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Date: 2/18/2017 11:52 AM EST

The Wilbourn Way Blog 

(aka Cats on the Couch)  

Dear Readers,

Cats Made Their Debut At The Westminster Club Dog Show
There are those cats that like to perform. A few years ago, the International Cat Association held a separate show at the Javits Center, in conjunction with the American Kennel Club, at the same time as the all-dog Meet the Breeds. That apparently stoked interest in a reprise.  Read more
At the Westminster show

Downing Street's Larry
Former British prime minister David Cameron confessed that since leaving Downing Street last summer, he misses Larry the cat. Read more

Bergenfield Library
Join me and my feline co-speaker at the
Bergenfield Library  Sunday, May 7 at 2p.m.    Read more

Curious Cat Survives Dryer
Good news!!! Caroline is going to be okay!!! There’s no internal blistering. I haven't had a chance to see her, but the tech said she was even being playful. I should be able to take her home tomorrow.” 
Caroline is a poser
"OMG She's made it! What a cat," I shouted to Orion, who responded with a tail flick. Hedy's email made my day.

Seduced By The Dryer
Last night Hedy’s 17 year old son, with good intentions, turned on the dryer. As he walked away, he thought he heard a cry. He did. It was Caroline who had crawled into the dryer. They rushed her to the vet. She was dehydrated with high white blood cells and liver enzymes. In 48 hours they would know if there was any internal blistering.

Hedy had called me from Texas to do a distant Reiki treatment for Caroline. Reiki is a healing practice that aids in the balancing of mind, body and emotional well being. Read more. 
She wanted Caroline to have every chance she could to survive with the least harm and suffering. She told me how Caroline filled their home with joy. Her three kids couldn’t get enough of her. She even took her turn on the trampoline. So there was major trampoline activity as the kids celebrated. But they still wondered if Caroline would be the same cat. Would she have any issues? Could they still play the same games?
Follow- Up Vet Visit —The Cat’s Meow

Home from the vet
Hedy’s next email was totally over the top. “The vet says she’s completely recovered. No more medication. She’s been doing great all week. Completely normal — playing, snuggling, eating and sleeping the way she always did. She even went in to the laundry room once. Such a brave kitty. I am confident your Reiki treatment contributed significantly to Caroline’s healing and why she recovered so quickly. We are so very grateful you were there and for your quick response. By the way, when we saw your cat’s photo, we thought it was our cat. 02 is a male look-a-like for our Caroline.”

Caroline is an Orion  look-alike
Be Dryer Conscious
A dryer’s toasty, snuggly interior provides an automatic invitation to many a cat to curl up in. Keep the door closed to your dryer when not in use. Attach a sign — “Check out the dryer for unwelcome passengers before you close the door to start up the cycle.”

Prevent, so you don’t have to repent!

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Luna -- Streaming Catnip
Luna, catnip streamer
When Connie adopted Chessie, she was sure her cat, Luna, would accept her with open paws.*  After all she had once lived with Connie’s two older cats who adored her. She was their adopted kitten. Anyway, no way would Luna “break kibble” with Chessie. Her m.o. was to sit outside Chessie’s door and howl away. What to do?

Chessie dissed by Luna
But, not to worry. Connie’s mother, who had alzheimer’s disease, was always a Luna lover. So when Luna moved upstairs with Connie’s mother and aide, it was a win-win-win. Although there were few people that her mother remembered, her eyes lit up whenever she saw Luna. And the aide became another Luna lover. Luna had found her calling — streaming catnip for Connie’s mother and aide.
A little toy time therapy for Luna
*By the way — All relationships are different. It’s not unusual for a cat who’s lived with cats before to reject a newcomer.


Carole's Take On Oscar The Cat Who ..... 


Removal Of This Feral Cat Colony Could Be Critical
I was recently asked to give my professional opinion on the removal of a feral cat colony from its current location.
The removal, disturbance, or displacement of these felines from their current location could be a death sentence”, I said. It’s because cats have an instinctual “homing ability” which involves scent, visuals, determination and memory. Remarkable, uncanny behavior, but possibly the least understood — this skill of the domestic cat to find the way home from an unknown location.

Homing abilityis poorly understood (even in pigeons), but it may be due to an unusual sensitivity to the geo-magnetic field of the earth which enables [the cat] to keep a compass fix on their home region regardless of distance and direction traveled(Beadle 1977). Perhaps not all cats have the same level of sensitivity, and there are also other factors which can affect a cats homing ability.

These are only a few of the many cats who are homing heroes”.

Holly traveled 200 miles to find her way home

Holly travelled almost 200 miles to find her way home

And in The Sydney Morning Herald

Jessica walked almost 2k miles home 

Cat walks 2,000 miles across Australia after owners relocate
Daily Mail UK

Missing cat finds his way home on the train

Charlie took the train

Sensitivity and other factors play a part in the homing ability, but these colony cats — being feral with inborn, unflappable determination and focus — their m.o. would be survival. This survival would be home”. And they could die in their pursuit.

My feeling was that it would be best to allow this golden age cat colony to remain in its current home. They have lived there for more than a decade.

Orion's Catitudes
(Orion, a recovering feral rescue gives his cat-speak and ©whisker waves on cat issues)

Liquid catnip


Happy Hour With Liquid Catnip
Orion prefers his nip in powder or flakes— so he can roll around as he indulges. But he knows that humans will go that extra “nine” yards and more to humanize their cats.  Read more
Agility is only one of a cat's inimitable skills. take a look at this gif of circular agility

Heat, with its built-in relaxation, is a fave of many cats
Olivia zones out on the aquarium

Her cat-mates prefer the softer touch for their heat fix

Mayor's Alliance For NYC's Animals

Volunteer Extraordinare

You too can make yourself, as well as many a cat and dog happy. Become a volunteer with the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals 

Adoptapalooza at Washington Square Park



A Free Consultation With The Cat Therapist    

Posted by Carole Wilbourn | Post a Comment

Date: 1/30/2017 7:25 PM EST

The Wilbourn Way Blog 

(aka Cats on the Couch)  

Dear Readers,

Cats Are As Intelligent As Dogs
This was a recent segment on Fox 5 where Orion and I gave our input. Orion's discreet inner feeling concurs with T. S. Eliot in that "A Dog's a Dog -- A CAT'S A CAT" 
....... so what's the comparison????

Cats Find Safe Haven To Start 2017
More than 500 cats, who may have been exposed to an unusual flu virus, now have shelter in a Long Island City warehouse. This quarantine center has been constructed by an ASPCA team in less than a week. Read more

Safe Haven
Happiness Calls Your Name
Quiet your mind, and re-wire your brain with this book of short 1-minute meditations. You’ll want to take a look at this stunning book by Lorrie Kazan.

Ark For Animals Large And Small
The Ark, An Extraordinary Facility for Pre-Airborne Animals Opens At JFK Airport  Read more

Carole's Take On Oscar The Cat Who ..... 


Subscribe to Carole's free monthly Blog -- The Wilbourn Way 

Orion's Catitudes
(Orion, a recovering feral rescue gives his cat-speak and ©whisker waves on cat issues)

Dementia robotic cats

Therapy Cats for Dementia
Orion champions robotic cats. His vintage robotic cat Ziggy-Star-Dust, named after a feral black cat I adopted at a party for David Bowie. Read more   

Orion’s robotic companion often accompanies me at my presentations where live companion animals aren’t welcome.

Finding Dory -- Top Ticket Seller For 2016
Movie goers sought escape. Orion, particularly fond of fish tails and tales ©whisker waved “Finding Dory” in his June Catitudes.  Scroll through the June Blog

Finding Dory
A Trainer Gives Circus Animals, Newly Retired, A Second Act
Retired circus animals
The animals won’t have a total retirement as many will become part of a therapy program for disadvantaged children and older people. Orion feels it will be a mutual win-win. Jenny Vidbel, the trainer, will also take in animals who were not in the circus.

Yoga At The Good Mews Shelter
Orion chills out and frequently joins me in Tai Chi and my Reiki placements so he sends many a ©whisker wave to the Yoga sessions at the shelter in Marietta, Georgia. Read more.
Yoga with cats

Orion gives a blissful toast and ©whisker wave to 2017 and wellness at  his fave water wellness fountain.

And to Other Cats Who follow their bliss
Delilah, fifteen-years-old, and still counting, likes her toy time at any old time.



Phinneas, Delilah’s, younger, significant other, prefers toy time before and after a brushing.
Miss Precious

A very pink nose is often Miss Precious’ sign of bliss when she plays.


Kingsley, Miss P’s companion, blisses out with a toy near his basket.

Myla Throws A Hissy Fit
(New Cat Introduction-Integration
“Myla was so happy yesterday. She and Sage were even only a tail’s throw away on the couch,” said Laura. “But today Myla is Miss Hiss and tail flicker. Why?”
Happy Myla
“There’s been a shift in Myla’s attention,” I said. 
A sudden gasp, and Laura told me how Sam, her significant other and Myla’s main person, was at his office non-stop, which meant less attention for Myla. Sam loves Myla but can’t neglect work.

Break-Throughs and Break-Downs
I explained to Laura that Myla’s relationship with her newbie companion, Sage, was still a work in paw-gress. There would be break-throughs like yesterday and break-downs like today. But gradually with repetition of their get-together-integration-acceptance program, the two cats would comfortably co-exist.
Myla on the alert
Myla, I explained, was still very vulnerable to Sage’s presence, especially, because when Sage was introduced, she had a medical problem which needed constant attention and vet visits. So there’s that residual new cat competition angst that Myla has to chip away.

Prevention Of Blurred Boundaries
During my home visit to Laura’s cats, I recommended that she should be Sage’s main person and Sam would be Myla’s. However, when Sam interacted with Myla, he should acknowledge Sage verbally so she would feel included, and Laura should do likewise for Myla when she interacted with Sage. 

(Refer to A Home For Christmas, Integration of Inter-Cat Mingles for more recommendations on “Introduction-Integration of New Cat)

Recorded Audio Reinforcement
Sage and Myla -- peaceful coexistence
Now that Sam was absentia personified, he should record messages to Myla on voice mail or a special app that Laura could repeatedly play for Sage, and he could also acknowledge Sage verbally — “Right Sage”. 

“Got it” said Laura, and I can fill in for Sam. And, of course, I’ll mention Sage — so she doesn’t get pissed. “By the way, the gate I bought for the doorway of the room Sage is in, works perfectly. She and Myla can interact however they want without physical contact.”

I did a distant Reiki treatment for balance (Read more)  and told Laura we should do a FaceTime or speaker phone session for their next follow-up. My feeling was that the prognosis was promising and in time would be a shout-out.

Thirteen Year Old Pippi Is Confused And Aggressive
(Loss, Separation And Rivalry
Pippi -- 13 years old
“My Mom is now in a hospice so Pippi moved in with me a few days ago. She used to be my cat, but when my job involved constant travel, my Mom, very happily adopted Pippi,” said Connie. “That was six years ago.”

Louise and Daisy In Residence
As I watched Connie stroke Pippi, her eyes lit up, and Pippi purred as her tail fluffed out. These two were a meant-to-be match. Now Pippi was once again Connie’s cat in the very same apartment they once shared. But there was a ruffle, actually two —  Louise and Daisy. Three years ago Connie adopted these two litter mates. 
“Pippi yowls and hisses whenever the two sisters make an appearance. Louise and Daisy are now camped out in the closet —one of their fave hang-outs,” said Connie. 

How To Make The Three Cats Companionable
Connie’s heart went out to Pippi, but she couldn’t live with this upset. She realized that Pippi regarded the two sisters as interlopers as this was once her home, and she had been the only cat. But to the sisters, Pippi was the interloper. 

“Carole, what can we do to make my three cats companionable?” Connie went on to say that the two sisters preferred each other’s company to hers. Each was a cat’s cat, unlike Pippi whose preference was people. When she first adopted the sisters, they kept their distance. But now although they spent most of their time at play or entwined together, they would accept an abbreviated cuddle and hang out on Connie’s bed most of the night. 

Peace at Bedtime
Bedtime was Connie’s main concern. How could she keep bedtime peace? Pippi howled when they approached the bed, and the two sisters scampered away.
I explained to Connie that as Pippi’s separation anxiety and feelings of loss gradually weakened, Pippi would be less threatened and aggressive. Grief can trigger fear which can turn to aggression — which is now Pippi’s m.o. 
“Okay, but what can I do to comfort Pippi so she feels better and accepts Louise and Daisy?” said Connie.

Positivity — The Ripple Effect
I told Connie that she had to tell Pippi that she was safe, they were all okay, and she could lead the way for Louise and Daisy. And how it was so generous of her to be so kind and loving. No way, would Pippi understand Connie’s words, but she would be comforted by the warmth of Connie’s tone of voice, relaxed breath and body language.
“Ah, I see, and the sisters would be calmed — the ripple effect,” said Connie. I nodded, and gave her some more recommendations.

Daytime Bed Time
  • Spend some time on your bed after the cats have eaten, when they’re relaxed and low key. Don’t invite them, let them make that choice. Make sure you have their music on (the link I sent for their session) to reinforce their relaxation.  After they join you, remember if you interact with one of the cats, verbally acknowledge the other two so you’re all in sync.
  • Offer them some catnip while they’re on the bed. You can sprinkle some on their toys. They may not join you the first time, but eventually, they will.
  • A tall cat tree in the bedroom would provide a hangout for the two athletic sisters. They could play “Queen of the Mountain”.
  • Give Pippi some private time and do the same for the sisters. That would be a good time to brush them if they’re receptive. But remember to stop before they resist. Use a moistened paper towel if they resist a bush or comb.
“So the more I make sure we’re all going along in tandem, and neither cat feels left out, the better they’ll interact with each other,” said Connie.
“Yes, otherwise sadness sparks resentment, and Pippi’s aggressive behavior carries on.” 
Connie realized that the more optimistic she was about her cats’ relationship, the sooner peace and happiness would prevail.

Change Her Focus With Distraction
I reminded Connie that as soon as she noticed Pippi was agitated, she should distract her with the sound of her voice, a funny dance step or whatever Pippi preferred. 

I told Connie that as Pippi was now in her golden years, and a bit more fragile, she might enjoy the comfort of a heating pad. The warmth would relax her body, likewise her state of mind and attitude. As we said our good byes, Pippi stretched out with the toy mouse I’d gifted, and Connie told me she’d be in touch.

Break-down — Break-through
Connie’s Text:  “Last night I woke up to howls from Pippi as the sisters scrambled under the bed, but when I turned on their music, Pippi looked my way and started to groom. Guess it was my reminder they needed their music day and night — no lapses.

Artists And Their Cats
(By Alison Nastasi
Grandma Moses is one of the many artists included in this book. 

Grandma Moses continued to live and work on a farm well into her seventies. A few of her barn kitties were immortalized in her renowned folk paintings.

Diego Blows Off Tess
(New Cat Competition)
“Omg, Diego is actually happy in the playpen. This is a first,” said Jamie. “And here we are on FaceTime.” 
Diego in playpen during FaceTime session
Diego, ten years and neutered, adored his former companion. So when she became very ill and passed on, Jamie adopted Tess, a young kitten. That was over a year ago. But Diego was not pleased. He either chased Tess or kept his distance. Most of the time, they were separated by a gate which allowed them to see each other without physical contact.

Playpen Frustration
When Jamie purchased a cat playpen, she thought one cat could hang out in it while she played with each of them. No luck. Diego only hissed or looked the other way, while Tess rolled back and forth before the playpen so Diego would notice her.

“This is such a break-through,” said Jamie. “Diego loves this undivided attention while Tess is in another room. But what will happen when she’s near the playpen?”

Program for Acceptance
  • I explained to Jamie that now that Diego has experienced this feeling of acceptance and security as we concentrate, praise and play with him, a positive association has been connected with this playpen. I told her that she should repeat this several times for about five or ten minutes before Tess appeared. 
  • When Tess appeared, Jamie should continue to talk and interact with Diego but mention Tess’s name and randomly wave or toss her a toy. 
  • She could say: “Diego, I’ll play with Tess so you’ll be entertained, and she won’t take your toys.” It was important to keep them both in the loop but to focus on Diego so he would gradually accept Tess. 
  • I told Jamie that when Tess was inside the playpen, she could engage the two of them with talk and toys. A sprinkling of catnip would add to their together time.
Jamie had a busy work schedule, but she knew she could and would make the time to follow through with their program.  “I can see how the music you provided will continue to relax the three of us while their relationship sparks,” said Jamie.

Mochi Never Purrs. Is He Unhappy?
I recently did a therapy session in Westchester for two kittens who were litter mates. Gloria,their guardian, had found them online. Their rescuer lived in Canada but drove in and met Gloria on the New York side of the Canadian border.

What's in my bag?
Kittens For Emmy
The kittens were a birthday present for Emmy, her three year old daughter. “Cats were the only present Emmy wanted. She named them Sushi and Mochi. Now Emmy had a sleep mate. Sushi slept the night with her, while Mochi tucked in with Gloria and her husband.

Sushi Snuggles And Purrs
But Gloria wasnt sure Mochi was happy. He and his sister Sushi were her very first cats. Unlike Sushi who snuggled, purred and was always front and center for attention, Mochi was reticent about being touched and Gloria never, ever heard him purr. (**See Note at end of article).  She hoped I could tell her how to make Mochi happy — more like his sister. Maybe she was doing something wrong. How could she nip it in the bud?

Mochi's Diagnosis
Sushi and Mochi at play
As I watched the kittens at play, tossed them toys I had brought for their session, and the musical link I had sent Gloria played in the background, I formed my diagnosis of little Mochis behavior. 

I explained to Gloria that unlike his sister who was more of a party-puss, Mochi was selective with his attention. He was of the cool catsonality. With Mochi less was more

Gloria's Goodness Was Contagious
As I talked, Glorias face and body relaxed, and Mochi slowly pawed his way over to me and climbed up beside me on the couch. He had mirrored Glorias reaction to my explanation. She felt good, and her goodness” was contagious — the ripple effect.

Thanks To The Wilbourn Way
Before I left, I gave Gloria some recommendations on diet, and how to clip their claws and told her to be in touch with a progress report.

Several days later I received the following text:   
Mochi purred today, thanks to The Wilbourn Way!  

**A cat can purr when unhappy. When a cat’s energy builds up, the purr mechanism is activated, and this can occur when a cat is fearful, agitated or even sad. But there are cats who never purr. They express their feelings with their body, voice and touch.

Attend The New York Pet Fashion Show
The N.Y. Pet Fashion Show benefits the Gems of Animal Rescue in support of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals and 150 participating shelter and rescue groups.  

Date: Thursday February 9, 2017
Time: 6:00PM - 11:00 PM
Global Couture for Animal Rescue
Location: Hotel Pennsylvania - Penn Top Ballroom 18th Floor

My Orion once pawed the cat-walk at the Algonquin Hotel in his jaunty Hawaiian outfit. He was photographed by "Kids National Geographic” and featured in a special issue. Now Orion sends me with his robotic cat to do Reiki treatments for the cats and their guardians at the August annual cat fashion show at the Algonquin Hotel, where Matilda, the cat is in residence. This show also benefits the animal-welfare nonprofit, the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals.

A Free Consultation With The Cat Therapist    

Posted by Carole Wilbourn | Post a Comment

Date: 12/20/2016 7:21 PM EST

The Wilbourn Way Blog 

(aka Cats on the Couch)  

Dear Readers,

Be merry, bright and healthy for the holidays!
Whatever you decide to do, have fun and be oh, so good to yourself. your cat/s will love you for it.
A Happy Holiday Wish From Orion

A Herd Of Cats Fill Advertising Placements At London Tube Stop
Break Thru Radio (BTR)
Here’s a recent interview from BTR.

The Feline's Laser Chasing Scratch Post
If your cat likes the laser dot, take a look

Subscribe to Carole's free monthly Blog -- The Wilbourn Way 

Cat Talk Was A Lucky Break
“Hi Ms. Wilbourn, I wrote you a letter and need your address,” was a recent call from Barbara, a 91-year old golden age cat lover. Here’s an excerpt from her nine page letter.
Barbara named the rescued kitten Pretty Girl and wrote how her older cat, Fluffy, welcomed her with a wash from head to toe. She went on to write how Fluffy had some nerve damage in her legs which sometimes caused her to plop down as she walked.
A Look-Alike For Pretty Girl

More excerpts:
“But gosh, darn, Fluffy looked after Pretty Girl almost right up until I had to have the vet take over — a very sad moment for me. We’d been together for twelve years.”
Pretty Girl is now nine years old, black, silky, with a little white patch on her back and four white feet. I don’t have any pictures of her to send you. One day I thought I’d bust my britches laughing so hard. She was sleeping in the rays of warm sunshine on my carpet, on her back, spread eagle. When I told her to “sit up like a lady”, she opened her eyes, gave me a look and went back to sleep.
I’m so glad I purchased your book. Now I know what she wants when she makes different meow sounds and how her tail shoots straight up in the air when she feels proud and happy. There are many other things I learned, but most of all, that my kitty cat is normal.  Also, I’ve made arrangements for Pretty Girl’s future without me.

Sending love and hugs, I thank you.”

A Home For Christmas
Where Was Mom? “When my mom didn’t answer her texts or phone, and I realized we’d been out of touch for five or six days, I panicked,“ said Deborah. She arrived at her mother’s building to find some notices slipped under her door. As Deborah didn’t have the key to
the special security lock, and her mom lived with two young cats, time was crucial. With the help of the fire department, they got inside. Her mom was motionless, stretched out on the couch. She apparently had sudden heart failure. Deborah was grateful that her mom’s end was without long suffering.
And Her Cats?
One of the cats was found in the bedroom. The other was beneath the couch. Their bowls were totally empty — no food or water. Luckily, they were neither dehydrated or apparently weak, so Deborah, a vet technician, knew she didn’t have to take them directly to the hospital where she worked.
Preps For Cat Integration
After appropriate arrangements, she took the cats to her apartment where she lived with her husband and their two cats, Hot Rod and Chili Pepper.
Hot Rod and Chili Pepper
She put her mom’s cats, who were one year old, neutered brothers, in a separate room with their “own stuff” and creature comforts. As Deborah had consulted me in the past in regard to new cat introductions and integrations, she knew gates were essential in the doorway to their room so the cats could see and interact with each other without physical contact. Also, that her cats had to be verbally acknowledged whenever she interacted with the bros, so they wouldn’t feel displaced or rejected. Her cats needed to feel in control, so they wouldn’t act out of control. Refer to April 2014 Blog — Scroll down to Dante Attacks His Two Companions. Read more
Pumpkin and Squash used to be Best Buds
The next morning Deborah was awakened by shrill, menacing meows. Pumpkin had his brother Squash, cornered. She was able to distract Pumpkin with a toss of a toy so Squash could run for cover. Three days later with separations, time out, wind down time, toys, treats — Pumpkin was still in rage mode. Goodbye to the bros who were once best buds. 
Rabbit Hole Syndrome — So Many Traumas 
Deborah had wanted the cats to stay together. But Pumpkin’s grief had turned to fury. Squash was his tension target. Perhaps in time Pumpkin’s attitude towards his brother would change. But she had to consider the welfare of her guys. Deborah had to be flexible. The right choice was critical. No way did she want to create a quagmire. There had already been so many traumas — loss of her mother, culture shock of a new environment, new cat competition. Deborah couldn’t focus on what she preferred. She wouldn’t let herself go down that rabbit hole.
Pumpkin Moves On
Her husband reminded Deborah that her cat-less brother might be a possible home for Pumpkin who was a real people lover. He’d be the only cat and center of attention. By that evening Pumpkin had moved in with her brother who texted that Pumpkin had made his day. “I now have a domestic compatible, companion in time for the holidays.”  
After Pumpkin left, at first Squash stayed hidden in the closet, but with toys, catnip, brushing, his music and a distant Reiki treatment (Read more), he was all purrs and ate a hearty breakfast. 
Because Pumpkin was the decision maker and Squash the copy-cat, with “two” cats to copy, he would be able to make the transition without too many twists.
“Yes, and Hot Rod, the older, can chill at will, while Chili Pepper, the younger and Squash do their thing. A vicarious fun work-out for Hot Rod,” said Deborah.
Integration Reminders For Cat Mingle
  • When the gates are opened for “cat-mingle”, It should be for short intervals — even a few minutes.
  • Start off the intervals when the cats are relaxed and mellow.
  • Return Squash to his room before there’s any sign of agitation — tail swish, hiss, wide eyes.
  • Separate the cats while the going’s good to create a positive association.
  • Repeat the intervals several times a day to increase their acceptance of each other.
I told Deborah that gradually, they would gain tolerance and grow to accept each other. She and her husband would be able to give the cats the attention they needed for their relationship to evolve into a happy catdom. “Squash and Pumpkin are one of my mom’s many timeless gifts,” said Deborah.

The Tie That Binds

Holiday time always reminds me —
A few decades or so ago, I asked my sister, Gail, “If you could make a wish to have your dream career, what would it be?”
“To become a movie producer, and you?”
“I want my passion for cats to become my profession".

At that time, cats were my avocation and Gail worked at an art gallery. 

Gail's Cats Sophie & Denzel
A few years later I co-founded The Cat Practice, the first cat hospital in New York City, wrote my first book Cats Prefer It This Way and was dubbed the Founding Mother of feline psychology. Gail went on to climb the ladder to film producer. Rain Man was one of her early films. Her latest movie is The Danish Girl.  Alicia Vikander won the Oscar for best supporting actress. You won’t see a feline star, but there is a dog who will tug at your heart strings.

Being sisters, there are many things we share in common. Cats take the lead, and although Gail produces movies, and I treat cats, there is a connection. In my cat practice I deal with cat’s emotions. People’s emotions are a resonant theme in Gail’s movies.

Adopt Don't Shop For That Gift! 
You know your friend would be so happy with a cat. She loves your two cats. So you want to surprise her. But wait, you want it to be a good match. So include her in the selection, unless you’re positive she wants to live with a cat or even two. It may be you feel she would never make the plunge by herself. But you don’t want your “gift” to be returned to the shelter after the holidays.  
The Beauty Of A Feral Cat
“My cat needs a buddy, but I’m afraid he wouldn’t want to share my attention. He would abuse the newbie.” This is a common conundrum in my cat practice. But not to worry. Many times a feral kitten or cat is the best match for cats that I treat. A feral will usually bond very quickly with a new cat. Because he/she is a cat’s cat, the interaction preference is “cats” not “people”.
Frustrated, Furless, Anxious (OCD -- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
I’m reminded of Cisco, a very young black, neutered male who had a severe case of alopecia  (psychogenic dermatitis).  When I saw him, he was practically fur-less and had many bloody scabs from compulsive grooming.  I explained to his guardians that he groomed out of frustration and angst.  His two female companions refused to play with him. Cisco’s primary cure was a young feral kitten named Pancho.  
Cisco used to hang out under the tree
They quickly became “an item”, Cisco’s grooming returned to normal, and his fur returned. Sixteen years together until Cisco’s illness  …. 

Now Pancho lives with Elie, whom he’s taken under his paw. 

Pancho with Elie

And Cisco’s photo is on the Christmas tree — alongside Pancho’s

Cisco's photo is alongside Pancho's on the yearly tree

Mayor's Alliance For NYC's Animals
Adopt a little New Yorker today. Read about the Mayor’s Alliance.
(If you’re not a New Yorker, contact the recognized animal facility in your hood.) You might even decide you want to become a volunteer.

Orion's Catitudes                                                                                                                    
(Orion, a recovering feral rescue gives his cat-speak and ©whisker waves on cat issues)

20 year old Poosia blisses out with Reiki treatment and toy therapy

20 Years And Still Counting 
Orion likes that Poosia enjoyed some toy therapy, along with her Reiki treatment.

Larry, Britain's top diplocat

UK’s First Female Diplocats
A week after Larry, the diplocat, took office at 10 Downing, there was a tussle with Palmerston, the newbie diplocat of the Foreign Office.
Evie, new diplocat at the Cabinet Office

And now there are two new sets of whiskers — the first females — Evie and Ossie.  And Orion feels the “burn”.
Ossie joins Evie at the Cabinet Office

As he wrote last year, Orion declares that holiday trimmings can be provocative!
Protect Your Cat From The Trimmings And The Trimmings From Your Cat

Your cat may choose to admire the Christmas tree and trimmings. That’s a mutual plus.
Let Me At ‘Em!
But if “let me at ‘em” is the intent, don’t be unwittingly provocative.
Protect your cat from the trimmings, and the trimmings from your cat -- especially tinsel, feathers and pine needles. You may not have to hang your tree from the ceiling, but you could sprinkle some tabasco sauce on “seductive” areas. 

For your cat’s fun attractions offer a pot of kitty grass for some chewy nibbles and also some new favorite toys. And for alternative pleasures, maybe some tissue paper.

Toy Therapy 
Orion is a big player! Loves toys for fun and fitness! 
Orion and the blue mouse

Click below to see a few of his and other cats' faves from MultiPet Toys.

A Free Consultation With The Cat Therapist    

Posted by Carole Wilbourn | Post a Comment

Date: 11/21/2016 2:52 PM EST

The Wilbourn Way Blog 

(aka Cats on the Couch)  
For a better view Click http://cattherapist.blogspot.com/ 

Dear Readers,

As we share our Thanksgiving Day, let us all take a breath for a tribute of love and silence for all of those lives lost in the recent outbreaks of world-wide terror attacks and give gratitude for those who cared for the displaced and injured. And let us work towards a peaceful transition of power to President-elect Trump.

I will share my holiday with my sister Gail and husband in Los Angeles. We will see Street Cat Named Bob on Friday. My cat, Orion, will welcome his favorite cat sitter to indulge and entertain him. For extra kudos a number one friend will stop by. Orion loves company.

Confirm arrangements for your cat/s care if you plan to be away.
Email from Orion's cat sitter with visual additions

A Home For Thanksgiving

Mutual love
20yr old rescued Dexter welcomed by family dog

When a family adopted a 20 year old cat from the shelter, they never expected how much love he had left to give.
Read more.

NYC Feral Cat Initiative

Orion gives a special sterling ©whisker wave to the Mayors Alliance for the provision of the TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) Certification Workshops, available to the five boroughs of New York City.   

Read more ....

Carole's Take On Oscar The Cat Who ..... 


Farewell To Leonard Cohen, Epic And Enigmatic Songwriter
Leonard Cohen, the late poet laureate of music, shared his life with Jackson, aka Jacques, a cat who once roamed the neighborhood. Read more.
With Jackson at home in L.A.

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Orion's Catitudes                                                                                                                    
(Orion, a recovering feral rescue gives his cat-speak and ©whisker waves on cat issues)

Bo and Sunny are our current “First Dogs”. Orion wonders if there will be future occupants in 2017.

A Street Cat Named Bob
This film is based on the book of the same name by James Bowen, the true story of how a British, stray, ginger cat transformed this drug addict’s life. Orion, a former street cat, heartily recommends this cool cat’s story. It takes one to understand one. Read more.

Orion has 5 ©whisker waves for Bob

Lucy and her diamond eyes

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
Lucy was recently adopted from a Berkeley/Oakland Shelter. Her eyes were irresistible — like diamonds.

NASA Sleep Promoting Light Bulb
If your nocturnal biological rhythms keep your cat awake and/ or your cat’s behavior interrupts your sleep, check out the NASA Sleep Promoting Light Bulb from Hammacher Schlemmer that appeared to enhance sleep — with a lifetime guarantee. Read more.

Withdrawn And Depressed
(Ari's recovery) 

"Ari, my 15 year old is not himself. He’s withdrawn from my attention, ignores his companions and mostly stays by a corner of the couch,” said Lana. After a home session of a behavioral program and Reiki, he slowly emerged and recovered. I was happy to write about it in my October Blog ... scroll through to Ari's article.

Ari's back! With litter mates Ben and Rosie
A Few Days Later – Lana was in the dumps:
Ari was making great strides since his session. But now he’s regressed and is back behind the sofa.” I reminded Lana to continue with their music and to sincerely acknowledge him. I told her he might have a few break-downs, but not to worry, the break-throughs would follow.

Acknowledgment Heals – Lana wrote:
Ari’s now doing Ari things; like he play-fights with Ben, comes to me for scads of affection and has resumed his other usual Ari behavior. Thanks to acknowledgment and The Wilbourn Way.”

Reiki The Tie That Binds
As I sent Ari and his companions a treatment of distant Reiki, my cat Orion climbed up beside me on the couch — always front and center for the emotional catnip. I acknowledged Orion for his cat-born wisdom.

Sleepless in Brooklyn
(Nocturnal Angst) 
I can deal with Lloyd’s download of continuous yowls during the day, but it totally freaks me out during the night,” said Adam. “It’s not so easy to get to work in the morning with a clear head.”
Lloyd beckons Adam to tuck in
Medical Baggage
Lloyd was a street cat when Adam found him, about two years old and probably abandoned. Lloyd has a chronic skin allergy which is treated with medication and visits an allergist. So he is emotionally and physically fragile.

Separation Anxiety
As I listened to Lloyd’s case history, the main trigger for his disruptive yowls became obvious — separation anxiety. Adam’s girlfriend had moved out — together with Max, her cat and Lloyd’s companion. Although not a terrific match, Max was company for Lloyd.

Lloyd’s meow mantra is symptomatic of his senior cat status, lower stress tolerance, physical and emotional fragility, current single cat syndrome, abandonment syndrome, reaction to early traumatic muscle memory, and Adam’s biological sleep patterns.

Lloyd in his box

During his session, Lloyd either curled up in one of his favorite boxes, was intrigued and soothed by the sound of my voice, along with the music, savored the nip and toys I gifted and gazed at my iPad. When I suggested that Adam hang out on his bed, Lloyd climbed up beside him, without a meow meltdown. This would create a peaceful precedent for Lloyd’s bedtime compatibility.

Treatment Excerpts to Delete Lloyd’s Meow Mantra
  • Soothe Lloyd with the link to his music which will reinforce the desensitization of his session
  • Decorate a large box for him to hang out in
  • Divide his daily food so that he has a bedtime snack that can be eaten during the night
  • Distract his focus with a toss of a toy, tight hugs or/and sound of your voice when or before he starts to yowl
  • Either sequester Lloyd at bedtime or in the wee hours with his creature comforts. Do this is in a positive way, so that it’s his special space — a treat!
  • Create a positive reaction. Tell him how calm and mellow he is.
  • Have your iPad or computer tuned to an action site so Lloyd can get his visual fix.
I also recommended a vet visit to evaluate Lloyd’s general health picture and blood chemistries. (Refer to my October Blog -- Sleepless On The Upper Westside -- where I treated Sappho, a geriatric kitty).

As Adam definitely had Lloyd’s back, his recovery was decent, but it would take time to integrate new coping mechanisms. If his blood work was unremarkable, an anxiety drug could be added to support and reinforce his behavioral program to relieve his symptoms of angst.

Progress Report
Lloyd’s exam revealed a slight heart murmur and irregular blood pressure, so he was started on daily medication. No other irregularities. The medication could help to ease Lloyd’s angst.

Adam told me how Lloyd was back to his old sleep patterns. He now and again interrupted Adam’s sleep, but he did this before Max’s departure.
But you can’t be sleep deprived,” I said.
No, not to worry. It’s really okay. With a few strokes and acknowledgment, Lloyd nods out, with me beside him. If not, he spends the rest of the night in his private digs — the bathroom. I get my needed nods. And maybe I can arrange for a second cat when the time is right.”
Okay. If you’re okay, I am too,” I said.
By the way,” said Adam, “now I totally understand Lloyd’s meltdowns and how to react. Anyway, he was always a talkative cat.”

Monkee's Toddler-Friendly Legacy Has Evolved

Monkee no longer toddler-phobic
Bear, Monkee’s late companion, was unflappable with baby Sima, whereas, Monkee either ran from Sima or hissed her away. But Bear bequeathed Monkee his role of “cat nanny” and winsome ways with Sima.

Sima strokes Monkee

No longer, toddler-phobic, Monkee will allow Sima to brush and even stroke him.

(Read more — Scroll through May 2016 Blog to Monkee, Now Toddler-Friendly)

Monkee The Cat Nanny 
October 6, baby Alan was born.  Monkee, was once a nanny “in training”, thanks to Bear. But baby Alan has totally transformed Monkee to cat nanny supreme.

Take a look at the Monkee - Alan line-up.
Cat Nanny Monkee blisses out with baby Alan

A Free Consultation With The Cat Therapist    

Posted by Carole Wilbourn | Post a Comment

Date: 10/27/2016 3:59 PM EDT

The Wilbourn Way Blog 

(aka Cats on the Couch)  
For a better view Click http://cattherapist.blogspot.com/ 

Dear Readers,

Halloween is always the ideal day to celebrate our relationship with our cats — especially — the safety and acceptance of black cats who have had a perilously wrong association with bad luck and evil.

My Orion obliterates this fallacious, erroneous belief with his acceptance and companionship of his robotic cat — Ziggy-Star-Dust — named after my late recovering feral. 
Orion and Ziggy-Star-Dust

Feral Cats Are Being Deployed In New York's War On Rats

What a gift this is to our city’s well being and more.  
Read more  
Volunteers with the New York City Feral Cat Initiative

Cats Are The Newest Customers For The Use Of Pot

Relief for an ailing kitty
Read more

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Orion's Catitudes                                                                                                                     
(Orion, a recovering feral rescue gives his cat-speak and ©whisker waves on cat issues)

Orion always has a ©whisker wave for cool cats.

Cool Cats

Lloyd likes a toy that matches his eyes

Dante, fervent fashionista, faves fuschia
Gordon’s new spot to chill in the 18 wheeler big rig. 
Scroll through to Wayne's Cascadia in April 2016 Blog

Ari Is Withdrawn And Depressed
(Rejection Complex) 

Ari with his treasure toys
The following email made my day  
Good morning, and that it is. Ari has emerged from his corner beside the couch. I’m happy to tell you that early this morning Ari sashayed around in his usual royal manner, ate his breakfast and is now lazily sprawled out on the window sill while their music plays in the background. I’m so grateful you were available to do a session last night. And thanks for the Reiki. Read more

Ari Withdraws
Lana had called me in despair because her 15 year old Ari was not himself. Two days ago he planted himself in his favorite out of the way spot by the corner of the sofa and only emerged to eat and use the litter box. “Ari doesn’t greet me by the door and avoids me. If I manage to hold or brush him, invariably retreats to his spot. He totally avoids any provocative interaction with his litter mates, Rosie and Ben, which he usually initiates.”

Ari’s Session
As we hung out on the floor nearby, with Ari beside the couch, Rosie and Ben snoozed nearby in the bedroom. The three litter mates had a loose, live and let live relationship. Ari demanded most of Lana’s attention. Rosie had her moments. Ben’s acceptance of affection was on the short side. 
Ben reaches out for more attention

Ari accepted my strokes on his head and chin which told me he wanted to be noticed. He could have slid behind the couch but didn’t. He sniffed some catnip I sprinkled on some toys, while I went into the bedroom to offer Rosie and Ben some toys and nip. Rosie preferred to stay in nap mode while Ben, usually the out of sight guy, came forward to check out the offerings. 

A bit later as I stroked and acknowledged Ari, he suddenly gave me a darting glance and slowly backed up behind the couch. I turned around to see Lana with Ben beside her chair as she talked to him. 

The Tell Tale Sign
At that moment Ari’s sudden unusual behavior resonated with me. His instinctive kitty radar had told him Ben was present. His reaction was to withdraw. He felt abandoned and chose to withdraw from the painful feeling. 

“So that’s what you meant when you asked if there was a change in their relationship,” said Lana. “It was so gradual I didn’t think too much of it, but Ben has been more in need of my attention and affection. Certainly not like Ari who is usually my shadow and gets tons of my time.”
“ Doesn’t matter, Ari feels displaced and rejected. His withdrawal is his feline shout-out that he’s unhappy,” I said. 
“So what should I do?” said Lana. “ I love the three of them. I can’t ignore Ben,” said Lana.
"And you won't," I said. "Ari," I explained, "was not prepared for Ben's change in his relationship with you. He is used to the usual routine and couldn't accept, couldn't integrate this change."

Acknowledge Ari
So, whenever you talk, touch or interact with Ben in any way, even if Ari is sound asleep in another room, acknowledge Ari verbally. “Isn’t that good Ari, right Ari, you take such good care of everybody." Include him so he doesn’t feel excluded.
“That’s all I have to do,” said Lana. 
I chuckled as I said,”Keep it simple. If it turns out that Ben and Rosie feel neglected, mention them or “right guys” whenever you interact with Ari." 
“I see all for one, and one for all,” said Lana.  
Ari, Ben and Rosie await Lara's tuck-in
(For more on Acknowledgment, refer to “I Don’t Want To Give Des Away, But…. " Scroll through 2013 Blog to Nov)

Theo Beats Up My Friends
(Aggressive Cat Syndrome) 
Theo, King of the Mountain on FaceTime
Ari’s situation reminds me of Theo, a young neutered cat who felt rejected and insecure, but unlike Ari who resorted to “flight”, Theo’s response was “fight”. 

Theo was referred to me by Dr. Dougherty, director of The Cat Practice, that I had co-founded with Dr. Rowan in 1973. 

Linda, Theo’s guardian, scheduled a FaceTime consult to resolve Theo’s aggressiveness. Although he was very affectionate with her, he was abusive with her visitors.Sometimes he was ornery with Lila, his companion, who adored him and everybody. She was the love or “flower kitty”.  

Theo’s Life Was Disrupted  
Theo was adopted two years ago. This once very friendly and lovable kitten was now predictably aggressive with everyone but Linda. By the time I’d finished Theo’s case history, I could clearly see how and why he was now the warrior. His behavior started to shift to surly when Lila was adopted last year.

Lila adores everybody

This adorable kitten was the catalyst to Theo’s dramatic behavior change. He bowed to her front and center demeanor but his feeling of rejection manifested in aggressive behavior. 

Theo loves Linda's stroking
Because he was unhappy and anxious, he was easily overstimulated. So his interactions with people quickly exploded into aggression with people and a yo-yo relationship with Lila. 

My major recommendations for treatment were these:
  • Give Theo special daily private time; maybe a walk in the hall, a brushing on his climber.
  • Tell Theo how good and loved he is whenever, wherever you touch Lila or talk to her.
  • Tell him how grateful she is to be his companion.
  • Whenever you have visitors, tell them that Theo will come to them if he wants attention,and if so, a few strokes but to stop before he becomes overstimulated.
  • As he likes to hang out in his carrier, put a basket beside the carrier with a sprinkle of some catnip inside so he has another place to hang out in. Add another basket if Lila is interested.
“Think of how good you feel when you’re acknowledged,” I said. “Before Lila arrived, Theo had all of your attention and didn’t have to share.”

Linda nodded and told me how my diagnosis really resonated with her, and she felt that it would take time but Theo would slowly become his old self. I reminded her that there would probably be break downs but the breakthroughs would rally.

Our Two Cats Deserted Us
(Post Vet Trauma In Wisconsin) 
Oliver and Wendell an inseparable duo
“We usually have a cat sitter when we travel, but we decided to board Oliver and Wendell at our vet’s because Wendell needed daily medication,” said Doris. “They were there for ten days. Ever since they returned, they give us the cold shoulder.” 

She went on to say how the kittens were only several months old and were adopted a few months ago. Before they were boarded, the cats slept with them and followed them about . “I feel that we’ve betrayed them, and now we don’t know how to regain their trust,” said Doris. 

Doris had arranged a phone consult to make amends with their two guys. I reassured her that their intentions were for the best when they boarded Oliver and Wendell, but a hospital has built-in stress with hospitalized animals that are away from home anxious, and on the mend. "Together with separation anxiety, it was total culture shock for your two guys, away from you, in a stressful environment. But not to worry, they can recover from this trauma with your caring assistance."

  • As Oliver has a feel-good fascination with paper towels, place a few sheets on the rug and other places that he likes to hang out on. Sit nearby and talk to him in a fun manner. Let’s refer to this as “love at a distance”. After several or more repeats, stroke him briefly, and tell him how good he and Wendell are. As Oliver relaxes, Wendell will get a calming contact high from this interaction.
  • Two or three times a day, place a few sheets of paper towels on your bed. Hang out on the bed, talk to Oliver, but don’t touch him unless he wants to be petted. If so, stroke him briefly, but stop before he becomes ruffled.
  • Engage in some fun things that you particularly like — the more you nurture yourselves, the more your two guys will mirror your good feelings.
  • Oliver's passion -- paper towels
  • Think of this particular time as a temporary transition, and remember to play the link of music I sent you to relax and remind them of their phone consult where we doted on them.The music will be their security object.
During the session I had Doris place some paper towels on the bed. Oliver very carefully jumped up and took possession of them while Wendell sprawled out on the rug, and I did some distant Reiki to increase the good feeling.  I told them that if they had to board their guys again, they should arrange for their cat sitter to make daily visits so Wendell and Oliver wouldn’t feel abandoned.
“ Looks like we’re off to a good start, and I know that we feel very encouraged that our two guys will gradually recover from this trauma, and our relationship will be stronger than ever,” said Doris.

Sleepless On The Upper West Side
(Sleep Deprivation)
“Sappho lets me sleep until about 7 a.m. these days. No more burning the 1 or 2 a.m. morning oil — thanks to your suggestions,” said Ken. 

Sappho, a nineteen-year-old, but very active kitty, became very, very vocal especially in the wee hours of the morn. So Ken would oblige and follow Sappho into his study where she would deign to stop yowling — as long as Ken remained. Emily, Ken’s wife, had a chronic medical issue, and uninterrupted sleep was vital to her health. 
Sappho in her favorite box

  When I made a home visit to observe and advise Ken and Emily 
about Sappho’s “persistent raucous, high-spirited yowling", Sappho’s stride and grace disguised her golden years. So I wasn’t surprised when they told me the vet found no major complaints, except for slight renal failure, which was addressed with a kidney-friendly diet and the addition of a tablespoon of water to each meal. Also, her hearing had somewhat declined.

Pigeon Play Dates
Emily mentioned how Sappho’s favorite activity was to station herself at the windows on pigeon patrol. She would dash back and forth as the pigeons gathered on the window sills. Now and again a pigeon might flutter a wing at her continuous motion, but these New York birds knew she wasn’t a threat. And best of all,  bird seed was sprinkled on the sills to extend their visit. See the video  

Sappho, The Gamer
“Sappho is particularly on her game when she’s physically in motion. Action and fun are her template,” said Ken. I nodded as I watched her dart about after a taste of catnip and a couple of tossed toys.

Sappho’s raucous yowl is symptomatic of her geriatric golden years, lower stress tolerance, single cat syndrome, separation anxiety, slow down —break down — of physical organs and biological sleep rhythms. Although Sappho’s mental ability was on point and her overall physical condition was okay, her health was still on a natural decline. Because her hearing was on the minus side, she over-reacted with her meow. The more her body vibrated, the more she could experience the sound of her meow.

The demise of Hercules, her canine companion, contributed to her discomfort. The separation occurred about two years ago which coincided with the start of Sappho’s shout-out for continuous company — to be noticed. They were not best buds, but it was a live-in relationship. She was also vulnerable to Ken and Emily’s nocturnal biological rhythms which were usually in transition in the wee hours of the morning.

Treatment to Wipe Out Sappho’s Shout-Out
  • Join Sappho in her creative pursuit to enjoy her golden years. Supplement her pigeon patrol with flying birds on the internet.
  • Arrange play dates with a neighbor’s cat-friendly dog.
  • Play hide&seek, and when Sappho finds you, welcome her with a hug and taste of nip.
  • Consider the adoption of a cat-oriented adolescent so Sappho will have non-stop entertainment and diversion.
  • Engage her in a vigorous playtime period pre-bedtime.
  • Purchase a Sleep Sound machine for the study so Sappho has a continuous sound to accompany her during the night. She’ll feel the vibration from the machine.
  • Set up a tunnel of paper bags that she can scramble through.  

Emily and Ken were not ready for another dog or cat companion for Sappho, but they heartily welcomed my other recommendations. Their day jobs needed all the possible, positive support.

Progress Report -- 
Off the Slippery Slope
Sappho had delayed her nocturnal shout-out until about 3 a.m., an improvement but definitely in need of reinforcement. See Sappho in her blanket.
Although she absolutely needed to be sequestered at bedtime with all of her comforts and the door closed, this was not possible as she would probably yowl for the first few nights. Emily’s sleep and the neighbor’s peace of mind could not be jeopardized.

Additional Diversions For Sappho
“We need some more early evening diversions for her,” said Ken. 
I suggested that they offer her a new object each evening. It could be a sock, t-shirt, ball of tin foil, toy saturated with nip, even a wad of toilet tissue. They could casually show it to her before they hid it in a place where she could find it. Maybe they could put it in her tunnel of bags or boxes.

Throughout the next few months I would send them new diversions for Sappho. The latest was a NASA Sleep Promoting Light Bulb from Hammacher Schlemmer that appeared to enhance sleep — with a lifetime guarantee. Read more .

Vice Magazine
It makes me feel good that Ken no longer has to spend most of the night on his office couch to accommodate Sappho, and I especially appreciate their success with the campaign to comfort and engage Sappho in a healthy way. 

I’m reminded of Leo Ram, a young cat for whom I was called to remedy his intrusive, nocturnal activity and yowl. 

To sleep well together is to live happily and healthily together!

Posted by Carole Wilbourn | Post a Comment

Date: 9/26/2016 6:52 PM EDT

The Wilbourn Way Blog 

(aka Cats on the Couch)  
For a better view Click http://cattherapist.blogspot.com/ 

Dear Readers,

The WiFi Communicating Pet Treat Dispenser.

This WiFi monitor allows you to check in on your cat or other animal companion from anywhere at any time and remotely dispense preloaded treats. There is a lifetime guarantee.

Watch Out For That Damn Cat, Marcel Duchamp 

Duchamp had equally groundbreaking experiments in cubism and non-representationalism, but never quite achieved the success and recognition that his contemporary, Picasso achieved. He had real trouble making ends meet and had to look out for any chance to make a little cash. So he entered the poster contest sponsored by his local Ladies Auxiliary Home Safety Committee.

Nude Descending a Staircase was originally entitled Watch Out for That Damn Cat. However, the Ladies’ Auxiliary passed on it as did the usual run of critics and patrons of Duchamp’s other works. His poster did not place in the money.

(Cats Of The Masters, Michael Patrick)

Subscribe to Carole's free monthly Blog -- The Wilbourn Way 

Russian Gent In A Peugeot Saves A Kitten From Death On The Highway

Mayor's Alliance Adoptapalooza In Union Square Park

Orion sent me to the Adoptapalooza with his surrogate robotic black cat.

I was available for Reiki treatments and to support and cheer on the many adoptees.

Louie is a love!

Take a look at some of the terrific dogs.

Mascot for this Adoptapalooza
This puppy is ready to go
I'm yours

Orion's Catitudes                                                                                                                     
(Orion, a recovering feral rescue gives his cat-speak and ©whisker waves on cat issues)

Horror Films
Orion thinks this kitty has had his fill of horror. Click here to see the video.

Blissful Moments
Ulla blisses out as she’s weighed, praised and adopted! 

This Myanmar kitty is blissed out by the vintage phone.  

Why Does My Cat Do That? 
Litter Box Tribulations
One of the most common concerns or conundrums in my Cat Practice is litter box issues.

Carpet Fixation
Coco loves that nip
Coco, a spayed, fourteen-year-old, decided to use the carpet for her litter box. One of my recommendations was to place wee wee/puppy pads in a second litter box. I explained that when she felt uncomfortable or anxious, she deliberately tinkled or defecated on a soft surface. This put her in the comfort zone that she experienced when she was nursed or/and in contact with her mother — even if it was short lived. Her recent vet visit was A-okay, so there wasn’t any related medical problem.
Tiger Lily

Tiger Lily, her companion, needed daily medication which also involved extra positive attention, so it was important to acknowledge Coco with a favorite past time so she could feel included. 

Coco is now on target with the litter box. I decided to cut up strips of an inexpensive rug instead of wee wee pads,” was Coco’s guardian’s message. “Coco’s definitely more relaxed since her session".

Wee Wee Pad Overload — Obnoxious Odor!
As I type, Oscar is asleep in his box as he listens to the music you sent us. We are very excited. Your solution to place the wee wee pads directly in his preferred litter box has been a fave. He only used the pads outside the box twice when those in his box were saturated. When I mentioned that we had to stop the transdermal dose of Prozac because he became too frantic, you suggested we speak to the vet about a liquid prozac that could be compounded into a tasty food mix by a pharmacist or to grind the pill into a small amount of his favorite food. Liquid prozac mixed in his food was the answer. Oscar has always been needy but wary of touch — except with our youngest daughter. Thanks again for your help. I will keep you posted on his progress. We will wait at least a month before we have our carpet professionally cleaned.
Love at first sight when she spotted Oscar for adoption

My Reaction:   
Oscar, this young neutered cat, has a very likable relationship with his companion cat Bruder and a family that truly loves him. 

His behavioral program, coupled with medication to treat his anxiety attacks should slowly give him the support he needs to chip away at his emotional and physical fragility which has wreaked havoc with him.

Holly and Buddy Acted Out Their Frustrations  
Holly about to make a high jump
As I hung out with my cat Orion, I thought about Holly and Buddy. “ A good prognosis,” I said out loud, and stroked Orion’s whiskers. I felt that their session would be the key to the solution of their major current issues.
Three weeks ago Holly had started to use soft objects, in particular the bed, as her litter box. 

Buddy was frequently aggressive or aloof with his guardian Carl. He preferred Rona, his other guardian, whereas Holly favored Carl. Although now in recovery, Holly’s incidents coincided with Carl’s surgery and other medical problems. Her “incidents” on their bed started when her guardians were away for the weekend.

Holly and Buddy, a young 10 month old, were Carl’s first cats. Rona had lived with cats in the country who spent most of their time outdoors. So this was a new chapter in their living situation.

I explained that Holly’s “incidents” were symptomatic of the separation anxiety she experienced when they were away for the weekend, and she mirrored Carl’s angst and discomfort related to his medical issues. She communicated her angst with her “deviant, un - catlike” incidents. Her bladder and rectum were her stress targets.
Buddy wrangles with his toy

Treatment Program for Holly’s Litter Box Lapses     
Some of my recommendations were:
  • Close the bedroom door for at least a month
  • Provide a second litter box with litter and paper towel strips
  • Praise both cats when they use the box
  • Carl should reassure the cats that he was in recovery. As he acknowledged this, he would feel better and Holly, especially, would pick up on his confidence.
  • Most of all he should engage in activities that would nurture him.
I gave Carl a short Reiki chair treatment to defuse stress and create balance in mind, body and spirit. The cats’ relaxed expression conveyed they received a contact high.
Reiki .... Read more

Blurred Boundaries — Uncomfortable Interactions
Carl had grown up with dogs, and I explained that Buddy was a cat who preferred to seek out attention when he wanted it, rather than to be sought after. Buddy felt threatened when Carl persisted in his attention to him. I told Carl to allow Buddy to make the overtures. Evidently, Buddy preferred Rona’s softer energy, which was fine, as Carl had Holly to shower attention on. Also, he may have blurred the boundaries with his overtures to Buddy — which added to Holly’s angst.

Progress Report:
All is well. My relationship with Buddy is totally in the comfort zone and Holly is litter box happy again. Thank you for your guidance, but there’s another issue,” said Carl. "Yesterday we took our guys to be bathed and to have their nails clipped. When they arrived home, the cats proceeded to hiss at each other."

Displaced or Re-Directed Aggression
I explained that their cats were disoriented and stressed by the new environment that was filled with other animals. Their reaction was to pass this discomfort on to each other. “Distract them with a loud exclamation or toss of a toy when, or before, they start to carry on,” I said. “In the future, it would be best to arrange for an in-home pedicure. A bath is not usually necessary for short-haired cats, but if they’re receptive, a daily brushing can be fun — especially, if you tell them how cool and handsome they are.”

Continuous Diarrhea And More  
Giardia persists  
Muji and Yayo at paws length
I adopted Yayo from a cat hoarder. I couldn’t resist this handsome, two year old, blind in one eye kitty. Kook was our only cat, and my roommate and I knew it would be okay,” said Meg. She went on to say that he came with giardia (One-celled organisms found in the small intestines of cats -- infectious, causes diarrhea and sometimes bloody stools). This was diagnosed and treated with oral medication. Since that attack, they have had him on a grain free diet. Yayo had recently urinated outside the litter box which was a new development. He was very friendly with Muji, whom they’d adopted as a kitten. But ever since Muji arrived, a year ago, Yayo no longer tucked into bed at bedtime. It was Muji who dominated the bed. Kook, cat number one, always preferred to sleep in different places.
Kook knows how to let go

Rap Music Can Release Some Fun Energy
Meg mentioned how Yayo was a constant talker and usually joined in when she rapped. Videos were her day job, but she was a rapper — a second profession — aka Uncle Meg. During the session, I requested that Meg give a sampling of her rapping. It was a fun release of energy for them.

Advice for Meg
I recommended that Meg should contact the vet to adjust Yayo’s diet and to arrange a possible vet visit. Clearly grain free food was not the answer for his continuous diarrhea, and this discomfort probably triggered discomfort with his bladder.

During the phone consult I had Meg interact with Yayo on her bed but included the other two cats in the conversation. “Tell Yayo he keeps the bed safe for all of you,” I said and explained that they would pick up on her relaxed body language and tone of voice. Repetition would create a positive Yayo association and acceptance of the bed.

Yayo’s Progress Report
Carole, I still put on the music you sent for them, and Yayo’s feeling a lot more comfortable. He's been coming on the bed again too, and even all three of the cats have been coming on the bed together and sleeping in the same area. I changed his food, and the vet did some blood tests. Giardia is still present, and Yayo is now on medication which should wipe out the parasite. Thanks again for your help.

It’s not unusual for giardia to hang on. Sometimes a cat can be a host, without becoming infected and can still infect other cats. Yayo was from a cat hoarder so it’s not surprising that he became infected with giardia.

Single Cat Syndrome -- Aggressive Cat Syndrome 

Life Before Des  
Xena has found her disciple in Des
When Kate contacted me five years ago, because her young cat Xena was beating her up, I told her Xena’s aggressive behavior was a symptom of the “single cat syndrome”.

Enter Des, a dapper, carefree, young, neutered male. No longer did Kate have to assume the unwanted role of Xena’s cat.

Scroll down to Introductions The Wilbourn Way.

She recently sent me a video of how Xena displayed her boredom and frustration with her cat bed before Des became the feline focus of her life.

A Kitten To Restore Tigger's Well being 
Tigger and Oreo at play Before
Loss wreaked sadness and aggressive behavior with Tigger when one of his guardians passed on. Tigger had rarely left his side up to the very end.  See March 2016 Blog. Scroll down to Loss Wreaks Sadness And Aggressive Behavior.

He had always been best of buds with his companion Oreo but now he started to chase and torment him.

Grief Therapy Session
Boo the matriarch
I did a family grief therapy session to defuse the sorrow and create peace and harmony. During the session Tigger hung out by Oreo — a major break-through. But a few weeks later, Tigger started a continuous yowl, while Oreo and Boo, the matriarchal kitty, kept their distance.  

Ronni, their guardian, felt Tigger needed a new major distraction to comfort him, and the family would mirror his relief.

Introduction of New Kitten
So I recommended she adopt a very playful, cat-oriented kitten of Tigger’s coloring and use The Wilbourn Way to introduce a new kitten. Also, she should give the kitten a name that made her happy whenever she spoke to the kitten. 
Oreo Takes Time Out

A few weeks later Ronni called me in a panic. Silly, the new kitten, has frightened my other cats. Although Tigger plays with her, sometimes he runs away and hides — Oreo too. Boo can’t be bothered."

Silly, the Tigger Look-Alike
So I did a session to evaluate the new relationship. 
Click here to see their interaction. Take a look at Silly, the new addition. Notice the way Tigger looks at her. I told Ronni that Silly was all that Tigger had yearned for. When he and Oreo scrambled to cover, it was to take a break. They needed their down-time.

By the way, Carole, I took your suggestion and got a hula hoop. Watch me spin.”
Looking good, Ronni. Now there’s fun and therapy for the whole family. See the video.

I ended the session with a short Reiki treatment for Boo to ease her arthritic limbs.  Reiki .... Read more   

A Free Consultation With The Cat Therapist    

Posted by Carole Wilbourn | Post a Comment

Date: 8/27/2016 4:19 PM EDT

The Wilbourn Way Blog 

(aka Cats on the Couch)  
For a better view Click http://cattherapist.blogspot.com/ 

Dear Readers,

The Animal Museum in Los Angeles will have a preview at its new location in the Arts District in downtown Los Angeles on October l.
The show embraces the human-animal bond.

Read more ..........

At The Algonquin
Matilda’s Annual Celebration and Feline Fashion Show to benefit the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s animals was a huge bonanza -- especially with the cash proceeds from the Silent Auction.
Zeus as Hamlet getting Reiki treatment

The feline fashion show scored many a #hash tag.

Orion's Surrogate -- The black robotic cat

My cat Orion’s surrogate for the benefit was his robotic, black cat, and he sent me to do Reiki treatments to balance the catmosphere.

I look forward to seeing you at the next Mayor’s Alliance Adoptapalooza for NYC’s Animals.  I will be available for Cat Speak and you can win a Cat Speak phone/video consult.

Sunday, September 18,  12 to 3 p.m
Union Square Park, NYC

Subscribe to Carole's free monthly Blog -- The Wilbourn Way

Carole's Take On Oscar The Cat Who ..... 

Tail End On The Many Meanings Of Meow
The Hunt, Angry Attack and Panic meows were translated in my July Blog to a client who was puzzled by his cat’s meows and had engaged me to do a therapy session to explain them. Here’s the final meow.
Alert Meow
Alert Meow
I asked Jim if he had any other thoughts about Sam’s meows?  He smiled and recalled how one day Sam stood in front of the closet, pawed at the door and let out short, continuous, meows.
“That’s a classic example of what I call the Alert Meow.  He wanted you to open the door,” I said.
Jim nodded and plopped Sam on his lap. Sam immediately started to purr and closed his  eyes.  
“My neighbor told me how one morning his older cat had perched herself on top of his bedroom dresser and wouldn’t stop meowing,” Jim said. "He tried to comfort her but no way would she listen. Then he heard a rustling from inside one of the drawers. He  pulled the drawer open and his younger cat jumped out."
“Good meowing on the part of that cat. The ‘tell tale’ meow,” I said.
“Well I now have a better understanding of Sam’s cat-speak,” said Jim. As he spoke, Sam let out a high pitched meow and jumped down from his lap.
“That’s the 'give me' meow,” I said.
“It sure is,” said Jim.
It was Sam’s vitamin snack time and the end of his session. I said good bye and told Jim to call and let me know how he made out with Sam’s meows. He nodded and gave his attention to Sam whose meows were now piercing and non-stop. Give me, give me. give me, was his message!

Lulu Would Not Stop Meowing
(Vocal Angst)
“Lulu’s meow was on automatic, continuous play when we adopted her at three months old,” said Reba. “She was fine when we slept, but at the start of any activity, her meow was constant. Unless we continuously interacted with her, she meowed."
Lulu Has To Go
Reba went on to say that after six months of Lulu’s continuous, sometimes plaintive meow, her husband’s tolerance caved. He felt that she had two companion cats to hang out with but didn’t,  her vet check was a-okay, she was already spayed -- there was nothing else they could do to make her happy. So Lulu must move on.
Lulu Moves On 
There was no way that Reba wanted to part with Lulu. Somehow she felt there was some kind of a kindred or at least adventurous bond between them. So Lulu was moved to a restored barn on their property, a few doors away from the house that Reba’s elderly, retired parents lived in. She visited her parents every day and had a writing room in the barn, so she could hang out with Lulu when she was there. During the day Lulu could play outdoors and run out her energy on their cat-friendly property. As Reba’s parents sat on their porch, Lulu was non-stop entertainment. But Reba’s mother had to keep her distance. She was severely allergic to cats.
Lulu's New Home

The Catmosphere Changes
Lulu’s move was five years ago. But now there was another hitch, Reba’s parents moved from their house to an assisted living residence and the barn would no longer be available. There would have to be a new plan.
To Brush Is To Ease
As I took Lulu’s case history, I suggested that Reba brush her as she mentioned it was Lulu’s absolute fave. Clearly it was.
Lulu Loves To Be brushed
Lulu’s  body rippled with loud, purrs as Reba brushed her, and Lulu’s relaxation music played in the background.
“That’s quite a powerful but melodious purr Lulu has, and she certainly sheds a lot of fur as you brush” I said. Reba nodded and told me how she could make a rug with Lulu’s fur. I recommended that she add some Omega 3 fatty acid to Lulu’s food. The lubrication would ease some  of Lulu’s shedding.
“ What a pretty and mellow kitty you are,” I said and thanked Lulu for being such a good listener.
“Yes, Lulu is usually meow-mute when she’s the center of attention," said Reba as she stroked Lulu’s head and her purrs chimed in.“So what’s your diagnosis of my Lulu’s meow chatter?”
Lulu’s Diagnosis
"Separation Anxiety and the Single Cat Syndrome are the key elements to Lulu’s unacceptable, deviant behavior,” I said and reminded Reba that when they adopted Lulu, she was separated from her male littermate.
“ But she had our two cats to keep her company,” said Reba.
“Yes, but her bond with her baby brother was Lulu’s emotional catnip,” I said and went on to say "Lulu becomes easily overstimulated. Her meow kicks in at the start of activity -- a flashback to her anxious muscle memory when she was separated from her baby brother. She relives that trauma -- PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) -- unless she’s distracted with direct attention and/or the opportunity to safely run around outdoors."
“I understand that she’s anxious, but what’s the solution? A kitten? And if it worked out, where would they live -- with my home not an option?"
Lulu’s Treatment Plan
** Play Lulu’s therapeutic music link to relax her and recreate the feelings of her session. Give her tight hugs to release her pent-up energy. Animated animals on the computer might intrigue her.
** Adopt a very cat-oriented male kitten, with Lulu’s coloring or that of her former baby brother who will become Lulu’s fervent fan. (Refer to the Wilbourn Way To Introduce A New Kitten in my July/August 2013 Blog or my books on Amazon.)
OR there might be someone you know who has a kitten who needs a mentor where Lulu can have access to her outdoor cat-friendly activity. She may even decide she prefers the kitten’s company, and the outdoors is but a happy memory.
OR although your parents are cat-lovers, but your mother is allergic to cats -- there are remedies such as allergy shots, also known as immunotherapy. Lulu could be kept in a special part of the house where she had access to the outdoors. Your mother would be able to continue her relationship with Lulu outdoors as she did before.
** There are also anti-anxiety remedies and drugs that will ease Lulu’s angst, That can be considered at a later date.
We talked about how Lulu could remain on the property she loved so much with the assistance of high-tech electro magnetic cat houses and cat-specific props -- but that would be a last resort.
I ended the session with a distant Reiki treatment where I did the  given mental symbols in my head to create balance in mind, body and spirit. As Reba drove me to the bus, I told her that I noticed Lulu’s breathing was rapid, but that could be indicative of her highly sensitive nature. Lulu’s recent exam and tests were unremarkable.

“I’ll keep in touch about Lulu’s progress,” said Reba. “By the way, Lulu didn’t appear at the window when we left which was a good sign. She was eased and comforted by her session. Thank you for that.”

Orion's Catitudes                                                                                                                     
(Orion, a recovering feral rescue gives his cat-speak and ©whisker waves on cat issues)

Orion sent me to review the preview of the revival of Cats on Broadway.

His feeling was that no matter how outstanding the performers were, they could only be “wannabe cats”. So with that in mind, as my sister and I walked out on the original production in ’82, I was able to stay to the end and appreciate the performance.

 ©whisker waves

This food ball appealed to Orion’s taste of fitness.

Hide your cat’s meals for exercise and fun. A really interesting article from the New York Times.   Read More 

Orion gets scads of bliss from his new dust buster  

This bodega kitty gets his bliss from a feather.

Tiger's Talk Is In The Baby Subtext
“Ever since my wife and I moved, our cat,Tiger, has become more vocal,” said Peter, one of my trainers at the Apple Store. “Could he be bummed out from the move?”
Tiger's New Digs
I told Peter that a move was always a major transition. Tiger’s “talk” was also a mirror of their reaction to the culture shock. His reaction was to vocalize; a healthy way to react to the transition.
Peter nodded but went on to say that they moved three months ago. Whenever Tiger meows, they acknowledge him and that’s the end of it, but he wondered if there was another reason for Tiger’s chattiness.
Cat Sense
“We haven’t made a formal announcement, but my wife is seven months pregnant,” Peter said. “ Do you think Tiger suspects there’s going to be an addition?”
“Oh my cat goddess,” I said with a smile and congratulated Peter on this auspicious occasion. "Yes indeed," I told Peter and went on to explain how Tiger was affected by the preparations and furnishings for the baby’s arrival. Tiger was also sensitive to the changes in his wife’s body, her breathing, moods and Peter’s increased, caring interactions with her.
That's Tiger's Ball
Keep Tiger In the Loop
“Any suggestions?” said Peter.
The more they acknowledged Tiger, the better he’d feel. With tongue in cheek, they could tell him, that they took his suggestion, and they’d soon be a family of four. Tiger wouldn’t understand their words, but he’d download his connection from their tone and body language. He’d feel in control instead of “out of control”.
I referred Peter to a CNN online article I was quoted in and told him that I was reminded of a Skype consult I did to treat a British Moogie where a baby was on the way. Read more. Scroll through June 2013 Blog.

“By the way, you can always adopt a new companion for Tiger as a major distraction,” I said with a chuckle as I tossed a cat toy to Peter.

Peter did a thumbs up and told me how the ball I’d given Tiger was such a fave of his.

A Free Consultation With The Cat Therapist    

Posted by Carole Wilbourn | Post a Comment

Date: 7/25/2016 3:16 AM EDT

The Wilbourn Way Blog 
(aka Cats on the Couch)  
For a better view Click http://cattherapist.blogspot.com/ 

Dear Readers,

Larry, Chief Mouser To The Cabinet Office, Remains 
As Prime Minister David Cameron moves out of Downing Street

Larry has been in residence since 15 February 2011, he is the first cat at Number 10 to be bestowed with the official title Chief Mouser. Larry was recruited from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home on recommendation for his mousing skills. He joined the Number 10 household and has made a significant impact.

Bo and Sunny are currently the First dogs. But will there be a First Cat in 2017?

Fur Flies
However, there is another cat on the block, Palmerston, and he and Larry did have a tangle.

Japanese Politician Campaigns With A Cat
Let’s hope the cat is a politica-phile. So far, the cat has not made any appearances but rightfully “dominates” all of the photos.

Carole's Take On Oscar The Cat Who ..... 

Matilda's Annual Celebration and Cat Fashion Show
to Benefit The Alliance for NYC’s Animals

I look forward to seeing you at Matilda’s annual celebration where I will be available for behavioral tips and Reiki treatments. Wear your cat inspired outfits. If you can’t attend, you can still bid in the Silent Auction. I have donated a phone/video consult with lots of MultiPet Toys.


Orion's Catitudes 
(Orion, a recovering feral rescue gives his cat-speak on cat issues)

Nine Lives with Kevin Spacey — Who Becomes A Cat  

Orion is a champion and advocate of equal opportunity, but he feels that this is not Spacey’s best role. And the movie’s longevity is not a “nine lives” candidate.  
Read more .....       
                                      1 ©whisker wave for Nine Lives

 Piper PIXAR’S New Short Before Finding Dory 

Piper, a little baby sandpiper bird, in search of food on the beach has Orion captivated. It’s a hermit crab who befriends Piper and helps with ihs search. And none of the creatures are anthropomorphized.  Read more    ..........                                                                                                              

©whisker waves for Piper  
                                    Finding Dory  

And on Broadway -- Revival of Cats     

Chart -topping!  Read More .....  

Subscribe to Carole's free monthly Blog -- The Wilbourn Way

More On The Many Meanings Of Meow
My June Blog translated the Give-me, Purr and Blissed-out meows to Jim, a client, who was puzzled by his cat’s meows and had engaged me to do a therapy session to explain them. Here are a few more meows that occurred during Sam’s session.

Suddenly, Sam jumped from the couch over to the window sill.  He stared at the window, his lips quivered and he let out a “ch ch ch” sound. 
“Now why does he do that?” said Jim.  
“It’s because he spots a bird, an insect or some other species and his sound is a mixture of extreme excitement and high energy so that it comes out in short repetitive splutters--almost like a foreign   tongue.  I call it the Hunt meow,”  I said. 
Sam soon became distracted, stretched out, belly up, on the rug and  meowed at Jim. “Ok Sam, I’ll come and rub your belly. This is another of your Give me meows."  

I asked Jim if Sam ever encountered another cat?  Jim nodded and told me that once he left the door propped open and as he went out, a neighbor’s cat dashed in. Sam’s back zoomed up in the air,  his ears flattened, back rippled and his cry was chilling. But the interloper was able to zip out of the door before Sam could spring. “I bet you call that the Attack meow,” Jim said. 
“Right-oh!"  I answered. "I call it the Angry Attack meow. You want to get out of Sam’s way when you hear that cry,  Depending on the situation, you might be able to distract him with a piercing thud but you may have to throw something near him to snap him out of it."  
 “If there’s another cat, I’ll remember not to get in the middle,” Jim said. 

As Jim stroked Sam’s head, Sam suddenly jumped down and let out an agonized cry. It was followed by a forward thrust of his head and an up-chuck. “That’s quite a chunk of hair, or fur, to be exact,” I said. 
“Yes, that’s to remind me to brush him more and to give him his gel,” said Jim. “That helps the fur to wind up in the litter box instead of on  the floor.”
I told Jim that was the Panic meow.  Jim cleaned up the floor and Sam returned to Jim’s lap. Very slowly, his tail plumed out and his body filled with purrs. “Now I see he’s resumed the Blissed-out  meow,” Jim said, as he gave Sam a “blissed out” grin.

I Can't Keep My Cat's Teeth Clean
Your cat isn’t big on cat chews. The vet recommended you brush her teeth with a special enzyme feline-friendly toothpaste. It’s even fish-flavored — your cat’s fave. But her anxiety barometer downloads, and your honey babe becomes a Godzilla. What to do? 

Enter Rocky — The Poster Cat for Healthy, Happy Teeth  
Rocky's toothpaste fix is on the rawhide.

Take a look at robust Rocky — the sixteen year old, gent fatale. He licks his toothpaste teeth fix off of a cylindrical shaped piece of rawhide. Although it’s made for dogs, Rocky's taste is species-neutral. It’s a fun time for Rocky. Check out his dental fave fix with your cat’s vet.

Why Do Cats Love Boxes?
Cats love boxes. Orion does. What about your cat?    

Orion was ©whisker waving when Jake Rossen interviewed me for MentalFloss.com.


A Free Consultation With The Cat Therapist    

Posted by Carole Wilbourn | Post a Comment

Date: 6/23/2016 11:49 PM EDT

The Wilbourn Way Blog 
(aka Cats on the Couch)  
For a better view Click http://cattherapist.blogspot.com/ 

Dear Readers,

Orlando Legacy
I recently did a distant Reiki treatment for a survivor of Orlando’s Pulse Club shooting. He was on his way to bring home the two cats of his friend who suffered critical injuries from the gunman’s assault rifle. “My friend’s cats will be her legacy to me. I’m so grateful that they will become part of my family,” he said. 

            “Less available ammo for less damage equals more lives!”

Subscribe to Carole's free monthly Blog -- The Wilbourn Way

Broadway Revival Of CATS Finds Its Grizabella
Leona Lewis will star in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. 

The choreographer will be Andy Blankenbuehler who won the Tony Award for Best Choreography for Hamilton and In the Heights as well as the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Choreography for In the Heights.

Chart -topping!  Read More ..... 

The Cat Guardians Of Singapore   
Community Kitty
Every city has its strays, but here in Singapore, they are  different. Not scrawny and vaguely whiffy, but glossy and groomed and known affectionately as "community cats". 

By day, they are fed and watered by a small army of dedicated volunteer feeders - office workers heading home, hipsters heading out, aging "aunties and uncles". But at night, a hardcore of cat-lovers take to the streets.

Click Here to see this BBC report.

New York City's First Cat Hospital Celebrates
“Go Larry go!” said one of the clients, as Larry, the patriarchal, resident cat, made his rounds of The Cat Practice clientele who’d gathered for the celebration.
Larry My Co-speaker

It was 43 years ago that Dr. Paul Rowan and I co founded The Cat Practice — New York City’s first cat hospital, which is now owned and directed by Dr. Eric Dougherty. Larry joined me as co speaker in my presentation to celebrate the occasion.

High Rise Syndrome And The Righting Reflex
One of my topics was your cat and windows. Warm weather is often the catalyst for open windows that can trigger the high rise syndrome. A cat has an innate ability called the righting reflex where a flexible backbone and no functional collarbone will allow a cat to orient itself as it falls in order to land feet first. But it’s the height of a building that determines how a cat’s legs can absorb the landing shock. 

A Fall Below The Fifth Floor May Be Fatal
Usually the greater the height, the greater the probability that a cat’s landing will be feet first, whereas, a fall below the fifth floor may not give a cat’s legs enough time to orient to the fall. A cat does not have good depth perception, and a sudden step too many, and down the cat goes. 

The Righting Reflex

Cat-Friendly Windows
Screens, even half screens, if they are secured tightly and can’t be pushed aside, are protection against cat accessible open windows. Cat proof a balcony or terrace with a catio  or enclosure to protect your cat from a final dive. 

Gobbler Vs Grazer
“My female eats her food in small periodic laps, unlike her foodie brother who inhales his food and hers too — whenever he can. I can’t always separate them. Any recommendations to solve this issue” was another topic. 

Lives To Eat

 Vegies & Fruit

Food Plan To Curb A Foodie
I recommended that the foodie’s feedings could be mixed with more fiber. Some low caloric vegies (carrots, broccoli, green beans) could be mixed in with his food or melon might entice him.

There are micro chip activated food bowls where the lid opens for the intended cat 

Angst may be the catalyst to stuff his emotions with food. Attention is a must. Don’t let him eat out of frustration. Redirect his focus with enthusiastic play. Have fun, and he’ll mirror your fun.
Happy, Healthy, In The Fitness Lane

Love and attention can outweigh his need for food. Don’t make him a candidate for diabetes or any other disability. Think of him in the fitness lane. Your potential chubette can be re-invented to be healthier and happier. 

Larry -- The Compassionate Conduit
Reiki Treatment For Larry

I topped off my presentation with a tribute to my feline co speaker. Larry was rescued and saved by The Cat Practice and is now on several daily meds. But nevertheless, Larry is on staff. His Zen like presence serves as the role model of peace and compassion for the patients and their guardians. And Larry is always available for a hug from his fellow staff members. 

So now it was time for Larry to have fun with his own specially selected toy — sprinkled with catnip — combined with a Reiki treatment. Larry’s expression caps off the evening’s celebration!

The Many Meanings Of Meow
Jim was puzzled by his cat’s meows. He couldn’t figure out what they meant so he’d engaged me to do a therapy session. “I know they’re different but I can’t understand them,” he said.
Give Me Meow

As Jim  talked, his cat Sam sprawled out next to him on the couch. Sam was Jim’s first cat. He’d adopted him a  few weeks ago and Sam was now about sixteen months.

I asked Jim when Sam was most verbal? We’d start off with that meow. 
"Sam’s super chatty times are usually at feeding time when I put his food down and when I come home from work." 
“Do you notice anything similar about these meows?” I asked.
“Yes, they’re both high pitched and demanding.” 
I asked about Sam’s body language at these times and Jim told me that Sam’s tail flipped back and forth and his eyes were fixed on him. I explained to Jim that when he noticed this type of meow and body language that Sam wanted something from him. It could be an object or it could be Jim’s attention. He was letting Jim know he wanted something and pronto. 

The Give Me Meow
I told Jim that he could refer to this as Sam’s “give me” meow. But I also pointed out that when Sam meowed Jim could also read his meaning by the particular situation at that moment and what had led up to it.
“Such as?” said Jim. 
I told him that if he had just said good by to his dinner guests and Sam was uttering his “give me” cry, it was because he wanted Jim’s attention. He now had Jim to himself and wanted an exclusive on his affection. 

Jim remembered that his last guests were not cat enthusiasts and no sooner were they out the door than Sam gave out some raucous “give me” cries. Jim was bewildered so he sat down beside Sam who crawled into his lap. I suggested that he should make an effort to include Sam whenever he had company so Sam wouldn’t go into overload angst when they left. At this remark, Jim reached out to stroke Sam’s head. Sam’s tail wrapped around his body and he rested his head on Jim’s knee. Jim’s face lit up and Sam’s body vibrated with a steady, loud purr.

“What a purr he has,” said Jim.  “I understand he purrs when he’s happy but my friend told me his cat purrs when he’s at the vet. What do you make of that?”  
I explained that when a cat’s energy builds up, either out of happiness, excitement, or even angst, the purr mechanism kicks in. Of course there are those cats who never purr. 
“So Sam’s purr is a reaction to what’s happening and not always because he’s happy,” Jim said.  
I nodded and Sam’s purr seemed to get louder.  

Blissed Out Meow
Jim went on to tell me that sometimes Sam’ s purring was joined by an actual sound. It was a light, throaty sound where his whisker plumed out and his tail slowly swished. “This is what I call the “blissed out” meow,” I said and “I hope Sam has many.”  
Jim added that Sam gave this meow when he was brushed, praised for using his scratching post or when he was curled up beside him in bed.    
Sam soon became distracted, stretched out on the rug and meowed at Jim. “Ok,.Sam, I’ll come and rub your stomach.This is another of your “give me” meows,” said Jim. “What a boy you are!”
(Find out more about your cat’s meows in next month’s blog.)          

Carole's Take On Oscar The Cat Who ...... 

Orion's Catitudes 
(Orion, a recovering feral rescue gives his cat-speak on cat issues)
Hugs Not Hate

Hugs Not Hate
Orion speaks out for “hugs not hate”. Let Orlando’s brutal tragedy be the catalyst for the birth of coming together in love and understanding, instead of coming together in time of sorrow to mourn.

Finding Dory      
Fond of fish tales and tails, Orion, particularly likes Dory, the Blue Tang in Finding Dory.

The movie’s warmth, charm and such good humor is a tonic and inspiration for these roller coaster, transformative times. Read more .....

NYC Feral Cat Initiative 
Orion gives a special sterling ©whisker wave to the Mayor’s Alliance for the provision of the TNR (Trap, Neuter,
Return) Certification Workshops, available to the five boroughs of New York City. Read more ....

Cats And Hip Hop -- Let The Memory Live Again
Orion sends a ©whisker wave to Hamilton’s choreographer -- the new choreographer of Broadway’s revival Cats -- previewing July 14. He blisses out on thoughts of Cats and Hip Hop 

A Free Consultation With The Cat Therapist    

Posted by Carole Wilbourn | Post a Comment

Date: 5/29/2016 11:54 PM EDT

The Wilbourn Way Blog 
(aka Cats on the Couch)  
For a better view Click http://cattherapist.blogspot.com/ 

Dear Readers,

Traveling Australia
*** World's Oldest Living Cat 
Thirty, Yes!! A 30-year-old Siamese cat is named world's oldest living cat. His longevity is attributed to “staying active”, and travel is the key. Read more .....

*** A Man And His Rescued Cat Traveling Australia Together
World's Oldest Cat

Resting up for the sessio

The Cat Practice Celebrates Their 43rd Anniversary
In June of 1973, Dr. Paul Rowan and I co-founded The Cat Practice, New York’s City’s first cat hospital, which is now owned and directed by Dr. Eric Dougherty.
Larry, ready to be co-speaker

On Friday, June l7, at 6:30 p.m., I will give a presentation for The Cat Practice Clientele (RSVP Required).

There will be a Q&A and Larry, the resident cat will be my co-speaker. You can contact The Cat Practice for more information.

I look forward to this celebration.

Subscribe to Carole's free monthly Blog -- The Wilbourn Way

With scratching posts no need to declaw
The Paw Project
A Brooklyn elementary school principal leads a paw protection program. Read more ..... 

You can also review my article re declawing that I first wrote in 1976  You Can't Declaw With Love.

One option, scratching posts. Here's Biggie on his post from Sisal Rug Direct. This delights his guardian whose furnishings are now catproofed.  See Cat Products at Sisal Rug Direct. Check out their special discounts.

Feral Cat Colonies In New York Are Threatened
Many a feral cat has been the solution and savior for aggressive or troubled cats in my practice -- to the relief and delight of so many guardians. (My cat is a rescued, recovering feral).  http://www.nytimes.com/video/nyregion/100000004430165/its-a-cats-life.html

Rafaelo Decides What He Prefers
Rafaelo's Reaction To His Cat Toilet Seat 
(Toilet seat angst

“Toilet train your cat with this new special seat. Put away that litter box!” However, I can’t agree that this seat is the new “silver lining”.

I’m reminded of Rafaelo, a year old neutered male.
“My Rafaelo has started to urinate on the curtains and even my bed,” said Elsie. She had introduced him to a cat toilet seat a few months ago. At first he was right on target, but lately he had lapses. A recent vet visit had ruled out any medical problems, and Elsie scheduled a home visit to evaluate the situation.

By the end of Rafaelo’s session I had given Elsie some recommendations to encourage and reinforce his acceptance of his cat seat. They included praise for when he used the seat, a conversation with him when she used the bathroom to form a positive association and to reassure him when she was agitated or stressed that she was okay so he didn’t mirror her angst and re-direct it to conflict with his cat seat.
“Ah, said Elsie, my reactions affect Rafaelo more than I realized." I explained that it was natural that she would be sometimes stressed, so the more she acknowledged it and 'let go' the better it would be for the two of them.

Raphaelo  Happy Tail. Fun downtime
“So what’s Rafaelo’s prognosis?” asked Elsie ”My life is easier when he uses the toilet, but I don’t want him to be stressed on my account.” I told Elsie that I felt it was Rafaelo’s decision whether his preference would be his litter box or the toilet.
She should give him four or five days. If he used the toilet with his kitty seat without lapses, he might continue on. But if before or after, the toilet was not an 'exclusive' she should make his litter box available so he had a choice.
“You don’t want this 'kitty seat' to trigger a medical issue such as a bladder problem, obstruction or constipation. Rafaelo is a young, healthy cat.”

I told Elsie that there were cats who instinctively sought out the toilet of their own accord. There was a family of four with three black cats, litter mates from a rescued mother, who claimed the toilet. It was their own cat-sonal signature. Sometimes there was a line for the toilet.  “I get it,” chuckled Elsie.

As I started to leave, Rafaelo followed me to the door and rubbed his head on my coat. I took this as a sign of gratitude. Elsie grinned and told me she’d be in touch with an update on Rafaelo’s toilet habits and state of mind.

Rafaelo used the toilet for five consecutive days.

It was a toss-up. Rafelo alternated between the toilet, the curtains and Elsie’s bed. So ..... Elsie took out his litter box and the toilet was history. He could not, or would not sustain his relationship with the toilet.
Elsie admitted she was disappointed, but Rafaelo was clearly toilet-sensitive and litter box friendly. “He’s always been my handsome, happy boy, and I want him to stay that way,” said Elsie. I acknowledged her for her integrity and for her 'unconditional love'.

Mooch uses the cat toilet seat
Mooch now also uses the litter box
As I bicycled to to my next house call, I thought about Mooch. She was a cat who, with training, deigned to use a special cat seat instead of her litter box. There were no lapses, and Charles, her guardian was totally pleased with Mooch’s behavior. That is -- until he invited his girlfriend to live with him, and no way, would her cat desert her litter box. So Mooch had the best of two 'facilities', and Charles decided that one compromise could lead to another. 

Orion Celebrates His Alleged Ninth Birthday
(Orion, a recovering feral rescue gives his cat-speak on cat issues)

Nine is said to be a magical number, and because cats usually land on their feet and survive many a harrowing experience, “A cat has nine lives” has become a universal expression. 

My cat Orion now celebrates his alleged ninth birthday. My sister, Gail, found him online at a kill shelter in Southern CA, and I flew out to adopt him seven years ago. He’s a recovering feral, who was estimated to be two when he was found. 
We will celebrate his birthday with a special Reiki session, extra brushing, dust busting, walks in the hall and my grateful acknowledgment for all the lessons he continues to teach me. 
Dust busting

Orion is Blissed-out after his Reiki treatment
Caroline Kennedy & Tom Kitten

First Cat -- Tom Kitten 

Orion was pleased to learn that Tom Kitten was the First Feline of the Kennedy Administration. He was Caroline Kennedy’s cat and the first White House cat since Slippers -- 1906.    (Great Cats, J.C. Suares)

Orion gives a ©whisker wave to Caroline Kennedy.   

Another ©whisker wave to Blissed-Out Cats Who Follow Their Bliss

Aqua Therapy
The Dude revels in a faucet aqua massage. This physical, emotional catnip mellows his spirits.

The Dude gets his aqua faucet massage during his session

Blissed-out Winter

Winter is another water devotee. The sink is her blissed- out favorite.

Brooklyn Cat Cafe

What fun it was to have, Newt, an adoptee and temporary mascot as my co speaker at the opening of The Brooklyn Cat Cafe at 149 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn Heights. This is the only cat cafe in New York operated by a non-profit animal rescue group --The Brooklyn Bridge Animal Welfare Coalition (BBAWC) 
Newt is my co-speaker

Q &A
One of the attendees wanted some possible solutions for the fractious relationship of her two spayed female cats. Her older female was more of the reserved and lounge around type catsonality, whereas the younger cat was a type “A” in every respect. So the older cat spent much of her day out of her companion’s line of action.

“Both cats are frustrated," I said, and so are you. "Clearly, we have relationship-incompatibility.”
 In my cat practice, this is not an uncommon situation, and there are solutions:

You could adopt a playful kitten
Gender Equality
Adopt a vivacious, very playful “male” kitten or adolescent (one who favors cats), who will run races with your youngster, while your matriarchal cat zones out in her comfort zones.

Play Dates   
Arrange play-dates for your younger cat with a neighbor’s cat-friendly dog. This will release some of her high energy, even if she prefers to be mostly a voyeur and there’s no actual play.
Your young kitten could visit a cat-friendly dog

There may be a single cat or kitten your cat can visit whose guardian prefers to have a “per diem” second cat.

Another option would be to arrange daily visits with a young child, a cat lover, whose parents don’t want a cat in-residence but would welcome a feline visitor.

“You’ve given me some fun possibilities, and if I decide on an addition to my family, I’m sure I’ll find the right kitty at this cafe. I might also see if the group can use any volunteers for the cafe or elsewhere.” 

On the subject of volunteers .....
See Mayor’s Alliance NYC Animal Classes & Workshops http://www.animalalliancenyc.org/events/classes.htm

Adoptapalooza at Washington Square Park

Monkee -- Now Toddler-Friendly

An update on an evolved relationship. Monkee once either ran from Sima or “hissed” her away.

“Monkee has been letting Sima pet him for a little while now. I can't believe how far they have come, thanks to your visits and what you taught us!”

(Scroll through my July 2015 Blog to read more about Monkee's Transformation).

“And I thank you. A happy cat makes you a happy family and me a very happy person.”

A Free Consultation With The Cat Therapist    

Posted by Carole Wilbourn | Post a Comment