Monday, September 26, 2016

September 2016

The Wilbourn Way Blog 

(aka Cats on the Couch)  
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Dear Readers,

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Watch Out For That Damn Cat, Marcel Duchamp 

Duchamp had equally groundbreaking experiments in cubism and non-representationalism, but never quite achieved the success and recognition that his contemporary, Picasso achieved. He had real trouble making ends meet and had to look out for any chance to make a little cash. So he entered the poster contest sponsored by his local Ladies Auxiliary Home Safety Committee.

Nude Descending a Staircase was originally entitled Watch Out for That Damn Cat. However, the Ladies’ Auxiliary passed on it as did the usual run of critics and patrons of Duchamp’s other works. His poster did not place in the money.

(Cats Of The Masters, Michael Patrick)

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Russian Gent In A Peugeot Saves A Kitten From Death On The Highway

Mayor's Alliance Adoptapalooza In Union Square Park

Orion sent me to the Adoptapalooza with his surrogate robotic black cat.

I was available for Reiki treatments and to support and cheer on the many adoptees.

Louie is a love!

Take a look at some of the terrific dogs.

Mascot for this Adoptapalooza
This puppy is ready to go
I'm yours

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

Horror Films
Orion thinks this kitty has had his fill of horror. Click here to see the video.

Blissful Moments
Ulla blisses out as she’s weighed, praised and adopted! 

This Myanmar kitty is blissed out by the vintage phone.  

Why Does My Cat Do That? 
Litter Box Tribulations
One of the most common concerns or conundrums in my Cat Practice is litter box issues.

Carpet Fixation
Coco loves that nip
Coco, a spayed, fourteen-year-old, decided to use the carpet for her litter box. One of my recommendations was to place wee wee/puppy pads in a second litter box. I explained that when she felt uncomfortable or anxious, she deliberately tinkled or defecated on a soft surface. This put her in the comfort zone that she experienced when she was nursed or/and in contact with her mother — even if it was short lived. Her recent vet visit was A-okay, so there wasn’t any related medical problem.
Tiger Lily

Tiger Lily, her companion, needed daily medication which also involved extra positive attention, so it was important to acknowledge Coco with a favorite past time so she could feel included. 

Coco is now on target with the litter box. I decided to cut up strips of an inexpensive rug instead of wee wee pads,” was Coco’s guardian’s message. “Coco’s definitely more relaxed since her session".

Wee Wee Pad Overload — Obnoxious Odor!
As I type, Oscar is asleep in his box as he listens to the music you sent us. We are very excited. Your solution to place the wee wee pads directly in his preferred litter box has been a fave. He only used the pads outside the box twice when those in his box were saturated. When I mentioned that we had to stop the transdermal dose of Prozac because he became too frantic, you suggested we speak to the vet about a liquid prozac that could be compounded into a tasty food mix by a pharmacist or to grind the pill into a small amount of his favorite food. Liquid prozac mixed in his food was the answer. Oscar has always been needy but wary of touch — except with our youngest daughter. Thanks again for your help. I will keep you posted on his progress. We will wait at least a month before we have our carpet professionally cleaned.
Love at first sight when she spotted Oscar for adoption

My Reaction:   
Oscar, this young neutered cat, has a very likable relationship with his companion cat Bruder and a family that truly loves him. 

His behavioral program, coupled with medication to treat his anxiety attacks should slowly give him the support he needs to chip away at his emotional and physical fragility which has wreaked havoc with him.

Holly and Buddy Acted Out Their Frustrations  
Holly about to make a high jump
As I hung out with my cat Orion, I thought about Holly and Buddy. “ A good prognosis,” I said out loud, and stroked Orion’s whiskers. I felt that their session would be the key to the solution of their major current issues.
Three weeks ago Holly had started to use soft objects, in particular the bed, as her litter box. 

Buddy was frequently aggressive or aloof with his guardian Carl. He preferred Rona, his other guardian, whereas Holly favored Carl. Although now in recovery, Holly’s incidents coincided with Carl’s surgery and other medical problems. Her “incidents” on their bed started when her guardians were away for the weekend.

Holly and Buddy, a young 10 month old, were Carl’s first cats. Rona had lived with cats in the country who spent most of their time outdoors. So this was a new chapter in their living situation.

I explained that Holly’s “incidents” were symptomatic of the separation anxiety she experienced when they were away for the weekend, and she mirrored Carl’s angst and discomfort related to his medical issues. She communicated her angst with her “deviant, un - catlike” incidents. Her bladder and rectum were her stress targets.
Buddy wrangles with his toy

Treatment Program for Holly’s Litter Box Lapses     
Some of my recommendations were:
  • Close the bedroom door for at least a month
  • Provide a second litter box with litter and paper towel strips
  • Praise both cats when they use the box
  • Carl should reassure the cats that he was in recovery. As he acknowledged this, he would feel better and Holly, especially, would pick up on his confidence.
  • Most of all he should engage in activities that would nurture him.
I gave Carl a short Reiki chair treatment to defuse stress and create balance in mind, body and spirit. The cats’ relaxed expression conveyed they received a contact high.
Reiki .... Read more

Blurred Boundaries — Uncomfortable Interactions
Carl had grown up with dogs, and I explained that Buddy was a cat who preferred to seek out attention when he wanted it, rather than to be sought after. Buddy felt threatened when Carl persisted in his attention to him. I told Carl to allow Buddy to make the overtures. Evidently, Buddy preferred Rona’s softer energy, which was fine, as Carl had Holly to shower attention on. Also, he may have blurred the boundaries with his overtures to Buddy — which added to Holly’s angst.

Progress Report:
All is well. My relationship with Buddy is totally in the comfort zone and Holly is litter box happy again. Thank you for your guidance, but there’s another issue,” said Carl. "Yesterday we took our guys to be bathed and to have their nails clipped. When they arrived home, the cats proceeded to hiss at each other."

Displaced or Re-Directed Aggression
I explained that their cats were disoriented and stressed by the new environment that was filled with other animals. Their reaction was to pass this discomfort on to each other. “Distract them with a loud exclamation or toss of a toy when, or before, they start to carry on,” I said. “In the future, it would be best to arrange for an in-home pedicure. A bath is not usually necessary for short-haired cats, but if they’re receptive, a daily brushing can be fun — especially, if you tell them how cool and handsome they are.”

Continuous Diarrhea And More  
Giardia persists  
Muji and Yayo at paws length
I adopted Yayo from a cat hoarder. I couldn’t resist this handsome, two year old, blind in one eye kitty. Kook was our only cat, and my roommate and I knew it would be okay,” said Meg. She went on to say that he came with giardia (One-celled organisms found in the small intestines of cats -- infectious, causes diarrhea and sometimes bloody stools). This was diagnosed and treated with oral medication. Since that attack, they have had him on a grain free diet. Yayo had recently urinated outside the litter box which was a new development. He was very friendly with Muji, whom they’d adopted as a kitten. But ever since Muji arrived, a year ago, Yayo no longer tucked into bed at bedtime. It was Muji who dominated the bed. Kook, cat number one, always preferred to sleep in different places.
Kook knows how to let go

Rap Music Can Release Some Fun Energy
Meg mentioned how Yayo was a constant talker and usually joined in when she rapped. Videos were her day job, but she was a rapper — a second profession — aka Uncle Meg. During the session, I requested that Meg give a sampling of her rapping. It was a fun release of energy for them.

Advice for Meg
I recommended that Meg should contact the vet to adjust Yayo’s diet and to arrange a possible vet visit. Clearly grain free food was not the answer for his continuous diarrhea, and this discomfort probably triggered discomfort with his bladder.

During the phone consult I had Meg interact with Yayo on her bed but included the other two cats in the conversation. “Tell Yayo he keeps the bed safe for all of you,” I said and explained that they would pick up on her relaxed body language and tone of voice. Repetition would create a positive Yayo association and acceptance of the bed.

Yayo’s Progress Report
Carole, I still put on the music you sent for them, and Yayo’s feeling a lot more comfortable. He's been coming on the bed again too, and even all three of the cats have been coming on the bed together and sleeping in the same area. I changed his food, and the vet did some blood tests. Giardia is still present, and Yayo is now on medication which should wipe out the parasite. Thanks again for your help.

It’s not unusual for giardia to hang on. Sometimes a cat can be a host, without becoming infected and can still infect other cats. Yayo was from a cat hoarder so it’s not surprising that he became infected with giardia.

Single Cat Syndrome -- Aggressive Cat Syndrome 

Life Before Des  
Xena has found her disciple in Des
When Kate contacted me five years ago, because her young cat Xena was beating her up, I told her Xena’s aggressive behavior was a symptom of the “single cat syndrome”.

Enter Des, a dapper, carefree, young, neutered male. No longer did Kate have to assume the unwanted role of Xena’s cat.

Scroll down to Introductions The Wilbourn Way.

She recently sent me a video of how Xena displayed her boredom and frustration with her cat bed before Des became the feline focus of her life.

A Kitten To Restore Tigger's Well being 
Tigger and Oreo at play Before
Loss wreaked sadness and aggressive behavior with Tigger when one of his guardians passed on. Tigger had rarely left his side up to the very end.  See March 2016 Blog. Scroll down to Loss Wreaks Sadness And Aggressive Behavior.

He had always been best of buds with his companion Oreo but now he started to chase and torment him.

Grief Therapy Session
Boo the matriarch
I did a family grief therapy session to defuse the sorrow and create peace and harmony. During the session Tigger hung out by Oreo — a major break-through. But a few weeks later, Tigger started a continuous yowl, while Oreo and Boo, the matriarchal kitty, kept their distance.  

Ronni, their guardian, felt Tigger needed a new major distraction to comfort him, and the family would mirror his relief.

Introduction of New Kitten
So I recommended she adopt a very playful, cat-oriented kitten of Tigger’s coloring and use The Wilbourn Way to introduce a new kitten. Also, she should give the kitten a name that made her happy whenever she spoke to the kitten. 
Oreo Takes Time Out

A few weeks later Ronni called me in a panic. Silly, the new kitten, has frightened my other cats. Although Tigger plays with her, sometimes he runs away and hides — Oreo too. Boo can’t be bothered."

Silly, the Tigger Look-Alike
So I did a session to evaluate the new relationship. 
Click here to see their interaction. Take a look at Silly, the new addition. Notice the way Tigger looks at her. I told Ronni that Silly was all that Tigger had yearned for. When he and Oreo scrambled to cover, it was to take a break. They needed their down-time.

By the way, Carole, I took your suggestion and got a hula hoop. Watch me spin.”
Looking good, Ronni. Now there’s fun and therapy for the whole family. See the video.

I ended the session with a short Reiki treatment for Boo to ease her arthritic limbs.  Reiki .... Read more   

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