Cats and TraumaI ended Friday's post with the question: Can Sebastian and CJ experience trauma?
In the very excellent book, "Animals Make Us Human," Temple Grandin states that cats can exhibit high levels of OCD-like behavior triggered by anxiety and fear. This stems in part from the fact that cats tend to be very set in their ways, much more so than dogs, and don't always adapt well to new circumstances. They can go from calm to terrified in seconds -- she says it's because cats have very small frontal lobes, the part of the brain which functions as the "brakes" for emotions.
Listen to this:
"Cats get intensely attached to their homes, too. ... (they) can be obsessive about their surroundings ... A man told me that his indoor cat notices every tiny little change in the environment and will stand by a dripping faucet until someone comes and turns it off."
Now lay that template over what Sebastian and CJ have experienced in the past two weeks. Considering what they've gone through, it's really amazing they're adjusting so well to their new environments.
Testament, I think, to the great love and care their humans have given them.
Ironically, the book, "Animals Make Us Human" is the only book remaining from Amy's library. She had loaned it to me to read. I'm looking at the sweet face of a tabby cat right now, staring out from a book plate on the inside cover: "From the library of Amy Palmer."
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