Here is my second case study, shorter and very different from my first case study with Sandy the Labrador, but Lucie Leclerc, my instructor last time encouraged me to consider this a case study.
At Best Friends, I did even less TTouch work with their frightened of people cats and one of the volunteers there called the next day, saying one cat (one I worked with) was transformed and everybody’s best friend, nobody could believe it! I could not believe it myself! Lucy was right in saying that a little bit can go far sometimes…
Beautiful cats, aren’t they?
All my love,
Padme and Leila
One TTouch visit on 2 cats, Oct 14, 2010
Both female spayed cats were adopted together from the shelter by my friends Virginie and Jason.
Padme is a beige 2 yr old Siamese with allergies and respiratory issues and is closer to Virginie. She is always around her people but does not like to be touched.
Leia is an all grey 4 yr old who is closer to Jason, likes to be caressed by her guardians but is weary of strangers and will not let herself touched by them.
I mostly worked with Padme, knowing Leia was carefully watching the whole time from a distance and that the work would transfer to her as well. Both skittish cats retreated to the top of the stairs where they both could have a wide open view on the entry way of the house. Both cautious but curious, they wanted to see who the new comer was.
I started by using the wand to stroke the stairs above me and stroke the columns and baluster, always bringing the wand back down to the carpeted stairs as to entice the cats to come down. Padme, the younger one, started to engage and show interest in playing with the tip of the wand which dragged on the floor.
Once Padme had followed me all the way downstairs, I worked with 2 wands, stroking the environment again with one wand and playing with her with the other. Padme was very attracted to the new game and engaging with the wands as I was making circles on the floor, lifting the wand off the ground and allowing her to follow the wand and jump on it. I then used one wand to continue to play and one to distance (2 inches from her body, sometimes one inch) stroke her.
I did distance TTouch circles down her spine and along the tail. I distance stroked along both sides of her body. By holding the wand still, I allowed her to self caress her whiskers against the wand.
Leia was keenly observing the whole dance from the distance. While I was fully engaged with Padme, Leia quickly ran down the stairs and placed herself in the hallway 2 to 3 yards from us. She could escape in 2 directions from where she positioned herself, so she felt safe.
After engaging with me for about 15 minutes, Padme went to relate to Leia. The interesting part comes now: Padme did to Leia what normally gets Leia to react with a pawing toward Padme. This time, Leia did not react at all, she allowed Padme to interact with her without getting annoyed. Right away, Virginie noticed and told me this was a completely new behavior. I explained to Virginie that the observing cat gets as much benefit as the engaging cat in the TTouch work. This new behavior, so soon, was very exciting!
Virginie and I had lunch which provided the cats with an opportunity to observe my interacting with their owner without being solicited. Leia invited herself to lunch by jumping on my bench and sat right next to me. She pretended I was Jason, who I was told, gives her food. I did not attempt to touch her. Her being so close to me showed me that, even though I never worked directly on her, she was becoming a little bit more comfortable with my presence.
The very first session, I did not wish to push the cats’ limits and made sure I did not violate their bubble. After lunch, I showed Virginie how she could TTouch her cats with a cooking brush which she had. She tried right away and enjoyed this new way of connecting with her cats. I showed her how to breathe and do the TTouch circles in the air with the brush and to slowly come down to the body to do circles or strokes on the cat.
There has not been a second session but I am sure the cats will recognize me when I pay Virginie a visit in the future. I look forward to notice how we will interact the next time.
- A Special Invitation to Share Your Stories (tellingtonttouch.wordpress.com)
- Singing the Camel Song (tellingtonttouch.wordpress.com)
- Virginie : Rwanda (kiva.org)
- “Talk Story” of TTouch for Humans (tellingtonttouch.wordpress.com)
- Friendship (tellingtonttouch.wordpress.com)