Allegra and Ruby’s surprise

Allegra: Ruby, do you know what day it is today?

Ruby: Of course I do, Allegra. It’s Mom’s birthday! Happy Birthday, Mom! Allegra, do you think she’ll get mad at us for sneaking into the computer room in the middle of the night to post this?

Allegra: I don’t think so, Ruby. I think she’ll like our surprise. We should do some other nice things for her today. You know how she always makes our birthdays so special?

Ruby: We should make her a tuna cake! Yay!Continue Reading

Tortoiseshell cats, one blog post, and 10,000 comments

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Today, The Conscious Cat reached a milestone I never could have envisioned, not even in my wildest dreams. Today, one single blog post reached 10,000 comments.

It all began on August 17, 2009, when I wrote a post titled Tortitude – the Unique Personality of Tortoiseshell Cats. The post features one of my favorite photos of Amber and Buckley, and rapidly became one of the most popular posts on this blog.

Comments began pouring in almost immediately. Turns out there were a lot of people out there who loved these cats as much as I did, and who were sometimes delighted, sometimes puzzled, and occasionally frustrated, with their strong personalities. Within a few months, a Google search for “tortoiseshell cat” showed the post halfway down the first page of search results. A search for “tortoiseshell cat personality” returned the post as the first search result.Continue Reading

Happy Mother’s Day 2012

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Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!

Wishing you purrs,
Allegra, Ruby and Ingrid

If you’re fortunate enough to still have your mother in your life, be sure to tell her that you love her today and every day. My mom passed away 18 years ago, and I still miss her. Even after all these years, I still feel a pang when I see Mother’s Day cards appear in stores.

Even though we never had cats when I was growing up, my mom was a cat lover. The apartment building we lived in did not allow pets, but luckily, whenever we went on vacation, somehow, every bed-and-breakfasts or rented vacation condo we stayed at would always have a resident cat or two, or there would be a number of stray cats hanging around the property. My mom and I both loved spending time with those cats.Continue Reading

Sunday Purrs: learn to be still

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It is the still, small voice that the soul heeds, not the deafening blasts of doom. –  William Dean Howells

“Learn to Be Still” is the fourth track on When Hell Freezes Over, the first album released by the Eagles in 1994 after a fourteen year silence. The album title is a reference to Don Henley’s comment after the 1980 breakup that the band would play together again “when hell freezes over.”

The song became my anthem that year.

1994 was an extremely challenging year for me: within a four-month period, my marriage of thirteen years ended and my mother died. After emerging from the initial shock and grief, I went through a period of re-examining my life and beginning my journey of finding my bliss. Those of you who’ve read me for a while already know that cats have been the catalyst (pun intended) for some very major life changes for me. What you may not know is that music is also very important to me. Continue Reading

Sunday Purrs: Finding Your Bliss

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I was recently interviewed by Julie Shubin, a labor law attorney and adjunct professor at George Mason University, for her labor blog Helitzer Blouse Girl: A Modern American Labor Journal, where she features a “day in the life” series of people from all walks of life. In her profile, Julie called me “a modern day renaissance woman, finding a way to fit all her passions into a small business.”

I was incredibly flattered by this description, because I don’t really think of myself that way. But as I thought about it a little more, I realized that I’ve been on a journey of following my bliss for more than two decades now. Since my current bliss  involves writing about and working with cats, and since cats played a significant role in finding that bliss, I thought I’d share a little more about my journey today.Continue Reading

Allegra’s World: Conquering Fears

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Hi everyone! Today, I get to brag a little about myself!

Those of you who’ve known me for a while may remember that I used to be really scared of loud noises and storms. It wasn’t just thunderstorms that scared me – even a heavy rain storm would make me run for one of my safe places.

I have a bunch of those. My favorite one is behind the shower curtain in the downstairs bathroom. It’s dark and safe down there, and I can’t hear the sound of the rain on the roof or against the windows. I also like to hide inside the kitchen cabinets (and before Mom discovered that hiding place, I scared her really badly when she couldn’t find me anywhere in the house one day).

I know Mom always felt bad for me when I got scared, and she tried everthing she could think of to help me. Continue Reading

Ruby’s Reflections: First Anniversary

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Today is my first adoption anniversary! I’ve been here with my Mom and sister Allegra a whole year!

I had no idea what to expect when Mom picked me up at my foster home. But look how happy Mom was that day! Even though I was really nervous about what was happening, her happy energy made me feel good.

Ingrid with Ruby

I know my new sister wasn’t too crazy about me when I first arrived. Mom broke all the rules of proper cat to cat introductions, and just let me out of the carrier when we arrived at my new home. I immediately started exploringContinue Reading

Sunday Purrs: spring cleaning

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Spring is a time of new beginning. Nature renews itself, at first slowly, like those first spring flowers peeking out from underneath the dull winter grass, and eventually bursting into full bloom as the days become longer and warmer.

Spring can also be a time for mental and spiritual renewal, and for this, we can take our clues from nature. It’s time to emerge from the darkness of winter, time to open windows and doors to let the spring breezes in, both physically and in a larger sense.

For many people, this is also traditionally a time for spring cleaning – there is something very satisfying about airing out rooms that were closed up for most of the winter months, clearing cobwebs out of forgotten corners, and getting the dust bunnies out from under the bed. Clearing the clutter and getting organized for the new season on a physical level can also help clear your mental and psychic energy. Cluttered environments drain our energy. Continue Reading

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Allegra’s World: Adoption Anniversary

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Today is my adoption anniversary! I’ve been in my forever home for two years now! Back then, I thought that day was the happiest day of my life for sure. But every day since then has been even happier, and things got even better when Ruby joined us last year.

I love my life! I love my Mom, and I love my little sister, even if she sometimes is a pain in the you know what. We have so much fun together, and Mom makes our lives so nice.

Look how tiny I was back then!

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When I first came here, my big sister Amber taught me how things were done in my new home. Continue Reading

Ruby’s Reflections: House Cleaning

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Hi, everyone! It’s Ruby! Mom says I have a “propensity to get myself in trouble.” I think that’s human speak for “I know how to have fun!”

The other day, I was helping Mom clean the house. I like almost everything about that, except for when Mom brings out the big scary monster. It’s this big blue thing with a long tail, and it makes this really scary noise. And it moves all over the house, and eats stuff that is in its path. I hide all the way in the corner of the living room behind an end table when the monster is running free, because I know it can’t get back there. I don’t know why Allegra isn’t afraid of that thing – she actually follows it around the house!

Other than the monster, though, helping  Mom clean is great fun. Allegra and I both like to bat at the lambswool duster. It’s like a big fuzzy toy, and we like to try and subdue it! I think Mom likes when we help her, because she always praises us, and we even get treats after the big monster goes away.

But the other day, I guess I did something Mom wasn’t thrilled with. She had sprayed something on a small stain on the carpet, and then turned away to grab a paper towel. I immediately went to investigate. There was some white bubbly stuff there that looked very interesting. I cautiously stuck my paw in it. Next thing I know, I hear Mom scream “Ruby, no!”Continue Reading