It has been a little over a year since Manitou (featured in the photo above) first appeared in my back yard as a starving cat in mid-November (see Guess Who Came to Dinner?).
My small cat family and I have celebrated one Christmas with Manitou already, but I feel as though this will be his first real one with us. When he joined my household he was suffering from what I would call PTSD from abuse and abandonment issues, and he needed a lot of healing and understanding.
It quickly became clear that as a mostly outdoor cat he had never had the opportunity to develop any friendly cat social skills. Cats that wanted to be friends, as Cougar and Sand did, were a completely unknown quantity. As a result Manitou vacillated between sticking to the safety of the sofa or hanging in his Cat Cave (the back room). And he stuck as close to me as he could, which meant that Sand and Cougar had difficulty getting anywhere near me unless Manitou was out on his rounds during the day.
I finally had to give Manitou lessons in how to greet Cougar and Sand, and that went surprisingly well. Now they exchange licks when he comes in, and we are all able to hang out together by the fire which makes me really happy. Manitou is very affectionate, and loves to curl up in my arms and purrs himself to sleep, something neither Sand nor Cougar want to do.
Manitou still has a ways to go in recovery and trust, but given how much progress he has made I am certain that one day he will be healed. I still have to be mindful of not raising my voice if I am upset, and he is still wary of men. However, now he loves greeting most of my female clients and students, especially since they always tell him how handsome he is (-:
So, this Christmas I feel like we are finally a family, and I am looking forward to celebrating as one. The path to get here has sometimes been rough and rocky, but watching Manitou grow and blossom has been a wonderful gift. Can’t wait to see all the cats enjoy their new toys and tasty treats!
From all of us at Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing, a very Merry Christmas!
May your holiday, and that of your animal companions be filled with joy, love and lots of good things to eat!
Rose De Dan, Cougar, Sand and Manitou
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A WILD WAY TO HEAL
Rose De Dan, Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing LLC, is an animal communicator, Reiki Master Teacher, shamanic energy healer, and author. Her classes, sessions and ceremonial work are inspired by wild and domestic animals who have issued a call to action for personal and global healing.
Her book Tails of a Healer: Animals, Reiki and Shamanism features heartwarming stories about animals and their role in her evolution as an energy worker and shamanic healer.
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