I’ve previously written about the value of taking a break and playing hooky, and I do try to take my own advice. But there was something I hadn’t done in far too long: completely getting away from it all. Even though I love my life, and I love working from home, sometimes, a change of scenery and a complete departure from routine are just what the doctor ordered.

So last weekend, I flew up to Hartford, CT, and spent the weekend with three different friends in Connecticut. And with 20+ cats and kittens. I stayed at the home of my friend and fellow writer, T.J. Banks, on Friday. I had never met Tammy in person. There’s always a bit of trepidation when you meet an online friend in real life for the first time, but I needn’t have worried. We never once ran out of things to talk about, and we were comfortable with the occasional silence – a true gift when it comes to friendship.


And best of all, I got to meet Tammy’s cats – she has 10, plus a little foster kitten. I was particularly delighted to meet Phoebe, who was a contributor to The Conscious Cat in the past. Phoebe had a lot to say to me, so don’t be surprised if you see a future guest post from her. I shared my bed with four or five cats who came and went throughout the night. I was particularly charmed by Topaz, the senior gentleman of the family, who started out sleeping on the pillow next to me, but gradually made his way over to me and eventually slept with his head resting on my arm. My heart melted.


On Saturday, I went to visit Robin Olson, author of Covered in Cat Hair and founder and president of Kitten Associates. Robin and I have been friends for several years now, but I’d never been to her house. It was so much fun to meet all of the cats I’d seen featured on her blog all these years. One of the highlights of my visit was meeting Minnie and her babies of Squee TV, as previously featured on a special Mews and Nips edition. Another highlight was a wonderful dinner at a German restaurant near Robin’s home. I don’t get to eat German food all that often, so this was a real treat.


I shared my guest bedroom at Robin’s house with four of Kitten Associates’ foster cats – and much to my delight, all four of them slept with me on the bed on and off throughout the night! Bongo and George have since been adopted, but Barney and Bunny Boo-Boo, pictured below, are still looking for their forever homes. You can find out more about these two wonderful cats on Petfinder.

Barney and Bunny Boo-Boo with copyright

On Sunday, my friend Michaela picked me up at Robin’s house, and we spent the day together before I had to head home. Michaela and I went to high school together. There’s nobody else in my life who has known me as long as she has, and even though we may not talk or email for months on end, whenever we do get together, we pick up where we left off and it’s as if no time had elapsed.

I returned to Allegra and Ruby with a full heart, and I was more relaxed than I had been in months. I don’t think I realized how beneficial getting away from it all can be until I returned. From having fun to spending time with good friends to (almost completely) unplugging, the weekend was like a shower for the soul. I feel refreshed and rejuvenated. I have an new perspective on some issues that have been brewing for quite some time. And most of all, I have a heart full of  memories of a wonderful weekend spent with friends, cats and connection.

Photos top to bottom: with a store cat at a jewelry store, Phoebe, Topaz, Minnie and her babies, Barney and Bunny Boo-Boo. Pictures of Barney and Bunny Boo-Boo ©Robin Olson, used with permission, all other photos ©Ingrid King.

28 Comments on Conscious Cat Sunday: Getting Away From It All

  1. must have had such a wonderful time! this is something i may try to take as good advice from you 🙂
    i also love topaz!
    and the store cat..(…a bit unclear of the sweet kitty’s name? ..but mostly wondered if the sweetie got to come home when the store closed? i just love her/ his sweet face!!!
    all the cats lovable!
    i hope tammy’s foster kitty and robins-barney and bunny boo-boo have by now found forever loving homes! ..maybe if you know..or when they are adopted you can update?
    i can’t help but wonder…but so happy they have a LOVING home .. be with til adopted. btw..i bookmarked and have been to “kitten associates a few times…and ..robin..and all kitties mommies sound like WONDERFUL friends..
    oh-and seeing your longest known friend must have been awesome. -i have a friend just the same
    …so how were allegra and ruby when you opened the door?!? mommy!!!! . where were you ? 🙂
    sorry so long..but so glad you got away…do it sooner next time…(but not too soon..A and R won’t like that too too much eh? is shard for me to leave elizabeth for even 1 night.-soon .i will finally ..soon..will call to meet a sitter who was highly recommended..and who know-how..and gently will give her her meds ..and will be with her a bit-but doesn’t stay.

    this was a fun story! 🙂 so many great kitties!
    please…updates..if possible..?
    ~andrea and elizabeth

    • It was wonderful, Andrea, and even though it’s hard for me to leave Allegra and Ruby, I am trying to do it a bit more frequently. Barney and Bunny Boo Boo have been adopted. Sadly, Topaz passed away earlier this year.

      • i am so SO grateful for bunny boo-boo and barney!

        -t breaks my heart….about topaz ;(

        …may i ask what happened?

        i am SO very sorry to hear this…

        • tho-i am GLAD you will be going out more.
          i know it is something i have todo as well.
          ..i go out..of course – but..not overnight…
 has been awhile.

          happy for you 🙂 🙂

        • i assume it was old age…how old was topaz?
          honestly…did he pass on in peace…and with huge love?
          sorry, just took me by surprise…

          but..barney and bunny boo-boo made me happy <3

          just 2 more-and i say no more:
          the "store kitty" and -i hope she/he goes home at night?

          and the foster kitty with tammy…any luck?

          and most important: please send tammy a warm hug because of topaz. i know he was VERY loved…and …i love that!

  2. oh how sweet that sounds – especially after the past few weeks! We’re having a bit of a reverse version of that, as Connie from Tails of the Foster Kittens is coming to visit us tomorrow. It’ll be so nice to catch up with old friends and just unplug for a bit…!

  3. I was able to do the same recently and visit Baltimore to host my sister’s baby shower. But I also remained connected to cats. It was wonderful to see her two rescue cats, one of them that was a Riverfront rescue cat. However the change of scenery in a town founded in 1774 was the bigger treat and true escape from Miami. It does a mind and body good to retreat a few days. So glad you were able to do the same. Thanks for sharing.~~ Christine

  4. Thanks for sharing. I always enjoy it when I get to meet new kitties. Hope Ruby and Allegra were glad to see you when you got home.

  5. Your weekend sounded fabulous! Must admit I was so envious you got to sleep with George Glad to hear he’s in his forever home!

  6. That sure does sound like a wonderful trip. What fun to meet all those different cats. I love the look of the older cat at the first house you visited. He looks like such a gentleman. Glad you had a good time.

  7. How wonderful for you….*light bulb goes off*…..something I need to do for myself!!
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful adventure Ingrid!

  8. ***clapping paws**** for you! What a wonderful get-away!! I love that you went to visit TJ and you had never met in person. That is too cool!!
    And Robin’s cats? Purrfect!
    And your high school friend? You must be super refreshed and THAT is a GOOD thing!

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