Animal ‘Tail’ of the Month
When we’re gone long hours at work, we worry that our animal at home by itself will be lonely. In the case of dogs, dog walkers and doggie day care can provide companionship for a single pet. Cats, however, are an entirely different matter.
Regina loved her elder cat Dusty and didn’t want him to be lonely while she was at work. Getting Dusty a cat companion seemed like the perfect solution. Cats are not pack animals like dogs. They usually do not run over wagging their tails when a new cat arrives. Usually they growl, swat, and hiss and so it was with Dusty when new cat Charlie arrived.
Elder cats provide a particular challenge as they have no patience for the antics of young cats which Regina discovered when she adopted 8-month-old Charlie as a companion for her older cat, Dusty.
Having fostered many cats, Regina knew the routine of segregating a new cat in a room by itself while it adapts. Dusty sniffed at the door curious as to who was on the other side.
On the other side of the door, Charlie was not doing well at all, and Regina was very concerned when she contacted me. Charlie was extremely lethargic, not eating, and throwing up a lot. I suggested a trip to the vet’s to see if they could determine what was going on physically. I like to rule that out first as a cause for unusual behavior.
Charlie received fluids, and there appeared to be a mass in his abdominal area. No real help from the first vet led Regina to a second vet who thought Charlie was badly constipated. Poor little guy. More fluids helped Charlie clear out his impacted intestines, but his behavior did not change.
Charlie was still not eating, and when let out of the room, he would pace frantically back and forth in front of the door over to the cat tree and back to the door. Regina sent me a video, and I could see that Charlie was in a lot of emotional distress.
His previous owner had had him since he was 4 weeks old which was really too young for him to have been taken from his birth mother. The woman adored Charlie, but was very allergic to him and had to give the little guy up. That’s when Regina found him a few days later at the cat rescue.
Charlie was missing the only mother he had ever known, and the woman was missing him, too. I realized that if I didn’t do something soon Charlie would die of a broken heart. He was losing weight and his eyes were dull. My talks with Charlie were just not helping him.
Now that I knew the cause of his behavior was grief and the accompanying loss, I undertook a shamanic journey for Charlie to perform what is called a cord-cutting. Our attachments to people and animals form strong emotional cords of energy linking one heart to another. Though the woman had given Charlie up she had not really let him go and was calling him to her with her yearning heart. The little guy was really suffering.
This explained Charlie’s frantic pacing over to the door and back. He was trying to get back to her. In order to save Charlie, I would need to gently cut the energetic cord tying them to each other. This I did and within hours Charlie’s pacing stopped, and he began to eat. He has become a playful cat with lots of energy. Charlie is happy again.
From that day to this he has been thriving, but Dusty is unhappy at times having the new arrival around even though the two of them are playing together and eating next to each other. Regina and Dusty just look at each other in amazement when Charlie is bouncing around the house.
Next month’s Animal ‘Tail’ will tell Dusty’s side of the story.