A fearful and traumatised kitten arrived at my home. Her arrival and her presence in my life opened the door for me to heal my wounded heart, and led me on a path of communication with animals.
Rafaella was found alone on a busy street at seven weeks old. She was a young kitten who desperately needed ‘socialisation’. I had been working at the animal shelter for some years, had just begun fostering kittens, and I was asked if I would like to foster Rafaella for a few weeks. No one had come forward to claim her; one of the vet nurses labelled her ‘feral’. However, I immediately sensed that there was something more to this small kitten. I could feel that behind the constant hissing, biting, and hiding behaviour was a sweet, gentle soul who was terrified and traumatised as a result of her experiences.
Driving her home, she sat in the front passenger seat in a carry cage. She was clearly scared, and her ears quivered with fear. Her small, round, bluey-grey eyes kept staring up at me whenever I glanced down at her. I turned to her at one point and said to her, “We’re going to keep you!” As the words came out, I was surprised to hear them. I knew that I had no intention to keep a cat. But as soon as Rafaella came into my life, I fell instantly in love with her.
The journey begins
Rafaella did not sleep for the first 48 hours. Every time she started to doze, she woke in a fright. Although I sensed that she was desperately in need of being held and nurtured, she could not allow herself to be held for more than a few seconds before she’d start to wriggle to be set down. Rafaella was struggling emotionally and physically. She would frequently bite and kick. She struggled to climb or jump, and panted when she exerted herself. Rafaella would tire easily. She had short strides when she walked, and her tail was mostly down.
Slowly, there were moments of playfulness and tenderness from Rafaella. She would melt into my arms and receive the nurturing she longed for. I knew that she needed a lot of support, love, understanding, and healing to move through the trauma and overwhelm that she was experiencing, and become the full expression of her true essence as a playful, sassy, loving, and creative being.
A healing revealed
I saw in Rafaella a part of her that was shut down in the same way that I was. I had learnt to close off my own heart because of the distrust, hurt, and trauma that I had experienced as a child and as a young adult. I’d been abandoned by a mother who was struggling with alcoholism. I had a father who was emotionally unavailable, and an unloving and emotionally fragile stepmother. My brother used alcohol and physical violence to cope with his experiences. All in all, it was not a safe and nurturing environment in which to thrive. I was a shy and withdrawn child that felt comforted and safe in the company of animals. As a young adult, I was further traumatised after an assault by a patient while working as a nurse, and experienced post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.
I had partially opened up my heart to my previous cat, Sam. He was a self-assured, independent, fearless cat that was always exploring and wanting freedom. I had moved away from the family home as an independent adult and, at that time, he reflected my need for freedom and to explore myself and the world.
When Sam died, the pain of grieving was very intense. It hurt. I was afraid of opening up to Rafaella because I didn’t want to experience and feel that deep pain and grief again. I was monitoring how much I was willing to open up my heart.
Since Rafaella needed me to be more emotionally present, conscious, aware, and available in order to support her healing process, I knew this would require me to have a willingness to open and connect with my own heart so that I could connect with hers.
Listening from the heart
Animals communicate in a variety of ways, such as through body language, behaviourally and vocally. I think they also share telepathically by transmitting images, thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations that they are experiencing.
Animal communication could be a way of communicating telepathically with animals. This can be done remotely or in the physical presence of the animal. From my experience, the process of communicating with an animal is initiated from one’s heart to the animal’s heart, forming an energetic heart connection between the two. From this space of the heart, you listen to what the animal shares with you.
Building the bond of trust for connection
In the first few months of Rafaella living with me, grooming her was a very challenging experience for both of us. She would still kick and bite; it was nearly impossible for me to groom her without breaking into a sweat. I had already observed that she was highly anxious when visitors came into the home, if there were any noises in the surrounding neighbourhood, or if someone knocked on the door.
Prior to my own studies in animal communication, I asked an animal communicator to ‘speak’ with Rafaella. She shared that she felt exposed and overwhelmed in some rooms of the home. She preferred to be in rooms where she had options to hide when frightened by any outside noises. Understanding this need, I moved our grooming time into a smaller and less exposed room. Here, the experience of grooming showed a remarkable transformation. She was like a completely different cat. I was able to brush her with care, and without her kicking or biting. We were building the trust between us. To this day, grooming sessions continue to be a pleasurable experience for both of us. We have even relocated back to a busier room in the house.
Once I learnt to communicate telepathically, I was able to better understand, acknowledge, and support Rafaella’s unique needs so that she could feel a greater safety and trust in the world. Rafaella continues to strengthen and thrive and is a sensitive, gentle, loving and affectionate (yet sassy) cat, who asserts her boundaries, sleeps deeply, and loves to cuddle for hours at a time.
Helping her helped me to heal myself. Not only did I open my heart to her, I opened my heart to my own innate being and acceptance of who I am. She reflects my own inner growth. Her sensitivity helped me to discover my own greatest gift – my intuitive sensitivity.
Animals can show us so many things about ourselves if we are willing to look. A bond with your animal is an amazing opportunity for you to learn and gain more insight about yourself and your animal, giving you both the opportunity to open your hearts, heal and expand your consciousness.
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