My Therapist Can Talk to Animals- Part 3
I was benefiting from my visits in several ways. I had a legitimate medical excuse to get out of the house and leave bedtime to my husband twice a week. I was being entertained and learning more about things I had no idea existed. I was often in a better mood when I left her office because her stories were so ludicrous. But really I kept seeing this woman because I needed her help getting a referral to a psychiatrist, or so I thought.
She was communicating, very slowly, with Tricare, my health insurance provider. She submitted a referral request by fax. I was waiting for the letter to arrive at my home that told me I had gotten a new referral, but it still hadn't come. Finally I called Tricare they told me that things were submitted incorrectly. I let her know and she resubmitted the request. It didn't work again. So finally she got on the phone with them and discovered that only my primary care provider at the military hospital could submit referral requests.
After this news, I felt less tied to our relationship. During our sessions I was sharing my feelings and thoughts about 1/3 of the time and the other 2/3rds Dr. Griffin was telling me stories about her other clients or about her cats. My interest in our sessions was waning. I didn't know how much longer I wanted to listen to her stories. She did make a point to ask me about my cat at every visit. I told her that he was still peeing outside the box. I had added a second litter box upstairs in my room on the spot he liked to tinkle, but he was going behind it or to the side of it to pee on the carpet. She was very interested in his behavior and wondered what I was thinking to myself when these accidents happened. She thought that somehow I had given him some positive affirmation that led him to believe he was doing the right thing. That he was listening to my thoughts.
Despite her suggestions, things were not getting better with my cat. He had decided to poop out of the box as well. She told me that since my cat was causing me mental distress she would like to visit with him at her home and just count it as a session. I was inwardly ecstatic! This was going to be legendary. Brady thought I was nuts for displaying hope that the appointment could help at all. I told him that we don't know for sure that this lady cannot talk to animals. That it wouldn't hurt. He agreed to watch the girls and one Saturday packed my little Cabello into his black mesh airplane ride carrying bag and headed out the door.
Every time I take my cat in the car, he cries, He cries until he vomits. So when I arrived at the doctors, he was not in great shape. She sees animal patients in a different location in her house than human patients, at the request of her own cats. We went to a door down some steps at the side of the house. When I opened the door, I was shocked. Inside was a room that was without odor, without cat toys strewn about the floor. It was a room that would pass as a room you could see patients in at a regular therapist office, like those I had been to before when I'd gone to therapy in the past. I was baffled as to why she ever saw patients anywhere else.
Dr. Griffin joined us and to be honest I was a little taken back to see that she could walk. I secretly imagined she was like one of those humans out of Wall E whose muscle mass was non-existent and had to use hover chairs, or in her case a rolling computer chair. I told her that Cabello had thrown up. She grabbed some paper towels so that I could wipe down his carrier and his fur. She requested that he stay in his carrier so that he felt more comfortable, less distracted, and more likely to communicate with her.
She told me that she was going to check his chakras again and did some in air massaging around the air of carrier. She told me that there was a little blockage around one of his chakras and that she would heal it. She told me that Cabello had a good self esteem and that he was grounded. She continued to move down his "energy body" and feel all his chakras, never once actually touching my real cat. Cabello sat there not doing much.
We began to discuss what I would like her to ask my cat. I told her that obviously I would like to know why he kept peeing outside the box. I wanted to know if he was okay with my two girls, after all for quite some time he was the baby. I wanted to know what could make his life better. I wanted to know what his favorite memory was. And which neighbor he preferred as a cat sitter, Svetlana or Claire.
What comes next still makes me smile. Dr. Griffin put one of her hands on her heart and extended her other hand towards my cat in the cat carrier. She closed her eyes and went silent. It was the darned silliest thing to witness and it went on for about 10 minutes total. The whole while Cabello was uneasy in his carrier, walking it circles, sticking his little cat nose up to the mesh trying to maybe break through and get to me. I thought how strange it was that if he were finally speaking to a human why he was not paying better attention.
Finally she opened her eyes and brought her arms down. "He did chose to communicate with me," she said. "When I made contact with him, I asked him to show me his favorite thing at your house. He showed me what looked like a red ball of yarn with lots of strings coming out of it." I had no idea what he could have meant. "When I asked him why he chooses not to pee in the litter box, he showed me a view out a back window. Down below the window were people raking leaves and laughing. There were also squirrels and dogs playing in the leaves. I think that your cat is angry that he cannot go outside." Okay, really?! "He says that he is fine with the girls. Just be sure that they are gentle with him." That's good. "When I asked what would make his life better, he showed me a swinging cat canopy hanging in an outside room of your house." Yes, I do have a screened room in the back of my house, but I don't think that I am gonna hang a cat canopy in there. "When I asked what his favorite memory was, he took me to a place where there are wood floors. There is a Big Wheels and the sound "clackety clackety". But he is not scared. He is watching from somewhere safe." Why the heck would that be his favorite memory? I cannot ever remember him enjoying watching my girls drive around the Big Wheels in the basement. "He prefers Svetlana to watch him when you go away" Good because I already asked her to be the one to do it.
From all this information, I was feeling doubtful. There is some information that sounds like it could have come from him, but I'm not convinced. She could have made all of this up. I decide to have her ask him something that is pretty straight forward. I ask her to ask him what is his favorite bed. She does the hand to heart and extended arm thingy again for a minute. "He showed me a bed on top of a train. There are curtains around the bed. There are stars above the bed. I see the colors turquoise, pink, and purple." What the Frack!!!! She might be going somewhere this time! My cats favorite place to sleep is on my daughter Aurora's canopy bed. She has glow in the dark stars above it and stores her trains underneath. Did she hid the jackpot this time? Is Cabello really communicating with her? Do I have to put up a stupid cat canopy in my screened in back porch?
This was my last visit with Dr. Griffin. My primary care doctor successfully put through the referral for a civilian psychiatrist. I started seeing Dr. Solo and she seems pretty normal as far as psychiatrists go. She suggested that I get a therapist with similar beliefs, which is precisely the information I left for Dr. Griffin in my breakup voicemail. I believe I uncovered the reason for Cabello's peeing. He has a sensitive bump that has grown on his head and therefore does not want to use the cat door or the door on the litter box. So that was an easy fix. But I can't help but wonder if anything Dr. Griffin said on that day actually came from my cat. After all, we have an Elmo puppet that looks exactly like a red ball of yarn with stings coming out of it ( :