Hello, two-leggeds, and greetings from Lucinda the literate cat. It’s my turn to entertain or educate you, or at least to give you another post to read.
Today is my rant day, so be prepared.
The issue I’d like to discuss concerns the Covid virus. The latest updates tell us that cats can become infected with the virus, easier than dogs. This news does not bode well for us cats.
You are told that your cat can contract Covid from you. If your cat gets Covid, you have to quarantine him just like with two-leggeds. You must keep him in a separate, closed room, away from other pets. You can’t give him lots of petting or kisses, and you can’t let him sleep with you, because he caught Covid from you. Your contact with him will only make his disease worse.
You will find it hard to distance yourself in this way from your beloved pet. If Cat Covid becomes an epidemic, a new career possibility will open up for some of you young two-leggeds. A need will develop for many cat therapists.
Because of the need to isolate the cat who catches the disease, he will suffer from depression; from anxiety and stress and from an abundance of issues, as well as all the symptoms of the disease. Your cat won’t understand, and since we can’t talk it over, he will not know why he’s being treated so badly, especially as he is sick as well.
Yes, Cats Have Emotions
Unless you have a real understanding of cats, you may not realize that a cat could have such problems. You see, we cats have an emotional center in our brains just like you two-leggeds do. Therefore, we can, indeed, experience such problems as depression and separation anxiety.
Many people have no understanding of their pets. CCL (Cantankerous Cat Lady) says she had a friend who called two-legged pets “toy lives.” Sad, but true. Many of you view a pet as a possession — an object to treat any way you wish. You forget the creature is a living being. Often many of you don’t even know that this living creature has feelings.
As you can see, being a cat therapist might fill a need. If you can learn how to help a cat handle such issues, and if you can help his two-legged to understand what problems your cat suffers from, you will provide a great service. As for more information on cat therapy, look online, as there are several related articles. You may find just the answer you need.
Communication is a problem between two-leggeds and cats. I feel so fortunate that I have learned to read. As I read by running a paw under the words and seeing images form, telling me what they say, I do much better with a children’s book, written simply and with lots of pictures.
With your more complex two-legged writing, I do not do so well. However, my CCL will sometimes read to me, if she thinks I will appreciate the information. That’s how I learned about the Covid threat to cats. CCL thought I’d want to know.
Becoming a Cat Therapist
So, if you would like to become a cat therapist, you may run into a few problems. You will have to enroll in a training program. I am not sure if you can earn a cat therapist degree. Certain courses at a vet school can, of course, be helpful to you. You can find training, but you may find it necessary to provide some of your own education.
Besides the information you can find online, you can also read some of the excellent books now available about caring for cats. I will give some examples from a favorite reference for both CCL and me: Outsmarting Cats, by Wendy Christensen.
You can contact Wendy through CCL’s Facebook group, “A Clowder of Cat Ladies,” as Wendy holds a membership, Or, you can order her book from Amazon, using the link at the end of this post.
Wendy has discussed several cat emotions and behavioral problems in her book. Below you will learn of a couple of these that could be helpful to a Covid cat therapist.
One thing she points out: Each cat in a family, just like in your two-legged families, has a different personality. This personality will affect his emotional response to problems. In the cat who has contracted Covid, we might come across the following problems, based on your cat’s personality.
The Clingy Cat
This cat has an extreme problem if he contracts Covid. A sweet, cuddly cat will suddenly become needy, confused, and deeply unhappy.
You might find he has the following behavioral problems:
1) Depression weakens his immune system, causing the risk of infection and other illness besides Covid.
2) He may stop eating, which can become life-threatening.
3) He may become so nervous he develops destructive self-grooming or self-mutilation habits.
4) He goes into hiding, since his world has come unglued.
5) Perhaps he will refuse to use his litter box.
So, how does a cat therapist deal with such problems? As a therapist, you can develop activities he might enjoy, as these will allow him to burn off excess energy and anxiety.
Make sure to make his confinement spot as comfortable as possible. Play soft, soothing music to help calm him.
As a cat therapist, your role involves interacting with the cat, as long as you can do so without exposing other pets to the disease.
Though a two-legged with Covid can infect other cats, the cat cannot transmit the disease to a two-legged, resources say. So, as a cat therapist, you could spend time with the animal to help it through its sickness.
Since his two-legged with Covid cannot interact with him normally, you as the therapist must find a way that you can interact with him. Some problems you might have to deal with: twitchy uneasiness to outright panic, destructive behavior, desperate cries for help, and house soiling.
Poor kitty! On top of having Covid, he also has multiple problems dealing with his inability to interact with his bonded companion in his normal way.
Perhaps the best way to help such a cat for starters would include regular visits to his place of quarantine, so you can give him attention, petting, and comfort. He will hopefully learn that he still has someone to care for and about him.
Possibly, a vet can prescribe a calming medication for him. Just make sure it will not interfere with whatever he takes to ease the Covid symptoms. You might act as liaison between the owner and the vet, as you are not infected.
Probably the most important thing you can do for a cat who has Covid and doesn’t understand why his human treats him so poorly when he does not feel well anyway, would be to spend some time with kitty whenever possible to help alleviate his distress.
Research To Learn How To Proceed
Since cat therapy represents a relatively new field, you will have to investigate to learn how to proceed. Books on cat care, discussion with a vet, some vet courses that might be helpful, and online queries as to the best way to proceed may be helpful.
Just know that such a career could prove very helpful for a cat with Covid, and could also give value for other cat problems. I, for one, would be happy to see cat therapists become much more available. Curing my fellow felines of their emotional problems could be a real breakthrough.
If you would like a copy of Wendy’s book, “Outsmarting Cats,” the link below will take you to Amazon, where you can purchase it. My CCL will receive a small commission for your purchase. Nice — It helps when she needs to get more cat food.
Outsmarting Cats, by Wendy Christensen
How to persuade the felines in your life to do what you want
by Lyons Press