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1 year ago, my neighbors kids brought me a injured baby kitten. They found it on the edge of the drain grid after a night of horrific storms. It’s a miracle it didn’t drown!!
As I unwrapped the tiny bundle, the worst was revealed… it’s front leg was so injured, maggots had already started devouring the tissue.

This baby was maybe 4 weeks old… eyes barely open… I rushed him to my vet!!
I am so fortunate that my vet respects the work I do with the Kitty Colonies in our area, after seeing what we were up against, he said said no worries…we got this. Kitty lost his tiny leg that day but lived to tell about it….and over the next few weeks of bottle feeding every 2-4 hours and keeping him warm and loved… he was up and playing… soon chasing the other kittens around the living room rug!!

We named him Sugar Ray because he is such a fighter❣❣

His health thrives, he grew into a beautiful White with brown striped blanket Norwegian, and took his place in the herd.

As time passed, we noticed he was meowing loudly…almost in distress…. eyes wide with fear… I would cuddle him and talk calmly to ease his obvious distress…Then it would rain, thunder and lightning!!!! Over and over this whole summer, more so than years before, it stormed… almost every day… my sweet Sugar Ray started withdrawing from the family, only coming out to eat and a short lounge on the rug only to retreat back into one of his hiding places ( I made sure he had water and a soft snuggle blanket to sleep on…

I watched as he became scared of any sudden sounds, jerking his head around to commence his “fight or flight” reaction.

Im a retired therapist…I recognized PTSD in his behavior… that poor baby was reliving those terrifying nights he spent in that drainage ditch with every clap of thunder!! It breaks my heart.

Ive tried the Cat Nip Socks… now all my cats are a circus act one min and a frat house attic group the next… and Sugar Ray seemed to react well to that stimulus… but this past week he has digressed and only comes out late at night to eat and poop. He is so down… it’s so sad.

So I’m taking him to the vet tomorrow…(my vet is out of town til then)…I pray we can figure out some way to cheer up my little guy and shield him from these fears that are taking his sweet spirit away from him 😻

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What a beautiful cat! I'm not sure about the PTSD diagnosis, I don't think he is picturing his earlier life in the drainage ditch. My Charlee Marie is terrified of thunder. We almost never had thunderstorms where they were raised, so it was new and frightening to her in our new city. Still is. And loud noises make her flee to the bedroom. Cinderella was the same. I think it's more of an instinctual survival reaction.

I have used kitty "prozac" for one of my girls, and my sister has used it with one of her dogs. Her dog was rescued from the streets and it really helped him mellow out and make friends with her other dogs. He was a totally different boy the next time I saw him. It's not a long-term treatment, he was weaned off it when he showed major improvements in his behavior.

Sugar Ray may always be afraid of thunder, but hopefully he'll go back to his sweet self in time. I'm sure your vet will have better advice for you, good luck with your appointment tomorrow.
 

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What a lovely cat. I hope that you can find ways to help him manage this. I know that PTSD is real in animals, but don't know that it can go back as far as babyhood, as that seems a bit of a stretch. Even in human beings PTSD as such doesn't go back that far in a person who had a very traumatic infancy but a good safe life afterward.
On the other hand......who's to say with certainty what goes on in the mind of a cat.
. Whatever the cause of the fear is, I just hope it can be mitigated. Best of luck.
 

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You may have heard of EFT (an energy therapy that's done by tapping on various body locations). I've had success using it for cats who get nervous going to the vet. I tap on myself as a proxy for them. There are lots of YouTube videos with instructions, and Gary Craig has a website with a lot more information, including a couple of reports of it being used on animals.

I'd start by imagining how Sugar Ray felt as a kitten--during the storm that traumatized him and even before that. Come up with some set-up phrases that describe the terror and pain he must have experienced; also how he missed his mother and siblings.

This may not work, but it won't hurt anyone or cost anything to try it. Good luck!
 

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Hmmmm. I have used EFT on myself with good effect....didn't know it could be used on an animal. That is interesting, and why wouldn't it work on an animal, after all.....but I don't see how it could be used by proxy, since the reason it works is that the tapping is in certain areas of the body that are affected by this action.
 

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.....but I don't see how it could be used by proxy, since the reason it works is that the tapping is in certain areas of the body that are affected by this action.
I don't understand that either. It's possible that the proxy tapping is actually calming me, and my cats are picking up on that and therefore settling down themselves. Gary Craig (the founder of this technique) has proposed in the past that surrogate tapping--and long-distance tapping!--work because of something to do with quantum physics. But that would be way beyond my understanding. Not sure how he's explaining it these days.

Twenty+ years ago, when I started using EFT, I wondered if there was a placebo effect at work. But I still get rid of emotional problems by tapping, and I doubt a placebo could last that long. Don't really care anymore, as long as it keeps working!
 

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Yeah, I doubt the surrogate thing, but it's entirely possible that calming you and making you feel better is affecting the cat in a positive way. It's very important that we take care with what emotions we project to our animals, as it can make all the difference. This is especially true with sensitive animals like horses and most dogs as well.

As for placebo---- When someone says something is "just a placebo", I think: that's OK with me as long as it works! If something works, who cares if it is a placebo effect? I never question how it works, I am just glad it does. :)
 
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