Allegra’s World: overcoming fears

Allegra_tortoiseshell_cat_at_window

Hi everyone, it’s Allegra! Today, I get to brag a little. I wasn’t going to even write about this, but Mom is so proud of me, and she said if I should share with all of you how brave I was last week.

Those of you who’ve known me for a while probably remember that I used to be very scared of bad weather. I know lots of kitties are afraid of thunder, but my fears went beyond that. I even felt afraid when it rained a lot. The way that rain sounds against the roof and windows – oh, it was just so scary!

Thankfully, I have a good, safe place for riding out storms. There’s a small bathroom in our basement. It has no windows, so it’s nice and dark in there. There’s a shower stall with a curtain, and that’s where I hide: in the far corner, behind the curtain. It’s cozy and quiet there.

Once Mom realized that I was afraid of bad weather, she did all kinds of things to try to help me. She would come into the shower stall with me and pet me and talk to me softly. She would do Reiki on me. She would give me something called Rescue Remedy®. But I was still scared.

Then, about a year ago, she started to give me this magic water whenever the weather got bad. It’s called Stress Stopper. She’d rub it on my fur, and spray it in my safe space behind the shower curtain. During really bad storms, she’d do it every fifteen minutes or so.

And you know what? Gradually, I became less afraid. Now, when we have heavy rain, I don’t even bother going downstairs anymore. I’m still a little afraid of thunder, and at the first rumbles, I will head for my safe space, but most of the time, I don’t even have to be behind the shower curtain. I just hang out on one of the soft rugs in the bathroom.

This past Friday, my courage (and Mom’s too!) was really tested. Would Stress Stopper hold up to its promise? We had a line of severe weather moving through our area. For several hours, we had heavy rain, some hail, thunder, lightning, and wind. It seemed like every five minutes, another tornado warning was going up. Mom kept giving me Stress Stopper, and I saw her take some herself. Mom doesn’t like bad storms any more than I do. She just tries to pretend she’s not afraid, but I know better!

Mom couldn’t believe that I didn’t spend the entire afternoon in the downstairs bathroom, but the only times I felt the need to go in there was during the periods when we had thunder. The rest of the time, I pretty much followed my normal routine.

And if you’re wondering what Ruby does during storms: she sits by the window and watches all the craziness. She’s fearless. Well, almost. As you found out last week, she’s afraid of the vacuum cleaner. Ha!

It’s good not to be so afraid anymore. I’m so glad Mom discovered this magic water called Stress Stopper!

19 Comments on Allegra’s World: overcoming fears

  1. Julia Williams
    June 7, 2012 at 2:43 pm (7 years ago)

    Way to go Allegra! Thanks for telling us about this stuff and how it has helped you conquer your fear. I will have to check it out, because 2 of my 3 are immensely afraid of the boom from thunder and fireworks. My other cat, Mickey, is unfazed.

    Reply
  2. Oui Oui
    June 6, 2012 at 10:59 pm (7 years ago)

    That is something to be proud of! Just this week our mom reached down and petted our formerly feral kitty, and she didn’t shy away! Its taken almost two years to do that!

    We had really bad weather Friday too! And at least 9 tornadoes. You wouldn’t happen to be somewhere close to Maryland, would you? That’s where we are.

    Its nice to meet you. If you like the avatars, we posted instructions and links starting the day after Memorial Day if you want to try one of your own.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 7, 2012 at 6:19 am (7 years ago)

      That must have been a great feeling to be able to pet your feral after two years, Oui Oui!

      We’re in Northern Virginia, so yes, we are close to Maryland.

      Thanks for stopping by – I’ll check out the instructions on the avatars!

      Reply
  3. Bopeeps
    June 6, 2012 at 12:17 pm (7 years ago)

    Allegra you are one cool cat. There was a big thunderstorm last night. My big sis Lucy hid under the bed but I wanted to see all the excitement. I sat by the window like your sis Ruby and just watched. Such fun.

    Also,. Mom got out the big red devil yesterday. Mom says its nice because it picks up all our kitty hair but I still think its evil. I keep telling Lucy we could tag team it and take it down but she’s just a bit of a fraidy cat. But I still love her.

    Rikki

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 6, 2012 at 6:10 pm (7 years ago)

      Oh my, thunder and the big red devil on the same day? That’s an awful lot of noise, Rikki!

      Reply
  4. Laura
    June 6, 2012 at 11:16 am (7 years ago)

    Yeah! My female cat Harri that passed last fall was terrified of Thunder. Did you know they know make Thunder shirts for cats? My friend has one for her cat that has anxiety issues with new cats (she’s a frequent foster mom) and it works as well! I’ll have to tell her about Stress Stopper though!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 6, 2012 at 6:09 pm (7 years ago)

      I know they make the Thundershirt for cats, and I know it works for some cats, but I’m not entirely sold on it working for cats in general, Laura.

      Reply
  5. Esme
    June 6, 2012 at 10:22 am (7 years ago)

    Allegra that is just great. I am glad to hear you have found something that helps you with your fears. I wonder if it would work for me when I hear things that go bump in the dark.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 6, 2012 at 6:08 pm (7 years ago)

      It would be worth a try to see if it helps, Esme.

      Reply
  6. DebbieH
    June 6, 2012 at 10:18 am (7 years ago)

    I just received yesterday & started using their ‘Safe Space for Cats’. I really hope it works as well as yours did. We’re a multicat household & having a spraying problem.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 6, 2012 at 6:07 pm (7 years ago)

      Let me know how it works for you, Debbie.

      Reply
      • DebbieH
        June 6, 2012 at 10:34 pm (7 years ago)

        This is freaky, day two & we’ve noticed a difference already. No marking and no teasing of each other for over 24hrs! This is a last ditch effort. I’ll do an update next week to let you know if this lasts

        Reply
  7. Diane
    June 6, 2012 at 8:53 am (7 years ago)

    My kitty, Pooh, would sleep through thunderstorms! I was far more put out by them then she was. I use to pet her saying, “it’s ok Pooh” but she’d sleep on. It was more for my comfort than hers. But krinkle a paper bag near her and she’d be off running. Oh figure! She was very good at telling what was far away and not a threat and what was close and scary.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 6, 2012 at 6:07 pm (7 years ago)

      I think this is the first time I’ve heard of a cat sleeping through thunderstorms, Diane!

      Reply
  8. Anna
    June 6, 2012 at 7:38 am (7 years ago)

    Oh Allegra, I’m SOOOO proud of you!!!!
    And big kudos to your Mom for being such a great Mommy!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 6, 2012 at 6:06 pm (7 years ago)

      Aww, thanks, Anna!

      Reply
  9. Max the Quilt Cat
    June 6, 2012 at 5:54 am (7 years ago)

    That’s good you didn’t have to hide.

    Hope you have good weather for a while so you don’t need to worry about anything.

    pawhugs, Max

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 6, 2012 at 6:06 pm (7 years ago)

      The last few days have been gorgeous, Max – we’ve earned it! 🙂

      Reply

1Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Allegra’s World: overcoming fears

  1. […] Fear is a normal response to a threatening stimulus or situation. Without the fear response, neither cats nor humans would survive. Fear prepares us for fight or flight. While our domesticated cats don’t often deal with fear of survival in their environment, some of these fears may be hardwired. The good news is that, with proper support from their guardians, cats can get over their fears. Allegra used to be terrified of bad weather, but has come a long way in the past year in overcoming her fears. […]

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