A series of treatments with a cat at the Fox Valley Humane Association taught me the value of allowing the animal to determine how they wish to receive Reiki energy. This cat is a sweet 8 year old black and white tuxedo kitty named Boots. Boots came to the shelter because her family had too many animals and could no longer take care of her. She had been at the shelter for quite awhile when I met her and her suite-mate Smudge. After one session with Boots and Smudge, both soon left for their forever homes.
Unfortunately, at my weekly visit a couple of months later, I learned that Boots had returned because she wasn’t fitting in well with the other animals at her new home. Boots was sad and felt rejected, and had been screaming in her cage for a couple of days. For our first solo session, I took Boots into a small sunny room where she could roam around and offered Reiki energy to her. At first, she was a bit nervous wandering around the room, sometimes sitting in the corner and at times brushing my legs. She eventually jumped on the table a couple feet from me and sat in the sun looking out the window. Her eyes then closed as she sat there peacefully, and by the end of the treatment, she had lied down and fallen into a deep, snoring sleep. As I approached Boots to thank her, she licked my hands and arms saying “thank you for helping me.” She was so calm and grateful – it was beautiful.
Our second session was similar to the first. By our third session, Boots was much more confident with Reiki and with me, and came right over to my feet, looked up at me with those loving kitty eyes and began meowing. I invited her to sit in my lap if she wished, an offer she immediately accepted. She at first licked my hands and arms, and then lied down with her body cradled in my hands. She remained in my lap for the entire treatment, purring and then sleeping. We spent a wonderful hour together offering each other a space of calm and harmony.
It is now my turn to express my gratitude to Boots for teaching me that it may take multiple sessions before an animal is comfortable enough with the energy and with me to ask me to touch her. And animals appreciate that we allow them to decide how they wish to receive the Reiki energy. We need to remember that they truly do experience and benefit from the energy even though we may be sitting a few feet apart. Thank you, Boots, for teaching me this important lesson!