Sunday, March 24, 2013

March 2013

     (AKA Cats on the Couch)

Dear Readers,
My cat Orion and I would like to wish you and your animal companions a healthy, happy Easter and Passover.
Do have fun with my second Blog.  Cats are always front and center.

"Why do they say a cat has nine lives,” my trainer asked me at one of my sessions at the Apple Store? 
    I told him I’d never been asked that question before, so I Googled it.  Google had oodles of variations on this theme. The one I liked best is the derivation of the number 9. Nine always reproduces itself as in 3 x 9 =27, 2 + 7 = 9. Nine represents plentitude, staying power. It’s the last of the single digit numbers.
    When we think of a cat and a cat's abundant tenacity, we immediately think of how a cat can right itself from a treacherous fall if it’s within a certain height and landing object. How’s that for phenomenal reproduction? That ability alone is enough to equate a cat with at least nine lives. You, my readers, are now probably filled with situations where a cat has prevailed under life-threatening situations. There’s no end to a cat’s brilliance.

Ella moved in with Maddy when she was a kitten. That was four years ago. Just the two of them -- which Ella preferred. Always wary of visitors, she barely tolerated Maddy’s boyfriend, Ted, who’d been around for three years. Ella usually saw him only a couple of days a week, but that was about to change. Ted would move in with Maddy and Ella in a new apartment.
“Would like to think that Ted will be on Ella’s A list in the new apartment but decided not to risk it and seek out some expert advice,” Maddy said. I acknowledged Maddy for her ability to think ahead and avoid a potential catastrophe. These were some of my recommendations:
Preparations Before The Move:
  •  When Ted visits, it’s important to acknowledge Ella in your conversation --especially when he first arrives -- so there isn’t a sudden transition to focus on Ted. You could say: “How nice you invited Ted to visit us. Ella, you always have such good timing.” This way Ella feels in charge and in the loop. It’s not that she understands your words, but your body language and tone of voice reach out to her. Continue to include Ella verbally. “Isn’t that right Ella?" or "Right Ella?” will do. This special communication will help to ease transitional angst for Ella.
  • With Ella’s love of the radiator, get out your cat-friendly heating pad when Ted is there, and invite Ella to hang out on it. The next time Ted can turn it on for her so she associates him with its relaxation and warmth. 
  • Ted can feed her when he’s there and offer her any of her favorite toys.
  • Have him remove his shoes so she isn’t annoyed or startled by his   movements.
  • If you leave before him in the morning, say goodbye to Ella before you address Ned and after.
  • Ted should leave enough time so he doesn’t have to rush around.
  • He should always let Ella seek him out but end any interaction on a good note -- not wait for her to hiss or reject him.
  • Whenever she becomes upset or anxious with him, change her focus with a sudden throw of a toy or make a funny, strange sound to distract her.
Ted joined Mandy for the follow-up phone consult on speaker phone so as before, Ella was in on the conversation. I didn’t include Ted in the first consult so Ella had Mandy all to herself -- presented a comfortable association for Ella to this consult where Ted was included.  
Moving Day 

  • Ted should move in to the new apartment first.
  • A room should be set up with all of Ella’s creature comforts, some of the old and a few new additions.
  • Mandy should hang out with Ella for a bit before Ted joins them.
  • Once everything is in place, to defuse culture shock, Mandy should introduce Ella to one room at a time and Ted can join them. I emphasized that it was a high priority to make Ella feel part of the family; a principal, not an extra. For a smooth, lasting transformation, this was a cardinal consideration and action.
(New Kitten Competition)                          
    Carole, you did a session with my cats, Lady and Joey, ten days ago, and it’s been unbelievably incredible -- like night and day,” was  Doris’ message. She went on to say how Lady was once again playful, affectionate and confident. Joey, the newbie of several months ago, was respectful and considerate of Lady -- as he should be. He was only a year old. Lady was three years his senior, and Doris had adopted Joey so Lady would have a fun companion.   
     When I did the session, Doris told me how she was especially upset about Lady’s bedtime ritual. She had always slept with Doris until Joey moved in. Now Joey was her bed-mate, and Lady kept to herself.    
    "OMG, that's a cardinal crime," I said.  "If Lady doesn't sleep with you, Joey can't  either. Otherwise that adds to her feeling of abandonment and she'll resent Joey big time." I explained that she should close her bedroom door, and the two cats could spend their nights together. "But before long your two guys will tuck in with you at bedtime." Doris nodded in agreement as Lady relaxed to the CD of music in the background, our focus on her and Joey's toned down behavior.
     When at one point Doris thought Lady looked sad, I immediately said “She looks sexy.” Lady’s reaction was to get a whiff of Joey’s butt with no rebuff as you can see in this photo. Yes, indeed, neutered and spayed cats can still be sensual. 
Doris ended her message telling how she played their CD continuously, remembered to acknowledge Lady whenever she interacted with Joey, and looked forward to thanking Dr. Fried for his referral.
A happy cat makes me a very happy person.  A happy family speaks for itself.

My Orion’s snuggling with his Reiki doll is his signal for a Reiki treatment.  If I don’t answer his request promptly, he’ll give her a few nips, a few nudges and she’ll wind up on the floor.  Orion senses that I always benefit from his treatment which balances the mind, body and spirit -- so I’ll get right to it.

(Orion, a former rescue, will represent cats and offer nuggets of wisdom regarding Bo, the rescued First Dog -- a Portuguese Water Dog.) 

First Dog Bo Invites You to White House Easter Egg Roll   

 A lottery was held for tickets for this year’s 134th edition of the event which will take place on April 9. “Let’s go, Let’s Play, Let’s Move” is the theme, in honor of the first lady’s “Let’s Move!” campaign to combat childhood obesity. 
Orion applauds Bo’s involvement and urges him to rock on with a similar campaign for his animal comrades.