Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March 2015


THE WILBOURN WAY BLOG  

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

Dear Readers,

You won’t want to miss the new and magnificent exhibit Life of Cats at the Japan Society.


Featured Event -- EXHIBITION 
Life of Cats

Selections from 
The Hiraki Ukiyo-e Collection


Friday, March 13 — Sunday, June 7








LONDON BOUND
Gusty post surgery
I recently did a distant Reiki phone treatment for Gusty, a British cat, who was about to have a cystotomy to remove bladder stones. The surgery went very well, and Gusty had a quick recovery.


I will be in London April 9-13 to be with my sister, Gail, who’s been shooting a movie, The Danish Girl starring Eddie Redmayne http://www.comingsoon.net/movie/the-danish-girl-2015#/slide/1.  Gail is one of the creative producers on the film.  Can’t wait to see her and will follow up with Gusty and other cat issues.
Terry & Gusty - Home Sweet Home

CAT HIGH  
Thanks to a whirlwind of viral attention, CAT HIGH, a book, by the photographer
Terry Gruber is back in print.

His  book is a cat-lover’s delight filled with all kinds of kitties. 

VAN GOGH AND JAMAIS 


Vincent Van Gogh painted many a sunflower. You'll notice his cat Jamais, amongst this bouquet.

(Cats Of The Masters, Michael Patrick).





LILY HOWLS AND HOWLS

(Obsessive Compulsive Syndrome)
Lily sitting pretty
“We don’t get it,” said Eva. “Our Lily howls non-stop every morning soon after her breakfast.” Eva went on to say how Lily usually howled from the powder room not far from the kitchen where she and her husband sat and read the paper while they ate their breakfast. 

Sometimes her littermate, Louie, would check her out with a sniff here and a sniff there. But most of the time he kept his distance while they gave her attention -- to no avail. There was a time when Louie was protective of Lily but soon became more interested in people contact and admiration. Lily used to be front and center when there were visitors, but now she preferred to keep a low profile while Louie was the star attraction.

Loneliness Triggers These Howls
I pointed out to Eva that Lily’s obsessive howls seemed to have started at around the time when Eva’s work schedule changed, and she now had her mornings at home. As Eva hangs out with her husband over a long leisurely breakfast, Lily feels neglected, shut out. Unwittingly, Eva’s behavior agitates Lily, and she has an anxiety attack. She wants to be part of the breakfast action now that Eva is at home. Once Lily starts to howl, she can’t stop until she’s really worn out. I also noted that Lily withdrew from her fun interaction with visitors. Rather than to have to compete with Louie she chose not to be present. With the existing breakfast situation, instead of a “quiet” withdrawal, Lily’s discomfort is manifested in howling angst. Her obsessive howl is a symptom of angst. 
Louie front and center as Lily chills out
Some of my recommendations for Lily’s Treatment Plan:
  • Before you sit down to breakfast set up a nearby chair or cushion for Lily.
  • Acknowledge her verbally. You want her to feel very welcome.
  • A brief brushing will lift her spirits.
  • Provide her with a heating pad which will relax her body. The looser her body is, the better she’ll feel and act.
  • Remember once she starts to howl, it’s a continuous cycle. You want to engage her before she freaks out.
Louie, Too
“Carole, what about Louie? Won’t he feel left out?” said Eva. “I remember you’ve written how it’s important to keep cats in the loop to defuse rivalry. So if we mention Louie’s name when we acknowledge Lily, will that satisfy him?”
I told Eva it would. "That’s the key. If you mention their names or "right guys” now and again in your conversation with your husband, they’ll both feel included.  No one likes to feel left out."

Obsessive Compulsive Syndrome
Eva mentioned that Lily is a compulsive rubber ingester. I explained that this compulsive behavior called pica, is a symptom of Lily’s angst. She is attracted by the scent and consistency of the rubber. This activity distracts her from her feelings of angst.
Unfortunately, it is a destructive activity. I recommended that a multi vitamin supplement could be added to her diet. Sometimes brewers yeast is the answer as it is rich in the B vitamins and good for stress. A blood test would rule out any medical problems such as anemia.

Music Therapy And Bob’s Legacy
I reminded Eva that the music she played during Lily’s phone consult should play
continuously to reinforce the therapy of the phone consult. “It will be your guy’s mantra,” I said.
Eva was referred to me by a friend who lived in D.C. I had made a home visit for his cat Bob in Manhattan and later in D.C. Bob, as with Lily, was a “howler”.  He was a golden twenty when he passed on. Lily’s session was Bob’s legacy.

Reiki Soothes
“Let’s end Lily’s session with a distant Reiki treatment and we’ll include Bob.”

BEAR'S LIFE IS SPARED
Bear working out with his Kicker

“Carole, you’re our last resort. Dr. Landefeld of the Feline Veterinary Hospital in Port Washington gave us your number,” were Nancy’s words that played in my head as I took the train back to the city.  By the end of our conversation I had arranged to make a home visit to their cat Bear. And I am so very grateful that Dr. Landefeld made this an option.

Bear is a thirteen year old, neutered male that Nancy adopted as a kitten. Within a couple of months he had seizures but fortunately, medication reduced their occurrences. Bear was affectionate but also aggressive. But when Nancy married Michael a couple of years later, his aggression stopped. Indiscriminate defecation became his daily signature, and he vomited whenever he ate.

Monkey Joins The Catdom
Two years later they adopted Monkey, a husky, two-year-old from the pound. Their intent was for Bear to have company. Bear's reaction was to spray in and about their apartment. Monkey was not in Bear’s game plan for companionship. The two cats have since cohabited at a distance.

Baby Sima Arrives

When Sima, their now one-year-old baby arrived, Bear but not Monkey, accepted her even when she repeatedly tugged at his fur or suddenly screeched in his direction. Perhaps because Bear was so conflicted, he somehow had the innate tolerance to accept Sima's challenging attention.

Bear Wants To Live
What a therapy session!
“We felt we had no choice but to put Bear down when we went to Dr. Landefeld. It’s been thirteen years of so many different vets, various treatment plans and anti-anxiety drugs to no avail," said Nancy.
“We were told Bear is so unhappy, it would be best for everyone to let him go,” Michael added.
As I observed how happy Bear looked as he played with his kicker with the music in the background, I was sure this cat had no wish to leave our planet.

Bear awaits a brushing
Sima fulfills Bear's request










Baby Sima And Bear
When they told me Bear loved to be brushed, I suggested that with their help, baby Sima could brush Bear every day -- Monkey too, if he was receptive. {Take a look, and you’ll see Bear and Sima in action} “What a love he is,” I said.

Your Problems -- Bear’s Symptoms
“So what should we do about Bear’s problems? We can’t go on living like this.”
“They’re your problems,” I said and explained that Bear’s behavior was symptomatic of how uncomfortable and anxious he felt. He communicated his discomfort with inappropriate cat behavior. If he acted normally, how would they know to help him?

Bear’s Livability Options
“It’s Bear’s cat speak, a cry for your help. When Bear relived old traumatic feelings in his muscle memory, he had an anxiety attack. So if you can keep him safe and protected, his reality won’t be threatened."
I told them how they could start off with a large enclosure that contained all of his creature comforts. Instead of a dog crate it would be a cat crate or Bear’s safe crate or sanctuary. It should be set up by a sunny window. Bear could leave his protective sanctuary whenever they could hang out with him. This way he could have the best of two “realities,” and his anxiety attacks would be lessened and slowly ended. Bear’s “livability option” would become the family’s best livability option.

But Isn’t It Cruel To Lock Bear Up ……
I explained that this controlled environment would nurture not harm him. He might cry out at first, but as he realizes he’s not threatened, he will gradually relax. This sanctuary will become his security haven. An added benefit will be that Monkey, who now weighs 22 pounds, won’t have access to Bear’s prescription food. I also gave Nancy and Michael some other recommendations which included interactions between Bear and Monkey (Refer above to Louie Too in Lily Howls And Howls)

Bear’s Fun Sanctuary
Turn Bear’s security haven into a fun sanctuary, a haven of nurture, Bear’s road to recovery, his rehab. If you refer to it in a supportive way, Bear will mirror your
feelings which are transparent. Otherwise, he will be depressed and cranky. Sima can make drawings to decorate his haven -- so you smile when you look Bear’s way.

I reminded them to be in touch with progress reports, and I would update Dr, Landefeld with Bear’s treatment plan. What a cat, and what a couple -- such dedication!

CATCENTRIC WATER MASSAGE
An aqua massage for Waddles
Not many a cat is fond of water. So when Dr. Bodkin, a staff doctor at Westside Veterinary Center, where I am in residence, showed me this photo of Waddles, I was quite amused. Most likely, the water droplets serve as a gentle water massage or a reminder of a mother cat’s grooming.
A post massage nap with Puddles

Whatever it is, it puts Waddles in his comfort zone. Well deserved as Waddles has a companion dog, Puddles, to herd, along with the family kids.



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



A CAT DEVOTED TO HIS POST 
Biggie's passion for his post from Sisal Rug Direct delights his guardian whose furnishings are now catproofed.                                                              

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



ORION'S CATITUDES
(Orion, a recovering feral rescue, gives his cat-speak on cat issues)



Orion’s Whisker Wave to Blissed Out Cats








Gigi half-in half-out


Putty likes to hang out with her look-alike


Gem is the poster cat for "letting go"














Roxy seems blissed in a cat's Never-Never land



















Mayor's Alliance For NYC's Animals


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