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Ask Your Pet

by Jennifer Dickman

Dear Jennifer.
My cat Stacey hides in the closet whenever visitors come over, whenever the house is noisy, and sometimes for just no reason at all. At these times she seems somewhat nervous and frightened. She is a rescue - is there something in her past that is causing this? Is she distressed at these times or merely hiding out?
Thank you,

Dear Michael,
Stacey has a warm and loving energy when I connect with her. There are emotional wounds there, too. From what she is showing me, I believe that Stacey was originally living with a hoarder. There were far too many cats as well as some other animals. Her person, who was ill but well-meaning, was overwhelmed, but loved her animal companions too much to part with them. As their numbers grew (and I believe Stacey was one of the later additions to an already large furry household), things got out of hand.

Unfortunately, once Stacey was done nursing, she had to fight with others for food, water, territory, even litter box space, although she says there were other locations in the home where the cats went potty. Things were at times chaotic, at times scary due to the fighting, and at times just lonely, as she began her hiding behavior in that home to get away from the other animals. She would try to seek out affection from both her feline and human mothers, and sometimes she would get it, but often she was chased away by others. It was sad and confusing. She began to hide more and more.

Eventually Stacey and most of the other animals were rescued. And, she thankfully found her way to your home. But, she remains wary of situations that trigger her past fears. As you indicated, noise is an issue, strangers (I think it’s more there being too many people there than that the people are unknown), or just having thoughts of her past can trigger this behavior. I don’t believe that Stacey is in severe distress during these times - just in need of some time on her own in a place she feels safe and secure.

There are a few ways you can help Stacey. First, just be respectful of her need to hide out sometimes, and tell her you love her, but don’t try to get her to come out unless she’s staying hidden for too long and not eating or drinking. Always warn and reassure her when people are coming over, accompanying your words with mental images and feelings of safety and love. Try to keep a calm household with a predictable routine, at least as much as possible. The flower essence formula “Abandonment and Abuse” from www.GreenHopeEssences.com would also be helpful for Stacey. She may remain a bit quirky at times, but again, unless it lasts too long, this behavior isn’t harmful.

Many Blessings,
Jennifer Dickman

Jennifer Dickman is an Animal Communicator, Reiki Master-Teacher specializing in Animal
Reiki, and Intuitive Counselor. She conducts phone and email sessions worldwide. She may be
contacted at Jennifer_Dickman@ymail.com , 215-817-0833, or through her website,www.JenniferDickman.com , where her MP3s "Journey to Contact Your Animals in Spirit" and "Deep Relaxation" are also for sale. To subscribe to Jennifer’s newsletter and receive a free copy of her essay, "Five Things Your Cat or Dog Wants You to Know", please email Jennifer with the word "Newsletter" in the subject line.

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