Wednesday, May 21, 2014

May 2014

(AKA Cats on the Couch) 

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Dear Readers,
“One New Yorker has been providing Cat Therapy for decades, and now my cat Finnegan and a new cat-mate are in need”......

"YOU ADORE YOUR CAT BUT  ..... " Cat Therapy Program.
Sessions are at 6 p.m.  I have a feline Co-speaker. Do come along with all of your questions.

** My next confirmed library appearances are in Hoboken on Thursday June 12th, 
Here’s the venue:
Hoboken, New Jersey 
Hoboken Public Library, 500 Park Avenue  Click on the link and scroll for details.

** Then on June 26th Torrington, Connecticut.  
Torrington Public Library
12 Daycoeton Place, Torrington CT 06790  Click & Select June 26 on the calendar to see details 
Call 860.489.6684 to register or email Jessica at

Sabrina and Sydney
Sabrina was devastated when Sydney her companion passed on of cancer. That was a few months ago, as I mentioned in the Grief Therapy article in my April Blog

Kathy, Sabrina’s guardian, contacted me to make a home visit to evaluate her condition. She also sent me a photo of Sabrina asleep in a relaxed and stretched out position. That’s how Sabrina used to sleep. But now she slept all curled up and didn’t look as comfy and happy as before. I told Kathy that Sabrina’s changed way of sleeping mirrored her tense, contracted feelings ‘after’ the loss of Sydney. This photo was a metaphor for how Sabrina felt ‘before’.
Sabrina 'before'

When I arrived to do Sabrina’s session, Kathy mentioned how Sabrina used to be the ‘hall and door greeter‘ and would visit a neighbor down the hall. “She loved to be brushed, but now she bolts when I brush her”, said Kathy.

As I took Sabrina’s case history, I told Kathy this session would serve to chip away at and release any emotional angst that could trigger a potential medical problem. I gave Kathy the following recommendations to ease Sabrina's loss: 

TREATMENT PLAN             
Audio Continue to play the relaxation music that played during Sabrina’s session to reinforce the positive and cleansing feelings that occurred.
Visual -- Tell Sabrina that you’re okay, she’s okay, and her companion is now safe and at peace. Your reassurance will be communicated by your body language and affirmation. As you breathe and speak, your face and body reflect comfort and ease.
Taste -  A sprinkling of catnip on tissue paper, her scratch post and toys will enhance her palate and spirits. Repeat every couple of days -- more if welcomed.
Smell - The scent of lavender potpourri or incense will relax the two of you.
Touch -  Stroke her frequently, and tell her how loved and beautiful she is. Brush her gently. Stop before she bolts. Too much stimulation affects her muscle memory and triggers her residual feelings of grief and loss.
Water-  I also recommended that filtered water contained less minerals than tap water so it was more kidney-friendly. A supplement with Omega 3 fatty acids would benefit her hair coat, brain, digestive tract and other health concerns.

Kathy nodded as she copied down Sabrina’s behavioral program. Sabrina concurred by rolling over on her back amongst the catnip and tissue paper.
“Sabrina, you’re looking terrific,” Kathy said. She went on to tell me how Sabrina and Sydney always slept with her all night. Now Sabrina spends most of the night on the couch. “ What I truly miss is Sabrina’s hugs. She used to climb up and wrap her paws around my neck. No more!”

“Well Kathy, let me give you a Reiki chair treatment which will balance your
mind, body and spirit as I do the light hand placements on your head, neck and
shoulders. As you relax, Sabrina will feel the release.”

As I lightly placed my hands on Kathy’s head, Sabrina slowly approached us and scrambled up on Kathy's lap. And look what she did .... Yes, and she stayed there through the extended treatment and longer (I didn't want to interrupt their shared bliss). That's how I was able to record this breakthrough with my iPad. 
Sabrina with paws around Kathy's neck during Reiki treatment and after

I told Kathy that when Sabrina and she had regrouped after this major 
transition, we could consider the right companion for Sabrina, and I could do the introduction using The Wilbourn Way.

Sabrina’s progress report was a dazzler.  “She’s back in my bed again, and she visited our neighbor,” Kathy said.  "Carole, I didn’t realize that I was holding on to my grief. Sabrina’s session was a breakthrough for me.”

I told Kathy that as she verbally let go of her grief and we appealed to Sabrina’s five senses, we produced the sixth sense which is “love” and balance.

Orion with Baby Gus

Yes, Orion and baby Gus are quite the item. But Gus isn’t any baby.
You remember, Bug the Pug, Orion’s former next door playmate whose family moved away last year -- but Orion continues to hang out by their door?

Orion looking for Bug
Anyway, as I stepped out of the elevator into the lobby with Orion in his pillow case, Bug’s guardians were there with their new addition. They had stopped by to say hello. Bug had opted to stay at home.  
Orion may have preferred to greet Bug, but it’s all in the family.

Introduction of a new dog to your cat -- THE WILBOURN WAY
Moonie is a Philadelphia based cat who lives with her guardian Diana. During Moonie’s eleven years, they have lived in many places. Diana thrives on the
many moves, Moonie appears to share Diana’s wanderlust. Although Moonie is
the only cat, she has lived with cats and even hung out with dogs at a distance.
But now Diana’s sister’s dog would be a temporary guest. Yes, Romeo, eight
years old and neutered would share Moonie’s digs for a week.
Romeo, Moonie's Dog Guest

Diana had arranged a Facebook consult with me to arrange the best introduction. “Romeo adores my sister’s kids, and he has a heart of gold,” Diana said. “He’s never lived with a cat, and I want to make this new experience an adventure for the three of us.”

I told Diana that’s exactly what we would do. “And Diana, as I outline the plan, play some mellow music and invite Moonie to join the party.” So Diana
turned on the music, leaned back in her cushy chair, and Moonie stretched out beside her.

  • Let Moonie listen to the sound of a barking dog (Youtube or some computer clip).  Don’t blast the sound if she is sound sensitive. Stroke and praise or brush Moonie as the dog barks.  Whenever the dogs in the adjacent apartment bark, tell her their barks are protecting them.
  • Select a high feeding place for Moonie so Romeo isn’t tempted. Prevent a territorial tug-of-war.
  • Provide a high comfy perch, so she can reign supreme at will.
  • Place her litter box where Romeo isn’t able to be a litter bug
  • Dog-proof her toys in a basket on a high perch. Romeo might be able to snare a toy now and again, but you want to prevent total destruction. He can concentrate on his own toys.
  • Tell Moonie she had such a cool idea to invite Romeo to hang out for a while so she can teach him new things, and he can be their watch dog. Although she won’t understand your words, your verbal delivery and body language will score with her. She’ll feel in control.
  • Have a doggie or baby gate available to divide the room. The gate will enable them to view each other at a distance without physical contact, and Romeo won’t have to be tethered.
  • Your sister (or someone who hasn’t befriended Moonie) should escort Romeo in on a tight leash -- while you and Moonie are in another room.  After your sister has sat down, you and Moonie can enter. If she decides to stay put in another room, that’s fine.  It should be her choice.
  • Whenever you speak to or of Romeo, or touch him, you must include Moonie verbally so she feels included -- “right Moonie”. This is vital even if she can't see or hear you. Her cat radar or cat-sense is omniscient.
  • Set up the gate while your sister is there, and she can arrange Romeo’s creature comforts. If the gate is not possible, Romeo should be kept on his leash at all times and/or sequestered in a separate room -- to avoid any incident or accident. If Romeo prefers to be crated, that’s another option.
  • To avoid any transitional stress, when you feed Romeo, you can say, “I’ll feed Romeo for you. When you take him for a walk, “I’ll walk Romeo so you don’t have to do it, and this will give you some private time. Avoid jealousy! Think of these announcements as a bridge to happy interactions.
I told Diana that because Romeo was there for only a week, it wasn’t necessary for the two to become kissing cousins but this guided introduction would pave the way to a merry encounter if their relationship were to continue. Moonie, the femme fatale should have fun with her suitor. It would be quite an adventure.

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

The first lady was accompanied by first dogs Bo and Sunny, as she handed out cookies to military families at the Fisher House at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.  The cookies were made by the White House pastry chefs in the shape of Portugese Water Dogs and the White house. The First Lady thanked Fisher House for providing military families with "a home away from home" during tough times. The foundation gives free temporary housing to military and veterans' families while their loved ones receive medical care. It has served more than 200,000 families since 1991.
Orion gives a shout out for the First Dogs and their gracious assistance.              

Carole’s Take on Oscar The Cat Who .....  
A Free Consultation With The Cat Therapist