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#2998799 01/21/02 04:51 PM
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Mike C2 Offline OP
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About a year ago we adopted a 5 year old cat.<p>It hadn't REALLY been abused, neglected, or ignored. It had come from a house with a lot of active kids, and some bigger, tougher animals. No one there meant to hurt it, but it had never felt safe. <p>It had one tattered ear. It was slightly chubby....I suspect that food was its only comfort.<p>At its core it was a loving creature, but the hard years had built up its defenses. Any movement around it was interpreted as a threat. Any attempts at affection it read as an attack. It looked on our house's two adults, three children, one dog and one other cat as frightening monsters. It spent all of its time hiding in my son's room, usually under the bed.<p>Everyone made an effort to be especially kind to the cat, but it mainly hid out, afraid of any interaction. Occasionally a romping dog or loud child at play would frighten it further. There did not seem to be any progress for months.<p>Everyone's instinct was to pick up the cat, stroke it, make it play with yarn, interact with it the same way we did with our other cat, who is very Type A and robust. I think we all thought if we could just hold it down, stroke it, make it purr, it would heal. <p>But it didn't. It would escape at the first chance, and then be gone for another few days under the bed. So we stopped trying the overt affection. We continued to feed it, let it see we meant it no harm, but it really wouldn't allow any petting or the affection or the play one associates with a normal pet relationship. The cat seemed miserable. We discussed the value of keeping a pet that didn't meet any of the needs of the family. My W said let's wait and see.<p>Then, one day, my son and I were sitting in the living room watching TV and the cat walked into the room. My son and I looked at each other and silently agreed to be nonchalant. The cat made its way across the room stopping and twitching twice at false alarms from non-existent noises, and then settled on a chair in the far corner. It could see everything, escape quickly if need be....but it wanted to be with the rest of the family. <p>Over the next few months the cat continued to come out of its shell. Now, it is the most affectionate creature in the house, human or animal.It HAS to be on a human's lap at all times. It HAS to sleep on someone's bed.<p>The first six months we had that cat nothing was going to fix its soul, no counseling, no food treats, no playtime, no hugging, no sex, no meeting its needs. It needed peace, it needed the pain to stop. It needed time. <p>This is not an off-topic post.

#2998800 01/21/02 05:24 PM
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Good post, Mike.<p> [img]images/icons/smile.gif" border="0[/img] <p>Kathi

#2998801 01/21/02 05:36 PM
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Boy if that doesnt make you think I dont know what will!!!! <p>Good post Thank you !!!

#2998802 01/21/02 05:36 PM
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I like it too, and it reminds me of a book sent to me by a very caring MB friend, called Praying with Katie, by Don Holt. Katie, if you haven't guessed, is a cat.<p>By spending time with Katie and watching her... the author realized that spiritual truths could be found in her daily routine. For example, Katie would sometimes sit at his feet and look up at him, in contemplation... almost as if she were quietly trying to figure him out. How often should we BE STILL (as the Bible says too) and sit at God's feet, to watch him and listen.<p>Anyway, I liked your cat experience, and I'm a super-duper cat person myself... so I thought I'd share...

#2998803 01/22/02 07:17 AM
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Not really off topic at all...your cat was a prime example of how you can't force someone to love you. I'm glad it finally came around, you would have really missed out on a terrific pet if you'd returned him/her to the shelter. Your story actually made me want to run to my local spca and adopt a kitty. [img]images/icons/smile.gif" border="0[/img]
Take Care...Toni

#2998804 01/22/02 07:34 AM
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Mike - enjoyed your real life story of your cat. We have a cat that turned out to be one of the most loving attentive cats. She was at the human society, I was getting our big boy pupppies neutured at the human society. My mother in-law said lets look at the cats, a sister cat to the one cat we still have got killed on the road just a few days earlier. This was the ugliest cat, scrawny, infested with fleas bites and ear mites. I picked her up and she knew what to do, gave me kisses and hugged my neck with her 2 paws. Of course the next day I took her home, it was a Friday, and found out by the end of the day, that she was very ill. Pneumonia had set in, and she had diarrhea and vomiting. Of course the human society was closed until Monday, kept her upright against my chest inside a scarf tied around my neck. I slept in a recliner so she would be upright to sleep. Took her in Monday, and they kept her for 3 days, hooked up to IV with antibiotics and fluids. When we took her in Monday they wanted to put her to sleep, but we said no. To this day, she is such a lover. Love cats too.

#2998805 01/22/02 07:34 AM
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Bravo sir. Point taken. Nicely put!

#2998806 01/22/02 07:40 AM
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I like it!! [img]images/icons/cool.gif" border="0[/img]

#2998807 01/22/02 11:08 AM
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Toni_29again:
<strong>Not really off topic at all...your cat was a prime example of how you can't force someone to love you. </strong><hr></blockquote><p>oohhhhhhhh....... [img]images/icons/smile.gif" border="0[/img]

#2998808 01/22/02 01:11 PM
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Sometimes Mike I think you're picking on me [img]images/icons/wink.gif" border="0[/img]

#2998809 01/22/02 10:22 PM
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Yeah, I know. Regardless of what I may think about cats ....<p>[ January 23, 2002: Message edited by: Dan-O ]</p>

#2998810 03/07/02 11:30 AM
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bump.

#2998811 03/08/02 12:07 AM
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thankyou man! whew.<p>you took the words right out of my mouth. [img]images/icons/grin.gif" border="0[/img] <p>We had a similar experience with our cat. All of our pets have been hand me downs or strays we've saved from the destruction or abandonment. Our dog was part of an abandoned litter and found us one day when we were out for a walk. Our cat came to us from a family with a bunch of dogs on a farm and the dogs were going to kill it. <p>I have watched and worked with the pets in effect practicing massage therapy on them as if they were people with ptsd. I've learned alot about ptsd from working with the cat and alot about abandonment issues from working with the dog.<p>At the same time the cat WANTS to be petted it won't always sit still for it or allow it. So it asks for petting but won't allow only the most superficial back rub or head scratch and it then prances around and walks or saunters is more like it...away from contact.<p>All this has led me to what I consider the primary need for someone or an animal which ever the case may be that is coming from an abusive or stressed situation. (aren't we all animals on some level? [img]images/icons/tongue.gif" border="0[/img] on this basic instinctual level I don't see much difference between humans and other animals)<p>The primary unmet need is safety and security both physical and emotional.<p>I watch horrified as I see some people here starving and clamouring around spouses for SF who refuse to recognize that their spouses fall in the category of people who suffer from post truamatic stress (ptsd).<p>Demands, stands, justifications, and ridicule aren't going to address the need for emotional safety and sense of being secure that their spouse NEEDS to begin to open up to affection and THEN sexual expression.<p>I know because my wife and I have been thru these phases with her. It's not just the cat in our house that has come from ptsd. There was a phase years ago when my affectionate overtures were perceived as a threat just like your cat. All that time I largely had to accept and go thru the pain of feeling rejected and abaondoned emotionally in terms of physical interactions and marital relations. It did no good to blame my wife or myself. It did no good to rant or demand that MY needs were important. You can't get blood out of a turnip. You can't force a traumatized person to feel safe. Sure I had unmet needs but so did she and until I accepted the importance of her needs as well as my own and stopped putting the heat on her demanding she buck up and put out for me we were deadlocked. Taking it personally didn't help matters either. It wasn't all about me. I had to learn that and remind myself of it from time to time and realize that I could either be a part of the problem or part of the solution and then make a choice.<p>I've stated repeatedly here on this site the need for emotional safety to people who aren't getting what they feel is "their fair share" of getting their needs met and seemingly my words just bounce off them. They don't get it. AND they ironically aren't getting THEIR emotional needs met even when they GET the sex they clamour for so much because this emotional security need doesn't just up and disappear because they get their way and get to put their body together with their spouse occasionally. It's rather an independent factor that has to be addressed on it's own terms.<p>why won't some people wake up and admit the true nature of their situation rather than insist on making judgements about themselves and their spouses and get defensive and defiant and all that goes with it, the labeling and name calling. It's all so counterproductive and harmful and if you understand the true nature of the problem it's precisely the MOST damaging thing they could do in terms of destroying the emotional safety of their already traumatized spouse.<p>makes me cringe and empathetically I really hurt for people and also because I know from my own life what it's like to have been there and done that myself. Now I cringe for how I behaved when I didn't know any better either.<p>sigh. [img]images/icons/frown.gif" border="0[/img] <p>thanks again for a good third party story that hopefully those in the situation can and will hear. [img]images/icons/smile.gif" border="0[/img] <p>it's not off topic at all. it's right on the money. Let's deal with reality shall we? [img]images/icons/wink.gif" border="0[/img]<p>[ March 07, 2002: Message edited by: Kasey1 ]</p>

#2998812 03/08/02 12:32 AM
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I don't like cats, have never liked cats, they don't like me, and we have a mutual agreement to avoid each other at all costs... [img]images/icons/grin.gif" border="0[/img] <p>But I have a tear in my eye now. Thanks for sharing that cat story, Mike --- I printed it off for my friend the cat lover... I don't know why ALL my friends love cats...! [img]images/icons/confused.gif" border="0[/img] <p>That was definitely a post of understanding others... <p>Thanks.<p>Jan

#2998813 05/22/02 02:44 PM
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Bump...

#2998814 05/22/02 02:55 PM
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Great post Mike!

#2998815 05/22/02 02:57 PM
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My wife sounds like the cat in this story! She keeps telling me to stop trying to fix our problems and give her some space. Ok maybe I will give it a try. It is difficult for me to do that because my thinking is you need to try to fix the problems not ignore them. Maybe I will do what she has asked for years and back off. <p>My question is how do I get over feeling like ignoring the problem is not going to fix the problem? I want the problems fixed NOW. I know I am not very patient.

#2998816 05/22/02 04:53 PM
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Mike C2 Offline OP
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Want Love:
My question is how do I get over feeling like ignoring the problem is not going to fix the problem? I want the problems fixed NOW. I know I am not very patient.<p>well.....I don't think it is a question of discontinuing an effort, it is a question of channeling it into an effort to 1. not lovebust at ALL, and 2. meet the ENs your withdrawn spouse is comfortable with you meeting. Oftentimes a withdrawn spouse doesn't want affection or SF. If you find one that doesn't want FS, FC, and DS, let me know, and I'll alert the media. [img]images/icons/smile.gif" border="0[/img] <p>The point of the story is that a cessation of lbing and a meeting of basic needs, and time, is sometimes not only WHAT is needed, but it is the ONLY thing that is needed.<p>Also, as a precaution, have your wife wormed.<p>[ May 22, 2002: Message edited by: Mike C2 ]</p>

#2998817 10/18/02 12:10 PM
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bump!

#2998818 10/18/02 03:31 PM
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Mike C2 Offline OP
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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by Takola:
<strong>bump!</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">hey, i was going to go look for that thread to paste an update on...

Apropos of nothing....that cat now has a weird habit. It won't jump up on our bed now...except if we are making love. Isn't that strange? As soon as we start going at it, she leaps up on the bed.

If she didn't have that raspy tongue and sharp little teeth...ahh...but that's a different topic. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="images/icons/grin.gif" />

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