Sunday, August 17, 2008

Talking to the Animals

Every so often a situation comes up in my Herd that is just a bit beyond me...and that's happened lately when I rescued the 8-month-old adolescent boy-cat I called Li'l Guy. He's an absolute sweetie with people - how his people could have just dumpedhim is something I cannot understand. Granted, he was non-neutered when I found him, and definitely had that distinctive male cat, er, aroma...but he wasn't spraying yet, thanks be.

So I took him to be neutered and get his shots, and after he acclimated a bit to being inside again, I tried introducing him to the Herd.

Think of a 13-year-old boy in the first grip of hormones, turned loose in a sedate country club, and you'll have a vague idea of what happened. Li'l Guy wasn't mean or vicious - but he was, well, very adolescent. And he wanted to play, and didn't know how - he'd never been adequately socialized with other cats.

So he leaped out at the others from behind doors, pounced on them with teeth and claws as if they were squeaky toys....well, they did squeak in surprise, before they hissed and swatted....! The country club was quickly turning into a Wild West barroom!

That was when I called animal communicator Terri Diener, who's helped me out in previous tough situations.

By the time we concluded our conversation, she had facilitated conversations with Li'l Guy (who preferred the name Sebastian rather than his obviously temporary moniker) and each of the other cats in the Herd.

Much to my relief, the other cats' hissing wasn't actively hostile (I'd sensed this, as the altercations were brief, if vehement) but was meant to put Li'l--er, Sebastian in his place and teach him his manners. And as I thought, he wasn't trying to be mean or bullying, but was unschooled and rather overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of the Herd. Terri suggested that another cat be asked to volunteer to serve as...well, basically as Sebastian's drill sergeant, showing him the ropes and teaching him the rules. Junioragreed, Sebastian agreed to work with him, and...well, it's a work in process.

Have I recommended the Comfort Zone diffuser with Feliway before? It's a lifesaver - with this tool, Sebastian is mellowing and Junior is mellower. It's taking a while, but there is hope!