How did cats become such a huge part of your life? Were you born a cat lover or at what point in your life did they steal your heart?
I’ve always loved cats, but wasn’t allowed to have a cat as a child because the apartment building I grew up in didn’t allow pets. I got my first cat, Feebee, when I was in my twenties. He was one of those special soul cats. He was responsible for my love of cats eventually becoming my life’s work. I had become increasingly unhappy with my corporate job but had no clear sense of what I was meant to be doing with my life. Then Feebee took matters into his own paws, so to speak, and developed bladder stones. The time we then spent at veterinary hospitals for diagnosis, treatment, and surgery led me to change careers. I started volunteering and then working part time at veterinary hospitals, which eventually led to a full-time position managing an animal hospital. After eight years there, I left to start my own business, a Reiki practice for pets and humans, and eventually transitioned to being an almost full time writer and blogger, with my focus being, of course, cats!
Can you tell us about some of the fur babies that have shared your life? Which have left the biggest paw prints on your heart?
I already mentioned Feebee. After Feebee came Amber, the original Conscious Cat. She was with me for ten much too short years. Buckley joined Amber and me for an even shorter time, she succumbed to heart disease after only two years with us. I now share my life with Allegra and Ruby, two young, sweet, high energy tortoiseshell cats.
When Feebee died, I thought I could never love another cat as much as I loved him. And then Amber came into my life, and her quiet, gentle energy opened my heart to love again. Buckley’s exuberant and loving personality instantly won me over. And I love Allegra and Ruby so much – I think they all leave paw prints on our hearts in different ways.
What is a typical day like for you?
I’m an early bird, so I’m usually up around 5:30am. The first thing I do, of course, is feed Allegra and Ruby. Then I take my first cup of coffee to my office and check email, social media, and blog comments. I usually spend the mornings writing, often with some feline assistance. I take a break for lunch, and that includes an hour long walk most days. Since I’m such a morning person, my energy tends to drop in the afternoon, so I leave afternoons for work that doesn’t require as much concentration. I also still have an active Reiki practice. Most of my Reiki sessions are done remotely, and I usually do them in the afternoon.
What are some of your favorite cat books?
Oh, there are so many of them! Recent favorites are Gwen Coopers new novel, Love Saves the Day, and James Bowen’s A Streetcat Named Bob.
In your opinion, what makes torties so special?
I’m drawn to their beautiful coloring, but I’d have to say what really makes them special is their tortitude – that unique personality that most of them seem to share. Of the five torties I’ve had in my life (in addition to Amber, Buckley, Allegra and Ruby, there was also an office cat named Virginia, who introduced me to tortitude and who is responsible for my love affair with these cats), Amber was the only one who hadn’t read the book on tortitude. She was one of the most laid back, mellow cats I ever met.
Truffles: How did each of you come to live with your Mommy?
Allegra: my mom saw my picture on Facebook one day, and fell in love with me. She came to see me at the animal hospital where I lived while I was waiting for my forever home, and ten days later, I got to go home with her.
Ruby: Mom was looking for a friend for Allegra, and she saw my picture on the website of a rescue group. She came to meet me at my foster home, and I was being so adorable and cute that she just couldn’t help herself – she had to adopt me!
Truffles: What's a typical day like for you?
Allegra: We get up with Mom and wait for her to fix our breakfast. We’re pretty patient about that.
Ruby: Speak for yourself, Allegra! I wish Mom was faster with the breakfast routine. Sheesh, she does it every day, you’d think she could be a little quicker about it?
Allegra: After breakfast, we both take a little nap while Mom does stuff on the computer. Then Mom plays with us for a while before she has her own breakfast.
Ruby: Once Mom goes back into her office, Allegra and I usually take a nice long nap.
Allegra: I love when Mom takes a break for lunch! She brushes us and gives us treats!
Ruby: And we play! I like chasing you around the house, Allegra!
Allegra: Sigh. I know you do, Ruby.
Ruby: We take another nap, until it’s time to remind Mom to feed us dinner. Mom always plays with us before she feeds us. Weee!!! My favorite time of the day!
Allegra: Of course, all that time when it looks like we’re napping, we’re really helping Mom work. She’s called us her inspurration, and that’s hard work!
In the evening, we may help Mom watch TV, or we may just wait for her to get ready to go to bed.
Ruby: We love bedtime. We snuggle with Mom all night long.
Truffles: What are some of your favorite toys, food, treats, and napping spots?
We both love the DaBird, and the NekoFlies toys. We’re not picky when it comes to food, and eat pretty much anything Mom gives us. She feeds us really healthy food!
Allegra: We do love our freeze-dried chicken treats.
Ruby: Yes! Treats!
Our favorite napping spots are the window perch in Mom’s bedroom, and the top of the cable box. We alternate who gets which spot.
Truffles: Do you enjoy being blogging kitties? What do you enjoy/not enjoy about it?
We love it when Mom lets us write! We feel that it’s important to provide the cat’s point of view to our readers.
Truffles: Isn't being a tortie the greatest??? How do you flaunt your tortitude?
What do you mean “flaunt?” Tortitude is who we are!
Ruby: Mom calls me “crazy kitten” sometimes. I get what she calls the zoomies and race through the house and up and down cat trees and up and down furniture – it’s so much fun! Wee!!!
Allegra: Mom tells us we’re beautiful all the time. I think Ruby sometimes takes the whole tortitude thing a bit too far.....
Ruby: blows raspberry at Allegra.
Ingrid King is the award winning author of Buckley's Story: Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher and Purrs of Wisdom: Conscious Living, Feline Style. She is a former veterinary hospital manager turned writer. Her blog, The Conscious Cat, a comprehensive resource for conscious living, health and happiness for cats and their humans, has won multiple awards, including the 2012 Pettie for Best Cat Blog, and was named Best Website about Cats by About.com.
Ingrid lives in Northern Virginia with her tortoiseshell cats Allegra and Ruby. For more information about Ingrid, please visit IngridKing.com or ConsciousCat.com.
Buckley’s Story is a story about the important role animals play in our lives by teaching us universal lessons about opening the heart and living a joyful life.
This is the story of how one small cat changed the author’s life in ways she never could have imagined. In this warm-hearted memoir, Ingrid King shares the story of Buckley, a joyful, enthusiastic and affectionate tortoiseshell cat she meets while managing a veterinary hospital. When Ingrid leaves her job at the veterinary hospital to start her own business, Buckley comes home to live with her and Amber, another tortoiseshell cat who had adopted the author several years earlier.
Buckley is diagnosed with heart disease after only two years of living with Ingrid, and caring for Buckley through her illness only deepens the bond between cat and human. Interspersed with well-researched information about cat health in general, and heart disease in particular, the author describes the challenges and rewards of managing illness in a feline companion, and ultimately helping her through the final transition. Ingrid shares both the day-to-day joys of living with a special cat as well as the profound grief that comes with losing a beloved animal companion.
Buckley’s Story is a celebration of the soul connection between animals and humans, a connection that is eternal and transcends the physical dimension.
From help with every day challenges to inspiration on living a joyful life, this compilation provides encouragement, guidance, and enlightenment, feline style.
Whether it’s creating balance, navigating turbulent times, or finding the magic in life’s ordinary moments, there’s something for everyone in this book.
- The Healing Power of the Purr
- Making Time for Contemplation
- Routine as the Key to Happiness
- Purging Can Make You Purr
- Healthy Cats, Healthy Human
These essays are best enjoyed with a cat curled up on your lap.
Adventures in Veterinary Medicine: What Working in Veterinary Hospitals Taught Me About Life, Love and Myself:
The book offers a unique look at what really goes on in a veterinary hospital through the eyes of a former veterinary hospital manager, aka, yours truly. The book provides insight into what makes veterinary medicine such a rewarding profession through a series of stories about some of the pets I connected with during my twelve years working in the field.