From Wildcat To Therapy Cat
Some of the wildest cats make the best pets and even better Therapy Cats. Many people I have met recently told me of their wild, bad cats and how they could never be a Therapy Cat. I believe there are many misunderstood cats that could go from wildcat to therapy cat.
Kali-Ma and I were recently at a local Fall Farmers Market where (3) different people approached me about their wildcats. They saw how calm and relaxed Kali-Ma was in her stroller. I felt compelled to write this blog this week to help them and any others out there who are struggling.
When Kali-Ma first came to me she was the wildest cat I had ever shared a home with. In addition to “flying” around the room at all hours of the day and night, I had to fight to keep her out of the fireplace. She followed me everywhere – even into the bathroom on my lap.
At dinner time as I sat down to eat she would run up to my ankles, nip at them and run away. As if seeing how much fun that was, she began to do it when I would crochet, read, or anytime I wasn’t paying attention to her.
After the first month together I was wondering what to do, but I was also beginning to heal through my grief. So, although I couldn’t see it at the time she was a blessing in a disguise. ( Surviving Pet Loss )
The First Pet Store Visit
Running out of options, I took Kali-Ma to the pet store to buy her a new toy. She would not tolerate being covered, so the cat carrier was out of the question. The ride to the pet store was a lot of fun with her flying all around the car! LOL! I have since learned how to travel in the car with her. ( Cat Car Travel Tips )
Once inside the store, I placed her in the cart and she rode inside as if she owned it. People started to tell her how beautiful she was and she looked at them as if to say “well of course I am – tell me more…” . The more I pushed the cart, the more she loved it!
The gracious customer service girl asked if I was looking for a harness and a leash. Up until that moment it had never occurred to me. We tried on several which she was very tolerant of and found one that fit her. Within minutes she was happily walking me around the store!
Dogs came up to her and she could have cared less. The dogs freaked out and she just walked on. This was all about her. She walked around that store like she was walking on a New York runway. When we got home she took a nice long nap. She didn’t try to get into the fireplace, she didn’t bite me and she didn’t fly across the room. I took a nap too.
We began to walk after work and since that was going well I started to take her places with me. We were living in Texas at the time so I could take her with me more places than I can now that we are in Michigan.
Every other weekend she went with me to get my mani/pedi. I took her with me to the Goodyear place when I waited for my car repairs. I met friends at a local restaurant and we ate outside. They had their dog, and I had Kali-Ma. She even went to the local bar once in a while. Any place that I could take her, she went. Within a month she had completely stopped nipping at my ankles.
In 2013 we relocated back to my home state of Michigan. Kali-Ma took to the four seasons and the snow like she was born here. The problem was that Michigan was not as accepting of her publicly as Texas was. So, I had to figure out a way to keep her active and happy.
I bought the stroller and we began to walk in the parks. Then while visiting a friend in the hospital I saw a Therapy dog and I thought Kali-Ma would be puuurfect for that. Of course, the hospital told me cats couldn’t be therapy animals and the rest, as they say, is history.
If you are interested in training your cat to be a Therapy Cat please read here: Cat Therapy Training
Kali-Ma and I spend a lot of time in public. We go to festivals, farmers markets, local events, etc. I take her with me everywhere I can. We meet many people every weekend and Cat Therapy happens everywhere.
Cat Therapy isn’t just in a controlled environment such as a Nursing Home or Hospitals, although those places are in great need of it.
Cat Therapy happens every time we meet a child whose parents are allergic to cats, and that child holds Kali-Ma because they can’t have a cat. Cat Therapy In The park Or an elderly person at a festival that holds Kali-Ma, that has recently lost their cat. Cat Therapy Arts Festival
Kali-Ma is always content and relaxed when we got out and about. She freely and happily gives of herself to others. I never tire of watching her miraculous ways.
I realize that not all wild cats are Therapy Cats, however, perhaps your cat is wild for some other reason. The first thing I did when I adopted Kali-Ma was taking her to the vet for a thorough exam and make sure she was up to date on all her shots, etc. I also obtained a complete history from the foster care I adopted her from. This isn’t always possible but the history of your cat will tell you a lot.
I do believe that with time, patience and understanding you can bond with your cat no matter what the circumstance. Cats choose you, you do not choose them. They are a blessing. A beloved gift that we should cherish. For information on how to bond with your cat read here: Tips To Bond With Your Cat
It may take time to see the reason they are in our life, but it is there. Don’t give up. There is no greater reward than the bond you will have with your cat. Everything else can come and go, but your cat will always be there. Cherish your cat.
Until Next Time….Happy Tails to you!