Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Reiki, TTouch and Play with Daisy at Bideawee Westhampton: Peacefulness to a Sensitive Cat

Daisy is a beautiful kitty at Bideawee in Westhampton.  She is friendly with people, but not so fond of other cats, so she is lucky enough to have her own room there.

Daisy wants to have connection and friendship with people, but she gets so overexcited that it can turn into overstimulated behavior, with tail twitching, sudden hissing or meowing, etc.  Some people would say this is "unpredictable" behavior, but to me it is actually expected, if you watch her very clear body language.

And I do not agree with people who think this type of behavior is set in stone and cannot change.  We cannot know what will happen, but I believe that improvement is always possible.  It is a type of behavior where one is likely to always have to be extra-mindful of the cat's body language, but I strongly believe that by sharing a calm space, we can help these animals to understand what being calm feels like.  And the more that they feel it, the more possible it can be for them to get to that place on their own.

I have been working with Daisy really slowly, and through this process and combination of Reiki, TTouch and play, we have established a lovely bond.

My cat Garbanzo had a somewhat similar pattern, though his was more extreme, as he could get very aggressive when he was in overstimulated mode.  He trained me well to learn how to stay calm and neutral, and how to go slowly and gradually, always aware of body language.

When I first met Daisy, I had worked with other cats first, so without even consciously thinking it, Reiki was flowing before I entered into the room.  I entered and sat down calmly.  Daisy ran up to me before I even sat down and started rubbing and rubbing against me.  This behavior alone made her so overstimulated that suddenly she hissed at me.  I had a wonderful toy with me ("Go Cat Cat Catcher" - basically a stick toy with a mouse on the end of a wire - most cats love it!) - so I started playing with her a bit with the toy - enough so she could get some of her energy out on the toy, but not so wildly that she got amped up even further.  At times I was able to stroke her with the stick end of the stick toy - just once or twice.  Mostly I was just sitting calmly and letting the Reiki flow.

Our first few sessions were brief, as I wanted to make sure that we had a positive interaction, and it was left at that.  With each session, Daisy responded to the Reiki more and started to recognize the calming energy.

And so after a little bit of play, I would just sit calmly, and she would end up laying right next to me, even falling asleep.
It was so relaxing in her beautiful room, with the light coming in the window.  The light from outside, the light from within both of us, the light of the Reiki energy, becoming one with the light.

At the end of our most recent session (actually part one of it!), when I ended the session and got up to go to the door (which I do gradually and calmly), Daisy came after me, as she often does, and she started getting back into a hectic mode.  I was feeling from her, "why are you leaving?  don't go! why are you leaving?".  When I end the sessions with her, I tell her that I love her always, and that I will be back, but still this is often what happens when I leave the room.

After I worked with a couple of other cats, it was getting near time for me to leave the shelter, but I really wanted to spend a few more minutes with Daisy.  I felt I had something more to share with her, and I wanted to see what would happen.

I went back in the room, letting the Reiki flow again, and she calmly settled on the floor across from where I was.  I started telling her silently, "You can always have the light in you.  You can always have the light all around you, protecting you.  I love you always, and always, and always.  Feel the light inside you, and the light all around you, protecting you." I started repeating these words, and variations, like a mantra, for a few minutes.  I may have said them quietly, in addition to silently, I am not sure.  I saw her looking so peaceful and happy and settled.  And when I got up to leave, I was still feeling these words in my head, and she stayed right where she was, at peace and very settled.

Later on, I heard from one of the shelter people that Daisy and some of the others were much calmer.  So lovely to hear!

Thank you so much, Daisy!  It is such an honor to learn from you, and to share this beautiful energy with you.  I look forward to seeing you soon:)

And thanks, as always, to the wonderful Bideawee people for all that you do for these sweet creatures. xxoo


  1. Great video and beautiful photos. Daisy is gorgeous.

  2. Sarah, I don't have much experience with cats, but would love to volunteer TTouch and Reiki services this summer with a cat rescue about 40 miles from me. And suggestions/recommendations for this new venture? Thanks and blessings!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Sorry for the delay! To clarify, are you experienced in doing Reiki or TTouch or are you looking to learn these modalities? These are both modalities which are so helpful for shelter cats, and that is great that you have the opportunity to volunteer at a cat shelter. Once you can give me a bit of detail about your situation, I will be happy to give more detailed advice, but here are a few tips. A gentle, gradual approach is best with cats, and when doing TTouch with cats in the shelter, I most often with start out with TTouch tools, especially if I am not sure of their behavior. Take tools that can be easily washed, like a plastic back scratcher or paintbrush. When sharing Reiki with any animal, start with hands off. Just sit in the room or near the cage (depending on situation) and let the energy flow and see what the cat wants to do. Have a look at my tutorials on TTouch with cats and on TTouch Tools at http://youtube.com/sarahsuricat. all the best!!