Building Trust with Cat Tamerlan through Ear Cleaning
Tamerlan showed up in my yard a few months ago as a semi-feral starving tomcat (now neutered). He was approximately 3-5 years old and had never lived indoors. Initially, I thought he would decide to remain an outdoor-only cat. While I did utilize my skills as a ReikiShamanic energy healer and animal communicator to make building trust easier for us both, I give Tamerlan every credit for making this relationship work. He wanted to trust—to love and be loved. He also appreciated warmth, good food, and lots of toys (-:
Tamerlan ate well, filled out, and looked healthy. Over time, it became clear that his ears needed some attention. He was doing a lot of head shaking and scratching his ears so much that I thought he was going to do himself an injury. His ears needed a good cleaning, the question was, how to do that while still nurturing trust and our growing relationship? I could easily communicate to Tamerlan why I needed to clean his ears, but I also needed to gain his cooperation since I would not be able to hold him still if he really was not willing to accept my help.
From past experience with my senior cat Manitou (also a former starving stray with few positive experiences with people), I knew that gentle handling combined with animal communication, energetic support, and food rewards offered the greatest opportunity for success. Our first session was with Gerber all-meat baby food, and it turned out that Tamerlan did not love it enough for it to be the best reward. So, for our second session, I brought out shredded roast chicken, which was a hit.
This video shows our fourth ear-cleaning session, and as you can see, Tamerlan is doing quite well. He now follows me into the room for his session. He may not enjoy all of it, but he trusts me and loves the treats!
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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.