Fall has definitely arrived in my part of the world. While I enjoy the beautiful colors of autumn all around me, it’s not my favorite season – mostly because of what comes after. I don’t like cold weather, and I definitely don’t like snow. But this year, I’m determined to embrace autumn and enjoy the season for what it is, rather than viewing it just as a precursor to winter. After all, that’s what living in the moment is all about. I’m making a point this year to really notice the gradual changing of the leaves, and to appreciate nature’s beauty, rather than anticipate the inevitable journey toward falling leaves and winter.
Autum is a season of harvest and a celebration of abundance. It’s a good time to take stock of all you’ve accomplished this year, and take some time to really appreciate your own growth. It’s a season of contradictions: warm, almost summer like days alternate with chilly days and nights. It’s a reflection that our lives aren’t always predictable, that life can be messy, and that joy and sorrow are both part of life.
I first connected with Gwen Cooper online three years ago, and subsequently interviewed her for The Conscious Cat two weeks after her book made the NYT list. This past Saturday, I finally got to meet her in person. Gwen appeared at a local pet storeContinue Reading
There’s a lot of excitement that comes with getting close to a book’s publication date: working with editors, cover designer, book designer, and publisher. Final revisions. Spreading the word about the book. Lining up reviews and local events.
One of the most exciting parts about this stage is getting endorsements, also known as “blurbs,” for the book. What’s even more exciting is that this early praise comes from writers and editors who I greatly admire.
Do you ever have trouble making decisions? Perhaps you’re being too rational about it. Life isn’t all black and white, and a decision is rarely all right or all wrong. Contrary to the picture above, there really are no wrong decisions (although the kitten in the photo might disagree), there are only different choices. Additionally, very few decisions are irreversible. We always have the power to make a different choice.
Another reason why making a decision can be difficult is fear. Fear of the outcome, fear of how a “wrong” decision may impact our lives and the lives of those around us, fear of taking some risks. A fear-based decision is never a good decision. Fear limits. Fear is never truth. If you feel fear, remember to connect with your spiritual core and remind yourself that there is no room for fear when you are connected to your true self.
Psychotherapist and bestselling author Margaret Paul, Ph. D., writes in an article on The Huffington Post that “making decisions can be difficult, but we make it especially hard when we try to decide from our mind, Continue Reading
It’s my birthday today! I’m two years old! I’m all grown up now!
Mom still calls me her kitten because I’m still pretty tiny, but not nearly as tiny as I was in this photo, which is the one that Mom fell in love with when she first saw me on the website of the SPCA of Northern Virginia.
Even though I loved Mom from the minute I first met her, I was nervous about coming to my new home. What if my big sister AllegraContinue Reading
Ruby wants to know: when was the last time you played hooky?
There’s a reason it’s called a mental-health day. Studies show that taking time off, even if it’s just for a few hours, relieves stress, lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease.
Clearly, Ferris Bueller was right all those years ago: we all need a break now and then. Whether it’s catching up on some much needed rest, doing something fun to recharge our batteries, or just hanging out with our cats, sometimes, you just have to blow off work.
This can be challenging for those of us who are self-employed, especially if we love what we do.Continue Reading
It’s my birthday today! I’m three years old! I can’t wait to see what Mom and Ruby have in store for me today.
It’s hard to believe that I was ever this tiny. When I came to live with Mom, I was seven months old. The photo above was taken the day Mom met me for the first time.
My older sister Amber showed me the ropes. I know I probably drove her crazy. All I wanted to do was play, and she didn’t seem to understand that. I was sad when she passed away only five weeks after I arrived.
A little less than a year later, I got to be big sister to Ruby and show her the ropes. Continue Reading
Much has been written about the power of positive thinking and affirmations as tools to a better life. We may not be able to control the world around us, but we can control our thoughts, so why not choose positive ones? Another argument for positive thinking is that it sends out a happier vibration, and since most cats tend to pick up their humans’ energy, cleaning up your thoughts doesn’t just benefit you, it will also make your cats happy.
With I Create My World: The Power of Thoughts to Shape Our Lives, artist Connie Bowen has created a wonderful little book filled with affirmations and colorful, whimsical paintings. Even though the book is not a cat book, there are a couple of adorable cat paintings featured, which is why I decided to share this little gem of a book with you.
The book is aimed at children, and it’s a great way to introduce young children to the concept of positive thinking and affirmations, but I think adults will be equally delighted by this lighthearted approach to the topic. Continue Reading
There was a lot of excitement at our house last week when I was contacted by a British production company making a special for National Geographic, provisionally called “The Wild Side of Cats.” The program looks at the behavior of domestic cats and examines how that compares to big cat behaviour in the wild.
The production company came across a video clip that I shot of Allegra testing the new Imperial Cat Scratch ‘n Shapes Sofa Scratcher Chaise. I always knew Allegra was a world-champion scratcher, but apparently, her technique in the video clip is so perfect that they might use it for the special they’re filming.
Allegra hasn’t let her potential fame go to her head. She still deigns to spend time with Ruby and me, and aside from occasional remarks such as “I should be fed first, because I’m going to be famous,” she’s taken things in stride.Continue Reading
No one has to remind a cat to get plenty of rest. When kitty feels tired, she drops what she is doing, curls up and relaxes or dozes until her body feels ready to resume activity. Felines are masters at listening to subtle mental and physical cues. In a world where more is better, most humans still have a difficult time jumping off life’s treadmill and getting the rest their bodies require. Rest doesn’t always mean sleep (although sleep is very important); rest means taking both mental and physical breaks from activity.
I have always had the tendency to go-go-go and then fall into an exhaustive zombie state at the end of the day. I sometimes feel like if I don’t get everything done in a day, I am failing in some way. Sure, I usually accomplish a lot in a day, but at what cost? And who is telling me I “have” to check all the items on my to-do list? Me. I’m the one making the rules and I’m the one who gets to make moment-to-moment choices. As a longtime Type A personality, it’s been a challenge for me to loosen up a bit and consciously build downtime into my day. I feel guilty and think, “I could be doing XYZ instead of reading a book or taking a nap.” The truth is, I always feel refreshed, in a better mood and more mentally alert when I’ve chosen to break from the mad rush of the day. I am undoubtedly grateful I made the choice.
Cats don’t even have to think, “Should I stop birdwatching and take a nap?” Continue Reading
The Conscious Cat reached a milestone today: this is our 1000th post!
When I started this site three and a half years ago, I envisioned a rapidly growing site, but the actual growth has exceeded even my wildest dreams. In three years, we have 1000 posts, almost 27,000 comments, 7400 Facebook fans, and 1300 RSS and e-mail subscribers. But the numbers don’t tell the whole story.
I never could have envisioned the community of cat lovers this site created, both here, and on our Facebook page. None of this would be possible without you, our readers. I appreciate each and every one of you for reading, commenting, and sharing every day!
Conscious Cat readers are passionate about cats, and they’re passionate about providing the best possible life for their cats. It’s a privilege for me to be able to bring you all the latest information on cat health, nutrition and lifestyle. There’s nothing more gratifying for me than knowing that because of something I wrote, a cat’s life has been changed for the better.