Sunday, May 31, 2015

April 2015


(AKA Cats on the Couch)  For a better view Click 
Dear Readers,

Did you know that the artist, Gustav Klimt was a dedicated cat lover? I was touched when I saw this photo amongst his exhibit at the Neue Gallery. 
Notice how he cradles his cat. Read all about Klimt and his cat, Katze, in Klimt And His Cat -- available at the Neue

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

Polish cat
When I read about Rademenes, a black cat who comforts sick and recovering animals at a Polish animal shelter, I was reminded of Nursie (aka Florence Nightin-Cat) at The Cat Practice who made her rounds to all of our patients. Despite her head tilt, she was a mover and shaker. She was our Nursie. 

Now you can read all about Rademenes.


A little boy was crying his eyes out on the subway. His young Mom was overly worn out, so I took out my kitty shaped mirror, flashed it at the little boy & he was kitty focused -- tearless. His Mom smiled and smiled. Me too. 

(Indiscriminate Urination)
Joeys litter box habits went awry when Laras husband passed on. That was almost three years ago. When Lara moved to Florida, Joey returned to his box. No more tinkling on the couch and other selected spots. But now once again, Joey had started to urinate on the couch.
Joey on Skype
Music Therapy Eases Angst
As Lara and I Skyped, she played a link to music I had emailed so that this music could play continuously. The music would remind Joey of his session, a comfort association, and a security object when he felt stressed. Lara and Joey had both been very stressed with the loss of Laras husband. This separation anxiety pushed Joey over the edge. His bladder became his stress target. When he became overly upset, he had an anxiety attack. Chances are his bladder had a fleeting ache. He avoided his box to communicate his distress. Joeys target is probably the couch because it is soft and reminds him of the cozy feeling when the mother cat ingested his wastes.

Joey already has three litter boxes, said Lara. I told her to put paper towels or wee wee pads in one of the boxes so he could satisfy his mother comfort feeling in a cat-acceptable spot and to tell him how good he was whenever he used his boxes.
New Coping Mechanisms
When they moved to Florida, both she and Joey were involved and affected in a good way, a change of scenery and sunny climate. But over time, Joey relived his past grief (muscle memory) when stressed and had an incident. You mean he hadnt totally recovered, said Lara. No, there was still inner residual angst. So now we want to help him to integrate new coping mechanisms so he can deal better with every day stress.
Joey Mirrors Your Feelings
Lara mentioned how he probably sensed her grief when she thought about her late husband. I told her he did mirror her feelings and to tell Joey they were both okay and very loved when she thought of her husband and felt lonely. Joey would sense her relief through her tone of voice, breath and body language. Pamper yourself, and youll pamper Joey.

I prescribed the following program to support Joey in his recovery:
Joeys Treatment Program to Tackle His Bladder Angst
  • Play his music to reinforce his desensitization during his Skype session.
  • Tight, gentle hugs will help him to release some of his pent-up tension. The more relaxed he feels, the calmer hell behave.
  • Leave the tarps on your couch for at least two months after hes had his last incident.
  • Continue to leave the lids off of his boxes.
  • A heating pad might please him after his daily brushing.
  • Consult with the vet for a bladder and weight-friendly diet.
  • Periodical anal gland checks to prevent blockage.
  • Daily affirmations such as: "Joey youre mellow, happy courageous and very loved". We all love to be acknowledged favorably.
Incidents Are Symptoms 
I reminded Lara that Joeys incidents are symptoms of his distress. As he feels better and recovers, his behavior will improve a day at a time --  maybe a little slower or faster. We may need to do a follow-up on Skype or a home visit if needed. However, I feel his prognosis is satisfactory. Time will take time.

Zelda hasnt been herself since our dog, Martha, passed on last year, said Lois. 
She and her partner, Anna, had received my name from their veterinarian Dr. Campbell, and arranged for me to do a home visit for Zelda.
Although Martha was more than twice the size and age of four year old Zelda, Martha was Zeldas crony. As I took Zeldas case history, she darted about with a look of fun and mischief in her eyes. 
Zelda has always been a high energy cat, said Anna, “but now she digs her claws into my legs at bedtime and Ive become her moving target during the day.
Play-Cat Becomes Aggressive
Lois explained how she was usually the one who Zelda hung out with. Not a lap cat, Zelda would sprawl out nearby as Lois worked on her laptop or did other daily activities. Lois, unlike Anna, worked at home.  She was Zeldas contemplative, low-key companion whereas Anna was the one who usually played with Zelda. But now Zelda frequently hissed and swatted at Anna in the midst of play-time. I feel like Im walking a very thin line. Never know when Zeldas going to let me have it, said Anna.
Zelda interacts with you as she would with another cat, I said. I explained that Zelda was unable to release the energy she had shared in her relationship with Martha. She was frustrated, and Anna became her play target which was not people-friendly.
Single Cat Syndrome 
So what do we do to change this? said Lois.  I told them that a compatible cat or cat friendly dog would be the solution to the single cat syndrome. As they both shook their heads and looked the other way, I told of other options to make Zelda more comfortable.
Zelda's Treatment Plan
** Get her accustomed to a harness while indoors.  Eventually, take her outdoors at quiet times for short periods until she becomes used to the change in environment.
** See if you can arrange play-dates with Charlie the cat-friendly dog who lives in your building. Charlie could be your surrogate dog.
** When Anna plays with Zelda, she should slowly wind down the play action and stop before Zelda loses it. Stop before she stops you.
** Anna could cry whenever Zelda becomes "the warrior".  This might signal Zelda to slow down.
** Tell Zelda she's becoming so relaxed and happy, and that you are too.

As I left, Zelda joined in to walk me to the door. Keep me in touch about Zeldas progress, and Ill update Dr. Campbell. Zelda is now a recovering attack cat -- her new identity," I said.

While I was in London, I arranged a follow-up FaceTime consult for Gusty and Terry. (March Blog
Gusty & Terry FaceTime Consult
Alicia and Barry, their guardians, told me the guys had resumed their usual relationship, but Gusty now and again urinated in and about. They realized it was probably exacerbated by his former condition but wondered if there was something that they could do to change Gustys behavior. One of my recommendations was to place the litter box in the tub. There are some cats that prefer this location.
Identity Crisis
They were concerned about Terrys loss of recognition. Although the two cats are well matched, whenever Gusty was groomed and clipped, Terry would become startled and keep his distance from Gusty. He also became disoriented after he was groomed. 
Sense of Smell
A cat is very dependent on his sense of smell -- especially when it comes to identification. Moisture and saliva contribute to this scent.
My prescription -- Scent gland wipes before and after grooming:
1) Take a moistened cloth, and gently wipe Gustys scent glands on the two sides of his head and his mouth before he is groomed.
2) After Gusty is groomed, slightly moisten the cloth with water and wipe Terrys mouth and sides of his head with the cloth. This will reacquaint Terry with Gusty's familiar scent.
3) Next, repeat Gustys scent gland wipe, and re-wipe Terrys scent glands with Gustys present scent. Now Terry will be acquainted with Gusty's postgrooming scent and won't be startled or confused.
4) Conclude the exchange with a towel rub-down of Gusty that includes the start of his tail and pads of his front paws (for the other scent pads here), and follow this with a rub-down of Terry with the towel to transfer Gustys scent.
Your cat’s scent glands are located in her mouth and on the sides of her head, the pads of her front paws, and her tail. The glands contain one-of-a-kind pheromones unique to her.

I received the following email the next day:
Listening to their Musical Link
Thank you again so much for yesterday. Gusty went into the cat litter properly yesterday even before we put it in the bath. He was so relaxed all day. (SUCCESS) 
I have played your link of therapeutic music, loads of times and they both seem to really love it. When I put it on this morning, Gusty didn't leave the phone till it finished. (MUSIC THERAPY -- THE WILBOURN WAY)
Well keep you updated with any changes and here are some pictures from yesterday. 
Gusty and Terry are back on track and very happy in the garden at the moment. Well be in touch re Terrys identity lapse after their next grooming.

Distant Reiki
I sent them a distant Reiki treatment for continuous physical and emotional balance in their successful transformation


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, a recovering feral rescue, gives his cat-speak on cat issues)
My Orion's text vis-a-vis his cat sitter

Orion's Whisker Wave to Blissed Out cats

Peace Perfect Peace

Misha & Pasha the Cozy Cats

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


A Free Consultation With The Cat Therapist