Chelsea was a quiet, shy senior kitty who was returned to BARC Shelter along with his senior kitty friend Chloe. Chloe is very outgoing, so the return to the shelter was not as traumatic for her, but Chelsea really took it hard. Initially, he was lashing out at anyone who tried to approach him.
Sadly, he also became very ill, as he and Chloe both probably had compromised immune systems due to their age, combined with the stress of returning to a shelter environment after a lifetime of living in a home. At one point, Chelsea stopped eating, which was really scary. The wonderful cat loft staff started hand feeding him, and after trying numerous foods, I happened to find a cat food that he loved. So I brought a bunch of cans for him every time I went to the shelter. So little by little we did coax him back to eating again, and he seemed to reach a bit of a holding pattern for a while.
I am always drawn to shy cats and older cats, and I connected with Chelsea's soulful, wise spirit immediately. I knew that what others saw as aggression was his extreme fear.
I worked with Chelsea very quietly and gradually. I started our sessions by sharing Reiki with him from outside the cage. I quieted myself down, to start with, which is SO important, especially with scared animals. Quieting my mind and my body so that I could hear and see and feel what he was feeling.
In the beginning, he would sit in the litter box or in the back of the cage. As I let the Reiki flow, I could see him start to relax and get sleepy. After letting him relax with Reiki for a while, I would sometimes stroke him a bit with a paintbrush. If he was hesitant, I would pause and go back to letting the Reiki flow again. He started being more comfortable with the paintbrush after a while, and started to lean his face into it. He almost looked as though he was smiling when he did that.
I spoke softly to him, letting him know he was safe, and that I loved him. I visualized light all around him, and welcomed him to connect with the light as much as he wished.
He began to recognize me, and to realize that we were going to work gently and quietly. I could feel him connect with the Reiki energy more deeply each time, often going completely to sleep. I felt a bubble of this peaceful space around us. And his friend Chloe, who you see in the photo in the next cage below, would also respond to the calm energy.
And he started hanging out further towards the front of the cage. He also would sometimes enjoy treats, so I would see if I could get him to come a bit closer for the treats.
He also was enjoying TTouch more and more, so I started working with him directly with my hand after working with the paintbrush for a while.
As time went on, we started to realize there had to be something deeper going on with him. Though he was eating again by this point, and was clearly more comfortable emotionally, he still was very gaunt, and we could tell something was going on with him. The vets suspected he had cancer.
Reiki works on many levels, so at the very least, it can help provide comfort and optimum balance and, often, more quality time even for an animal who may be quite sick.
By this time, I felt so connected with this sweet kitty. I had experiences of closeness with him which were beyond words. I could feel so much love and so much gratitude coming from him. And a sharing of his beautiful soul with me.
There was one day that I was sharing Reiki with him, and I had such an extraordinary moment. I always feel a powerful connection when sharing Reiki, but suddenly I had a feeling that was on another level, and was somehow more complete -- that our souls had completely merged, that there were no boundaries. There was this feeling of longing from him, and then the image I saw was of his chest expanding with sparkling light and I joined him in this timeless place of light. It was a feeling of such pure love. A love and a feeling truly beyond words. It is hard to find the right words to express it, and tears run down my face as I am writing about it and re-experiencing that feeling. He had opened up a place in himself to allow me to be one with him there. And I so gladly went with him there to that place of pure love. I will never forget it.
Even when I am sharing Reiki with an animal who is quite ill, they give me healing as well. And certainly Chelsea did.
Shortly after that day, when I went to work with him, he would stand up and come towards me. I knew he was working up the courage to get onto my lap.
The last time that I saw him, he put two paws in my lap, and looked into my face as if to tell me that he wanted to crawl into my arms and come with me. He had already crawled into my heart in a space where he will always remain. I told him how much I loved him, that I would always love him, that I would always be with him, that I would always love him.
I knew that he was not going to be on the earth too much longer, but I hadn't realized that would be the last day I would see him. Sadly, he took a turn for the worse, and the vets realized he had a huge mass inside him, and that he must be in a great deal of discomfort, so they let him go.
The kind people at BARC let me have Chelsea's ashes, which I brought home with me yesterday, and which are in a special place in my home, with a photo and a drawing I did of him a couple of days ago (the drawing is above).
Thank you, dear Chelsea, for giving me so much. For connecting with me with your soul and with your spirit in such a special and sweet way. I know you will always be with me, and I will always love you.
And thanks to all my wonderful BARC people, for all your kindness, love and care each and every day. xoxo