Triple T Studios

New Family Member: Introducing Ruby

Ruby The Conscious Cat

The Conscious Cat has a new family member! Allegra and I are excited to welcome Ruby into our hearts and home. Well, right now, I might be a little more excited than Allegra, but considering that Ruby only came home yesterday morning, things have been going really well. Initially, Allegra was really mad at me for bringing this little intruder into her house, and she watched suspiciously as Ruby began to explore her new home. Whenever Ruby came too close for comfort, she made sure Ruby knew that Allegra was in charge!

By late afternoon, both cats were exhausted, and ready for a companionable nap in our sunny living room. I was amazed, and thrilled, that after less than six hours, they were that comfortable being in each others’ company. And yes, it’s almost uncanny how much alike they look. In the photo below, Ruby is on the floor, Allegra on the loveseat. On some of the photos I took yesterday, I actually had to look for identifying marks to tell them apart. Even though at eight pounds, Allegra is bigger than Ruby, depending on the camera angle, it was sometimes hard to tell!

Ruby and Allegra

I met Ruby on March 31 (coincidentally – or maybe no so coincidentally! – the same day I met Allegra a year ago). She was fostered through the SPCA of Northern Virginia, and lived with a lovely young couple and two big male cats. Her foster parents named her Cinnamon. The SPCA’s vet estimated her to be between six months and a year old – I’m leaning toward the lower end of that range, she’s tiny! She’s a total lovebug, in fact, her name in her initial vet record is Lovebug. She was found in someone’s backyard literally “asking” to be rescued. When the kind woman heard the little kitten crying, she opened the door and Ruby ran right up to her without any hesitation.

When I met her, her foster parents had just gotten home from work, so she was all wound up and eager to play. I spent about half an hour with her, and even though she was mostly focused on playing, she still occasionally jumped up on my lap. I just knew she was “the one.”

Everyone deals with loss at their own pace, and almost a year after losing Amber, I was finally ready to open my heart, and my home, to a new baby. I could have taken her home sooner, but wanted to wait until I had a few days in a row with few outside appointments so I could help Ruby settle into her new home and help her and Allegra adjust to each other.

Ruby is a very self-assured little kitten. She’s super affectionate – she likes to rub up against legs so affectionately that she tumbles over! I don’t think she knows how to play with other cats yet, the two big boys in her foster home were a little intimidating to her, but she’s able to endlessly entertain herself. Yesterday, she spent most of the day in my family room, which is really the kitty playroom. There’s no furniture, just cat trees, scratching posts, and toys everywhere. Allegra watched her every move, but didn’t participate in any play (although at times, it really seemed like she wanted to, but then she remembered that she was mad at me and the little intruder). After a while, they chased each other occasionally, and I’m hoping that as they get used to each other, they’ll learn to play with each other. In the meantime, I’m working on my hand-eye coordination so I can play with interactive toys with both of them at the same time!

She also had fun exploring stairs – her foster parents live in an apartment, so this was new territory for her. After the first few, somewhat klutzy, attempts, she now flies up and down both sets of stairs as if she had done it all her life.

Allegra is still withholding judgment as to whether all of this was really a good idea, but I’m sure you’ll hear from her in her own words in just a few days. And you never know, once Ruby settles in, you just might find her blogging here, too.

You can see wonderful “baby pictures” of Ruby (formerly Cinna), along with photos of her two foster “brothers,” on her foster parents’ photo blog.

Torties, Friendship, and a Very Special Book Signing

tortoiseshell-cats

This has to be one of the more unique post titles I’ve ever come up with – but what transpired earlier this week was one of the most unique, and special, experiences of my life. Let me explain.

It all began on August 17, 2009, when I wrote a post titled Tortitude – the Unique Personality of Tortoiseshell Cats. It rapidly became one of the most popular posts on this blog. When you google “tortoiseshell cat,” “tortie cat,” “tortitude” and any number of other combination of these terms, the post pops up in the first three results on Google’s results page. Readers started leaving comments sharing stories about their torties. It rapidly became so much more than just a blog post. With more than 3500 comments to date, it has turned into a real community of tortie lovers. (Editor’s note: as of April 2012, the post had more than 9500 comments.)

About a year ago, a core group of tortie lovers began to post almost daily, and what started as an exchange of tortie stories turned into online friendships. We not only continued to share tortie stories (and anyone owned by one of these cats knows there’s always plenty of new material!), but we supported each other through life’s ups and downs.

ingrid-king-buckleys-story

There is Harry in Virginia, who, along with his wife Julie and daughter Rachel, volunteers and saves untold feline lives with Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation, and his tortie Brooke. There is Bernie in Western Pennsylvania, who had never had a cat in her life until a determined tortie named Steeler decided that she wanted to live with her. There is Jay in Eastern Pennsylvania, who taught his tortie Stirfry to trust humans again. There is Bernadette in Western Pennsylvania, whose two senior torties Kelly and Cookie grace some of her artwork. And there are many more: Glen in Canada, who rescued his tortie Kasey from a rough life outside a mechanical plant. Shannah in New York and her tortie Emma. Michael in Arizona and his tortie Honey. The list goes on and on.

With two exceptions, none of us had ever met in person. I had met Bernadette at the Cat Writers Association conference in November of 2009, and I had met Harry and his family at the National Capital Cat Show in Chantilly, VA in September of 2010. I had never met any of the others, and I never really expected to. Then Bernie, Jay and Bernadette decided that they would make the trip down from PA to come to my book signing at the Stray Cat Café, to benefit Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation, on April 10. As Bernadette put it in her write-up of the event, “On Sunday I took off for Falls Church, Virginia with a person I’d never met before to get together with a bunch of other people I’d met on the internet. Sounds like the sort of thing they tell you not to do, but I happened to know that each of these persons, including myself, owned at least one tortoiseshell cat, so I knew the worst we’d do is talk about what our cats did in the litterbox or deposited on the floor.”

ingrid-king-bernadette-kazmarski

Finally, we would all meet in person, after talking to each other on the blog for over a year. When Bernie, Jay and Bernadette arrived at the Stray Cat Café, it was like being reunited with old friends. The evening flew by. Harry and his wife Julie graciously invited us to their home for brunch the following morning so we could continue our gathering before the PA contingent headed home again. We spent a delightful spring day on Harry’s screened in porch, enjoying a delicious brunch, with five of his seven cats, including the lovely Brooke who started it all, hanging out with us.

This day will forever remain in my heart as one of life’s special memories. The time went by much too fast, and we all reluctantly said our good-byes.

stray-cat-cafe

All of us continue to marvel at how all of this came about. We couldn’t come from more diverse backgrounds. Our interests vary widely. Our love for our torties brought us together.

This day will forever remain in my heart as one of life’s special memories. The time went by much too fast, and we all reluctantly said our good-byes and sent the PA contingent on their way home.

Friendships can start in the most unexpected ways if you open yourself to the possibilities. In our case, we have Brooke, Steeler, Stirfry, Kelly, Cookie, Amber, Buckley, Allegra and all the others to thank for opening our hearts, and our lives, to new friends. I, for one, will be forever grateful for these wonderful cats, and the wonderful new friends they’ve brought into my life.

Photos, top to bottom:

Amber and Buckley, photo by Ingrid King
Julie, Ingrid and Harry, photo by Bernadette Kazmarski
Bernadette Kazmarski with me, photo by Renee Austin
Jay and Bernie, photo by Bernadette Kazmarski

Allegra’s World: First Adoption Anniversary

Allegra's adoption anniversary

Today is a very very big day for me! It’s my adoption anniversary! A year ago today, Mom brought me home to live with her and Amber! I thought it was the happiest day of my life then, but every day since then has been even happier. I’m such a lucky kitten!

I was a little nervous that day, when Mom came to get me at Great Falls Animal Hospital, where I was staying. Oh yeah, and if you’re wondering how it was possible that Mom was able to resist my considerable cuteness and wait six whole days after first meeting me to bring me home – well, I got myself in a little trouble at the animal hospital. When the foster mom I had lived with before brought me there so more people could see me and so I could find a home (and didn’t that work out just beautifully!), the nice people at the animal hospital wanted to give me a good exam. And let me tell you, when  the woman in the white coat tried to stick something up my rear end, I wasn’t having any of it. I whipped my head around and bit her! That’ll teach her to stick things up unsuspecting kittens’ rear ends!

Unfortunately, humans have a whole bunch of stupid laws, and one of them says that if a cat bites a human, she needs to be quarantined and watched for signs of rabies for 10 days. Even though I was current on my rabies vaccination, Mom couldn’t take me home until the end of that quarantine period.

But finally, the big day arrived. As I said, I was a little nervous, but mostly excited. Mom had already told me that I would have a big sister. I looked forward to meeting her! I don’t think Amber was as excited about me coming home as Mom was, she hissed at me a lot and ran from me that first day. I didn’t let that upset me, and instead, proceeded to explore every inch of my new home. There was so much to see! The best part was that there were these huge big windows to look out! I could see birds and trees and people walking by, it was so cool!

By the time it got dark that first day, I was pretty tired from all the exploring. Mom said that she and Amber were going to bed, and showed me where that was. She said I was welcome to join them. Amber added “but remember your place, you’re the new kid here. I always sleep in Mom’s arms, and that’s not going to change just because you’re here now!” At first, I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to join them, but as the house got really quiet and dark, I jumped up on the bed with them. I wanted to be close to Mom, but I didn’t want to disturb Amber, so I crawled under the covers and wedged myself against the back of Mom’s legs. Oh, that was so nice! I felt warm and safe. I drifted off and dreamed happy kitten dreams that first night in my new home.

Amber and Allegra opening case of cat food

Things only got better. By the second day, Amber and I were already in cahoots, helping Mom unpack a case of cat food.

Amber teaching Allegra

By the third day, we were hanging out together. Amber taught me lots of stuff about how things are done in our new home.

Amber and Allegra birdwatching

I really came to love my big sister very quickly. We didn’t get to spend nearly enough time together. She got really sick and died just a few short weeks after I came home. I still miss her, and I know Mom does, too.

I never thought I’d find such a wonderful Mom and such a wonderful home. Every day I think it’s the best day ever, and it just keeps getting better and better! I am the luckiest kitten on the planet!

Allegra’s World: Peacock Feathers and Q-Tips

Allegra with Q-tip

When I last wrote on here, I told you about this cool game called The Muffin Tin Game that Mom played with me. But that’s not the only game Mom and I play together. We play all the time! I love it when Mom plays with me!

I have so many toys, I sometimes don’t know what to play with. How lucky am I! But I also like playing with things that aren’t really toys. Sometimes, Mom doesn’t seem to like when I play with those things. I don’t understand why I can’t bat the crystals she has in her office around on the floor. They’re so pretty and they sparkle in the sun!  Pretty irresistable for a kitten like me if you ask me. Another thing she doesn’t like is when I sit in front of the computer screen and bat at the little thing that moves around on the screen. Mom says it’s called a cursor, and she says she can’t work when I sit in front of her like that. Um, duh! That’s kind of the point! Mom said the thing she uses to make the cursor thing move is called a mouse, but it sure doesn’t look like any mouse I’ve every seen.

There are plenty of games Mom approves of, though, and I love all of them. I like it best when Mom plays with me. One of our games we play is with a peacock feather. Mom waves it at me and I bat at it and try to take it from her. I can play that for a long time. Great fun – wee!!!

My current favorite is the Q-tip game. I discovered Q-tips when I first came here. At the time, Mom had them sitting on the bathroom counter in a pretty glass jar, and I would just help myself. You can watch me play with them in the video below. But then one day, I knocked the whole jar off the counter when I was trying to get them out of it, and it broke. Mom wasn’t very happy with me. Now she keeps them inside the bathroom cabinet and rations them out to me. At first I didn’t like that at all, but then I realized that it actually was more fun, because now Mom plays with me when she gives them to me. Mom tosses two or three Q-tips and I don’t know which one to chase first! I run and dart all over the place trying to catch them. When I get them, I bat them around some more for good measure. So fun! Wee!!!

What kinds of games do your kitties like to play?

Allegra the Q-tip Thief

httpv://youtu.be/mP6DTtDnuwc

Pretty Litter

Allegra’s World: The Muffin Tin Game

Allegra window perch

Mom has been kind of sad and upset a lot the last few days. I was really worried about her, she’s usually so calm and happy. I want her to be happy! I tried everything to make her smile! I couldn’t understand why she was so sad. Mom explained that something really bad happened in a place called Japan. She said lots of people and animals were hurt, and lots died, and lots more are still missing. When she explained it to me, I got sad, too. I asked Mom whether there was anything we could do to help, especially to help the animals there. Would they have food to eat? Who would pet them and play with them and hold them and love them if they were lost and scared?

Mom said she wrote about how people can help the animals, but I said want to help, too! I told Mom I’d only eat half of my breakfast and dinner, and we could send the rest to the lost and scared kitties in Japan! Mom said that was very generous of me, but that it doesn’t work that way. She said the best we can do right now, in addition to praying for everyone there, is to donate money to groups that are going there to help find the lost animals and reunite them with their families. Those poor animals! I can’t imagine being separated from Mom. They must be so scared!

Mom said it would be nice if I wrote one of my columns. She said it might cheer people up to read about something happy, since so much of what they read right now is bad news. I can do that! So here’s what I’ve been up to.

I’ve been spending a lot of time on my window perches in the sun since I last wrote, and it seems like it’s light out a lot longer than it used to be. I like it! Smart kitten that I am, I have now figured out exactly where the first sunny spot in the house shows up each day, and I follow the sunny spots around for much of the day. Well, that is when I’m not busy doing other things. And there’s always something to do – I’m a very busy kitten!

When I’m not writing here, I keep an eye on the backyard, patrol the house to make sure all my toys are still in the right places (and if they’re not, I make sure to move them around), and help Mom work. I also like to look out our front windows and watch people walk their dogs. I kind of pity the dogs – they all walk on these long rope-like things that are attached to their humans. It doesn’t look like much fun to me. I wonder whether they have to wear the ropes inside their houses, too? I couldn’t imagine that. like running all through the house, free like the wind! Wee!!!

Do you know that I have the coolest Mom ever? The other day, she created a new game for me! She got the idea from one of her colleages over on PetConnection.com whose dog played the game, and Mom thought I might enjoy it, too. She says it’s called The Muffin Tin Game. Huh?

Anyway, she dug around in the kitchen cabinets and pulled out something from way far in the back that looked like a metal square with a bunch of holes in it. Mom said it’s called a muffin tin, and it’s used for baking. I wouldn’t know what baking is, I sure haven’t ever seen Mom do it! Next thing I hear is the treat bag coming out of the fridge. Hmmm… this was getting interesting. But Mom didn’t give me any treats – what was up with that? Instead, she put them in the holes of the muffin tin. Then she took a bunch of my toys out of the toy  basked and covered the treats. What – did she think I wasn’t going to find them???

When she put the whole thing on the floor, I immediately went to check it out, and got to work. Unlike Archer the dog, who managed to empty the whole muffin tin in less than 30 seconds, I took my time. I planned my strategy. I deliberated. I did not act until I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I don’t have to tell you that we cats are way smarter than dogs!

You can watch me play the game here:

httpv://youtu.be/1q8KXz4Yvbc

And yes, I did get that last one out! I just had to take a nice long bath before I tackled it. What’s the hurry? I guess Mom got bored watching me, because she stopped filming.

And now you’ll have to excuse me, I need to practice my acceptance speech for the Acatemy Awards.

Allegra’s World: Waiting for Spring

Allegra waking from her morning nap

I’m learning lots of interesting things about this thing Mom calls weather! The last time I wrote on here, I told you about all that white stuff that was falling from the sky, and how I didn’t like it at all. I also don’t like days when my sunny spots don’t appear (and I still don’t get why Mom can’t just make them appear, she can do so many other amazing things!). But last week, we had a really cool thing happen: sunny spots, and open windows! It was so warm, Mom left the windows open all day, and I could sit on my perches and sniff the breeze. It was so nice!

I could also tell that Mom was really happy when it got warm. Like mother, like daughter, I guess – she loves sunny spots, and she doesn’t like the white stuff, either. She said the white stuff is called snow, but I’ve heard her use some other words when she talks about it that she says aren’t fit to mention here on my blog. Oops, I mean Mom’s blog.

We got some more of the white stuff the other day – not a lot, but enough to make Mom mad because it messed up one of her book signings. It also messed with my kitten head again, because I’d already forgotten that it changes how everything looks when I look outside, and it scared me a little bit when I woke up and saw that things were white again outside.

Mom said soon it will be warm all the time, and we can have the windows open a lot. She says it’s called spring. I like spring – not just because it’s warm, but because it was spring a year ago when I came to live with Mom!

The other thing that happened since I last wrote was that Mom went away again. This time, I knew it wasn’t good when the black box came out. Yup, Mom left me again. She went to a Pet Writing Conference. I think she should have taken me with her. I am a pet writer, aren’t I? I’m a pet, and I write! At least this time, it was only for one night, and I had plenty of company; both Ronnie and Renee came to visit a couple of times, and, more importantly, to feed me! And this time, I knew that just because Mom went away, it didn’t mean it was going to be forever. I’m a big girl now, and I’m not as afraid of being abandoned as I was when I was little.

That’s all my news. Now I’m going to see if I can entice Mom to play with me and my current favorite toy, the Neko Flies. You can see me play with it here:

httpv://youtu.be/7t2f0Bxl6lM

Allegra’s World: Losing Power

We’ve had some excitement around here since I last wrote!  I was just going about my business yesterday when all of a sudden, there was this loud noise against the windows, roof, and side of the house.  I know what heavy rain sounds like, and I don’t like it at all, but this was worse!  Mom said it was sleet, she said it’s what happens when it gets so cold that the rain freezes.  I don’t know what freezing is, but I do know that that noise scared me, and I hid under the sofa.  As if that wasn’t enough, there was thunder, too!

But that wasn’t all.  When I finally came out from under the sofa and looked out the window, there was white stuff falling from the sky!  A lot of it.  Mom said it’s called snow.  I watched it fall, and everything outside changed really fast.  All I could see was white!   Lots of big white flaky things swirling around!   I tried to catch them, but my paw kept bumping against the window, so after a while, it stopped being fun.

And then, all of a sudden, just after I had finished my dinner, our whole house went dark, and very very quiet.  It was really strange.  This was a different kind of dark from how it gets dark when Mom and I go to bed.  Mom brought out a flashlight.  Oh, it was a new game!  I love flashlights!  I love chasing the dot of light!  Wee!!!  But she didn’t seem in a mood to play with me at all.  I didn’t understand, and chased the flashlight dot anyway, but it wasn’t as much fun because Mom wasn’t having fun.

Mom said that we lost our power.  I don’t know what this power is, but it seemed to upset Mom that it was gone.  She said there was nothing else to do but go to bed.  Silly Mom.  It was too early to go to bed!  I went back into the living room to look out the big window.  It was getting whiter and whiter out there.  All of a sudden, there was a really loud crack that sent me running for cover.  It got Mom out of bed, too.  I was wondering whether she would come hide under the sofa with me, but after she looked out the window, she said it was just a pine branch that broke off the tree outside.  She said I shouldn’t worry, we were purrfectly safe inside.  I decided to stay under the sofa just a big longer anyway.  Just to make sure.

Meanwhile, the house was getting colder and colder, and I went to join Mom in bed.  I figured she was probably cold, too, and maybe I could help warm her up a little.  I know she loves when I sleep right next to her, so I snuggled up with her.

A few hours later, Mom and I woke up to the sound of the heat coming on.  I felt Mom relax, and we both went back to sleep.  Then a horrible scraping noise outside woke me up – it sounded like the big scary trucks that come by our house a lot, only a hundred times worse!  Mom said it was a snow plow, and that it was moving some of the white stuff out of the way, and that I didn’t need to be afraid, but I wasn’t having any of it and I hid under the bed for a while.

Eventually, I jumped back on the bed to be with Mom.  When it started getting light out, we got up, and everything looked different!  So much white!  It almost hurt my eyes, it was so bright.  Mom said she had to go outside and shovel so that she could go away in her car.  I don’t like when she goes away in her car, so I told her she should just stay inside with me, but she went outside anyway.  When she came back inside, she was really tired, and mumbled something about being so over winter.  I don’t know what that means, but I was glad she was back inside with me.

But the best part of this white stuff so far has been that there are way more birds at our birdfeeder than ever before.  I’m having so much fun watching them!  I wish I could figure out how to catch them!  But that would mean I’d have to go outside, and I’m too smart for that.  I know that I’m a lucky kitty because I don’t have to be out in the snow and cold like those birds.

So that’s what was happening at my house.  Did any of you get that white stuff at your house, too?

Allegra’s World: Helping Mom Wake up on Time

Things have been kind of quiet around here since I last wrote, but Mom said I could write something if I wanted to, so here I am.  To tell you the truth, I think she just couldn’t come up with something new and interesting herself, so I’m here to save the day!  That’s what a good little kitten daughter does, she helps her Mom.

One of the things I’ve been particularly helpful with lately is making sure that Mom gets up on time.  Sometimes I think Mom doesn’t really appreciate how nice it is to have a kitten like me who can tell time as well as I can.  If it wasn’t for me, she’d have to set what humans call an alarm clock.  I know Mom has one, but she rarely uses it (because she has me!).  The few times she’s used it, it scared me!  It makes awful noises, and Mom doesn’t seem very happy when it wakes her up.  So I’ve found much more effective ways to wake her up, and I’m pretty creative and always come up with new, fun ones.

For example, I like to attack the headboard of Mom’s bed.  It makes a very satisfying noise when it bangs against the wall.  Unfortunately, after a while, Mom got used to the sound, and it didn’t really bother her enough to fully wake up, so I had to come up with something else.

It didn’t take me long.  Mom has  picture frames made of clear plastic sitting on her nightstand.  One morning,  I decided it might be fun to chew on the edges of the frames.  Hmm, tasty.  And fun!  It made a very satisfying, crunchy noise – and sure enough, it woke Mom right up!  She told me “no,” and even gently shoved me away from the picture frames, but of course, that required her to wake up all the way.  Ha!  Mission accomplished!  However, instead of being grateful that I found another way to wake her up, she simply put the picture frames away in a drawer from then on.  Humans are such spoilsports!

Not to be deterred, I quickly thought of another way to wake her up, and promptly tested it on her the next morning.  I jumped up on top of the dresser, and launched myself off of it and onto the bed.  Wee!!!  Very satisfying bounce, especially when I landed right on top of Mom!  Excellent!  I’m thinking short of moving the dresser out of the bedroom, she’s not going to be able to stop me from doing that!  Mom keeps explaining to me that she really doesn’t need help waking up, and that she wishes I’d quietly wait for her to be ready, or go play somewhere else in the house, but I think secretely she’s happy that I’m so good at this important task.

Other than purrfecting my skills as a feline alarm clock, I’ve been settling into a nice daily routine.  After I finally get Mom out of bed, I eat breakfast, then Mom plays with me, and then I watch the birds at the feeder on our deck.  It gets really busy out there!  Then I help Mom work by settling in for a morning nap next to her desk.  At lunch time, I remind Mom that it’s time for me to be brushed and then I get treats for being such a good girl.  I love being brushed now, but when I first came here, I wouldn’t even let her touch me with the brush, so she started giving me treats after brushing me.  Hey, I’m a smart kitten – it didn’t take me long to catch on that brushing was a good thing.  And now, in addition to getting treats, I actually like how being brushed feels.

After lunch, it’s time for a little more birdwatching, and then another nap.  By that time, on sunny days, the sun is right on Mom’s bed, and I usually spend the rest of the afternoon taking my nap there.  It feels so good to lie in the sun.  I really don’t like days when the sun doesn’t come out.  I’ve complained to Mom, but she says there’s nothing she can do about it.  I don’t know if I really believe that, because Mom is so powerful and can do so many things to make my life so nice, but so far, she’s not budging on this one.

So that’s it from me.  Life is good.  And now, it’s time for another nap!

Mom says my wake up tactics remind her of a Simon’s Cat video, and she thought you all might enjoy it.  After watching this, all I can say is Mom should consider herself very very lucky…..

httpv://youtu.be/w0ffwDYo00Q

Pet Bloggers Challenge

The Pet Bloggers Challenge was initiated by two members of the pet blogging community, Edie Jarolim of Will My Dog Hate Me? and Amy Burkert of GoPetFriendly.  I thought it would be a nice opportunity for some of you to learn a little bit more about why I blog and what my future plans are for The Conscious Cat.  So, I’m taking the challenge, along with other bloggers such as Romeo the Cat and Lorie Huston, DVM  at the Pet Health Care Gazette.  (Psst:  I was supposed to post this yesterday, but they’ve extended it until 11:59pm tonight, so I’m still good!).

So, without further ado:

1.  When did you begin your blog?

I started blogging on March 1, 2009 – we’ll soon be celebrating our 2nd anniversary!

2.  What was the original purpose for starting a blog?

The Conscious Cat was inspired by Amber, and my vision was for it to become a comprehensive resource for conscious living, health and happiness for cats and their humans.  I was already publishing my bi-monthly newsletter News for You and Your Pets, and I was in the process of writing Buckley’s Story.  Starting the blog gave me an opportunity to reach an ever growing audience of cat lovers who are as passionate about their cats and their health and happiness as I am.

3.  Is your current purpose the same?

Yes, absolutely.

4.  Do you blog on schedule or as the spirit moves you?

I usually blog three times a week:  Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays.  I keep an editorial calendar, but it’s very flexible.

5.  Are you generating income from your blog?

Yes.  The Conscious Cat Store features products hand-picked by me (and some are even approved by Allegra!).  I receive some income from carefully selected companies who advertise on my blog.  I only advertise products and services that I’ve either personally used, or that I believe will be of interest to my readers.

6.  What do you like most about blogging in general and about your blog in particular (bragging is good)?

I love to write!  I’m passionate about educating cat owners about feline health and nutrition, and blogging gives me an easy way to reach a wide audience.  I love the community blogging builds – from fellow pet bloggers to my readers, I’ve “met” so many wonderful people through this blog.  One absolutely amazing “by-product” of this site has been the community of tortie lovers created by my post Tortitude – The Unique Personality of Tortoiseshell Cats.  I wrote the post in August of 2009, and it’s generated more than 1400 comments as of this writing!  The thread has become a place for afficionados of cats with this particular coloring to gather and exchange stories about their cats, and the friendships that have formed as a result are something I never expected when I started this site.

7.  What do you like least?

The days when inspiration is slow to come.  Coming up with original content on an ongoing basis, and meeting my own high standards for that content, can sometimes be a challenge.

8.  How do you see your blog changing or growing in 2011?

I’m hoping that the rapid growth I’ve seen over the past year will continue (and I wouldn’t complain if it magically went viral overnight, either!).    I’ll continue to expand the topics I’m presenting.  I’m looking forward to hosting exciting guest bloggers.   I have some great giveaways planned.  And most of all, I’m looking forward to all the comments I get from my readers each and every day.