Buckley’s Story

Buckley and Thanksgiving Weekend: Forever Linked

buckley's-story

It’s hard to believe that it’s been eight years since Buckley passed away. Thanksgiving will always be associated with Buckley for me, and not just because Thanksgiving Day 2008 was the last full day I spent with her. It’s also because I am so thankful for the many gifts this gimpy little cat who captured my heart from the moment I first saw her brought into my life. Continue Reading

In Memory of Buckley

Buckley in front of the maple tree

Six years ago, on the Friday after Thanksgiving, Buckley passed away after a long illness. For all those years, I’ve always commemorated her anniversary on the Friday after Thanksgiving, regardless of the actual date. This year, the anniversary falls on the actual date, November 28, and somehow, even though it’s been six years, this confluence makes this anniversary more poignant for me.

Thanksgiving will always be associated with Buckley for meContinue Reading

See You at the National Capital Cat Show

National Capital Cat Show

I’m excited to announce that The Conscious Cat and Purrs of Wisdom are the Learning Ring Sponsor at the National Capital Cat Show! The show takes place September 7 and 8, 2103 at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, VA, right outside the nation’s capital.

The National Capital Cat Show is one of the largest cat shows in the country and features a huge selection of cat supplies, including cat toys, cat food, grooming supplies, and friendly people willing to help you with your cat questions. It’s truly a cat lover’s paradise.

Come visit us at our booth and purchase autographed and personalized copies of Purrs of Wisdom and Buckley’s Story. We’ll also have lots of fun freebies for you and your cat!Continue Reading

Remembering Buckley

Buckley relaxing

It has been four years since Buckley’s passing. She died on November 28, 2008, which was the Friday after Thanksgiving that year. Rather than observing her anniversary on the actual date, I will always mark this event on Thanksgiving weekend. Even though I still miss her every day, after four years, the sadness is tempered by appreciation and gratitude for the amazing changes she has brought to my life, and, through her book, to the lives of so many others.

Without her, I might not have become a writer. Without her, The Conscious Cat might not exist. Even though Amber inspired this site, its original purpose, in addition to sharing my passion for and knowledge about cat health, was to build a following prior to publishing Buckley’s Story. Most importantly, without her, my heart might not have been opened to the many wonderful lessons she taught me during her brief time with me.

Those of you who have read Buckley’s Story already know Continue Reading

Book review: Sketch People: Stories Along the Way by T.J. Banks

Sketch People T.J. Banks cover

Full disclosure: Sketch People is not a cat book. Sketch People is a collection of stories about people – about their work, their passion, and their experiences. But since the stories were compiled by T.J. Banks, author of some of the best cat books I’ve read, including Catsong and Houdini, there are quite a few cats woven into some of the stories. And I’m honored and delighted that one of the stories in the book is about Buckley and me.

Ingrid King and Amber

“Hooked on a Feline: Ingrid King and Buckley’s Story” was the result of an interview with T.J. Banks.Continue Reading

We’re the Tortoiseshell Sponsor at the National Capital Cat Show

National Capital Cat Show

I’m excited to announce that Buckley’s Story is the Tortoiseshell Sponsor at the National Capital Cat Show!  The show takes place September 10 and 11, 2011, at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, VA.  

The National Capital Cat Show is one of the largest cat shows in the country and features a huge selection of cat supplies, including cat toys, cat food, grooming supplies, and friendly people willing to help you with your cat questions.  It’s truly a cat lover’s paradise.

Come visit us at our booth, purchase autographed and personalized copies of Buckley’s Story, and enter a drawing to win an autographed copy of the book. We’ll also have lots of fun freebies for you and your cat!

Buckley's Story: Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher

And that’s not all! I’m also excited to announce that we will have a very special guest at our booth for the entire show: Dr. Fern Crist, the veterinarian you know from Buckley’s Story and from several articles here on The Conscious Cat. Dr. Crist will be answering your cat health questions.

We will also be selling healing gemstone cat collars and jewelry (for the humans) designed and handcrafted by Dr. Crist. The stunning designs incorporate Dr. Crist’s love of rocks and vast knowledge of the healing properties of gemstones, her artistic creativity, and her veterinary experience. 

The bracelet below is my most treasured piece of jewelry, and only one example of the gorgeous pieces Fern creates. She made this bracelet for me after Amber died. Each stone was selected for its healing properties for helping with grief, sadness and depression.

healing properties of gemstones Rock Spirit Design

The photo below shows only some of Rock Spirit Designs’ cat collars. Cat collars can be custom made to help with specific health conditions.

cat collars gemstones healing stones crystals

So mark your calendars, and plan to join us at the National Capital Cat Show! For more information about the cat show, please visit the official website of the National Capital Cat Show.

Buckley’s Story honored as Finalist in the 2011 International Book Awards

Buckley's Story: Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher

I am very excited to share the news that Buckley’s Story is an Award-Winning Finalist in the “Animals/Pets: General” category of the 2011 International Book Awards!

The International Book Awards honor knowledge, creativity, wisdom and global cooperation through the written word. Over 300 winners and finalists were announced in 140 categories. “The 2011 results represent a phenomenal mix of books from a wide array of publishers throughout the world,” says Jeffrey Keen, President and CEO of JPX Media Group. “Finalists and winners were chosen by a distinguished panel of industry judges who bring to the table their extensive editorial, PR, marketing, and design expertise.”

What makes awards like this one, and the 2010 Merial Human Animal Bond Award, which was awarded to Buckley’s Story last November by the International Cat Writers Association, so special is not just the recognition of all the hard work that went into writing the book.

It also means that even more people will hear about my little cat, and the way she changed my life in ways I never could have imagined. It means that her lessons will be shared with an even wider audience. It means that perhaps, somewhere out there, someone will find comfort in reading about my personal story of navigating through the devastating grief that comes with losing a beloved cat.

The spirit that was Buckley was endless love and joy. I can feel my little cat smiling now.

Torties, Friendship, and a Very Special Book Signing

tortoiseshell-cats

This has to be one of the more unique post titles I’ve ever come up with – but what transpired earlier this week was one of the most unique, and special, experiences of my life. Let me explain.

It all began on August 17, 2009, when I wrote a post titled Tortitude – the Unique Personality of Tortoiseshell Cats. It rapidly became one of the most popular posts on this blog. When you google “tortoiseshell cat,” “tortie cat,” “tortitude” and any number of other combination of these terms, the post pops up in the first three results on Google’s results page. Readers started leaving comments sharing stories about their torties. It rapidly became so much more than just a blog post. With more than 3500 comments to date, it has turned into a real community of tortie lovers. (Editor’s note: as of April 2012, the post had more than 9500 comments.)

About a year ago, a core group of tortie lovers began to post almost daily, and what started as an exchange of tortie stories turned into online friendships. We not only continued to share tortie stories (and anyone owned by one of these cats knows there’s always plenty of new material!), but we supported each other through life’s ups and downs.

ingrid-king-buckleys-story

There is Harry in Virginia, who, along with his wife Julie and daughter Rachel, volunteers and saves untold feline lives with Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation, and his tortie Brooke. There is Bernie in Western Pennsylvania, who had never had a cat in her life until a determined tortie named Steeler decided that she wanted to live with her. There is Jay in Eastern Pennsylvania, who taught his tortie Stirfry to trust humans again. There is Bernadette in Western Pennsylvania, whose two senior torties Kelly and Cookie grace some of her artwork. And there are many more: Glen in Canada, who rescued his tortie Kasey from a rough life outside a mechanical plant. Shannah in New York and her tortie Emma. Michael in Arizona and his tortie Honey. The list goes on and on.

With two exceptions, none of us had ever met in person. I had met Bernadette at the Cat Writers Association conference in November of 2009, and I had met Harry and his family at the National Capital Cat Show in Chantilly, VA in September of 2010. I had never met any of the others, and I never really expected to. Then Bernie, Jay and Bernadette decided that they would make the trip down from PA to come to my book signing at the Stray Cat Café, to benefit Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation, on April 10. As Bernadette put it in her write-up of the event, “On Sunday I took off for Falls Church, Virginia with a person I’d never met before to get together with a bunch of other people I’d met on the internet. Sounds like the sort of thing they tell you not to do, but I happened to know that each of these persons, including myself, owned at least one tortoiseshell cat, so I knew the worst we’d do is talk about what our cats did in the litterbox or deposited on the floor.”

ingrid-king-bernadette-kazmarski

Finally, we would all meet in person, after talking to each other on the blog for over a year. When Bernie, Jay and Bernadette arrived at the Stray Cat Café, it was like being reunited with old friends. The evening flew by. Harry and his wife Julie graciously invited us to their home for brunch the following morning so we could continue our gathering before the PA contingent headed home again. We spent a delightful spring day on Harry’s screened in porch, enjoying a delicious brunch, with five of his seven cats, including the lovely Brooke who started it all, hanging out with us.

This day will forever remain in my heart as one of life’s special memories. The time went by much too fast, and we all reluctantly said our good-byes.

stray-cat-cafe

All of us continue to marvel at how all of this came about. We couldn’t come from more diverse backgrounds. Our interests vary widely. Our love for our torties brought us together.

This day will forever remain in my heart as one of life’s special memories. The time went by much too fast, and we all reluctantly said our good-byes and sent the PA contingent on their way home.

Friendships can start in the most unexpected ways if you open yourself to the possibilities. In our case, we have Brooke, Steeler, Stirfry, Kelly, Cookie, Amber, Buckley, Allegra and all the others to thank for opening our hearts, and our lives, to new friends. I, for one, will be forever grateful for these wonderful cats, and the wonderful new friends they’ve brought into my life.

Photos, top to bottom:

Amber and Buckley, photo by Ingrid King
Julie, Ingrid and Harry, photo by Bernadette Kazmarski
Bernadette Kazmarski with me, photo by Renee Austin
Jay and Bernie, photo by Bernadette Kazmarski