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Thanksgiving ABC’s 2009

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Thanksgiving is a time to gather with family and friends, but it is also a time for reflection on the many things we have in our lives that we are grateful for.  Gratitude is a wonderful way to raise your vibration and shift your energy.  The vibration of gratitude is a powerful force.  It can shift your mood and your thoughts from a place of scarcity to a place of abundance.

I’ve come up with a whole alphabet of things I’m grateful for this year:

A – Amber, for her loving, wise and gentle presence in my life, for being the inspiration behind The Conscious Cat, and for reminding me to slow down and appreciate each moment.
B – Buckley, for opening my heart and changing my life in ways I never could have imagined, and for inspiring me to write her story so that her lessons can be shared with the world.
C – Cats – I can’t imagine a world without these wonderful creatures.
D – Dogs – my friends’ dogs, my Reiki clients – dogs are so much fun to be with.
E – Eating out – one of the great pleasures of life, especially when shared with good friends.
F – Friends – I am richly blessed in that area.  Since I no longer have any family left, my friends are my family.
G – Google – what did we ever do without it?
H – Health.  The fact that mine is excellent.
I –  Inner peace – when you have it, life makes sense.
J – Joy – it’s what we all strive for.  There is joy in life’s small moments, as well as in the big ones.  I’ve had both this past year – in spades.
K – Kindness – being kind to others, whether human or animal, is what matters most.
L – Law of Attraction.  It makes everything so simple.
M – Music.  Everything from classical to hard rock.
N – Novels – the best way I know of to escape reality for a little while at a time.
O – Openness – being open to new experiences allows life to grow and expand beyond self-imposed limits.
P – Passion – especially the fact that I finally discovered mine.
Q – Quiet time.  It’s essential for my personal balance and well-being, and I make sure to carve out time for it each and every day.
R – Reading.  I usually have at least two or three books going at the same time.
S – Social Media – I’ve made so many wonderful new friends, and reconnected with old ones.  What an amazing world we live in where keeping in touch is made so easy.
T – Tea on a cold day.  Current favorites:  Celestial Seasonings Sugar Plum Spice and Mandarin Orange Green Tea.
U – Unlimited possibilities – the fact that you can achieve anything you put your mind to.
V–  The color violet – this should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me!
W – Walking.  It’s the one exercise I’ve stuck with consistently for decades.  I love the combination of exercise and contemplation.
X –  No matter how hard I try, I can’t think of anything starting with X!
Y – You!  My readers, my friends – thank you for all you bring into my life.
Z –  Z-Rock (the tv show) and the real life band ZO2 whose lives the show is based on.

Writing this blog post and coming up with this list turned out to not only be fun, but a very powerful example of how focusing on gratitude can shift your vibration.  I encourage you to consider making a gratitude list for yourself this Thanksgiving.  What does your Thanksgiving alphabet look like?

Amber and I would like to wish all our readers a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Amber’s Mewsings: Keeping Mom Organized

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I know all of my fans have probably been wondering what happened to me – it’s been so long since I wrote something here.  I’ve been busy keeping Mom organized – things have been crazy around here!  Mom’s book about my sister Buckley (and me!  I’m in the book, too!) has been really well received and is generating quite a bit of buzz around the internet.  I’m so happy for her – I love it when Mom is happy, it makes me feel happy, too.

What I don’t like quite so much is that Mom is busier now, and there seems to be a little less time for reading, cuddling and watching tv.  She always makes sure that we have time together, and I really look forward to bedtime now and snuggle next to her all night long.  It seems to be the one time when I have her undivided attention!  But I understand why she’s busy, and that it makes her happy to be this busy.  And I try to do my part.  I sleep on the perch next to her desk most of the day because I know that my presence inspires her writing (see photo above – that’s me, being Mom’s Mewse).  I help with packing up books to mail to people – I’m really good at playing with the tissue paper she wraps them in (Mom says I mess up the tissue, but what does she know!).  I also remind her when it’s time to take a break and to give me a treat or to feed me.  It’s important that humans take kitty breaks every now and then.

I know underneath all this excitement, Mom is also a little bit sad, because it’s almost a year ago now that Buckley transitioned, and it brings back a lot of memories for her.  For me, too, I do miss my sister.   I’m just better at understanding that she never really left us, she just changed forms.  I still have long conversations with her and I know that she’s hanging out here with us all the time.  I only wish Mom would feel her more often.  She’s getting better at it, and I try to help her.

That’s all for today.  It’s time for another nap.  Being Mom’s Mewse can be very tiring.

Amber’s Mewsings: Amber’s Check Up Gets Postponed

 Amber's Sunday afternoon

I hope everyone had a great weekend.  Mine was excellent!  Mom had told me a couple of days ago that her friend Fern was going to come over on Sunday.  Now, don’t get me wrong – I love it when Mom’s friends come to visit, because they usually fuss over me and comment on how beautiful I am.  But Fern – well, she may be a really nice person, but she has one major flaw that I just can’t get past.  She is a cat doctor.  And she is my cat doctor.  Mom says she’s a great vet, and I believe Mom.  She was really really wonderful with my sister Buckley, because she really got Buckley.  She understood that, given a choice, Buckley would just as soon not have anyone poke and prod her.  Mom always knew that about Buckley, and it really helped Mom deal with Buckley’s illness to have a vet who respected not only Buckley’s wishes, but also my Mom’s.  You can read more about Fern and how she helped us during Buckley’s illness in Mom’s book.

But, I digress.  So, Mom, being the good cat parent that she is, knows how important it is that I have regular check ups.  And Mom, being the terrific Mom that she is, also knows how much I hate being in my carrier, and even worse, in the car, so she asks Fern to come to the house to do my check up.  It still means that Fern is going to examine me (what an innocent little word for being poked, prodded, and otherwise touched in ways that are so not acceptable!), and she’s going to stick needles in me to get blood and other bodily fluids that shall remain nameless, but at least it saves me the stress of having to leave my house.  But – as luck would have it, Fern couldn’t make it yesterday.  Gee – what a disappointment.  Not!  The cool thing is that this is the second time that something came up and Fern couldn’t make it.  What Mom doesn’t know is that I made this happen.  Twice.  I’m surprised she hasn’t caught on to me.  Mom totally gets that our thoughts create our reality.  Of course, cats have always known this. And clearly, we’re masters at living this.  I’ve been picturing a quiet, relaxing Sunday all week – and that’s exactly what I got!  It really can be that  simple, humans.  Now mind you, I could have focused my attention on thinking about not wanting Fern to come – and then, I can guarantee you, she would have shown up here yesterday morning.  Why?  Because the universe doesn’t know the meaning of the word no.  What you think about is what you get.  It doesn’t matter whether you think about wanting it or not wanting it.  So rather than letting any thoughts of Fern into my energy field, I focused on having the kind of Sunday I love:  me snoozing in the sunny spot on the rocking chair in our living room while Mom sits on the loveseat reading.   Life doesn’t get any better than this.

As for my check up – I know it’ll have to happen sooner or later.  But rather than wasting my time worrying about it, I’d rather focus on finding a sunny spot to take my next nap in.

  

Amber’s Mewsings: Cat of The Week

Photo Montage byLayla Morgan Wilde

I know it’s Saturday, and we don’t usually blog on weekends, but I told Mom that this called for a special update.  I was named “Cat of the Week”  on The Boomer Muse’s Cat Saturday Feature!  I think that’s so totally cool – I’ve been feeling just a little bit under-appreciated lately now that my mom’s book about my sister Buckley is getting all the attention.  I don’t begrudge Buckley the attention, and I love that my Mom has been so happy and excited since the book came out last week, but it does a feline good to know that she, too, gets her time in the spotlight.  Layla Morgan Wilde put together a beautiful photo montage of me – aren’t I gorgeous?  Mom says it’s not okay to brag, but I think that only goes for humans.  We cats aren’t shy when it comes to singing our own praises.

Anyway, go visit The Boomer Muse for the full story, and add it to the list of blogs you visit regularly, especially on Cat Saturday!

And I think that guy Domino is a really handsome boy…

Buckley’s Story – Release Day

Amber reading Buckley's Story

Even though Buckley’s Story has been available online for the last few days, I choose to make today the official release date.  Today would have been Buckley’s “birthday”.  I don’t know her actual birthday, so I designated the day she came home with me as her special day.  I think she would like the idea of her book being announced to the world on this day.

This has been a whirlwind week for me.  On Monday, I received the first softcover copy.  I can’t even describe the feeling of opening the package and holding an actual book in my hands.  I’m not given to overly dramatic displays of emotion, but I jumped up and down and danced around the house!  On Tuesday, the hardcover arrived.  I didn’t think it was possible to get even more excited than when I received the softcover the day before, but apparently, it was.  The hardcover is the most beautiful book I’ve ever seen.  Okay, so I may be a bit biased, but the glossy cover is perfect, the interior design and the photos came out crisp and nice.  The overall effect is exactly what I had hoped for.

My publisher had told me it would take four to six weeks for the book to appear on Amazon and BarnesandNoble.com, so when I got an e-mail from a friend Tuesday afternoon telling me he had just ordered the book online, I just about fell off my chair.  My hands were shaking as I entered amazon.com on my keyboard.  And oh my gosh – there it was!  My book.  On Amazon.  And on BarnesandNoble.com

The book will be available at bookstores nationwide eventually, but it’ll take a little while for that to happen. 

Meanwhile, as if all the excitement about the book wasn’t enough, my brand new website, http://www.ingridking.com, also went live on Monday.  This is my first professionally designed website, and I’m so happy with what my wonderful web designer came up with.  I feel that the site perfectly reflects me, and the book.

What an incredible week.  It still seems surreal at times.  And in the midst of all this joy, there is a bittersweet component.  While the book is a lasting tribute to my sweet little cat, it also makes me miss her all the more.  But since Buckley’s message is all about living a joyful life, I know she’s celebrating right along with me.

Amber’s Mewsings: New Camera

It’s my turn to write on here again!  Things have been pretty exciting at our house these last couple of weeks.  Mom’s book Buckley’s Story is almost finished and should be available online in another week or two.  Mom is eagerly awaiting her first copy.  I think she’ll probably start chasing the UPS truck down our street any day now, that’s how impatient she is to finally get her hands on the actual book.  The book’s website is almost finished.  I sat on Mom’s lap when she looked at the most recent design last night, and even though my sister Buckley is the star of the site, I have to say, it’s really beautiful.  I love that Mom is so happy – it makes me happy.

There’s been more excitement around here.  Yesterday, Mom bought a new camera.  And I’m sure you can guess who she took the first picture of.  She hadn’t quite figured out all the settings, so the colors don’t look quite right, but don’t you love how I positioned myself to help her get such a dramatic shot:

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I think it nicely depicts the depth of my purrsonality, the yin and the yang, the light and the dark – well, you get the idea.  Of course, after a while, all of this photo taking got kind of old – she kept trying to take more pictures of me, and all I wanted to do was take a nap.  Didn’t I suffer enough when I patiently sat through the professional photo shoot for her book cover?  You can read all about that experience here.  The things I will do for my Mom!

Fall has arrived here, and with it, the new tv shows have started.  Mom doesn’t watch a lot of tv, but she has some shows that she really likes, and now that they’re all back on, she’s been watching a little more tv than over the summer.  Buckley used to be her tv buddy – she’d spend entire evenings just stretched out on Mom’s lap or curled up in her arms.  I would occasionally join them, but I also like my space, so sometimes I’d prefer just sleeping somewhere else while they watched tv together.  But I know Mom misses having a tv buddy, so I’m doing my best to fill that gap for her.  So we’ve been cuddling and watching tv together, and I can see why Buckley liked it so much.

Mom likes to watch shows that she calls medical dramas – I don’t know why anyone would want to watch that, so many sad things happen on those shows.  Why humans find that entertaining is beyond me.  I can feel Mom’s energy change when she watches those shows, and sometimes, she’s so moved by the story that she even cries.  I don’t like that at all.  I know it’s only make believe, but I don’t like it when  Mom is sad.  I like it much better when she watches happy shows.  But I know she finds watching her shows relaxing, so I guess that’s good.

Well, that’s all I have to say for today.  It’s time for a nap now!

Nutra-Thrive-Cat

Amber’s Mewsings: Mom Goes to a Cat Show

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It’s about time Mom lets me write here again!  I have much to say, and all of it is important!  Maybe I should have my own blog – my friend Eva just got a blog of her own, you should check it out at Conversations with Eva.  Cool name for her site, huh?  Somebody sure gets that for us cats, it’s always about us.  Make sure you read The Beginning, the story of how Eva found her forever home.

Meanwhile, things are great here.  Mom was gone most of the weekend, she was at something called a cat show.  From what I understand, some people take their cats to these big places and they have to be really patient and well-behaved and they get shown and judged in something called a ring, and they win prizes.  Interesting concept.  Not something that appeals to me – I already know I’m Number One.  But Mom was really happy when she came home from that cat show place each evening, apparently lots of people are really excited about Buckley’s Story coming out soon, and when Mom is happy, I’m happy.  She also brought me a new catnip toy each day from a place called Mouse Factory.  Strange name, if you ask me, because none of the toys she brought home looked even remotely like a mouse, but wooeee, they are filled with heavy duty catnip!  I could smell that she had catnip with her the minute she walked in the door.  I immediately went to her bag and sat and stared at it until she took the toy out and gave it to me, then I proceeded to thoroughly lick it and cover it in drool.  Then I had to take a nap to sleep off my catnip high.  This was primo stuff, people.

Mom has been busy writing and getting everything ready for her book launch, and I like that she’s been home a lot.  Even though I may sleep in another room while she’s working, I still like knowing that she’s home with me.  This is so much better than when she was gone more than ten hours each day.

That’s it for today.  Remember – it IS all about you!

Amber’s Mewsings: Labor Day

Mom is taking a break from posting today, but she and I want to take a moment to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday.  This idea of a Labor Day holiday is a very strange concept to me.  What is this labor?  Cats don’t labor – cats just relax and enjoy life.  But I do know that resting and relaxing is very important for feline and human health, so this is how I’m going to be spending my labor day:
First, I'll lounge in the sun....
First, I’ll lounge in the sun….

 

....then, I"ll relax some more....
….then, I”ll relax some more….

 

Did you say dinner was ready?
Did you say dinner was ready?

 

Now I really need a nap!
Now I really need a nap!

Amber’s Mewsings: Buckley’s Story Cover

Amber

Yesterday was a really big day for Mom – she got the cover art for Buckley’s Story from the designer.  What do you think – do you like it?  Mom cries everytime she looks at it, and I get a little emotional, too.  It really brings my sister back to life, and it’s so cool that she’s on the cover of a book that’s all about her.  Well, mostly – I’m in the book, too, and I play a very important role in the story.   And since I’m also on the back of the book cover (in the photo with Mom), I guess it’s okay that Buckley gets the front.  Mom reads a little bit from the book to me every day, and I really like that.  It makes me remember all the wonderful times the three of us shared together.  I miss Buckley.

The other cool thing that happened this week was that the banner Mom ordered for the cat show she’s going to be at in three weeks came in.  It’s got my picture on it (the same one that’s the header for this site), and it’s really really big.  Kind of weird to look at a giant version of myself, but also very appropriate.  My greatness can’t be contained in just a small screen-sized version of the picture.  Maybe I can convince Mom to hang the banner somewhere in our house after the cat show.

In case you’re wondering what cat show, Mom will represent The Conscious Cat at the National Capital Cat Show on Saturday, September 12 and Sunday, September 13 at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Virginia.  If you’re in the greater Washington DC area, be sure to stop by the Whimsy Cats booth, that’s where Mom will be.  There’ll be lots of great cat health information (Mom really knows her stuff) and free cat goodies.  You’ll also have a chance to enter a drawing for a signed copy of Buckley’s Story!  I know this will come as a disappointment to all of you, but I’m not going to be there.  Mom said I wouldn’t like it, and she’s probably right.  Although it would be fun to meet all our fans in purrson.

“Tortitude” – The Unique Personality of Tortoiseshell Cats

tortitude tortoiseshell cat personality

Tortoiseshell cats are named for their distinctive coloring – a combination of patches of black, brown, amber, red, cinnamon and chocolate.  The size of the patches varies from a fine speckled pattern to large areas of color.  The term “tortoiseshell” is used for cats with brindled coats that have few or no white markings.  Cats of this coloring with larger areas of white fur are called calicos. Sometimes, these colors present in lighter versions such as lilac or cream.  Torties with this lighter coloring are called dilute torties.  Occasionally, the typical tortoiseshell colors are also seen in a tabby (striped) pattern, and these cats are sometimes referred to as “torbies.”

Tortoiseshell cats are almost exclusively female.  Tortoiseshell and calico coats are the result of the interaction between genetic and developmental factors.  The occasional and very rare male tortoiseshell cat is the result of a genetic mutation.

In addition to their distinctive coloring, torties also have a reputation for unique personalities, sometimes referred to as “tortitude.”  They tend to be strong-willed, a bit hot-tempered, and they can be very possessive of their human.  Other words used to describe torties are fiercely independent, feisty and unpredictable.  They’re usually very talkative and make their presence and needs known with anything from a hiss to a meow to a strong purr.  These traits are stronger in tortoiseshell cats than in calicos – it seems as though these traits are somewhat diluted with the addition of more white to the color scheme.

As of the writing of this post, I share my life with Amber*, and those of you who’ve followed this blog for a while have gotten to know her in her Amber’s Mewsings posts.  You will soon be able to read all about Buckley in Buckley’s Story – Lessons from a Feline Master TeacherThe photo above shows Buckley in the front, Amber behind her.

Prior to Amber and Buckley, there was another tortie in my life.  Virginia was the first office cat at the animal hospital I managed.  She was my introduction to torties, and my love affair with this particular type of cat began with her.  She, too, had the “tortitude” I so love about these particular cats.

Do you have a tortie or calico in your life?  Does she have “tortitude?”

*Sadly, Amber passed away on May 13, 2010, after a sudden, brief illness.  I now share my life with Allegra and Ruby, two tortoiseshell cats who have their own columns here on The Conscious Cat, titled Allegra’s World and Ruby’s Reflections.

Photo ©Ingrid King, all rights reserved

Tortitude banner for posts with border

Amber’s Mewsings: Mom Went Away for the Weekend

can I come photoshopped

Mom isn’t much of a traveler.  I think it’s because she really likes to stay home with me and misses me too much when she goes away – which I can totally understand, of course, since being with me is just the best.  She used to go away a couple of times a year, but all that changed last April, when my sister Buckley got sick.  Mom was really upset about it.  Buckley had to take a lot of medications, and the vet said that her heart was bad.  Buckley was a bit of a pistol when it came to taking pills, and I think Mom was worried that our cat sitter wouldn’t be able to give Buckley her pills.  I also think she didn’t want to leave Buckley, not knowing how much time the three of us would have left together.  We were such a team, it was hard to imagine we wouldn’t always be a threesome.  You’ll soon be able to read more about all of that in Buckley’s Story.  Anyway, after Buckley died, Mom was sad for a long time.  I did my best to comfort her, and I know she didn’t feel like being away from me.

But last weekend, she went away, just for the weekend.  My cat sitter came twice a day to take care of me.  She’s one of my favorite people.  She doesn’t just come to feed me (which is the most important part of her visit, don’t get me wrong!) and clean out my litter box (also very important, I’m a very clean cat).  She brushes me, and plays with me, and we watch tv together.    She’s really sweet, and I love her.  In between her visits, I mostly sleep.  I miss Mom while she’s gone, but I guess I understand that she needs to get away from everything every once in a while (well, not really, but I love her and if it’s what she wants to do, I’m okay with it).  She doesn’t do it much, so it’s fine.

It did make me think about how many cats are left alone when their moms and dads have to travel, especially over the summer, when humans do something they call going on vacation.   I don’t understand why you’d need a vacation when every day is just so wonderful that it makes no sense to me that you would want to get away from everything, but then, humans are hard to understand sometimes.   For cats, every day is a vacation day.  We get to sleep in, we have a servant at our beck and call all day long, our meals are served to us, we get to play when we feel like it.  Makes you wonder who the smart ones really are, doesn’t it?

I hope all the cats and their humans are having a great summer!