Ella and Monkey

The Catnip and Carrots waiting room is like Cheers for our rabbit rescue family.  Anytime you walk through those doors and sit on those benches, you are bound to meet someone who knows your name, even if it’s just from interaction in our incredibly supportive online community.

An afternoon in July of 2014, I sat on one of those benches.  Two women, a mother and a daughter, sat on an adjacent bench.  In their carrier was their elderly guinea pig.  From careful eavesdropping (teacher-hearing comes in handy outside of the classroom too), I learned that they take this beloved guinea pig to the vet weekly—sometimes several times in a week.  Considering that most guinea pigs don’t get any medical care, I judged this family to be super pet parents.  I was right.

The daughter looked at her phone and started to read an email to her mother.  The email was an apology for a delayed response.  I heard her mention a big rescue case in Mastic that was the excuse for the delayed response.  I realized that I wrote that email.  These are people that we are screening for adoption!

I’m not shy.  I said, “Excuse me.  That email is from me.  I’m Denise.”  They introduced themselves and we conducted the step in the screening process that is usually a phone interview, live in the waiting room.  Each answer confirmed the judgment I already made about them—these women are part of an exceptional pet family.  Home visit… adoption day… they brought their adorable Monkey Bun to “speed date” with several of our adoptable rabbits.  Monkey chose Elke on July 20, 2014.  Elke was renamed Ella.  They never bonded—it happens.  They live side-by-side in happiness now.

Ella is estimated to be around 10 years old… maybe 8… maybe 12.  With age often comes some health and mobility issues.  I was honored to visit Ella and Monkey this past week and share some Reiki with them.  In connecting with Ella’s energy, I felt a beautiful sense of patience.  Before I entered their pens, I poured several drops of Frankincense essential oil into my palms and called on our guides and angels to support and heal all who are open to the energy.  I stepped into Ella’s pen first.  She spent most of our session together in her cardboard hut.  She has a green light surrounding her metaphysically.  She “told” me that she doesn’t feel old, which put a big smile on her family’s faces in our post-session conversation.  When working on Ella’s chest area and heart chakra zone, I felt a big shift, like an obstruction began to dissolve.  She feels blocked physically so we “worked” on that through most of our session.  She “showed” me the numbers 10 and 11 and that she prays with the family, so whoever is praying or doing some spiritual work, keep it up!  Ella is working with you!

Ella

I hopped over to Monkey Bun’s pen next.  He’s much more curious than Ella is so we did more hands-on work together.  He “showed” me the number 3.  We worked to soften his heart chakra.  He “told” me that he knows he’s a little boy but he’s NOT the baby of the family!  He is solid and healthy.  His solar plexus chakra is very guarded (common in prey animals) and he “shared” a turtle shell energy with me, a hard exterior for protection.  Where Ella is blocked physically, Monkey is guarded or blocked emotionally.  They are in great balance of each other.  Although they never officially bonded, there’s a lot of love in that bunny room, just like there’s a lot of love in that entire house.

Monkey Bun

From our chance meeting in the waiting room at the vet’s office… Ella’s adopter has become one of our most dependable volunteers, which is not surprising.  They are a family of compassion and dedication.  They show that in the way they cared for their ailing guinea pig, the way they opened their home to Ella, who was a bit older when they adopted her, and the continued care every animal (and person, from what I gather) in that family receives.  It is my true honor to share Reiki with Ella and Monkey and to be around such a wonderful family.  Much love.

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Cameron

On the last Monday in March, I paid a special visit to a special little boy.  Quick backstory: Cameron was rescued with four other rabbits right before Halloween.  He was adopted shortly after the New Year and returned right before Valentine’s Day.  We don’t get many returns (thankfully).  Cameron had fallen ill and his adopters decided to return him.  Volunteers rushed to get him back into our care.  Cameron developed neurological “issues”—could be genetic, could be a result of trauma sustained when he was trying to survive post-abandonment/pre-rescue.  His adopters gave up on him.  His foster family never will.

Cameron has been making great strides.  He’s a bit wobbly at times.  He needs an enclosure specially designed for his mobility needs.  Other than that, he is a perfectly happy and hoppy boy.  I was delighted to have the opportunity to share Reiki with him.

He had a lot to “say” compared to most of my clients.  He “told” me that the “rolling” his body experienced when he first showed symptoms of illness really scared him.  When working on his throat chakra, he “showed” me that he was weeping happy, grateful tears for being safe.  He asked about Lil’ B, a bun with whom he was rescued.  He showed me the number four—well, he was rescued with four others.  He lives with four humans.  In Angel Numbers, four means “the angels are with you.  They send you the number 4 to reassure you that they’ve heard your prayers and are helping you.”  I quite like that number for Cameron and his foster family.

He’s a young soul.  He’s on his first pass through this mortal coil and he really trusts people now because of his foster family.  Being a young soul, he can let go of his abandonment (twice now, that we know of) easier than others can.  No resentment present in that furry little body!  Cameron knows he’s “different” but feels confident and secure, which he confirmed by licking his paw.  Throughout most of our session together, he stayed flopped under his bench.  When I was working on his spine, however, he came toward me then ran away quickly to show he’s strong.  He started eating immediately after to confirm that physical and emotional strength.

Cameron feel clenched in his hips and lower body.  I told his foster family to give him some gentle hip massages.  He told me that he likes to be around one person at a time, rather than a crowd.  His favorite color is blue (which his foster mom guessed correctly in our post-session conversation).  As I closed our session, Cameron stood up very strongly, like Mountain Pose in yoga, to show me that he feels very loved and safe.

It was a honor to work with Cameron and I am grateful to his foster family for welcoming me and Reiki in their loving home.  Cameron is looking for a forever home, preferably with an experienced family who knows that different is so very beautiful.

You can follow Cameron’s foster family’s blog here.

Piper, Tyler & Remy

On Wednesday, I had the honor of sharing Reiki with a wonderful, diverse family.  When I say diverse, I’m taking size and species—a large rabbit, a tiny hamster and a typically-sized cat.  When I arrived, I spent some time talking with their mom S.  Rabbit Piper was hopping around, hamster Tyler was snuggling in my hands and cat Remy was nowhere in sight.  I explained to S. that whether Remy came out of hiding or not, he would still receive whatever energies he was open to.  Reiki is total magic like that.

I anointed my shoulders with White Angelica oil and gently rubbed a few drops of Valor oil between my palms.  S. had expressed some concern for Piper’s occasional nervous and anxious behaviors, so Valor was calling to me for this session.  I sat on the floor near to Piper’s pen with Tyler in a small cage to my left and Remy still lurking in the shadows.  Our session began with a heavy energy, but not in a bad way—more of a stable, solid kind of heavy.  I was drawn to the world “release” on repeat.  My root chakra was strongly in play here.  I felt very rooted in this environment, which is not a feeling I typically experience.  Again, the magic of Reiki:  I was “translating” the rooted, connected bond of this family.

After connecting with the energy of the space, I began to work directly with Tyler.  He “told” me the words “heal,” “peace” and “curious.”  He expressed the desire for his mom S. to read to him (totally adorable).  I was drawn to his right side and in our after-session recap I told S. to be attentive to that.

Next up, Piper, an alum from our Rescue group.  Piper didn’t want any hands-on work, which is common for prey animals.  He “told” me that he likes to hide a lot.  The energies drew my attention to his left eye, which I confirmed with S. in our recap that he had issues with that eye earlier in the year.  I had the most beautiful vision while working on Piper and his enclosure.  I don’t often see pictures through my work, as I’m more strongly claircognizant and clairsentient.  As I sent Reiki specifically to Piper’s pen, I saw what I can best describe as tubes of rainbow-colored rain with stars inside.  I invited the rainbow rain to flow through and around the home, showering the entire family and space with this stunning light and energy.  Piper came closest to me at this point.  He’s a cautiously receptive boy.  He feeds off of the energies around him.  I sent all I could to help ease his nerves.

I work mostly with my eyes closed, but they popped open at this point in our session and there was Remy.  I could feel the energy of the entire house follow Remy.  He needs to be the boss.  He came to me, close but not too close, acknowledged my presence, then walked away.  Piper quickly followed.  If Tyler wasn’t in a cage, he would have done the same.  That boss attitude—is that a cat thing in general?  Or just a Remy thing?  I’ll let S. decide how to handle that from here!

I closed the session with love, light and the greatest good for all beings and objects.  What a beautiful family and a beautiful afternoon.  Thank you S. for allowing me to share Reiki with your family.  Hoppy Birthday.  Much Love.

Valerie

I don’t do diapers, but I’ll gladly do litter boxes.  We bunny-sat for Valerie this weekend.  Call her a BWB (big white bunny), REW (rudy-eyed white), but the most fitting label for her is Snuggle Bunny!  This girl can cuddle for hours.  It’s kind of funny—people, especially those with kids, who inquire about adopting a rabbit often think they want a dwarf or other small rabbit.  Here’s where it gets funny… the little ones usually aren’t the cuddly ones!  The BWBs and REWs, in my modest five+ years experience are the lovers.  The little guys just want to get away from you (with some exceptions of course).

BWBs are the hidden gem of the companion animal world.  They are puppy-like, without the need for outdoor walks and pooper-scoopers.  They are sweet and playful.  They are abundant in love and cuteness.

Valerie snuggled with me more from Friday to Sunday than my boys have for the entirety of 2017.  I was able to read a book next to her without her trying to eat it—Peanut and Tater have “personalized” many novels.  Valerie is one the neatest rabbits I have ever encountered, and I handle, on average, 15 rabbits per week.  She made one, yes one, “bunny button” outside of her litter box over the three days she was here.  Unfamiliar environment, unfamiliar rugs, still neat.  She’s a dream come true with big ol’ ears.  And you should see those binkies!

Falling in line with how things go around here, Valerie loves the Bunny-Daddy far more than she loves me.  I clean; he feeds.  The logic is there.  She and I would be in the thick of a 20+ minute patting session… then the door would open.  Footsteps on the stairs to the lower level.  And she would bolt away from, poised at the far end of the double-pen, waiting for her new bestie to come for a visit.  Forget me—Bunny-Daddy is here.  Thanks, girl.

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Bunny-Daddy and his favorite girl

We absolutely loved having her here and begrudgingly gave her back to her wonderful family last night.  They’ve become great friends of ours, just like you parents with human children make mom and dad friends.  They get us.  And I try not to get jealous of how perfect their little angel is while I’m cleaning up hundreds of stray “bunny buttons” in our living room.

Valerie’s parents, thank you for sharing her with us for the weekend.  She’s welcome back here, any time.  Much love.

Jimmy

jimmy

When Jimmy came into the care of our Rescue group, his name was Bugs and he was sick.  I was glad that we were changing his name (we stick with people names, always) because I had a hard time calling a rabbit with an eye infection Bugs— like he had bugs and we were teasing him or something.  But it’s all semantics.  Here’s what I wrote about Jimmy for our recent fundraiser:

Jimmy and another rabbit were abandoned and brought to a local animal shelter that is mainly equipped to care for dogs and cats.  Staff noticed that Jimmy (who was known as Bugs there) was ill as soon as he was brought in and their veterinary staff cared for him the best they could.  The other rabbit was adopted rather quickly, but Jimmy was still sick and still without a home.  One of our dedicated volunteers visited the shelter, brought supplies and gave Jimmy some love.  As the days went on, Jimmy’s health kept getting worse.

As soon as we were able to secure a space, we took Jimmy into our foster care. We are grateful to the staff at the shelter for caring for Jimmy while he was with them.  Jimmy settled into his foster home with a voracious appetite and a loving spirit.  A vet visit was planned for the immediate future, as his eye looked infected.

Then one morning, Jimmy’s foster mom noticed that Jimmy’s eating had slowed down– a sign that something was wrong!  Our volunteer team sprung into action and rushed Jimmy to Catnip and Carrots Veterinary Hospital, where the caring doctors accepted Jimmy as an emergency patient.

Jimmy was hospitalized for almost a week with an eye infection, upper respiratory infection and gastrointestinal stasis.  He was released to his foster home yesterday to continue recuperating and we are turning to you, our amazing supporters, to help with Jimmy’s vet bills.

I volunteer at Jimmy’s foster home weekly and this Monday he wasn’t feeling well again.  His eating had slowed down, just a bit, but those who are rabbit-savvy know all too well that rabbits are NOT “wait and see how he’s feeling” creatures.  One must act immediately if any change in behavior or eating is observed.  Jimmy’s foster home gave him meds and some of his favorite foods to entice eating.  I arrived in the afternoon and made some time to share some Reiki energy with him before I started my chores.

I grabbed my Joy oil before our session.  That’s not one of my go-to Reiki oils but I was drawn to it so I follow my guides.  I rubbed 3 drops in my palms, anointed my third eye chakra and started our session.  Jimmy responded right away by turning his back to me and grooming himself, a message of “Yes, I’m here but I’m not sure what you’re doing, lady.”  While he’s a snuggler, he’s understandably cautious due to his history.

He “showed” me something about his back left leg, like it was caught or twisted or bent previously, so I sent energy there.  Of course, I didn’t touch his back leg—I only know one rabbit who tolerates that kind of behavior from his mom (the same rabbit who tried to bite my hand off a few months ago!).

The other message Jimmy shared with me is big counter-clockwise circles.  I forgot to tell his foster mom that so hopefully she reads this.  I don’t know what that message means quite yet but he’ll show us at some point.  As soon as I closed out our session, thanking Jimmy for his openness to receiving the energy, he started to nibble on his pellets—a joyful sign!

I thank my guides and angels and all of our rabbit-friends over the Rainbow Bridge for helping me share healing light with Jimmy.  Much Love.

Urgent & Alarming

Emergencies are based on perception.  What’s urgent to me may not even register at all to you.  And in a culture where we are inclined to be verbally emphatic over things that are bordering on mundane (I’m reminded of Julian Treasure, in one of his TED Talks, when he asks what he’s supposed to call something he sees that is actually awesome since just about everything is labeled awesome!), sometimes calls for urgent help or an emergency situation are look at with skeptical eyes—is the user of the word urgent just having an moment of increased inflection?

Because I am a connector and a promoter by nature, I fall into this perception trap at times.  When I’m reading and loving a book, I seek out those in my life who need to read this too—I’ll often send them copies.  I can’t fathom them taking another step in their lives without infusing this work of fiction or non into their realm.  When I’m introduced to a product that’s awesome, I always buy extras because I know someone who just needs this.  This week, it’s the lip exfoliator by Younique—it’s vegan, cruelty-free, deliciously flavored and works great.  I used it once, then ordered another for my mom, then told everyone with lips that they need one.

So you might think it’s in my excitable nature to see emergencies in situations that truly aren’t that urgent.  I’m sure I was guilty of that in my early rescue days, as most new volunteers are.  Particularly because we deal with life or death, survival or suffering situations, every case can have the perception of urgency.  But as one of the “big picture” people in our group, I’m tasked with, often quickly, prioritizing cases and differentiating between perceived and actual emergencies.  And I think I’m good at it.  I’ve developed a knack for delegating and managing and I’m damn lucky to be a part of a solid, dedicated and selfless team.

This past week was a week of emergencies: a rescued stray who needed urgent transport for veterinary care (thank you Jessica and Lauren for making that happen); a foster bun who fell ill and needed medical care (shout out to Michael and Victoria); and a sanctuary rabbit who is fighting for her life as I type this (Zulia and Tom come through again!).  Our group doesn’t operate out of a facility; all of our rabbits are fostered in private homes, so there aren’t doctors on staff, a room away from the rabbits in need.  Our island is 118 miles long and the rabbit-savvy veterinarians are sometimes an hour (or more) drive from a foster home or rescue scene.  In addition to those 3 medical emergencies, we had 3 new rescue intakes and one adoption this week—that’s a busy set of days (I realize I keep saying week, but this all went down Wednesday-Saturday).

But it’s all about balance, right?  Good thing I have some Peace and Calming to get me through the Urgent and Alarming…

Mallory

Hoppy New Year, Bunnies and Bunny Friends!

My final Reiki session of 2016 was shared with Mallory, a darling Dutch girl whom I helped rescue in 2015 and was adopted by one of our volunteers, my friend Lauren.  Mallory recently lost her husbun Benjamin, so Lauren asked for me to come over and check in on Mal.  Prior to losing Benjamin, Lauren and Mallory went through numerous changes in 2016—a volatile year for many, but hey, if we don’t change, we don’t grow.

I settled in to Mallory’s pen, anointed my third eye chakra with Magnify Your Purpose essential oil and my palms with a few drops of lavender.  Lauren had the diffuser going with a relaxing blend to support our energy work.  As I flowed through my meditation, calling on my guides, Mallory’s guides and angels and all workers of light and energy to join us, Mallory tossed a cardboard tube at me— her way of acknowledging that she was ready to communicate!  Through our hands-on work, Mallory shared with me that she feels in good health.  She has a cautious spirit, which complements Lauren’s adventurous spirit quite well.  Both Mallory and Lauren share an energy, a bond through the adventure of life and bring balance and care to each other.

Mallory tossed her wood and rope toy 5 times.  She also “showed” me the numbers 6 and 4 in combination to create 10 a few times during her session (check out Doreen Virtue’s book on angel numbers to translate Mal’s message!).  When I asked Mallory about her past, she hopped away and turned her back.  She remembers the horrible life she lived before rescue and wants it completely behind her, so I focused the Reiki energy to send healing, forgiveness and forward movement.  Mallory confirmed with me that she loves to snuggle, loves to be wrapped in a blanket as a tangible sense of connection and security.  Who doesn’t love a good snuggle?!

She “showed” me oranges, specifically the fruit and not just the color orange.  When I asked Lauren about this in our chat after the Reiki session, she burst out laughing.  Lauren and a friend were eating oranges in that room just the night before!  Messages like this are confirmation to me that Mallory was receiving the energy and communicating with me.  I don’t question the gift—I just embrace it and share it.

Our Reiki session closed with the theme of surrender and riding out the changes in life, as more are to come (soon!) to this adora-bun family.  Mallory is a protectorate and a symbol of strength for Lauren as much as Lauren is for Mallory— they are truly bonded souls with such a wonderful and needed balance for each other.  I am honored to share Reiki with Mallory and Lauren.  Thank you, my friend.