Ruby

The Cat’s Trapeze

the cat's trapeze

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

Allegra’s World: Spring Play

Allegra beautiful tortoiseshell cat stunning markings

If you read my sister Ruby’s post last week, you already know that she’s had quite a few adventures. Ha, and Mom thought I was a handful when I was her age!

Now that the Pettie campaign is over, I have more time for other things again, but I have to admit, I liked having such an important job. Maybe Mom could run for something else. I think Ruby and I made a great team.

Mom said she’ll have some new products for us to test soon. Bring it on – I’m ready!

The nice thing about not having to work so hard is that I have more time for play. My favorite game right now is playing with these little plastic springs. Mom plays that game with us every morning after we’ve had our breakfast. She tosses them for us, and Ruby and I chase after them. Sometimes we play with the same spring and bat it back and forth, but most of the time, we prefer to have our own spring to chase.

Of course, since they’re small and bouncy, they frequently disappear under furniture. Part of the fun of the game is to watch Mom try to retrieve them, even if she’s not very good at it. Usually, she just goes to the closet where she keeps some of our toys, and gets out a new spring. So I’ve had to step in and get some of the springs out from under stuff.

As you can see in the video below, I’m quite good at it – I managed to find not just one, but two springs under the stove!

httpv://youtu.be/q6uQW-8X2RM

Ruby’s Reflections: Ruby and the Refrigerator

It’s my turn to write! Wee!!! Boy, do I have lots to tell you! I’ve had a couple of big adventures since I last wrote!

For starters, last week, I fell off the top of the refrigerator. Don’t worry, I’m fine. But see, I like to hang out there. The view from up there is awesome! I can see the kitchen, living room, dining room, and stairway. It’s so cool! And I like to roll around on top, and hang my head over the side and look at the world upside down. That’s what I was doing last week, when, all of a sudden, I started slipping off the side!

I was really scared, but thankfully Mom was in the kitchen and she saw me slip. She reacted quickly and grabbed me halfway down. I was so spooked that I wouldn’t let her hold on to me, and I landed right on top of a full glass of water that was sitting on the counter I was heading for. Yikes! Miraculously, the glass didn’t break, but I landed in the puddle of water it created when it toppled over, and that really creeped me out. Now I was scared and wet! I took off running. I didn’t even know where I was running to, I just wanted to get out of the kitchen!

When Mom finally caught up with me, I could tell she was upset. I didn’t do it on purpose, I just slipped! Then I realized that she wasn’t upset with me, she was worried that I had hurt myself. Well, maybe my pride was hurt – I felt a little silly. And I was wet. But otherwise, I was fine.  Allegra was watching the whole thing and I could tell she was alternately worried, amused, and relieved.

Mom told me that this was enough excitement for her for a while. But apparently, it wasn’t for me.

A few days after the great refrigerator tumble, I got myself in trouble again. I like playing in the bathtub. It’s fun to get behind the shower curtain and just walk around in there, and pretend that nobody knows where I’m at. I go there periodically throughout the day. Mom goes in there once a day, and I always wait for her right outside. When she goes in there, strange things happen, and I don’t want any part of that.

Well, the other day, Mom was in there. But I forgot that she was. I took a flying leap through the crack between the shower curtain and the wall, right into the tub. That’s when I realized that there was water falling from the ceiling! Lots of water! Eeeeek!!! I tried to jump back out, but lost my footing on the wet bottom. By the time I finally got out, I was really wet!

I wanted to get a far away from the bathroom as I could as fast as I could, so I tore through the house, trying to get away from the wet – except, the wet was following me! I finally realized that there was no way I could outrun it, so I sat down and started to try and dry myself off. By that time, Mom had caught up with me and wiped me down with a towel. I can’t believe Mom goes in there and stands under that water every day. Humans are just weird. Why doesn’t she just lick herself clean like I do?

Humans say things come in three’s, but so far, I’ve been a good kitten and haven’t gotten myself in any more trouble. Besides, humans say a lot of strange things. I know Mom is holding her breath, though.

That’s it as far as excitement around here goes. I’m really going to try to be a good little kitten. But I can hear a roll of toilet paper calling my name…

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Ruby’s Reflections: Fireworks and Vacuum Cleaners

kitten cat on window perch

It’s about time that I get to write on here again. Just because I’m little doesn’t mean I don’t have lots to say!

You’ll be happy to hear that I’ve refined my wake up tactics. I’m quite pleased with myself! In addition to bouncing all over the bed, I’ve now added chasing my tail to my repertoire. I dance and whirl around like a feline dervish (I have no idea what a dervish is, but it sounds cool), but I can never catch it! It’s a little frustrating, but quite entertaining! And evidently, it adds to Mom’s morning pleasure, because her groans get even louder than when I just jump up and down on top of her. Sometimes, she even participates in the game by giving me a gentle kick from under the covers. I love that! It makes me slide off the bed, and I jump right back on, and for good measure, I bite Mom’s toes through the covers! Wee!!! Sometimes, I get distracted because Allegra wants to get in on the game and starts to chase me out of the bedroom, so Mom gets a few extra minutes of sleep. Suck up! I think she just does it to earn brownie points with Mom.

We had some excitement the other night. All of a sudden, there were all these weird noises coming from outside. It didn’t sound like thunder, I already know what that sounds like, and unlike Allegra, who’s afraid of storms, that doesn’t bother me at all. But this was different – kind of a popping noise, followed by some swishy sounds, and then it sounded like sssssssss, weeeeee, ppppoooowww! I had to go see what that was! I ran to all the windows and looked out, but couldn’t see anything.  Mom said it’s called fireworks, and that it was coming from some neighboring yards.  Allegra, of course, was afraid of the noises and hidden away in her safe spot behind the downstairs shower curtain. Mom gave her her magic water (Ingrid’s note: Spirit Essences Stress Stopper has worked really well for Allegra’s fears of storms and loud noises), but she still wouldn’t come out.

I’m not afraid of anything! I’m a brave kitten! Bring it on! What? What did you say, Mom? Oh. Alright. There is one thing I’m afraid of, and that’s the monster Mom brings out once a week. She says it’s called a vacuum cleaner, but that’s far too kind a word for something that roars and eats small things that are on the floor. I mean, what if it eats me? I’m small! Oddly, Allegra isn’t afraid of the monster at all, she just sits a few feet away and watches Mom push it all through the house. I don’t get it. Maybe it’s because she’s bigger than me, and the monster can’t eat her. Thankfully, I found a place where the monster can’t get me: right on the very top of our big cat tree in the living room. I can keep an eye on things from up there, and keep a safe distance. So far, the monster hasn’t figured out how to climb.

And just so you can see what I have to put up with, here’s a video of me taking a leisurely bath (aren’t I just too cute!). And then – well, you’ll have to watch to see what happened!

Allegra’s World: Help from Flower Essences

Allegra The Conscious Cat

I can’t believe it’s been a whole month since I last wrote on here! Well, not exactly – Ruby and I told you about our tunnel adventure a week ago. That was really something! I’m happy to report that the evil tunnel has remained calm, and that we enjoy playing with it again.

Everything is good here. I really like having Ruby around and I hardly ever get annoyed with her anymore. I still wish she’d tone it down a little when Mom gets our food ready. You wouldn’t believe the screaming that’s going on then! Like Mom isn’t getting our meals ready as fast as she can. Ruby really needs to cut her a break. But, I guess that’s why I’m the big sister. I’m the patient one. It’s good to be me.

Speaking of food. A pet food company sent Mom some cans of food that Mom says they want her to write a review about. We mostly eat raw food, but about once a week, Mom gives us canned food, too. I like both kinds. I think Ruby does, too, although with her, you’d probably never know, I think she’d eat anything Mom puts in front of her. She’s also very interested in whatever Mom is eating.

But I digress. So these cans of food have been sitting on the counter for a couple of days, but neither Ruby nor I can figure out how to open them. I wish Mom would hurry up already and let us try them. I told Mom I should probably be the one to write the review, but she obviously hasn’t made up her mind about that. But one way or the other, you’ll see a review soon. (Or else, you’ll see a news report titled “Cat Figures Out How to Open Can” because it’s just too tantalizing to have these cans sitting on the kitchen counter, right where we can see them!)

The only thing that’s been happening that I’m not too crazy about is the frequent storms we’ve been having. They haven’t been bad ones, but I hate any kind of storm, even just a rainstorm. The sound of the rain hitting the house really scares me. I run downstairs and hide in the shower stall behind the curtain. It’s dark and quiet in there, and it makes me feel a little safer.

Mom has been giving me magic water twice a day (Ingrid’s note: I give her Safe Space for Cats by Spirit Essences), and when a storm is coming, she gives me even more magic water (Ingrid’s note: I either give her Stress Stopper by Spirit Essences, or a blend of Anxiety and  Animal Emergency Care by Green Hope Farm Flower Essences), and it helps make me less afraid, but during storms, I’m still not comfortable being anywhere else in the house except in my safe shower stall. Mom comes and checks on me frequently to make sure I’m okay and tries to coax me out, but I’d rather stay in my safe space.

What I don’t understand is why Mom can’t just make the bad weather go away. She can do everything else to make my life nice, why not this? I mean, come on, she can even open cans of food! Changing the weather should be a breeze compared to that!

Are you afraid of storms? What does your Mom or Dad do to help you not be afraid?

Allegra and Ruby’s Great Adventure

Alelgra and Ruby, The Conscious Cat

We had some excitement at our house the other day. I was working in my office when all of a sudden, I heard a strange noise coming from the kitty playroom downstairs. Now mind you, strange noises haven’t been all that unusual since Ruby joined our family and the girls started chasing each other through the house. They get so carried away that they occasionally bump into something or take something off a low shelf as they race by. In the beginning, I would go and check on them as soon as I heard anything unusual, but lately, I’ve come to realize that it’s just the new normal at our house. But that noise was different.

When I got to the top of the stairs, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Our crinkle tunnel had made its way halfway up the stairs, and it was still moving. All of a sudden, two cats came flying out of it in rapid succession, fur and tails puffed up as they scattered in opposite directions. But why don’t I let the girls tell you what happened.

Allegra: Ruby and I were playing in the kitty playroom. We were stalking each other – we love doing that! There are lots of places we can hide behind. We can lay in wait behind the bathroom door, or around the corner in Mom’s Reiki room. There’s also a big crinkle tunnel. It’s really great fun! I usually surprise Ruby when we play stalk each other. She’s not that good at paying attention, she gets distracted by all the toys that are everywhere in the kitty playroom.

Ruby: Not true! I always know exactly where she’s at! I just let her THINK that I don’t pay attention….

Allegra: Anyway, so the other day, we’re down there playing. I was crouched  behind the play house, watching Ruby. She crawled into the crinkle tunnel. Ha! Now I knew I had her. She’d never pay attention to me coming up from behind her, and she was too busy making the tunnel crinkle to even hear me approach!

Ruby: I was checking out the tunnel. I love the sound it makes when you walk in it. Crinkle scrinch crick crinkle – very cool! I admit, I wasn’t paying attention to much of anything except those fun sounds, so it really took  me by surprise when Allegra pounced on me from behind! Yikes!!! I tried to run out of the tunnel, but I couldn’t find the opening. Usually I just shoot out on the opposite side from where I went in, but the exit wasn’t there! Now what?

Allegra: I knew I’d get her! What I didn’t understand was why she didn’t run from me. Doesn’t she know yet that that’s how the game works?

Ruby: The front of the tunnel had collapsed, and I couldn’t get out! Allegra was behind me, so the only thing I could do was run forward. Now I didn’t just have Allegra chasing me, but the tunnel joined in the chase. All the cool noises weren’t so fun anymore all of a sudden. The tunnel had turned into a monster!

Allegra: I wanted to get away from Ruby and the tunnel, but I couldn’t! I got dragged along with the tunnel. It was awful! I yelled at Ruby that we needed to call for Mom to help us, but Ruby told me to shut up, we’d get in trouble.

Ruby: I just kept running – there was  no time to get Mom. The tunnel monster was out to get us!

Allegra: I was getting more and more scared, when finally, I heard Mom’s footsteps at the top of the stairs. But she was too late to help us. Ruby managed to break free and raced up the stairs. I wasn’t far behind her and I tore off in the opposite direction. I was really really scared!

Ruby: I was pretty freaked out, too. Mom tried to grab me, but I wasn’t having any of it. What if the tunnel monster was going to come after all of us? I ran underneath the dining room table. Allegra hid under the sofa.

Allegra: I could tell Mom was worried and just wanted to check us over to make sure we were okay, but I was way too afraid to let even Mom near me right then and there.

Ruby: My heart was pounding really fast and I was still pretty scared, but then I heard Mom shake the treat bag, and I came out from under the dining room table.

Allegra: I heard the treat bag, too, but I was still too scared to even think about treats, and I decided to hide under the sofa for a while. Ruby, of course, was over the whole thing already and was busy gobbling up treats. Mom tried to coax me out from under the sofa. I wanted to, but I didn’t trust that everything was safe quite yet. When I finally came out, Mom praised me for being so brave and gave me treats, and I did eat them. I started to feel a little better. I very cautiously approached the stairs and looked down. It looked like the evil tunnel had disappeared, so I slowly made my way down the stairs, one step at a time. I peeked around the corner. Oh no – the evil thing was still down there! Mom saw me, and gave me another treat. Huh. Okay. So maybe it was going to be okay to go downstairs after all?

Ruby: I wasn’t so sure about going downstairs, either, but there were other things to keep me busy upstairs, so I didn’t even bother. I chased a bunch of toy mice instead. Wee!

Allegra: I finally got up the nerve to go all the way downstairs, and then I sniffed every inch of that tunnel, and spit on it for good measure. There! That surely dispelled the negative energy that thing had taken on all of a sudden!

And there you have it – Allegra and Ruby’s great tunnel adventure. From my perspective, my biggest fear was that they would associate the experience with each other, rather than the tunnel, and turn on each other. This is why I immediately brought out the treats, so they could associate coming off of this scary experience with something positive. I wasn’t surprised at Ruby’s quick recovery, but I was worried about Allegra, who, even though she’s improved considerably, is still my little scaredy cat. I was very proud of how quickly she came out from under the sofa and proceeded to explore downstairs. Perhaps Ruby’s fearless nature will eventually help Allegra get past her fears just by example.

Ruby: It was actually kind of fun. Maybe we can do it again…

Ingrid: Don’t even think about it, missy!

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Ruby’s Reflections: Wake Up Tactics and the Stolen Shrimp

Ruby The Conscious Cat

Check it out, everyone! Mom had the blog header changed to include me! How cool is that! I love my Mom!

Allegra and I have been having fun. She’s an awesome big sister. I know I annoy her sometimes, but she always forgives me very quickly, and then we play together and chase each other around the house.

I also have fun with Mom! I love to entertain her! I think one of her favorite things is when I first wake up in the morning, and I bounce all over the bed, back and forth. It’s my way to slowly warm up for the day ahead. Can I help it if it also serves to get Mom out of bed? I’m not sure why Mom always groans when I do it, because it feels so good! Some mornings, just to add a little variety, I play with her hair, or bop her on the head. It appears that on those mornings, breakfast is served earlier – hmmm. If you’re wondering where Allegra is when I do this: she usually watches and quietly cheers me on, but then looks all innocent when Mom opens her eyes to see who’s making all the racket.

Another thing I love to do with Mom is share her meals. She doesn’t seem to want to share, though, so it becomes a challenge, which, of course, makes me want to do it even more. I jump up on the table where she’s eating to check out what she’s having. She picks me up and sets me back on the floor. I climb right back up on the table. She puts me back down. I figure eventually she’ll get tired of this and just let me have some of her food, but so far, that’s never happened.

I almost pulled one over on her last week, though! She was having shrimp, and the smell just about did me in. I wanted some so badly! And I got my opportunity, too! Her attention was distracted for a moment, and that’s all I needed. I grabbed a big shrimp by its tail and started to take off with it. Drats – Mom saw me before I got away, and took the shrimp from me. I was mad, and I let her know it – I growled at her! I caught myself right away, though. What was I doing? I was growling at my Mom, who I love! And since she’s the best Mom ever, she broke off a small piece of the shrimp and let me have it. OMC, it was soooo good! I could eat that every day!

I love that Mom never gets mad at me. I know she gets exasperated sometimes, and I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a high maintenance kitty. I love to be around Mom, on top of Mom, or at least near Mom all the time, and I make sure she knows it. I talk, chirp, mew and purr all day long! I know that the purr always gets her – even if I’ve just done something she may not be entirely happy about, if I roll around on her lap and purr, all is forgiven. Good to know.

Now you’ll have to excuse me. I need to go find my sister and wake her up from her nap.

Mom wanted to show you this video of me enjoying the sunny window perch in her office. Am I cute or what!

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The Conscious Cat got a facelift

cat with computer, The Conscious Cat

Since Ruby already has her own column, Ruby’s Reflections, here on The Conscious Cat, it was time to incorporate her into the design of the site as well. Allegra and Ruby wanted to redesign the header themselves, but having both of them on the computer at the same time did not seem like a good idea to me. It was much safer to ask our fabulous web designer Nathan Landis to help us out.

Amber, the inspiration behind The Conscious Cat, remains, and always will remain, front and center. Allegra and Ruby obliged with perfect poses on Amber’s left and right. In the interest of symmetry and balance, we made the decision to take Buckley out of the header. Since she has a special place on the site, smiling at us from her book cover just below the header, I think she would approve.

Allegra and Ruby give the new header design four paws up. What do you think?

Photo credit: istockphoto

Conscious Cat Sunday: Moments of Magic

Moments of Magic

That’s the thing with magic: you’ve got to know it’s still here,
all around us, or it just stays invisible for us. – Charles de Lint

Moments of magic happen every day if we allow ourselves to let them become visible. And they don’t have to be big, splashy moments, either. A perfect cup of coffee, first thing in the morning, can be magic. A walk in the park at sunset. An unexpected meeting with a friend. There’s a quiet joy in these moments of magic.

I had a very special moment of magic last week. The fact that it happened on my birthday made it even more special. I was reading, and Ruby was sleeping on my lap. All of a sudden, Allegra decided to join us. Now mind you, the two girls get along beautifully, but so far, there had been a limit as to how close to each other they were willing to get. But in that moment, Allegra jumped up on my lap, and settled down right next to Ruby. Ruby barely opened her eyes. Allegra started grooming herself, and gave one of Ruby’s paws a quick lick before curling up for a nap of her own. There they were, my two girls, on my lap, right next to each other! It only lasted a few moments, a noise outside distracted Allegra and she got up to check it out. But while it lasted, it was pure magic.

I didn’t have my camera nearby to capture my magic moment, but I thought you’d enjoy this shot of the two girls together from the other day. It, too, qualifies as a magic moment: a photo with both of them looking at the camera at the same time!

What magic moments have you experienced lately?

Allegra’s World: Meal Time

Allegra's World The Conscious Cat

I can’t believe I now have to compete with my sister Ruby for time to write on here!  Maybe I need to get my own catputer!

Even though I wasn’t sure at first what it was going to be like having a sister, and having to share Mom with her, I have to say that I really like having her here. She’s lots of fun to play with. I especially enjoy bopping her on the head.

Our favorite game is chasing each other, and I always win. Her little legs aren’t as fast as my long ones, but I pretend to let her win every once in a while so she doesn’t feel bad. That’s what big sisters do. Of course, she’s got a way to get me back for winning, and I haven’t figured out how to stop her from doing it. The little stinker vaults right over top of me! Sometimes, she does it when she’s on a mission to somewhere (don’t even ask what she’s so busy running around for, half the time, I think she forgets where she was going before she gets there!). Other times, she does it when we stalk each other. All of a sudden, it’s like she’s coming out of nowhere and there she is, jumping right over me! The nerve!

I have to say, though, she can be a little annoying when it comes to meal time. As soon as Mom goes into the kitchen, Ruby races in there after Mom and starts to scream her little head off! I know Mom always gets our meals ready as fast as she can, but it’s never fast enough for Ruby. The racket she makes! It hurts my poor  ears. Do they make ear plugs for cats? I’ve learned to just sit at a slight distance and watch her make a fool out of herself. Hasn’t she figured out yet that there’s always going to be enough food for both of us, and that it’s always served to us on time? And she’s not polite at all about waiting for Mom to put the dish down, she practically leaps at the dish before Mom even has a chance to put it on the floor. I’ve learned to accept that I get my dish second. I’m the big sister, so I guess I have to be okay with it.

Unfortunately, I’ve had to learn to eat faster than I used to. Ruby inhales her food, she’s just too immature to understand that savoring your meal is one of the great pleasures of a cat’s life. The first few days she was here, when she was done, she’d march right over to my dish, while I was still eating, mind you, and stick her head right underneath mine and start to eat my food! I was so fed up (hm – poor choice of words, because actually, I wasn’t full yet!). Anyway, I just walked away in disgust. Mom grabbed Ruby and held her so I could finish my dinner, but that wasn’t fun for anyone. So now I just eat fast.

We both sleep with Mom at night, and I really like that.  Ruby is respectful of my space, so we can both be snuggled up on opposite sides of Mom. It’s almost the best part of our day.

That’s all for today. I think I’ll go wake up my sister so we can play.