Friday, July 28, 2017

July 2017

The Wilbourn Way Blog 

(aka Cats on the Couch)  

Dear Readers,

** Pet Sitting Vacation
This Pet-Sitting Site Lets You Vacation Around The World For Free   Read more 

** Cat Meets 50 Dogs At A Dog Show

** The Cat's Meow 
“Why does our cat, Cat Stevens, attack us?” 

Find out why in my podcast interview on Unorthodox - Tablet Magazine.  

Set the video at 00:31:42 minutes to start, End at 00:45:00 minutes. 

** Matilda's Annual Celebration And Cat Fashion Show
To Benefit The Alliance for NYC’s Animals  August 3rd at 5:00 p.m

I look forward to seeing you all at Matilda’s annual celebration where I will be available for behavioral tips and Reiki treatments. Wear your cat inspired outfits. If you can’t attend, you can still bid in the Silent Auction. I have donated a phone/video consult with lots of MultiPet Toys. Orion has requested that his robotic cats accompany me as his surrogates.


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

Subscribe to Carole's free monthly Blog -- The Wilbourn Way 

From RoommateTo Lover With Four Cats
(Bedtime Integration) 
Marcia's cats in La La Land
At a recent presentation, Marcia, one of the attendees mentioned how her current relationship might move from platonic to romantic.

“There’s a possibility that, John, my roommate may become my lover,” she said. If so, how could they sleep together with their four cats? Her cats had always shared her bed, and his two cats bedded down with him.

I told her that they should do a trade-off. One night they could sleep with her cats in her bed and to leave the door open. When John’s cats joined in, they should each concentrate on their own cats. If John’s cats didn’t tuck in, after two or three nights, they could sleep with John’s cats in his bedroom with the door open -- each doting on their own cats. A sprinkling of catnip before bedtime could help to relax the cats.

John's cats BFF

Bedtime Is Prime Time.
They should proceed slowly, so as not to rock the cat-mosphere. Bedtime is prime time. Eventually, they would all end up in the same bed.

“I guess our cats will make the final decision — but I hope it’s my bed,” said Marcia.

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

Orion’s faves for July …... 

Orion, an enthusiast of whale music, shares this cat’s whale camaraderie.

** Hungry, Tap that Bell (Click Here)
Satisfaction on demand makes a very happy cat.

** Delicate Timing - About-to-be Mum Rescued
Luna (aka Snow White and her Seven Kittens) gave birth to seven kittens shortly after she was rescued by a compassionate cat lover. 
All of her kittens survived but one. Luna was a Mum Extraordinaire, not even a year old and a real “hottie”, Orion’s PV.
Luna (Click Here to see her with the kittens .. AND again)

** More please

** Older Cats Saved From Shelter

Two 21-year-old bonded cats are taken out of shelter so they can spend their golden years in a loving home ....  Read more 

21years young - now adopted and loved in their forever home
** A Special Bond

Orion has ©whisker waves for his faves

Ellis -- The Random, Tireless Talker
(Vocal Angst - OCD)
"Maybe Ellis wants to reinvent himself as a “pundit” on all things cat,” I said as he and his companion cat, Ezra, checked out the toys I tossed their way. 

Ezra and Ellis with the glitter ball

Brett and Tess had contacted me to do a home visit for their “overly vocal” two-year-old, neutered, Bengal/mix. “ He’s always been in the fast lane and chatty, but his random, nonstop meows are over the top — especially in the middle of the night,” said Brett. 

Ezra, like Ellis, was a player so the two were a cool match. But Ezra would often play with his fave mice solo, whereas Ellis lived to play and needed new activities to stimulate and inspire his senses. 
Ezra takes time out as Ellis carries on

A Touch of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD
I explained that Ellis’ nonstop meows or vocal angst was triggered when he couldn’t work out his energy. He became over stimulated. Bored and frustrated, his vocal cords took over — he obsessed — a distraction from his discomfort.

“So what can we do to inspire this boy? We don’t want him to be frustrated,” said Tess.

Ways To Delete Ellis’ Frustration Gap

  • When Ellis starts to obsess, quickly distract him. Redirect his focus with a vibrant shout, hearty clap of hands or any sudden noise.
  • A game of hide-and-seek. To start, pick a place where he can easily.find you.
  • The Multipet Catnip Garden Sprinkles Mouse will give both Ellis and Ezra a tasty roll for their nip. Read more.
  • Take him for walks in the hall at quiet times so he isn’t startled by a bevy of neighbors or the elevator or a stroller.
  • A kitty stroller would provide a way for both cats to view the great outdoors. By the time you return to your apartment they’ll be ready for a nap.
  • Place a ladder against the wall so he can climb to the top and play “king of the mountain”.
  • Put a rubber toy in the sink or tub of water for him to bat at. 
  • Arrange for a cat-friendly child to come by for a play date.
  • Give both cats daily private time.
  • Tight hugs and a toss in the air so he lands securely in your arms.
  • Arrange a tunnel of paper bags across the floor. Include some toys and nip. Some tissue paper would provide extra sound effects, together with the crinkle and pop of the paper bags. Clip the handles of the bags to prevent any accidental entanglements. Shine their laser light through the tunnel.
“This play list should keep us all occupied,” said Brett. I nodded and added that if Ellis vocalized in the wee hours, they should lead him to the bathroom in an upbeat, positive way. The bathroom or another small room could become his nocturnal digs.
Ellis feeling zoned
Scroll through an earlier Blog for Des' story in Sleep Deprivation Read more from Vice.

As we said our goodbyes, the cats chilled out with their toys, and link of music that I’d sent for their session. 
“Remember to keep their MP3 of music streaming so they can relive the emotional catnip of their session. I’ll send a case report to Dr. Dougherty of The Cat Practice to update him on Ellis."

Co-Founders of The Cat Practice 1973
June was the 44th anniversary of The Cat Practice, my former digs with co-founder Dr. Rowan — 1973-78. With Dr. Rowan’s medical expertise and the birth of The Wilbourn Way — techniques to treat behavioral and emotional problems — we were able to treat the total cat.

Your Cat -- Your Exercise Buddy

“Whenever I do Pilates or Yoga, my cats chill out nearby”, was a text I received from one of my readers. It reminded me of my late cat Sunny-Blue.

His Own Mat
Whenever I had a session with my trainer, I would put a mat down for the floor work. Sunny would show up and join me on my mat which became a little crowded. He soon had his very own mat—but very close to mine so he could stretch out and watch. One of these sessions was filmed by a Japanese television crew. The theme was: How your cat is often your “exercise buddy”.

Positive Energy
A cat is usually naturally drawn to positive energy. This energy is released when you’re exercising, so your cat joins in to share the benefits. This is a great source of mutual inspiration. Your cat may also encourage you to stay motivated when you have the urge to give up. It’s great to have such a supportive influence. So when you try to avoid your cat’s request for play, remember how your cat accompanies and inspires your workout.

Meditation may also be a fave, because as you relax and unwind, your cat mirrors your behavior. Paws up to those ties that bind!

Simon, The Serial Whiner
Simon prefers to think within the box
“Last month Simon started to whine, and now it’s become his mantra — his buzzword. Food is the only way to quiet him,” said Kim. She had arranged a phone consult to find a way to end his serial whines.  

Kim went on to say that their baby girl was born a year ago. A few months later Simon’s Best Bud passed on. Simon has a chronic intestinal problem which is managed symptomatically with a special diet and steroids. Last month the family was away for eleven days, his intestines flared up, so his medication was increased. His whines started soon after. Kim and her husband, Jake, felt there might be a direct correlation, but wanted to provide Simon with an alternate support program.

So Many Transitions
With the birth of their baby, the loss of Simon’s companion cat and their eleven days absence, double separation angst, plus new baby competition triggered Simon’s physical and emotional discomfort. His serial whine was his tell tale signal for help.

Simon And Baby

Blissed out to the baby's soft touch
-- To enhance Simon’s relationship with the baby, they should remember to credit him for any praise or attention they give her e.g. “Simon, you picked out the very best baby. That’s because you’re the best boy.” This positive praise will provide a very chummy association with the baby. Simon will respond to their relaxed body language, tone of voice and sense of humor. 
-- Photos of Simon with the baby are another way to empower him to feel included and loved — another baby connection. 
-- It may be necessary to lower Simon’s dosage of the steroids or slowly wean him off of the medication. A homeopathic remedy may be an option, if needed, to ease any intestinal inflammation.
I concluded the consult wth a Distant Reiki treatment for Simon to restore his balance in mind, body and spirit. Read more.

Kim’s Update:
“Steroids were the primary catalyst for Simon’s serial whine. The vet recommended we stop the steroids to see if they were the cause of Simon’s discomfort. It’s day four and he’s nearly perfect.”

All’s well that ends well. As long as Simon was on the steroids, his well-being and recovery were beyond help. Now his behavior program would enable Simon to be even more at ease.  A happier Simon, a happier family!

A Free Consultation With The Cat Therapist    

Saturday, July 1, 2017

June 2017

The Wilbourn Way Blog 

(aka Cats on the Couch)  

Dear Readers,

** Whisker Fatigue
Your cat’s food bowl can affect appetite. Provide a whisker-friendly bowl for the fussy eater.

** Cats Have Feelings

Cat waits by door to welcome soldier home  

** Helping Feral Cats
Retired veteran uses money he earns from scrap metal to feed cats — since 1995.    Read more 

** Cats in residence

The Hermitage Museum has live-in resident cats.    

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

Matilda's Annual Celebration and Cat Fashion Show
To Benefit The Alliance for NYC’s Animals
August 3rd at 5:00 p.m
I look forward to seeing you all at Matilda’s annual celebration where I will be available for behavioral tips and Reiki treatments. Wear your cat inspired outfits. If you can’t attend, you can still bid in the Silent Auction. I have donated a phone/video consult with lots of MultiPet Toys. Orion has requested that his robotic cats accompany me as his surrogates.


Subscribe to Carole's free monthly Blog -- The Wilbourn Way 

Leia and Yoda
Leia Bit Our New Born Baby
(New Baby Competition, Attack Cat Syndrome) 

“Our cat Leia bit our new born baby on the head,” said Paul. 
He went on to say that when they arrived home with Baby Miles, he let out a wail. Leia freaked out. She attacked her companion Yoda, bit Baby Miles on his head and went after Paul’s wife Allison.
Baby Miles
With their studio apartment, space was at a premium. The two cats were now at Paul’s parents. No way, did they want to give their cats up, so they contacted me for a phone consult.
“Paul, let’s schedule the consult for when you visit your parents. With the combo of speaker phone and the link of music that I’ll send you, your cats will feel included and more confident as their session proceeds.”

The following evening Paul and Allison hung out with their cats as we did the consult, while Paul’s parents took care of Baby Miles. Leia and Yoda had resumed their usual chummy relationship. Yoda, five years old, usually calm and friendly was adopted as a kitten. Leia, three years old, was very vocal and often demanding. She’d been in a previous home and was returned to the rescue group at several months old when Paul and Allison adopted her.

The Ripple Effect — Serial Attacker
Leia was shocked and rattled by the baby’s cry. Her fear turned to fight, and she became the serial attacker. Fortunately, her ripple effect was nowhere near critical. But this was thin ice, a slippery slope and prevention was the solution. “ So how shall we forge ahead?” said Allison.

Leia and Yoda’s Treatment Plan
  • Record or from YouTube, play the sound of a crying baby. Comfort and praise the cats while their link of music plays in the background. “Tell them they’re okay and so is Baby Miles.” This will start to create a positive association.
  • Acknowledge Leia verbally whenever you interact with Yoda so she doesn’t stuff her angst and later attack Yoda or whomever is available when she relives her feelings of rejection and out of control (e.g. “Right Leia" or "We’ll feed or brush or play with Yoda for you”).  No, she won’t understand your words but she’ll feel in control of the attention.
  • Thank and continue to thank your parents for provision of their home for the happy transition. Their understanding has certainly been the tie that binds.
  • Play their music link continuously to reinforce the good feelings from this consult. The more relaxed they feel, the better they’ll react to their changed situation.
  • Purchase two transparent cat enclosures or collapsable tents that the cats can hang out in “on arrival” when they return to your studio apartment. Remember to include their creature comforts, litter box, food, water, toys. This is not a punishment but a safe space. When a cat is startled, safety is usually found under the bed, a closet … Less is more.
  • Always verbally acknowledge Leia and Yoda whenever you interact with Miles — even if you think they’re unaware. A cat’s radar is infallible.
  • A sense of humor will act to relax you and your cats. Whenever you say something that’s light and easy, your body language relaxes, whereas it contracts when you’re mad or agitated. Your cats are very sensitive to your body language and tone of voice.
Leia and Yoda would remain at Paul’s parents house for the next couple of weeks as Paul and Allison would be out of town for several days, but they would visit the cats in between.

Paul and Allison’s Update: Leia and Yoda Made Amends. 
Together again
The cats are getting better. Life at my parent’s house in the suburbs is seemingly great for them. The two of them are getting along well again — after employing your advice. They seem to have made up. My parents have been sticking to your advice, playing the music, being sure to acknowledge the cats individually as much as possible. We have been traveling back and forth from Brooklyn with the baby (Miles Alan) about once a week and spending the night with them and my parents. The first time we visited, the energy was a bit weird, aggressive and stressful. We kept them separated from the baby in another room mostly but continued the acknowledgements. The cats seemed okay with one another while the baby was around.

Tolerance — A Monumental Break-through
The second, third, and 4th times the cats have warmed up — getting used to the idea of the baby. We no longer need to separate them from each other or keep them in a separate room from the baby. Of course, someone is there or Miles is in his crib that is baby-secure. We are still a bit wary of Leia. We trust Yoda almost completely at this point, and Leia is beginning to ignore the baby more and more each time we see them. Her tolerance has grown.
Yoda in drag
Re-Introduction And Integration
We plan to bring them back to Brooklyn next week, after one more visit to my parents this weekend. Do you have any advice for the re-introduction to their home and their baby bro? Thank you Carole! Hope you are well.

The Pivotal Moment
“Omg, what a family you are! The cat enclosures will keep Leia and Yoda calm and cozy. 
Leia in whimsey land
Once they get used to their temporary digs, they can venture out for short intervals while Miles is out of their reach. Remember to acknowledge them and credit them for their choice of the best baby. After all, it is, was their idea to add Miles to your family. May Leia’s “princess demeanor” soften to include aspects of the cat nanny. Yoda, the giver, is on the short list to assume this role."

Avoid The Rabbit Hole
Time takes time, so slow and steady will avoid any slips that could trigger break- downs. Onward with break-throughs. You’ve had many so far!

I will continue to send distant Reiki for a healing paw print.

My Orion's Alleged Tenth Birthday

Eight years ago, my sister Gail found Orion on the web. So I flew out to San Diego, Gail met me at the airport and we drove to pick up Orion at the Chula Vista Animal Care Center. He was, allegedly, two years old, part Siamese, part feral, a voyeur of other cats but kept his distance.

So now, Orion, my cat of cats, is a “recovering feral” and my feline significant other, domestic partner.                              
O2 loves that catnip Click Here
Birthday party toy Click Here


“Happy birthday, Orion!” 

Blissed out from his celebration

My Two Cats Tinkle On The Headboards of my Beds
(Indiscriminate Urination)

“I have a client here in L.A. who desperately needs your help. Her three cats hate each other and they end up tinkling on her beds. Sooooo I told her about you. When will you be out here to visit your sister again?” This was a text from Dr.Julia Chiverton, at Veterinary Care Center, with whom I worked in New York when she was at Westside Veterinary Center.
Tommy's snooze spot

L.A. Home Visit  
Three weeks later I made a home visit to Dr. Chiverton’s client. Yes indeed, Edith’s three cats, Sally, Tommy and Claude were at odds with each other. Their case history revealed that Sally and Claude’s incidents on the beds started four months ago when Edith took in two cats to foster — which she placed in a separate part of her house.
Sally in her favorite spot
First Cat of the Trio
Sally, now seven years old, was always emotionally fragile — from kittenhood on. She was Edith’s first cat and was not especially happy when Tommy arrived, a young adult cat, formerly abused and routinely scrappy with Sally and Claude. Aggressive with Edith when first adopted, he’s since become very mellow. 

Sally's Separation Anxiety, Inter-Cat Hostility, New Cat Competition
The arrival of the two foster cats, coupled with Tommy’s aggressive behavior, threw Sally over the cliff. Previously, Edith’s mother had passed on, whom Sally had adopted as her surrogate mom. So now, Sally’s angst and discomfort catapulted. Her symptomatic behavior was to spray to communicate her stressed feelings to Edith. Her choice spot has been on the head board of a bed in one of the guest bedrooms

Claude’s Anxiety Attacks  
Claude's snooze spot
Claude, eleven years old, a senior cat, was adopted six months after Tommy. Although not a lap cat, he will hang out next to Edith — love at a distance — fear of intimacy. As with Sally, his anxiety attacks started four months ago when the two foster cats arrived. His symptom of angst and discomfort has been to urinate near the headboard of the bed in the second guest room in which he usually frequents.

Toy Therapy
Sally and the red mouse  Click Here
Claude at play -- a breakthrough 
During their session as the relaxation music played in the background, I gifted the three cats with Multipet Toys to engage and energize them. Sally had a fun time under the bed, Tommy played on top of the bed while Claude appeared from the other guest room and chased the furry mouse about. Edith was particularly pleased with Claude’s enthusiasm. He usually didn’t show such exuberance. “A break-through” for Claude.
Tommy with his toy Click Here

Treatment Program to Integrate New Coping Mechanisms
  • Boost Tommy’s morale with acknowledgement. Mention his name whenever you interact with Sally and Claude. Otherwise he feels rejected and resorts to “fight”. The more he feels “special” the less apt he is to strike out. Even though the two fosters are in a separate part of the house, Tommy must be acknowledged whenever you interact with them e.g. “Right Tommy” or “It was so good of you to accept them into our home”. Tommy’s abusive past and abandonment complex trigger his aggressiveness when he feels left out.
  • Place paper towels or wee wee pads in the litter box that you have on each bed for Claude and Sally. They seek out the bed because it is a soft surface — a comfort zone — that reminds them of their contact with their mother cat. The towels can be placed on top of the litter. If not effective, remove all of the litter. Continue to keep the other litter boxes that they normally use as well.
  • Praise them whenever they use the box and scoop the boxes frequently.
  • Affirmation — tell them they’re such happy and mellow cats.
  • Whenever you visit the foster cats, verbalize your intention e.g. “I’m off to see Bob and Suzie,” so your three guys don’t resent your visits.
  • Let Sally tuck in with you at bedtime as the guys prefer to sleep around.
  • Their relaxation music should be on continuous play and catnip will help to ease their angst.
I told Edith that Sally and Claude might need an anti-anxiety drug to reinforce their behavioral program, and I would be sure to include this as a recommendation in my case reports to Dr. Chiverton. We wanted to have a behavioral program in progress before a drug was administered.

Bob and Suzie -- Foster Cats
Suzie can't take her eyes off Bob
As I finished up my recommendations, I told Edith that now we could visit the fosters. “We’re off to see Bob and Suzie,” I said to Edith’s cats, as we went downstairs. 
Bob is a player

“What a sunny, happy room,” I said to Edith as Bob and Suzie checked out the catnip and toys I placed before them. 

Unlike the trio, these two cats clearly liked each other. Although Edith hadn’t planned to keep them, now she wondered if one day she could introduce them to her trio. I told her that first her three cats needed to recover from their traumas. When they were stabilized, we could consider and plan such an integration. However, if a compatible home became an option for them, where they would be the only cats, that would be an ideal situation for this gentle, low key duo.

As we said our goodbyes, I told Edith that the prognosis was promising, but it would take time and repetition. “I’ll be in touch with their progress and any questions,” she said. “Dr. Chiverton has been a blessing with my guys, and thanks to her, you’ve been added to our team.”

More from Dr. Chiverton  
I was all smiles, inside and out, when I received this text from Dr. Chiverton: 
“The kittens from Hope For Paws are on a roll with the MultipetToys . A cool send-off to ready them for their new forever homes.”  

My Hosts in L.A.

Orion's hottie L.A. cousins 
-- my feline hosts

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

Bucky all over Big Bro 
Orion’s faves for June…

•• Big Bro Billy ••
Bucky, a recent rescue, who resides in Ireland, blisses out with eleven year old Big Bro Billy seen here patiently enduring Bucky’s often outrageous shenanigans.

•• Depressed abandoned elephant is befriended…   Read more 

•• Cat Hugs ••

•• Jasper's Story ••

Jasper was left behind when his guardian was evicted. He’s now King of the Roost where he lives with his newly adopted family — with two children to carry out his every wish.

Orion has 5 ©whisker waves for his faves above


Bialy Beats Up On Muffy 
(Attack Cat Syndrome, Female Rivalry)  
Bialy embraces her toy 

Vivian adopted Bialy, a two year old female, as a companion for Muffy, her four year old cat. That was about three months ago. But Bialy stalked and pounced on Muffy relentlessly.

Very Different Catsonalities
Muffy reaches for catnip pouches
When I arrived for their session, Muffy was sequestered in the kitchen, with a doorway gate so the cats could see each other without physical contact. 

Bialy immediately claimed the toy I placed beside her while Muffy slowly accepted hers. Clearly, while Bialy was the mover and shaker, Muffy’s m.o. was to proceed with caution.

Bialy’s Attack Cat Syndrome and Female Rivalry
I explained to Vivian that Bialy’s attack cat behavior with Muffy was triggered by female rivalry and early kitten deprivation. When she feels threatened, she relives these traumatic memories, her muscle memory kicks in and she resorts to fight. Muffy when threatened resorts to flight.

Major Recommendations For Their Treatment Program
Bialy Belly pose
  • Place their food on either side of the gate so that they can have closer contact, with food as their focus instead of combat.
  • Tell Bialy she’s such a good teacher and protector of Muffy. This will slowly defuse Bialy’s tension and aggression and improve her interactions with Muffy.
  • Continue to sleep one night with Muffy and the other with Bialy, Tell them they can have their private sleep time on the alternative night.
  • As Bialy can climb and jump over the kitchen gate, they can hang out in their individual transparent, collapsible tents — with their creature comforts — when you’re not at home.
Muffy takes Bialy's cue
Vivian didn’t want to part with Bialy, but Muffy was her priority. I told her that it would take a few weeks for Bialy to change her paw print towards Muffy.  As Bialy’s inner angst gradually defused, Muffy’s confidence would grow. This dual reduction of tension would lead to an amicable relationship.   

Within the next couple of weeks Vivian was in touch with progress and questions. Was I happy when I received her latest update.
I'm thrilled to tell you that after 3.5 long months of worry and perseverance, thanks to the excellent advice and help you gave me at our session and on the phone, today was Muffy and Bialy's first time "alone and not separated" while I was at my office. I was nervous the whole day and even came home a couple of hours early to check on them But when I did, they both ran to the door to meet me. They were fine! I called them into the kitchen for a treat. They arrived together, almost bumping noses.
Bialy still stalks and pounces on Muffy occasionally while I'm with them. So we're not completely without drama, but through my ensuring that they both feel included and loved, with neither favored and with today's milestone, Bialy’s rivalry is getting under control and we're going to make it as a family!
Thank you so much, Carole. I was feeling despondent over getting them assimilated, but your methods and tips got me through it. I'm attaching a couple of pics of my babies.

“A happy cat and guardian makes me a very happy person”, I told my cat Orion, as I hugged him and emailed an update to Dr. Colby, at Westside Veterinary Center, where I’m in residence.

A Free Consultation With The Cat Therapist