Tuesday, February 24, 2015

February 2015


(AKA Cats on the Couch)  For a better view Click http://cattherapist.blogspot.com/ 

Dear Readers,

When Diane Warren received a text that her song Grateful” was nominated for an academy award, she was in bed with her cat. 

She was so excited she says. I flew out of bed so fast that my cat, Mouse, went flying across the room. Of course, she landed on her feet. Thank God shes a cat!

Diane Warren and Mouse

You''ll want to subscribe to Carole's free monthly Blog -- The Wilbourn Way   http://thewilbournway.com/cgi-bin/dada/mail.cgi


Andy Warhols art was cutting edge in American art, and he was a rich artist. Technology was not his strong suit. So when his cat, Eisenhower, disappeared, he made a simple and unpretentious poster which he planned to copy and staple to telephone poles around the neighborhood. Eisenhower turned out to be locked in the laundry room. The results of his artistic posters, colored with magic markers, led to his next major exhibition.  (Cats Of The Masters, Michael Patrick)     

Carole's Take on Oscar The Cat Who .....  

(Attack Cat Syndrome)     

The two brothers retreat to the kitchen cabinets when Dante is on the attack,” Adam said. That was several months ago when Adam contacted me to do a grief and restorative session for his three cats. Within the past few years, hed lost his partner and two of their five cats. Dante, who was seven and Adams cat, began to terrorize Caro and Bello, the ten year old brothers who were his late partners cats. Truly,  Adam loved the three of them. But now he was their sole guardian, and felt very sorry for the brothers whod lost their main personI get so angry with Dante when he becomes the attack cat,” said Adam.

I told Adam that Dante could not accept this major transition in relationships. Now the boundaries were blurred
Dante felt betrayed and anxious whenever Adam interacted with the brothers.  But if Dante felt acknowledged and included, Caro and Bello wouldnt be his scape-cats. I devised a treatment plan that would slowly chip away at Dantes fury and mend fences with the two brothers. (Refer to Dante Attacks His Two Companions”  http://www.thecattherapist.com/blog.asp?published-min=2014-04-01T00%3A00%3A00&published-max=2014-04-30T23%3A59%3A59)

Caro & Bello

Adam wanted very much for the cats to stay together, but he agreed that it would depend on how well they responded to their behavioral/ emotional program. I recommended that we do a series of three sessions every two or three weeks. Their progress would determine whether we would continue therapy or find a new home for the brothers. By the end of their third session, Dante had stopped pulling out his fur, was less needy, and Adam was able to temporarily remove the gate while he gave his three guys food treats in the kitchen. Their focus was shifted from angst to food so they could be together at a distance.

Feeding Kitchen
Now it was time to provide the brothers with an enclosure that they could hang out in. So Adam taped the kitchen cabinets shut. The enclosure replaced the cabinets. Soon Dante was able to spend more time in the kitchen when Adam was there to distract him if he became agitated. 
Unlike the brothers, Dante was a foodieHis passion for food escalated when his previous behavioral program included an anti-anxiety drug. Psychotropic drugs are used extensively and successfully to treat aggression. But in my experience, I find it best, if needed, to use them and/or homeopathic remedies to supplement the behavioral/ emotional treatment. Adam preferred to continue their treatment program without any drugs.
The Brothers' enclosure

After a few weeks, Adam was able to leave the kitchen gate open when he was home.  Gradually, he was able to move the brothers’ enclosure outside the kitchen. Dantes initial reaction was to hiss and posture, but as long as Adam focused on Dante, acknowledged him verbally and referred to him when he interacted with the brothers, Dante kept his cool. Slowly but surely, the brothers’ landscape increased. Finally out of the closet on a regular basis.

Adam had his guys checked out by Dr. Fried of Lincoln Square Veterinary Hospital soon after I started their treatment program. It was important to continue to rule out any current medical issues. But Caro freaked out when Adam put him into his carrier and sank his teeth into Adams hand. Adam treated his wound and off they went. No remarkable medical issues, except the cats were scheduled for dentistry. But what Adam thought was a superficial bite wound turned out to be a major infection. So dentistry was put on hold and even more hold when Adam became preoccupied with major work changes and personal matters.

Time moved on. And so did the three guys. Now and again, Dante would act out with the brothers but more often Adam was able to distinguish Dantes tell tale signs — ripple of his back, flick of his tail, widened pupils — and to distract him with an enthusiastic toss of a toy or walk in the hall. However, Dante, the foodie, was now a chubette, and Caro and Bello, the nibblers, were now twiggy-bound. Their dentistry and exams were long overdue and had to be scheduled. But Adam realized he would need help to get them to their appointments,  so Dr. Frieds hospital arranged for a technician to stop by to assist and accompany Adam.

The brothers had lost two pounds. Dante had gained three. Fortunately, the results of their blood tests were up to scratch so their dentistry was rescheduled.  Dr. Fried recommended an immediate diet change for the three.  Although Dante was not usually very food-specific, he initially rejected the flaxseed oil that was added to his food but accepted the flaxseed flakes. The oil was added to the brothers’ food so Dante wouldnt be tempted. Now that Dante was no longer so emotionally threatened by the brothers, he wouldnt need food to stuff his angst, and his food intake could be steadily controlled. 

A bed for Dante

A bed for the brothers
Dante joins Adam for Reiki
"OMG, theyve come full circle. We have a triple win", I said to myself. As I gave Adam a Reiki chair treatment and lightly placed my hands on his head, Dante, the recovering aggressor, scrambled up on Adams lap, while Dantes two companions sprawled out nearby on the table.  Clearly, the relaxation of Adams three guys mirrored Adams reaction to the Reiki treatment which balanced Adams mind, body and emotional well being. 

Relaxing to Adam's Reiki chair treatment
Healing is a caring process. Adam and his guys have traveled a rocky road to recovery. So many blocks have been chipped away. There may be now and again brief breakdowns, but their foundation is firm. Their behavioral program will continue to be the key to their capacity to sustain. 
We may continue to do occasional sessions with more time spent on Reiki -- the tie that binds -- as Dante continues to forgive.

I recently received a testimonial from a guardian whose cats nine lives were winding down.

Dear Carole,
I want to thank you for the distant Reiki session you gave Fluffy by phone. She was 19 years old and had been failing for months. She did not seem in distress but was somewhat listless -- except at mealtimes. She still enjoyed eating, being brushed and petted. As you did her Reiki session over the phone, Fluffy listened quite attentively. She seemed to brighten up afterwards. I felt comforted to see her relax during her session and be more responsive following it. Some weeks later my Fluffy died of old age …….       

Im always so grateful that I can offer Reiki to comfort cats who are reaching the end.

If you have lost an animal companion, the Veterinary Grief Counseling Program at Penn Vets Ryan Veterinary Hospital was created to help guardians recognize and embrace the significance and difficulties associated with loss of their animal companion. http://www.vet.upenn.edu/veterinary-hospitals/ryan-veterinary-hospital/services/grief-support-social-services

Benny joins the family of Misha and Pasha

On another note, I used The Wilbourn Way to introduce 
10-year old Benny to Misha and Pasha.

Thanks for helping Benny to become a true member of our family. 

Biggie's passion for his Sisal Rug Direct post delights his guardian whose furnishings are now catproofed.                                                              

Scroll down to Natural Cat Products at Sisal Rug Direct.  Check out their special discounts. 


(Orion, a recovering feral rescue, gives his cat-speak on cat issues)

Orion endorses blissed out cats
Living on the edge fascinates Orion

Blue loves her bed-time with Baby

A drawer is bliss for Sophie

An edgy vantage point for Roman
Ninja the Canadian cat basks in comfort

Adoptapalooza at Washington Square Park
And you too can make yourself, as well as many a cat and dog happy.  Become a volunteer with the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals   http://animalalliancenyc.org/help/volunteer/index.htm

ADOPT A LITTLE NEW YORKER TODAY  http://www.AnimalAllianceNYC.org/index.htm

A Free Consultation With The Cat Therapist