Need Help? Ask Your Animal
Years ago when we were moving, we put all four of our cats in the bathroom (in retrospect not a great idea) to keep them safe and out of the way until we could take them to our new home. My wife, Amy realized that she needed to get into the bathroom to grab some towels to pack the washing machine. In the process of trying to get in and out while keeping all four cats behind the door, she twisted her hand and broke a bone. As she cried out in pain, the door flew open and the cats, terrified, scattered throughout the house. We were worried about them because they were indoor cats and the front door was open for the movers.
I went into the almost empty living room, and I tuned in to them. “I know you’re scared, but Mom’s hurt and we need your help. That’s how our communication began. I went on to explain about the front door and our concern for their safety. Then I told them I needed them to come into the living room as soon as possible, where I could see them, so they could be put somewhere safe. (I also told them that we wouldn’t try to put them back in the bathroom.)
In less than a minute, 3 of the 4 cats came into the living room. The missing one was our girl who had some neurological injuries. Two years old now, she was stepped on by a toddler when she was a kitten. I waited impatiently for several minutes as everyone looked for her. After what seemed like an eternity we discovered that she was hiding under a bookcase, in the living room, about 6 inches from where I’d been waiting! Once she was tucked away safely we were able to open the door again and resume our move.
I’ve never met an animal that doesn’t enjoy the chance to be helpful. The first thing I did that day was acknowledge their fear; the second, to ask for their help.