Moki like any normal, or should we say, perfectly healthy cat or kitten, was definitely unsure of being placed in the water. Fear and dislike however our two separate emotions and Moki is perfectly capable of showing both. Whenever Moki dislikes something, or has had enough, he will tilt his ears back on his head to indicate he has had enough. The initial fear of being placed in the water is part of what makes this particular therapy work, at least for cats. Being placed in a body of water allows their natural instincts to kick in, and causes a normal, or perfectly healthy cat, to kick, or paddle in an attempt to get out of the water. This kicking and paddling, helps to strengthen Moki's muscles and flexibility, in a non-weight bearing setting, which in turn improves his range of motion and ability to walk, without straining any of Moki's muscles or joints.
With the life jacket on, Moki refused to paddle, so in an attempt to get Moki to move his legs, Rebecca removed the life jacket and held Moki. As you can see from the above video, this method did yield some paddling. Moki did however freeze up alot in this first session and part of that we believe is because Moki needed to overcome the fear of drowning. Moki has never been placed in even a bathtub of water so being placed in a pool, was a bit scary. Now that Moki knows that Rebecca and the water will not hurt him, we suspect his next appointment will go a bit better, and that it will be a bit easier for Moki to paddle his legs.
Since Moki was still getting use to being in the water, and wasn't paddling his legs as much as we would have like, Rebecca decided to take Moki out of the pool and place him in the water treadmill. The treadmill itself moves much to fast for Moki to be able to walk on it, so Rebecca left the treadmill off. Moki seemed to be a bit more comfortable in this environment since his feet could touch the bottom, and he could hold his head above water. Rebecca worked with Moki to get him to walk around and do a number of exercises.
Moki who was by now worn out from being in the pool and from all the exercises finally indicated that he had had enough. Notice the difference in Moki's ears. Despite meowing while in the pool, Moki never once put his ears back to indicate that he disliked it.While he was at first afraid to be in the pool, he worked through and with his fears. Just like with humans, physical therapy is not easy for the person or in this case, cat, going through it. Moki somehow seemed to understand that, and while he did not like being in the pool, it seems he knew that this was going to help him. It wasn't until the very end of his treatment, when he was physically worn out, that Moki finally expressed enough is enough...and his therapy session came to an end. After Moki's therapy session, Moki was given a nice shower. He now smells wonderfully clean...Upon returning home, Moki relaxed for awhile with Orange Boy and told him all about his experience...
Moki's next physical therapy/water therapy appointment is this coming Saturday. We will continue to bring you more pictures and videos, so you can watch with us, as Moki continues to show signs of improvement!!!
On a separate note, we still need to raise the money so that Moki can continue his therapy. If you haven't already done so, please consider buying a raffle ticket. Details about the raffle can be found on Deb and ML's Auction Blog. The money from this raffle will allow us to continue Moki's therapy in addition to help the kitties in need at Criz Cats Sanctuary. To all those who have already purchased a ticket, we can't express enough our thanks!!!