Feline Lifestyle

The Naming of Cats

cat in the sun

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn’t just one of your holiday games. – T.S. Eliot

T.S. Eliot had it right in his famous poem: naming cats is a very important matter! Some of our cats come to us already named, and we keep the name because it suits, or because the cat already responds to it. Others come with names we don’t like,  so we choose a new name for them. Either way, most cat parents put a lot of thought into naming a cat.

And in addition to their given name, most cats have not just one, but a whole series of nicknames. Some of the nicknames may be so silly that we wouldn’t even admit to them in public, some are terms of endearment, and some are derived from a personality trait.Continue Reading

Helping cats in need is as easy as 1…2…3!

Petco National Adoption Reunion

On October 8 and 9, Petco is celebrating National Adoption Reunion.  The campaign is designed to celebrate adopted pets and the people who help them find loving homes. And you can help cats (and dogs, too) who are still looking  for their forever homes, and it’s as easy as 1…2…3! 

1.  Stories of Love.

Share  your pet adoption story and photo of your pet online and enter their sweepstakes between September 1- October 31. PETCO will donate $1 to pet adoption organizations nationwide for each photo uploaded and you could win great prizes. Visit petco.com/reunion to enter. Continue Reading

Favorite cat quotes

cat with flower painting

Quotations resonate with us because they can express the essence of a subject with a few, well-chosen words.  They may teach us something new.  And they can make us smile.

Not surprisingly, I love these literary tidbits.  Here are some of my favorites:

I love cats because I love my home and little by little they become its visible soul. – Jean Cocteau

There are people who reshape the world by force or argument, but the cat just lies there, dozing, and the world quietly reshapes itself to suit his comfort and convenience. — Alan and Ivy DoddContinue Reading

A tortie kitten named Ingrid

Ingrid the tortoiseshell cat

It’s not every day that someone names a kitten after you! I’m honored that Cheryl, a Conscious Cat reader and volunteer for Forever Home Feline Ranch in Springfield, IL, named this sweet little tortie after me.

Little Ingrid was a stray who was found wandering the streets of Springfield, IL. The folks from Forever Home Feline Ranch bailed her out of their local animal control shelter, and she is now safe with them. Ingrid would love to find her forever home and a family to love. She is very sweet and playful. She loves to be held and gives occaional love bites (she is, after all, a tortie!).Continue Reading

Adopt a “less adoptable” pet week

special needs cats less adoptable pet week

Black cats. FIV+ cats. Senior cats. Special needs cats.  These are just some of the factors that can make a cat seem “less adoptable.” To promote these special cats (and dogs, too), Petfinder has designated September 17 – 25 as “Adopt-A-Less-Adoptable-Pet Week.” I actually don’t like the term “less adoptable” at all, which is why I put it in quotes – I prefer to think of these cats as extra special.Continue Reading

Tips and Tricks for Photographing Cats

two cats sitting by a door

Every once in a while, you get a picture of your cats that’s just so purrfect, you can hardly believe you managed to get the shot. After I took the photo above, I literally danced around the room with joy.

Everything lined up just right. I had noticed the girls sitting very close together out of the corner of my eyes. I quietly snuck to my office to grab the camera, and equally quietly snuck back to where they were sitting, hoping that they wouldn’t hear me. Frequently, when I try to photograph them together, one or the other will walk toward me when they see me coming with the camera. This time, everything was perfectly aligned: the camera was in focus, they both looked at me at the same time, and I managed to get the shot in before one of them moved.Continue Reading

Are your cats prepared for an emergency?

cat in the rain with umbrella

September is National Preparedness Month. We recently experienced an earthquake and a hurricane here in Virginia, all within one week, so emergency preparedness has definitely been on my mind. It also made me realize how woefully unprepared I really am. Irene was one thing: at least with a storm, you get a few days advance warning and can think about what you need to do while you’re not in panic mode. With the earthquake, I truly didn’t know how to react, nor would I have known what to do to keep Allegra and Ruby safe. Now granted, earthquakes are not a common occurrence in my part of the world (the last time Virginia had an earthquake was something like 100 years ago!), but it still provided incentive for me to focus on making a plan and being more prepared in the future.Continue Reading

Happy Cat Month 2011

happy smiling cat

The American Veterinary Medical Association and the CATalyst Council are celebrating Happy Cat Month this September. Of course, here at the Conscious Cat, every month is Happy Cat Month – after all, that’s what we’re all about: “conscious living, health and happiness for cats and their humans!”

None of us here have to be convinced of the benefits of living with cats, but did you know that studies show that people who live with cats have a 40% less chance of having a stroke or heart attack? Of course, cats bring so much more into our lives than just health-protective benefits, and in return for making us happy, we all do everything we can to keep our cats happy.Continue Reading

Cats With Jobs

Bodge cats New York City

Here in the United States, we’re celebrating Labor Day today, so this post is dedicated to all the working cats out there.

I’ve had a number of working cats in my life. Virginia was my first office cat at the animal hospital I managed, followed, of course, by Buckley, as those of you who read my book know. Amber wasn’t so much a working cat as she was the inspiration behind The Conscious Cat, although who’s to say being a writer’s mewse is not hard work. Continue Reading

Moments of magic


two cats in the sun

The therapeutic benefits of pets have been documented by physicians, and scientist.  Pets can act as therapists, fitness trainers, and heart warmers. They lower our blood pressure, remind us to live in the moment, and keep us warm at night. 

And sometimes, pets grace us with simply extraordinary moments. I call them “moments of magic.” To qualify as a moment of magic, it has to be something that doesn’t happen every day. I’m not talking about the joy we feel when our pets greet us at the end of a long day, or the exhilaration we feel when we watch them play. I’m talking about those truly special, rare and, well, magic moments. 

I had one of those magic moments the other day. I was working at my desk. Ruby was on my lap, Allegra on the desk in front of the computer, just about sitting on the keyboard. (Working with two feline assistants isn’t always the most productive way to get things done.). Allegra touched her nose to Ruby (a sign of affection between cats), and Ruby gave her a slow blink in return (a cat’s way of saying “I love you.”) My heart melted. 

Now mind you, those two get along beautifully in general. They play and hang out together. They frequently touch noses throughout the day. But I’d never seen them exchange the slow blink until that day. That’s what made the moment magical. 

What magic moments have your cats given you?

You may also enjoy reading:

The cat’s purr: a biomechanical healing mechanism

Research says cats have healing powers

A magical journey to the Cat House on the Kings