Sunday, November 22, 2015

November 2015


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

Dear Readers,

As we share our Thanksgiving Day, let us all take a breath for a tribute of love and silence for all of those lives lost in the recent outbreaks of world-wide terror attacks and give gratitude for those who cared for the displaced and injured.

Hero Dog Will Receive Animal Victoria Cross
Diesel was a Paris police dog who died in the Saint Denis raid. 
He will receive an Animal Victoria Cross. 

Russian police offer puppy Dobrynya "in solidarity with French people and the police in the fight against terrorism".

Safe And Sound Hounds
Monkee is no longer toddler-phobic
You'll want to join me and my feline co-presenter, Monkee, Tuesday December 10 when I present as part of the lecture series, Safe and Sound Hounds. 
You Adore Your Cat But .... There's probably some issue you'd love to remedy. Bring along your questions. There will be a drawing for a complimentary phone or video consult, one of my books and Multipet Toys for the most senior cats. You'll learn the Wilbourn Way to nurture your animal companions, and yourself, as you greet the holidays and create happiness during these challenging times.
SSH is an educational series and resource center for guardians of animal companions with emotional and behavioral issues. Various speakers will present on such topics as behavior, health and legal issues.  All proceeds from events will go to animal charities.  

Orion and Peyton
Orion, an equal opportunity advocator, endorses my presentation in the SSH lecture series.

Venue: The Open Center
22 East 30th Street, NY 10016
Date: Tuesday, Dec 10, 2015  Time: 7:00 p.m.

Admission is $20, but SSH is a fund-raising organization and all proceeds for my event will go to Farm Sanctuary

Carole's Take on Oscar The Cat Who .....  
Tokyo's Kitty Cat Nite Club
A cat nightclub has opened in Japan, based on the same model as the popular Kitty Cafes that have become a worldwide phenomenon. You have got to see this

Reiki, Emotional Catnip For Post Vet Angst
"Your distant Reiki treatment last night really kicked in," Eva texted. "Take a look at my two guys' selfies. Iggy, the former Ninja warrior, is nestled against Clyde. Next is Clyde, the former victim, who returns the favor. Happiness reigns in our new, bigger and sunnier apartment." 
"Looks like a truce," I replied. Iggy had attacked Clyde a month after Clyde was hospitalized for a bladder problem. ever since the attack, the two cats had to be kept in separate rooms and could only tolerate each other's company for short intervals before Iggy's fur bristled and Clyde's tail started to flick. I had made a home visit and one of my recommendations was to set up an expandable gate in the connecting doorway so they could see each other and act out their feelings without physical contact. 

(Scroll through May's Blog to see Post Vet Angst 

Eva wondered why Iggy beat up Clyde a month after he was hositalized. "Why such a delayed reaction?" I explained that during that month she had to medicate Clyde and spend extra time with him. That caused Iggy's resentment to build and Clyde became "the enemy". I went on to say that her search for a new apartment stirred the pot of angst for the three of them.
A larger and sunnier apartment added to their bliss. And its location was more convenient for Eva’s friend to be their “Surrogate Eva” when Eva had to work around the clock. I reminded her to continue with their behavioral program so they could sustain their bliss. 

On Point With The Litter Box
Snow wants what she wants, and she gets it," said Dora. "She hangs out in her favorite room and ventures out when she wants a change of scenery."
Dora had contacted me because Snow had urinated on Dora's bed, in one of her long periodic bouts of "unacceptable urination"*. As I treated Snow with music therapy and Reiki, I gave Dora a program on how to communicate with her guys to defuse competition. Snow gradually felt better and no longer had to "ban" the litter box to communicate her angst.
Dora laughed as she told me how Snow now climbs on her lap and loves the attention, but when she’s had enough, takes her position by the window, a signal for Dora to leave so Snow can have her privacy. It took a while for Dora to "get it". She focused on how I repeated and showed  her how Snow preferred company and affection in small doses. That was her m.o. for happiness. I explained that Snow had a fear of intimacy and as Dora obeyed Snow's signals, gradually she would be able to accept more and more of Dora's attention. Her contact-tolerance would grow.

Snow was the female kitten of a trio that Dora adopted from a shelter ten years ago. They had a multitude of health problems which included stomatitis, a severe inflammation of the mouth, that has resulted in extensive dentistry with many extractions. Dora told me how Snow went in to withdrawal after her last dental procedure. When Dora had to take Snow in for her latest procedure, she arranged a phone consult on speaker phone because she noticed that Snow relaxed and purred when she heard my voice -- together with distant Reiki and the musical recording of one of her sessions. The next day she texted that Snow was groggy but not freaked out as she was after her last dentistry.

Gem and Paint, unlike Snow, were people-friendly and hung out together when they wanted to play. Snow tolerated her brothers but preferred Gem. Dora referred to Gem as her low key, problem-free cat. Unlike his brother, Paint had a low stress tolerance which triggered his un-cat-like dysfunctional behavior. His food intake had to be monitored because he lived to eat. Low calorie veggies helped to curb his oral fixation. 
Paint and Gem
But his tell tale symptom of angst was his early morning ritual. “Most mornings Paint leaves his signature -- a dump beside the litter box,” said Dora. When I took Paint’s case history, it was clear that Dora had already followed all the elementary recommendations which included several litter boxes, special food, a plug-in pheromone diffuser for calming, a thorough medical exam, blood test, urinalysis and other diagnostic tests. Homeopathic remedies and anti-anxiety drugs were either ineffective or short lasting. Sometimes Dora would get so agitated, she would tell him he was a bad boy and skip his breakfast. “His next dump might be on target, but he couldn’t sustain this behavior,” said Dora.*
She mentioned that as Snow’s angst receded with her behavioral program. she noticed Paint was calmer, more relaxed. But he still had periodic dumps. So when she went out of town for a week, and the cat sitter told her how amazed she was that Paint’s “dumps” were on target every day, Dora had an epiphany. “I decided that perhaps his morning deposit was now in part habit, and I needed to give him a stronger message. So the next morning as I disposed of his deposit, I told him he was a bad boy, with every part of my being -- so no breakfast for him."
"The morning after, the floor was clean. He had used the box.” She added that it was always easy for her to identify his deposit in the litter box. Anyway, a month went by, and Paint had only one more incident on the floor and one skipped breakfast. Dora felt that he had finally turned the corner. 
Paint's favorite resting place -- on tissue
Dora remarked how Snow recovered so quickly from her angst and continues to be more affectionate with her. She’s less territorial and only gives an occasional hiss when her brothers get in her away. “That’s when she’s upstairs in her favorite room, on the window ledge where she watches the world go by,” said Dora. “Her brothers are not as room-specific.” Dora went on to say how unlike his sister’s healing ability, Paint’s has been a longer process. “ I know his major breakthrough was triggered by my entire demeanor. Thanks to your therapy with me and my guys I was able to connect with him."

I nodded and explained that the combination of her direct and unequivocal tone of voice, body language, together with his breakfast ban was the critical ultimatum. And we had ruled out all the variables that could cause him to have such deviant behavior -- so that now his behavioral program was complete.

I’ll provide progress reports as they continue to recover and evolve -- thanks to “The Wilbourn Way,” said Dora.

* You can refer to The Total Cat and my other books on Amazon for more info on litter box issues.

A Halt To Mau's Aggressive Behavior

Carole, Dr. Dougherty, wrote a script for Prozac for Mau, and together with his behavioral program, I’ve been nip and scratch-free,” was Sondra’s phone message.

Dr. Dougherty at The Cat Practice, had referred Sondra to me to start Mau on a behavioral program to treat his aggressive out-bursts which could wreak havoc with her health issues. When Mau’s program was in place, he would prescribe an anti-anxiety drug for reinforcement. 

During Mau’s session, I enhanced Mau’s five senses - hearing, sight, taste, touch and smell - with cat-friendly music, catnip, verbal acknowledgments and play. He was clearly the center of our attention. The Michael Jordan of cats -- Sondra eyes followed Mau as he catapulted about and batted his toys.You could see he held a major key to her heart. 
Now five -years old, Mau was adopted as a kitten, A rescuer found him abandoned and famished on the street. From the start, Mau was a high energy kitten, but there were two people to love and indulge him. But with the loss of Sondra’s husband last year, it was now Mau and Sondra.

Mau carries out his major terror attacks when I’m in bed in the midst of a book or emails,” said Sondra. “So what do I do in this captive position?”  
You sure are a provocative target. Let’s start with the program and we can revise as we go.”

  • Keep some toys and rolled up pieces of paper beside you. Toss them with a shout of “ Go Mau go!” Make it fun for the two of you.
  • If you can’t continue to indulge him, tell him you get it. He wants his own space. Lead him in to the next room, and in an upbeat voice, tell him to rock and roll as you close the door to your bedroom.
  • Play his music (mp4) continuously. It will be his security cushion to recreate the healing from his session -- his template or mantra.
  • Think of Mau as a mellow Zen cat. Change his image. Create a new and low key Mau.
  • To avoid a delayed anxious reaction, announce transitions -- gotta go now, I’m getting up, sitting down.
  • When it’s playtime, wind down slowly so he isn’t frustrated by a sudden halt.
I told Sondra that Mau gets what she says by her voice inflections and body language. I call it kitty radar or cat sense -- or more simply, a reaction to your action. Your body expands when you say something positive and contracts or tightens when you say something unpleasant or negative.
A compatible feline companion with the right introduction would give Mau the work-out he craves," I said. “You’ve become his surrogate cat."
Maybe later but not now," Sondra said. Another option was for Sondra to arrange play dates with a cat-friendly dog, but she would have to focus on Mau so he wouldn’t resent the dog.
Sondra mentioned that Mau was treated for a bladder problem. It was now regulated with a special diet. I explained that the loss of her husband led to this issue. It was mutual culture shock for the two of them, and Mau’s bladder was his major stress target. I reminded her to pamper and nurture herself, so Mau would mirror her gain. 
Mau, the Michael Jordan of cats -- in action

We’ll soon be off to the country for a few days, and Mau has endless distractions there. The country is my catnip,” said Sondra. I took that for my cue to sprinkle some more catnip on Mau’s Kicker toy, and he took off. 

Later on I emailed Mau’s case report to Dr. Dougherty at The Cat Practice of which I was co-founder in 1973. 
Good things carry on.

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

Always an advocate for equal opportunity, Orion supports the right of gender-identity. That said, his aunts (Gail Mutrux, my sister's) movie, The Danish Girl premiered in Los Angeles this past weekend. 

Handmade Lavender by Karin Ripp -

You won’t see a feline star, but there is a dog who will tug at your heart strings.We sent Gail a rendition of the Danish Flag, a tribute to her movie.    

The Babbling Brook

Orion prefers his water from this flameless, plug-in candle. The movement and sound of the bubbling water satisfies and inspires his taste for water.


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. 

Carole's Been Anthologized   

In The Big New Yorker Book of Cats see Lulu, The Cat The New Yorker Left Behind by Lois Metzer, Huffington Post


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