Amy Tefft’s belief in the healing potential of energetic therapies on shelter animals began with a kitten named Leona. Declawed and then returned for behavioral issues, Leona was stressed and Amy wanted to help. A Google search of “how to handle aggressive cats” turned up videos demonstrating TTouch, a method of gentle circular touch designed to calm and establish a deeper connection between humans and animals. It was a game changer for Leona and opened up to Amy a world of ways to support and help heal frightened shelter cats. (She has worked her magic on dogs as well, including a terrified chi mix named Mario who came in on a transport last year. Staff were amazed at Mario’s transformation after he spent time with Amy.) A paintbrush and a feather are among her soothing tools, the paintbrush a remnant of her years in the interior design world.
Amy is also a seasoned practitioner of Reiki, for people and animals, and she has won over some dubious staff members with her on-site Reiki circles. “It’s all about the energy,” is her mantra.
She adopted her much-loved cat Tazmanian from St. Hubert’s in 2008, and began volunteering in the cattery a few years later. She started off cleaning cages, which in her view is a valuable first step to becoming more mindful of cat behavior.
A kind, compassionate and light-hearted presence in the cattery, Amy works to consistently support the individual needs of cats, and rejoices when they find their perfect home. When we caught up with her she was helping staff member Meredith plant containers on the outdoor “catio” with feline favorites like catnip.
Amy will tell you she has learned a lot from the cats and is grateful for St. Hubert’s and its people. We know it’s the cats- and all of us- who are the lucky ones.