** Irish Veterinary Clinic Seeks Professional ‘Cat Cuddler’
I’m reminded of my days at The Cat Practice. One of the patients, a cat named Spencer Tracy, with a severe urinary problem, was so sad he wouldn’t eat or respond to contact. His heart yearned for the little girl he once lived with.
I arranged for Simone, a ten-year-old girl, who lived next door to come by after school. She was joined by two of her school chums. Every afternoon they would sign Spencer’s visitor list, and he’d purr and melt as they stroked and cuddled him. Slowly his eyes glowed, and his appetite peaked. Thanks to “Les Jeunes Filles Auxiliary", as they were dubbed, Spencer rallied and was adopted by a family with a little girl.
** Pet Store Bans
Sen. Michael Gianaris, of New York, introduced legislation last week that would not allow retail pet stores to sell animals that come from puppy mills. Jurisdictions With Retail Pet Store Bans.
Barnaby and Tulip were two cats that were inseparable. But one day when they returned from the vet, Barnaby growled and hissed at Tulip. When Phyllis, their guardian, called me in a panic, I remembered that Barnaby loved brewers yeast and told her to sprinkle it on Tulip. Her next message was to tell me that Barnaby walked over to Tulip, took a few sniffs and licked away at the brewers yeast. At first Tulip wiggled her tail and rippled her back but very quickly and happily accepted Barnaby’s licks.
Exercise Buddy Darcy, one of my clients, is a Yoga enthusiast whose cat Duffy mirrors Darcy’s bliss.
“My cat Duffy hangs out on my back when I unwind from the “cat pose” she said. Duffy was on point to the finish, where he was full of purrs and would fetch one of his balls so she could toss and he could fetch. Darcy felt the yoga relaxed and energized him. They shared mutual inspiration and rejuvenation.
Sunny Blue, My Media-Mate
I was reminded of my late cat Sunny-Blue. When 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. Sunny 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 is usually a natural draw for a cat. This energy is released when you’re exercising, so your cat joins in to share the benefits — inspiration and rejuvenation.
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.
Andie Won't Let Us Hold Her (Fear of Intimacy)
Bedtime is relaxation time
“Our Andie is so, so affectionate until we try to pick her up,” said Emily. She’s been our cat for four years and is now an alleged eight.” Emily and Ty had scheduled a Facetime session so I could give them a treatment plan to defuse Andie’s “fear of intimacy”.
As I watched Andie react to their touch, she clearly welcomed it. But this was attention at a distance. Unlike when she was picked up or held. That’s when she felt threatened or captive.
Andie settles in as I give distant Reiki treatment
“Why? She must know we would never hurt her, and she obviously likes us,” said Ty.” “That she does,” I said. But I explained that when Andie became overwhelmed or over stimulated, because of the intensity, even if it was something friendly, she relived early uncomfortable feelings in her muscle memory that made her fearful, and she resorted to “flight”.
“Do you think she was abused? said Emily.
Early Kitten Deprivation I told them that it was more likely Andie’s fear was a result of how healthy her parents were when they mated, the gestation period and her relationship with the mama cat and kittens when she was nursed. Maybe she didn’t get the “pick of the nipples” or the mama was unable to nurse.
Abandonment Syndrome Andie was adopted from A Golden Pond, a rescue group, whose facility was a house. They accepted older cats who couldn’t adapt to shelters. Abandonment added to Andie’s fear of intimacy. True, there are many rescued cats who don’t have Andie’s fear, but Andie is an emotionally thin-skinned cat which makes her more vulnerable. So when the situation becomes intense, she retreats.
“So how can we re-program or blot out Andie’s troubling muscle memory?” said Ty. “What’s the prognosis?”
I explained that as we slowly and steadily increase Andie’s integration of positive stimuli, they will dull her automatic traumatic muscle memory, and her acceptance/tolerance of intimacy will increase.
Andie’s Treatment Plan For Increased Acceptance Of Intimacy
Andie sleeps beside you at bedtime because your body is relaxed, so stretch out on the floor with a blanket over you to recreate the relaxation at bedtime. If she appears to want affection, stroke her briefly. Don’t wait for her to resist. “Stop before she stops you!” This will create a happy or positive association. Repeat this at least once a day. Soon she may join you on the couch or a comfy chair.
Whenever you stroke or pick Andie up, remember to stop before she stops you. Don’t wait for her tail to wag, body to ripple or a sudden meow. It’s better to have a fleeting good feeling than to reinforce her fear of close contact.
Place a box with tissue paper on your lap or next to you so Andie can climb in.
Affirmation — tell her she’s becoming so cuddly. Let’s chip away at her fear of intimacy. New dialog!
Andie’s a catnip lover, so you can give her catnip a few times a week, more if she wants it. Catnip Garden is a fave of many cats. The nip will act to relax her after a rush of playfulness.
Remember to remind your cat-lover visitors to ignore Andie if they want to see her. She prefers to hang out with company who ignores her so she isn’t threatened.
“Andie seems to like the link of music you’ve sent us,” said Ty. “ How often to play it?” I explained that 24/7 would be great. The music is a security object for Andie and will recreate the relaxation feelings from her video session. The more she relaxes, the more she’ll be flooded with relaxed feelings and reactions. Think of it as soft background music to any of your other devices.
Andie’s video session ended with a distant Reiki treatment to balance and refresh her mind body and spirit. I reminded them that repetition, patience and focus would give their Andie the confidence to become more of a “cuddle cat”.
They shouldn’t rush. A paw at a time is a cat’s mantra. Let Andie’s timeline be their guide — not theirs. And to remember that, ultimately, each cat has its own individual boundary for intimacy and affection.
This Recent Update Made My Day (New Cat Introduction/Integration)
Bedding down together for a blissful snooze
Dreams of catnip for this newly friendly duo
................... I just wanted to give you an update on Myla and Sage! They are doing so great and we are so thankful for how much your suggestions helped us! They occasionally chase each other around but I think most of the time they are playing. And sometimes they sit right next to each other! Check out the attached photos! It’s been a long process. I’m so proud of them!
Laura, Long Island
Read more. Scroll through to Myla Throws A Hissy Fit (New Cat Introduction-Integration)
(Feline Greeter at the Algonquin Hotel)
In less than six months, a transformation! Hamlet, once a feral street cat, now has his 24/7 gig as Feline Greeter, with time out for inspirational cat naps on his custom made cat mat or other cozy hideaways. I smile along with the many guests who stop to chat and stroke him. Others merely grin as he hangs out on the front desk. He clearly makes their day, and good feelings are contagious.
Hamlet’s Reiki and Fitness sessions started on a relatively quiet floor of the hotel, but now he’s front and center — the Key Note Greeter. As Hamlet batted his glitter ball about, this reminded me of times when I flew to Montreal and checked into the Ritz Carlton. Because it was an animal friendly hotel, I could see appointments there for those cats of guardians who didn’t want house calls. Now I have the distinct pleasure and honor of a professional relationship with Hamlet, the Algonquin’s cat in residence, who’s reinvented himself.