Friday, March 10, 2017

My Journey with Peaches at Bideawee

Peaches was a dear, gentle, senior cat friend who I worked with at Bideawee in Westhampton starting in 2015, when I started coming to Westhampton to work with the kitties (and occasionally a dog).  I enjoyed each moment I spent working with him, and so was very sad to hear of his passing recently.  Following is a bit about how he came to Bideawee, and then about our journey and work together. 

Peaches had come to Bideawee in 2012 with mom Penelope and five siblings when their owner passed away.  They had been clearly loved and well cared for by their owner.  Bideawee gives all their animals such love and care, and the kitties were able to live in the spacious, lovely cat rooms they have.  These rooms are beautifully set up for the cats' comfort, with ramps, cat trees, cat beds, scratching posts, and toys.  All the kitties except for Penelope and Peaches were adopted.

Peaches was a very shy boy, and so of course I was eager to work with him.  He would run away when people approached him, and would usually go way up high in the room, or to the back of a crate in the room to get away from people.

I wanted to allow Peaches to slowly become accustomed to me in a way that would feel safe to him.  In my first sessions, I did Reiki with him from a short distance away.  If he was way up high, I would stand on a chair so I could see him, but still could be a good distance away.  I also did TTouches off the body, as you see here:

Feeling the gentle energy of the TTouches and Reiki from a distance helped him to feel more comfortable, and slowly he began to be more at ease in my presence.

The next wonderful discovery I made was that he liked treats.  Treats can be a wonderful way for a cat to learn that they can be safe near you, and they begin to associate you with something that they really enjoy.  Following is a video which shows how I incorporated treats with TTouch and Reiki to help dear Peaches feel more at ease. 

Now when he saw me coming into the room, he began running towards me instead of away.  Yes, it was for the treats, but later on, I was able to approach him for affection without the "bribery".  Also, in our sessions he was comfortable for longer and longer periods without using treats.

In the video above. you see me brushing him with a "mini jelly scrubber" brush - which is most often used for horses, but I found out about it in the TTouch training, as many cats enjoy being TTouched (or, I found out later, brushed) with it. You can see how he settles into touch for longer periods of time without the treats.
In the video below, you can see him enjoying contact more and more.  And in the last section, I had approached him quietly while he was cozy in the sun, and he relaxed into the TTouches with no treats being used.

The large room that he lived in (with some other cats) has big windows in the front that go over the top as well.  So on a sunny day, the light pours in, and there are cozy places for the cats to hang out in these sunny spots.
When I think of Peaches now, that moment we had of TTouch with the light shining on us comes back to me.  Truly a magical moment in time, a beautiful moment of inner and outer light and connection.
I looked forward to each time that I worked with dear Peaches, and felt our heart connection grow stronger each time.  I felt so honored that he felt safe with me, that he was enjoying these moments of closeness and contact.
And I heard that some other people were able to have more contact with Peaches as well, which was great to hear.
As we continued working, he continued making progress, and in this last session that I filmed, he realized he really enjoyed scratches and TTouches around his head.  He was purring and pushing into my hand.  Such a joyful session with him!

Not too long ago, I had noticed that Peaches was feeling more frail, and so I mentioned it to the Bideawee staff. Bideawee's vet checked him out completely with full bloodwork, etc and nothing showed up.  So it must have been a shock when Bideawee's Animal Care Supervisor Amy discovered that Peaches had passed away in his sleep. Amy has his ashes, and there is a photo of him up where his cage card used to be, to honor the sweet kitty.
Following is a strappo monotype I did of him a while ago.

I will always remember Peaches.  His gentle smile and sweet soul will live in my heart forever.

I will always picture him basking in the sun, with the sun coming in through the windows, with a beautiful smile on his face, glowing with light and joy.  Love you always, Peaches!  Thank you for all that you taught me, shared with me, and all that you gave to me.  xoxo

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