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Ask Your Pet

by Jennifer Dickman

Dear Jennifer,

I recently had a baby and my cat, Angel, is having a hard time coping. My time and energy are very limited – what can I do to help her?

Stephanie P.

Dear Stephanie,

Angel is feeling very rejected and depressed right now. Until I spoke to her, she didn’t understand that the extra time you’re spending with the baby is a necessity, not a choice. She couldn’t understand why you didn’t love her as much as you used to, and why you liked spending time with the baby more than playing or cuddling with her.

I told Angel that you still love her as much as ever, and that the baby hasn’t replaced her in your affections. I explained that babies are helpless and can’t feed or take care of themselves, and that you’re spending so much time with the baby because the baby wouldn’t survive if you didn’t. I also let Angel know that as the baby gets older these demands will ease up and you will all find a new normal, in which you can spend more time with her and she and the baby are great friends.

Like people, many animals need to feel that they have a role and purpose in life. As Angel is feeling displaced from her old role as your best buddy, I thought it would be helpful to give her a new task. So, I asked Angel to be the baby’s protector and friend. I asked her to watch out for the baby, and always come get you if you’re out of the room and the baby needs you. This should help Angel to feel like the baby is a more positive addition to your family.

In terms of what you can do yourself, just do your best to let Angel know that she’s important to you. Take a few minutes here and there to spend time with her when you are able. Tell her multiple times a day that you love her and that she’s very important to you. If you’re praising the baby, make a point to add in something like, "And, Angel is a very good girl, too." If you sing to your baby, why not make up a song about how wonderful your kitty is, and make sure Angel hears you singing it?

You can also do special things for Angel that aren’t very time-consuming, such as giving her treats, or picking up a new toy for her the next time you’re at the store. You could even splurge and purchase a comfy new bed or window perch for her. Just make a bit of an effort every day to let Angel know that she is loved and cherished. I think if you do so you’ll find that Angel will meet you half way, and be more understanding of the time you have to spend with the baby.

Best of luck and congratulations!

Many Blessings,

Jennifer Dickman

Send your question along with your pet’s name, age, and a photo or brief description to Jennifer_Dickman@ymail.com  or Jennifer Dickman, PO Box 782, Montgomeryville, PA 18936.

Jennifer Dickman is an Animal Communicator, Pet Reiki Specialist, Reiki Master-Teacher, and Intuitive Counselor. She is available for phone sessions worldwide, and teaches private Reiki certification students locally & through distance learning. Jennifer can be reached at 215.817.0833 or Jennifer_Dickman@ymail.com . To receive a free copy of Jennifer’s "Five Things Your Dog or Cat Wants You to Know" please subscribe to her newsletter by emailing Newsletter@BoundlessSpiritReiki.com . More information is available on Jennifer’s web site: www.JenniferDickman.com.

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