Monday, April 22, 2013

Given my last post, I wanted to write about my cat Teeny. He was a funny and feisty orange Tabby---one of my cat Baby's kittens from her 2nd litter.......He was a darling boy and he became the Alpha Cat, even though he was the 'baby' of the family. 

At that point, including Teeny, I had four cats.
Baby, and her brother Sugar, the sweetest and dearest of cats; And Silky, who was not related to them but had a spiritual presence that was quite extraordinary.
Everyone loved Sugar because he was so needy---they all said he was like a dog....And he was an adorable incredibly hugable beautiful orange tabby.....
Baby was a six toed sweetheart. And I mated her to a very laid back handsome male who also had six toes.  She had 5 adorable kittens and I found homes for all of them. In fact...Betty G. and her dear husband Larry, took two of them---"Marmalade" and "Bibsy". 

When Baby had her second litter, I had no intention of keeping any of the kittens---there were four. But.....the best laid plans---Teeny was irresistible. And he was adorable, too. And, very quickly Teeny became so very bonded to me that we would sleep together like spoons. Or, he would stretch out and we would sleep back-to-back---spine against spine. Within a year or two , my dear Sugar died.  He was only five years old.....It broke my heart. This was my first loss of a cat and it just about did me in.....Thank God for the others---particularly Teeny. We became even closer after Sugar died.
I tell you all of this background so you will understand what took place with Teeny, soon after that.
I had been in Primal Therapy for a couple of years---this was the early 1970's----and often, I would have my "feelings" right there in my den. This is a process of re-living early experiences that held pain in your body---and often actually going through in minute detail these things that you had 'felt', but had buried, once again.  Many people would re-live their Birth and earlier memories, too. The experiences are all coded in your body and it is just a matter of feeling safe enough to re-live these things, a little bit at a time. It can be quite physical.
I wasn't really aware of where my cats would be when I was doing this---it was a very intense experience each time I would do this, and I was completely immersed in what I was going through.

One day, during that time.....Teeny had what looked like a seizure.....It was very very scary....His little paws where moving very very fast and he was foaming at the mouth---this happened while he was in the cat pan, which was over sized since I had so many cats.....He was lying on his side and what drew  my attention was this kind of repetitive beating scratching noise against the sides of the pan----that turned out to be his little legs and paws, flailing....
I ran to where the pan was and found him in the middle of this---what I thought was a seizure. It scared the living daylights out of me and frightened me for him.  I was crying and so upset---I didn't know what to do.
He stopped after what seemed like hours---but, in fact, it was just a minute.....

I took him to my Vet, Tony Shipp---(above, in 2004),  and tried to explain what it looked like.....Tony said I should leave him and he would do some tests and also hoped Teeny would have another seizure so he, the Vet, could see what it looked like.
Teeny was not happy at all about being there in the Hospital, so Tony, the Vet, decided to let Teeny roam free in this small building, so he could calm down and feel comfortable there....How smart Tony was to do that.....
After a few days, I brought Teeny home. Tony's tests showed nothing.....And he did not have a seizure while he was there at the Vet's., but he continued to have these seizures at home on occasion. They seemed to come out of nowhere. 

The only other person who ever saw him have one of these seizure type fits was a lovely woman from Primal Therapy, who used to 'sit' with me when I had my feelings.  That time when Julienne saw him in the middle of it,  (it was in my living room), she said, "Naomi, it looks like he is having a Primal....!"
That had never occurred to me, but, indeed, as I watched him, it did look like he was having a Primal.
I thought, that would be just too weird.

To me, he looked like he was having an epileptic seizure.
Tony Shipp, the Vet, said he thought we should send Teeny up to Davis, California, to the Veterinary School up there at UC Davis. It was the finest Veterinary School in the United States, at that time, and probably still is....

And Tony felt that they would be able to figure out exactly what was wrong with him, especially because they had the most sophisticated diagnostic equipment available at that time.

He figured that Teeny would be up there for about a week.

So, everything was arranged---the plane ticket for Teeny and the Pick-up at the Airport up there in Davis, etc., etc.
I drove Teeny to Tony Shipp's Hospital and he gave him a shot of something like Valium to keep him very calm and then we, Teeny and I,  drove to the Airport.
We had to go to a special "Baggage" area from where Teeny would be taken on to the plane. 

He was in a carrier, of course, and when the baggage guy took the carrier and put it on the conveyor belt, I started to cry. Teeny looked so forlorn, all drugged up on Valium, moving further and further away from me.
I told myself, he will be alright.
They will take good care of him.
They called me from Davis, when he arrived, to tell me that he was safe and sound.
It was a very long week.

I had been thinking a great deal about the fact that I needed a special room for my therapy. Many people built special areas in their homes---using a good sized closet---and sound proofing the walls, floor, and ceiling, plus using thick Foam Rubber to line the walls and the floor so that you wouldn't hurt yourself if you need to bang the walls really hard while getting out lots of anger and rage....
 I had a walk-in closet which I used for all sorts of storage---China, Glassware, etc. I had some filing cabinets in there, too, and in truth, I just felt I couldn't give it up.
I had to find another space.
I had to find another solution.

It occurred to me that there was a huge amount of empty space underneath me house, and it was accessible. It occurred to me that maybe I could have a room built there, underneath the house.
I had a very nice gentleman named Ray, who cleaned my house at that time, and he was very handy, too.
I talked to Ray about building this room.
I told him everything that would be required, including the fact that it needed to be built like a tank!  Strong and solid and secure, as well as safe and soundproofed.

It was definitely something I knew I needed to do because I really didn't feel that safe on the floor of my den, and, I was afraid to really scream as loud as I needed, for fear that someone walking by outside my house could hear me and they might think I was in deep trouble.

After a week of Teeny being under observation in Davis, the woman in charge of his case there in Davis, called me to tell me the results of all the tests.
She described all the tests in detail, and said they couldn't find anything physically wrong with him. I was relieved but puzzled, too. 
I asked her if he had had one of those fits while he was there in Davis, and she said, "No.". And then she went on to say that the conclusion they came to about these seizures was that whatever this was, it was 'behavioral'.

Oh, my.

The only thing I could surmise from this is that Teeny was, indeed, having what looked like 'a primal'; the more I thought about it, the more I realized that when Teeny had this seizure-type-fit, it did really look exactly like what I did myself, when I was having my old 'feelings---that is, re-living certain very important things that had happened to me in my early early pre-verbal life, including the foaming at the mouth.....

I told Ray to start building the room, that day. 

It took Ray about about ten days to two weeks to get it all done and finished.  It was not fancy in any way, but it was exactly what I asked him to do.
It was fantastic! 
It made such a difference for me in terms of everything. Safety and privacy and I could beat the walls and the floor without hurting myself. And, I could scream bloody murder with no fear of anyone hearing it and thinking I was being killed or murdered!

The incredible result to all of this was that from the day I started using my room below to have my 'feelings' instead of the floor of my den upstairs.....Teeny never ever had another seizure.
Talk about a sensitive soul. Talk about an animal being so bonded to you that he actually picked up and took on your old early pain.

That was my Teeny!


More To Come.......

had this to say:

Very interesting. There is more to animals than we give them credit for.

Monday, April 22, 2013 at 5:28:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Wow Naomi, that is an incredible story. I remember hearing about Primal therapy but it is hard to carry out in a neighborhood with out getting your neighbors rattled. I never got to try it.
I know animals are very sensitive to our emotions. Amazing that Teeny mimicked your sessions and once you removed yourself from him, they stopped.
Loved this post.

Monday, April 22, 2013 at 5:36:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I remember the social workers making me read the book Primal Scream because they thought I hadn't come to terms with my own adoption, which actually pissed me off a bit, as I've worked through a great many feelings towards my birth mother but because I have no desire to meet her they felt that I hadn't come to terms with my adoption.

Isn't that amazing about Teeny! Wow what a story. I think that room downstairs with no window etc would have freaked me out a bit!

Monday, April 22, 2013 at 1:57:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I have a male cat like that. Whenever my husband and I are arguing and I get angry, he is instantly there and shows how he doesn't like it. The funny part is he doesn't like me very much as he's totally my husband's cat; but when I am angry, he seems to be saying-- don't do that. I think he must have been abused by a female as he came to us as a stray. he tolerates me is pretty much the best he does.

Monday, April 22, 2013 at 4:33:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I think our pets, dogs and cats, can really understand our feelings much more than we think. What a great story – you should send it to a pet magazine, people would be interested to read it. I am not surprised though as I have had cats that I swear knew exactly what I thought. How about our cat going to the front door, at least 10 minutes before my husband would get home and there was no way he could have heard him? There is so much we don’t know about animals’ psyche yet.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 9:18:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

wow.. now that is a story to remember! Animal instincts are much more sensitive then we give them credit for!

that Primal therapy sounds interesting.. never heard of it but I will do a little researching on it.

I cannot imagine life without our animals..

Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 9:40:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Wow, what a story! I never would have guessed a cat would model that but I guess you were like his mother and he was looking to you to learn how to behave. I wonder if Teeny released some of his own birth trauma etc, if there was any.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 6:17:00 AM PDT 

Blogger Pat
had this to say:

That is so much outside my experience I need to think about it. I'm so glad you found the remedy for Teeny's attacks.
Do you still have the special room?
Like Joey I feel a bit uneasy about it.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 8:33:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Wow Naomi I really loved hearing about Teeny's reactions and what they might mean. Come over and say hi!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 4:49:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

They are so sensitive to what we are feeling - more than most humans, I'd say. What a love!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 9:14:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

This is a very, very interesting story about Teeny. I totally understand the attachment of animals and humans because I have that with my Ms. Wee. Thanks for sharing Naomi. Be blessed.

Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 7:43:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

What a great story Naomi!
I remember when you did a post about your primal therapy times ago.
Just amazing the story of your dear cat Teeny. Yes, I think also that animals, principally dogs and cats are very sensitive and they can really feel and understand our feelings and our emotions.
Really you and Teeny loved each other so much!

Friday, April 26, 2013 at 6:20:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Thank you so much for sharing about Teeny, who looked so much like my Gypsy (he was a dog-cat, too). I really believe that animals who are bonded with their owners are extremely sensitive to their feelings. I've seen it with Gypsy and even Lizzie in recent days. They are also healing to us; I'll often ask Lizzie to purr me to sleep.

What I find so intriguing about this is how his symptoms were mirroring your actions. It's mysterious in many quantifiable ways -- but really, I'm not sure it's mysterious at all.

I hope he lived a very long time. What a dear boy.

Friday, April 26, 2013 at 6:46:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I had a friend, Ruth, who I have posted about who was very into primal therapy. My goodness, I hope your cat found peace. I had a dog once who was amazingly in tune with my emotional state, oh the guilt. Your room seemed to help all concerned!

Friday, April 26, 2013 at 6:13:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

That's an incredible story and I've never heard anything like this. I'd like to know more about your therapy. I've never heard of this either. E-mail me if you have time.

We'll talk soon? I need to get out to Miami Beach and every time I go there for figure drawing I pass your old neighborhood. I love that section of town!

Hugs and much love to you, Naomi!! ♥

Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 4:17:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I read Primal Scream twice, I really wanted it to help but it never clicked for me

I read your previous post to make sure I knew Teeny
What an exceptional being

I have always believed that animals, cats in particular, have an ability for empathy that far exceeds humans

hugs from me and Hope

Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 5:06:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I do know the closed bonds between pet owners and pets and this is the first time I read of this. Cats are truly amazing :)

Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 4:52:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What a wonderful cat and wonderful that you saw him through his seizures. That moment watching him go away from you on the conveyor belt must have heart wrenching beyond belief.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 3:09:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Teeny was in sync with you. Amazing story. I am so glad you got the room too. Did this therapy help you as it sounds fascinating. Great read this post was. Then again everything you write is. You are an enthralling communicator. Xx

Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 5:58:00 AM PDT 

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