March 6, 2013

The Wonderpurr World of Henry

Sometimes we meet someone who makes us ashamed we aren't doing more to help our fellow furkind. Henry aka @HenrysKibbles is that someone for me.

When I discovered my new friend Henry had only 3 legs, I thought... Whoa! A tri-cat! How cool! And then his meowmy sent my meowmy his story, and mom and me looked at Henry's website. He is one pawsome cat! Beyond pawsome. Beyond...dare I say it? Beyond wonderpurr!

Henry is in a class all by himself. I bow down to you Henry.

The following article was sent by Henry's meowmy, Cathy Conheim. Please meet Henry.






The Just Me Project

Why trust a cat?

In a project dedicated to healing, tolerance and overcoming obstacles what is the use of a three-legged cat, a two legged-dog and a poodle that fears she is invisible?

Increasingly we live in a fearful society.  We teach our children to be afraid of strangers, we teach each other to be afraid of our own language, and sadly, as a society we define our lives and actions in terms of enemies and danger.  The wounds we bear, whether tangible or intangible, cause us to fear further pain and to protect ourselves, often against imagined threats.

The Just Me Project recognizes that healing depends upon relationships of trust.  To develop trust beyond our vulnerabilities, we need to have a relationship with someone or something.  We all see children telling their secrets to a stuffed toy.  We adults speak to our pets in a different voice.  “Only my dog understands me” and “My cat is my best friend” are statements not about animals, but about trust.

The story of Henry, the three-legged cat, and Dolly, the poodle with the perfect life, is a story about the development of trust between species said to be natural enemies, between a demanding invading newcomer and a pampered, established sole pet, and between a kitten determined to be an adventurous cat and adults who thought that dog-lovers must hate and mistrust cats.  Henry and Dolly became real friends, adjusting to each other and eventually trusting the other’s nature to live companionably.


Children relate to Henry, the object of the story, as a symbol of overcoming challenges, of surmounting pain and disability, of refusing to be anyone but who he is and of convincing others to do extraordinary things. Henry, his two legged dachshund girlfriend Tink or Dolly become the transitional object of the child’s imagination. When they can hold an actual soft animal representation of each, the power of the transitional object is strengthened. If they trust Henry, and learn from Henry, then they can build relationships of trust with others.  We all have the ability to develop a unique trust with animals, children find it easy to transfer that trust to Henry as their virtual pet.

From this trust with Henry and his helpers, The Just Me Project is able to teach whatever lesson is necessary in the moment: it may be a lesson about disability, it may be a lesson about bullying or childhood obesity, and it may be a lesson about accepting others’ definitions of whom and what you are and can be.  Using the voice of Henry, these lessons can be broken into easily digestible “Kibble for Thought”.  Hate Is Learned and Play the Hand you are Dealt can be presented as Kibble, and because children trust Henry, they can absorb these lessons readily and apply them to their own lives.  If the kitten with the heart of a lion can teach it, children and adults can learn what they need to learn to recapture innocence and trust.

Why trust a cat?  Because the cat may be the teacher we need.



HOW TO USE THE STORY OF HENRY

The Book: What’s the Matter with Henry?  tells a story of overcoming challenges, of facing things that hurt and scare us, of being true to ourselves.  Use the story as you would any other storybook: “Once Upon a Time there was a cat without a home who had an injured leg.  In order to save his life, his leg was amputated and he moved from the forest to a home with people who did not know anything about cats.”
As the kitten tries to teach the humans who he is—an adventurer—and that they can learn to accept and love all that makes him different, ask the children “What would Henry do?” about various challenges.  

Stuffed Toys: Children and adults relate to Henry as a symbol of overcoming challenges, of surmounting pain and disability, of refusing to be anyone but who he is, and of convincing others to do extraordinary things.  Henry becomes the transitional object of the child’s imagination.  As the child understands Henry’s journey from victim to hero, that journey becomes a possibility in their own lives.  A stuffed toy or animal represents the power of that transitional object and strengthens that power as the child transfers the trust.  Introduce the toys by saying that where you come from, children have stuffed toys as their own very special friends to share dreams and secrets, they can hold on to them when things are scary and they can show them all the new adventures in their lives and share their feelings.  The children in America want the children in Haiti to have special friends too.

How, Where and When:  Tell the story in order to start a conversation.  You can begin the story anywhere: at a PlayCare site with a group of children, in a hospital with one child, or in any other location where adults and children gather.  Tell the story to ignite a sense of possibility.  Make sure that your audience knows that although Henry was a wounded kitten, he has the heart of a lion.  Emphasize that the three-legged cat discovers every day new and different ways to do things, that there are no limits that cannot be redefined and reframed.  Tell the story to evoke other stories.  Whether wounds are tangible or not, each person has a story to tell, and each person learns their own value and capacity by telling that story and having it recognized.  Healing takes place as we share our stories
Two unlikely lovers — a three-legged cat named Henry and a two-legged dog named Tink —
meet most unexpectedly, in classic Hollywood “cute meet” style.

click to play video
You must visit Henry's World website to fully appreciate just how amazing Henry truly is, and how he is helping to make the world a better place.

In the meantime...check out Henry's photo gallery. You can tell he has a truly wonderpurr life!

Henry and Tink enjoy a quiet cuddle





He can jump six feet straight up in the air, pretty impressive




4,000 of his books and workbooks have gone to our wounded returning from war

Happy St Patricks day

Just one more drink and I'm off to AA

Mom Cathy and Henry


Meet Henry's dedicated staff

Cathy ConheimCATHY CONHEIM (AKA MOM CATHY) – Founder, Philanthropist, Entrepreneur
Cathy Conheim, L.C.S.W., a psychotherapist in private practice for over 30 years, is the head of FOCUS, a personal and organizational consulting firm, as well as the Athena Foundation. Whether as a therapist, an organizational consultant, a public speaker, a workshop leader, a radio talk show host, or an author, she sees herself as an agent for change.
Ms Conheim is the creator of the Real Women Project (realwomenproject.org) and co-author of A Waist Is a Terrible Thing to Mind (breakthroughpress.com), as well as all the Henry’s World books. She dedicates countless hours to further its mission. She is one of the founders of the Just Me Project™, which is the non-profit paw of Henry’s World under the Athena foundation. Along with women’s health, dogs have been a passion of hers—somehow a cat crept into this picture.
Donna BrooksDONNA BROOKS, M.D. (AKA DR. MOM) – Founder, Philanthropist
Donna Brooks, M.D., is now retired. Dr. Brooks' personal life has centered on healing. She was first a physical therapist, then went on to become one of San Diego's most beloved and skilled Ob-Gyn.
Upon retirement, she became a sculptor and is now a recognized figurative sculptor. She has been a dog lover all her life. She is one of the founders of the Just Me Project™, which is the non-profit paw of Henry’s World under the Athena foundation.
HEATHER WOOD ION – Managing Director
Heather Wood Ion is the Managing Director of The Just Me Project™. She has created and reviewed curricula and educational initiatives from K-12 through graduate schools in five countries.
She is the author of two books, and has published over 280 articles. Her dissertation on social recovery after natural disasters has prompted participation in response to crises and disasters, and to designing programs for preparedness as well as intervention.
MERCEDES SIRONI – Staff
Mercedes Sironi has worked in educational publishing for the past twenty-five years. She is a native Spanish speaker and has translated the Henry and Dolly books. She designs educational activities and programs.

JO ANN HENDRIX – Staff
Jo Ann Hendrix is a key player in Henry’s World. She is involved in the administration, marketing, and development of Henry’s World products. She has worked in educational publishing and computing for over fifteen years.





As if that all wasn't enough...Henry also offers....

 ASPCA’s Cat of the Year, Henry jm, Releases Ouch! The World’s First Emotional Bandage!
click bandage

So, what do you think? Isn't our friend Henry an amazingly wonderpurr kind of kitteh? Make sure you stop by his website Henry's World and also tweet him hello @HenrysKibbles. Tell him Herman!!! sent ya!



Don't Mess Wif Me!