A word about Hurricane Sandy

Allegra, Ruby and the maple tree

What a difference a few days make. This photo shows Allegra and Ruby relaxing in our sunny bedroom last Wednesday. This evening, we’re preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy. Right now, it’s just raining a little, but we’re supposed to get high winds and heavy rain starting Monday morning, and lasting into Tuesday evening. Other areas to the east and north of us are expecting even worse conditions.

We’re as ready as you can ever be for an event like this. I only just returned from Atlanta last night, where I spent a fun-filled three days at Barkworld 2012, a social networking conference for pet businesses. I was a little nervous about not being able to prepare for the storm, especially after I saw numerous photos of bare store shelves on Twitter. When I arrived home, I found that a dear friend had stopped by and dropped off a large case of bottled water and batteries for me. I think it was quite possibly the most thoughtful thing anyone has ever done for me! This morning, I brought in all my deck furniture, cleaned up the leaves so they wouldn’t clog up the drains, and went in search of ice and non-perishable food.

Since Allegra and Ruby are raw-fed kitties, I stocked up on grain-free canned food in case we loose power and the frozen raw food goes bad.Continue Reading

Sunday Purrs: The Benefits of Stretching

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Stretching is an important part of healthy living: benefits range from increased flexibility and mobility to better athletic performance and decreased risk of injury. A regular stretching program has been part of my daily routine for more than 30 years. I’ve had minor back problems ever since I was a young adult, and twice daily stretching exercises have most likely helped save my back again and again.

And who better to teach us the importance of stretching than our cats? Have you ever seen a cat get up from a nap without thoroughly stretching first?

Stretching is actually an instinctive activity: most people stretch without having to be reminded before they get out of bed. It appears that our bodies naturally protect us from injuring ourselves by moving too fast after a period of inactivity. Depending on your age, and what kind of physical condition you’re in, you may find that even getting up from being seated at your desk for a long period of time will result in aches and pains unless you stretch first.Continue Reading

Allegra’s World: new window perch

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If you’ve read our blog for a while or follow us on Facebook, you’ve seen lots of pictures of me and Ruby on our window perch. It’s one of my favorite places to hang out, whether it’s for watching the world go by outside the window, or for a nice long snooze.

Last week, something bad happened to my window perch: Mom found a hole in it! It started out as a tiny little hole, and neither Mom nor I worried much about it, but it got a little bigger every day, and pretty soon, I could stick my hole paw through it. That’s when Mom decided we needed to get a new perch.

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I wasn’t all that sure I wanted a new one. After all, I, and all the kitties who came before me, had molded it into a perfect hammock shape, as you can see in this photo. But Mom said that the hole could turn into a hazard. I guess that’s one of those big words humans like to use when they’re worried that something bad might happen to us kitties. Like we’d be silly enough to get our head stuck in that hole. Mom really worries too much.Continue Reading

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Sunday Purrs: Silence

Allegra in the sun

Guest post by Angie Bailey

Have you ever met someone who veers toward the verbose side when a few words — or even silence — will do the trick? If you’ve met me, then you certainly have. I think my loquacious leanings are partly because I’m an extrovert, but also because I sometimes feel nervous and need to stuff empty space with words, no matter how trivial. When I find myself jabbering in circles, I’m typically met with either blank stares or polite smiles. And then I continue jabbering, because it feels safe to fill the gaps.

Cats are completely comfortable with silence; they even walk silently. What’s more peaceful than the calm quiet of a cat? Their eye and tail movements speak volumes without even once muttering a meow. I’ve certainly met some chatty cats; in fact, my Phoebe is one who isn’t afraid to speak. The difference is that when she speaks, it’s purposeful: she has a message to convey. I also have messages, but sometimes they could be communicated in fewer, more thoughtful, wordsContinue Reading

Sunday Purrs: Zoobiquity presents a vision of One Health

Zoobiqity cover

I recently reviewed Dr. Michael Fox’s book Healing Animals and The Vision of One Health: Earth Care and Human Care, a fascinating vision of a world where the healing of animals, care for the earth, and a revolution of our food and health care systems all work together to create One Health, driven by an integrative and holistic approach. I have since become very interested in this concept of One Health, and as a result, I was intrigued when I came across Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Teach Us About Health and the Science of Healing by Barbara Hatterson-Horowitz, M.D. and Katherine Bowers.

Zoobiquity is a simple idea—animals and humans get the same diseases, yet physicians and veterinarians almost never talk to each other.  Zoobiquity is a new approach to medicine that brings together human doctors and animal doctors to treat the diseases shared by patients of many species.Continue Reading

Sunday Purrs: The Colors of Autumn

 Ruby_maple_tree

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.

Ultimately, autum is about the inevitability of change.Continue Reading

Meeting Gwen Cooper, New York Times bestselling author of Homer’s Odyssey

Gwen_Coooper_Ingrid_King

As a writer, I love connecting with other writers, especially when they write about cats. But it’s not every day that I get to meet the writer of cat book that made the New York Times bestseller list less than two weeks after its publication. Homer’s Odyssey – A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned About Love and Life with a Blind Wondercat debuted at number 14 in September of 2009.

Homer's_Odyssey_Gwen_Cooper

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 store Continue Reading

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Advance praise for Purrs of Wisdom

Purrs_of_Wisdom_Conscious_Living_Feline_Style_Ingrid_King

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.

Christine Davis, the author and illustrator of Author of For Every Cat An Angel and Forever Paws:

Purrs of Wisdom, by Ingrid King, is a treat for anyone who is enchanted by all things feline! The book isContinue Reading

Sunday Purrs: making decisions

kitten_leaping_attack_cat

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

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Ruby’s Reflections: Birthday Girl

 

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