Month seven has come and gone since adopting Chloe, a manx cat from the shelter/pet store. We’ve made, or shall I speak the truth and say, I’ve made huge changes and have become better at ‘cat speak’ since bringing her home.
Cats have a language involving head and eye motions, primarily, and this includes being in a relaxed posture or one of ‘pounce’ readiness. Since being beat up by my own little cat, Mringa, for having brought in another, I’ve been listening with my eyes and responding in like.
The cat stances have included wetting/spraying on a cushion or a cat tent one or both of them had been sitting on or in and giving Mringa, my original cat, time out in a large crate that included her cat box and food. Then that needed to cease because it was becoming apparent it was a hiding place.
Did you know that when you’re introducing cats to each other, the closer they can get to each other while eating, is the sign of sure progress? Oh yes! And now, eight months later, they can get close enough to eat out of the same bowl at the same time, and, miracles of miracles, lick off the same spoon at the same time without growling, hissing or running away. Progress indeed.
Now play time, that’s our next progression. The real reason why I felt it was necessary to introduce another, a few weeks after the untimely disappearance of the previous littermate, was because she required a playmate to keep her interested and not chewing on unsafe things around the house.
So, interested she has been, and she’s now running up and attempting to get the newest cat, Chloe, to chase her. Chloe, on the other hand, is still a bit taken aback, yet stands her ground and watches as Mringa runs by, a few times in succession. I, on the other hand, have been helping out, I think I’m helping out, and getting out the long wand with feathers on the end at mealtimes to encourage this individualized play.
Why at mealtimes? Well, cat nature is to catch the food, then eat it. So, by moving a silly toy that replicates a bird in front of their faces to illicit play, they watch each other and my hope is to get them to eventually run after each other throughout the day and get the exercise required to stay healthy and fit. At least, that’s what’s going on in my brain. But I don’t have a cat brain, so who knows what they’re thinking of my antics.
And why all this fuss about two cats who reside in my home as pets? That’s twofold. I consider myself an Autism Whisperer, yet I have difficulty understanding the two creatures occupying the same space as I. And secondly, as I hone the ‘cat speak’ or autism whisperer techniques, I’m also honing the techniques I require to listen to what people (my clients in particular) are saying to me, without saying it. And I believe it’s working.
Just this past week I picked up a sense of something going on with a client, a victim of the San Bernardino shoot out (you may remember the news story right before Christmas this year) and I asked a leading question. And yes, indeed, something had happened around balloon popping. My client “jettisoned” the room rather quickly, then realizing the safety of the situation, was able to return to the group without further bodily upset. I had previously talked about these kinds of occurrences happening which may, or may not cause a reaction and we were able to talk about it in further detail, to help ease the brain/body connection and allow a return to normalcy in as short a span as possible.
So, just remember, you, too, may feel the insanity of a certain situation, like me and the energy I’ve spent on ‘cat speak’, yet question not. You may never know when the skills you gained will be required somewhere in another space in time. These are all windows of opportunity if you pay attention to the subtleness of life, as you move on down the road.