A Tail of Two Kitties
Alphie and Freddie are two beautiful female cats who couldn’t be more different. Their person contacted me to receive some help with a new situation in the town where they all live. Animal control rules had been changed and now any wandering cats would be picked up and taken to the local shelter, where the distraught pet parent would have to pay a fine before being able to take them home. Alphie and Freddie had been indoor/outdoor cats most of their lives and the new dictates were disconcerting for Vaughn, who didn’t want to confine them to the house, but also didn’t want anything traumatic to happen if they strayed outside the fenced yard.
When I connected with each cat individually to describe Vaughn’s concerns, their reactions were so interesting. Freddie, with her striking black mask and blue eyes, immediately said she would fight against and scratch anyone who tried to pick her up. Her indignant attitude was readily apparent, as was her strong will.
I showed her mental pictures of the house and yard and described it as a “play bubble”, while encircling the space with white light that delineated the boundary. I explained that Vaughn wanted her to stay inside this play bubble and that she didn’t need to fight or defend herself there. I said that it would help Vaughn feel better if she agreed to stay inside the bubble. She understood and her defensiveness settled into a calm agreement.
Alphie’s reaction when I explained the situation was completely opposite. This large, plush cat with her delicate pink nose was fearful and worried. She didn’t want to get into any trouble. I showed her the same pictures of the house and yard with the white light as the boundary. I described it to her as a “safety bubble” and told her she would be fine if she stayed inside this boundary. She wouldn’t get into any trouble and nothing bad would happen to her there. She was relieved.
With the exception of a couple excursions into the adjacent yard by Freddie while Vaughn worked in the garden near the fence, the cats have complied with the request. They are able to retain the freedom to enjoy a roll in the grass, to sun themselves and hang out on the porch with Vaughn, while also preventing a stressful interaction with animal control. A happy solution for everyone!
Here’s what Vaughn had to say about the sessions with her cats:
“Shelly was spot on in her description of two very different cats she never met physically. I am thrilled by the results. If you have any concerns with your animals, she can help. She has an uncanny way of opening to the animals and creating a space in which they can clearly communicate what’s going on and hear what’s needed. I can’t recommend her enough.”