March 31 is an important day for Allegra, Ruby and me. On March 31, 2010, I met Allegra for the first time. The same day a year later, I met Ruby for the first time. I’m not even sure what to call this day. Meeting Day? First Look Day? At any rate, it was a day that changed three lives.
I found Allegra on the Facebook page of a lcoal animal hospital. I contacted the adoption coordinator, who told me that Allegra had just arrived at the clinic after living in a foster home, and that they didn’t really know much about her yet. I made arrangement to meet her. That March 31, I spent about an hour in an exam room with her. The photo above was taken that day. She was your typical ADHD kitten – discovering and exploring everything, whether it was a stethoscope hanging from a hook on the wall or a syringe cap on the floor.
She didn’t pay all that much attention to me, but I started to fall in love with her anyway.Continue Reading
Allegra and Ruby sleep with me every night, which makes bedtime one of my favorite times of the day. Most nights, Allegra joins me first, usually within a few minutes of me going to bed. Ruby tends to be busy at night and often has mysterious Ruby things to tend to before she joins us an hour or two later. But why don’t I let them tell you about bedtime rituals at our house.
Allegra: I love when bedtimes gets near – it’s one of my favorite times of the day, too! I can tell we’re getting close when Mom brings out the toothbrush and toothpaste. She brushes Ruby’s and my teeth, and then we get a treat.
Ruby: Yay, treats! I don’t mind having my teeth brushed, but the treat is the best! It’s really big, and before I eat it, I bat it all over the house! Wee!!!
Allegra has a very special toy. It’s not fancy; in fact, it’s an ancient toy that actually belonged to Feebee, who has been gone for twelve years now. She dug it out of the toy basket one day, and apparently decided that it was going to be her “baby.” It’s a soft, plush little stuffed mitten with a tail that has a pompon at the end. She never actually plays with it, but yet, it’s clearly very special to her.
She picks it up and carries it around the house, chirping and singing and sometimes yowling. It sounds a bit plaintive, a sad little cry, as if she had lost something. The first time I heard it, I thought she’d hurt herself! As soon as I look for her when she does this, she drops the toy and stops, which is why I haven’t been able to get a video of her with the toy.
Amber had her own version of this special toy: a green and tan fuzzy mouse that I got for her when she first came to live with me. For the entire ten years that she was with me, that mouse was her special “baby.” Like Allegra, she’d pick it up, carry it around the house, crying and yowling. Amber would often sleep with her “baby,” something I’ve not seen Allegra do. Continue Reading
I love looking at cat greeting cards, both online and in stores. And the more I look at cards, the more I find that there just aren’t a whole lot of tortoiseshell cat greeting cards out there, so I decided to create some! Allegra and Ruby, not being the shy sort, love the idea of being on cards sent to brighten someone’s day. And who doesn’t love getting a “real” card in this age of electronic greetings?
Well, sort of, anyway! On Thurday, January 19, Sandy Robins is hosting a special edition of her popular radio show Pawsitively Pets. Sandy’s only guest for this episode will be renowned animal communicator Dr. Monica Diedrich. She will be giving live readings for pet owners. And Allegra will be one of the animals she’ll “talk to.”
I was asked to submit a photo and questions for Allegra ahead of time, but I, or rather, Allegra, will have an opportunity on the show to respond. So tune in at 2pm Eastern/11am Pacific time tomorrow, Thursday, January 19, to hear what Allegra has to say to Dr. Monica! Click here to listen to the live broadcast.Continue Reading
When I first adopted Allegra in April of 2010, she came to me with some behavioral challenges, namely, play and petting aggression. Most of her play aggression was directed at me and demonstrated mostly by Allegra attacking my ankles every chance she got. The petting aggression manifested in a typical pattern of low tolerance for extended petting sessions.
These issues intensified after Amber passed away. I found myself with a single, high-energy only kitten (Allegra was seven months old at the time) while grieving the loss of my 12-year-old soul cat. I knew that one fairly simple fix would have been getting Allegra a playmate closer to her in age and temperament, but I wasn’t ready to even think about a new cat at that time. So I had to step up and work with Allegra and be her substitute playmate.
I consulted with Marilyn Krieger, the cat behaviorist who has a regular column in CatFancy magazine. Marilyn advised me on how to enrich Allegra’s environment and increase vertical space. She also introduced me to the concept of play therapy. I learned a lot from that consult, and began working with Allegra. Continue Reading
Allegra, Ruby and I are excited to introduce the 2012 Conscious Cat Wall Calendar!
After getting comments throughout the year about how much you enjoy seeing photos of Allegra and Ruby, we decided to bring you a collection of some of the best ones in a gorgeous, full color wall calendar. The calendar also features Amber and Buckley.
Tortie lovers, to my knowledge, this is the only calendar on the market that exclusively features tortoiseshell cats!Continue Reading
Hi everyone, it’s Allegra! It’s been too long since I last wrote on here! Things have been fairly quiet. Most of the time, when something exciting happens, it’s because Ruby gets herself in trouble. I’m beyond that kind of thing. After all, I’m a young lady now.
I’ve been spending my days following the sunny spots around the house, playing with Ruby, and of course, working. We help Mom test stuff so she can tell you about new products or treats. It’s a very important job, and we take it very seriously.
The favorite part of my day is when I snuggle with Mom. Now mind you, I’m not a lap cat.Continue Reading
When Kate Benjamin of Moderncat asked me whether I would like a Cat’s Trapeze for Allegra and Ruby, I was excited. I had visions of my two kittens flying through the air in an act rivaling anything Cirque du Soleil could put together.
Okay, no. It’s not that kind of trapeze. The Cat’s Trapeze is a unique product designed to provide active cats with an alternative to climbing the curtains and furniture. The sturdy cotton fabric withstands heavy use and the soft cushions provide a perfect place to nap.Continue Reading