio, Emmylou was watching me through the glass-paned doors that separate the living room from the studio.

Calm music is also wonderful for keeping the environment very peaceful.

Play is also a very important way to connect with the cats and to let loose any tension, and these two really love to tear around.  What a pleasure it is to see them chase a toy or each other around the apartment!  They also have a cat tunnel, which is fun for them to play in, as well as a place they can hide if someone comes over and they want to hang out in there.

When friends come over, the girls may initially go up to the platform bed and watch us from there, but sometimes they come down in the living room, especially if we give them treats, which we always do.  We are starting to let others try giving them the baby food off their finger as well, which works really well, as it gets them accustomed to being in closer proximity to other people and having something nice happen (the baby food treat!).  Others are starting to be able to pet them a bit too.

I am so grateful to have these two special creatures in my life every day.  They both have such a sweet, gentle nature, and it is so lovely to see them stretch out and feel like they are truly at home. xo

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