Ingrid King is the award-winning author of Buckley’s Story: Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher, Purrs of Wisdom: Conscious Living, Feline Style and Adventures in Veterinary Medicine: What Working in Veterinary Hospitals Taught Me About Life, Love and Myself. She is a former veterinary hospital manager. Her popular blog, The Conscious Cat, is a comprehensive resource for conscious living, health, and happiness for cats and their humans. The Conscious Cat was named one of the Top 10 Cat Blogs Worldwide by Notey.com, and has won multiple awards, including DogTime Media’s Pettie for Best Pet Blog in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014, and About.com’s 2012 Readers Choice Award for Best Website About Cats. Ingrid lives in Northern Virginia with her tortoiseshell cats Allegra and Ruby. For more information about Ingrid, please visit www.ConsciousCat.com.
How did you get interested in cats? How old were you when you had your first kitty?
I have been a cat lover for as long as I can remember – my first stuffed toy, if memory serves correctly, was a cat. I didn’t have cats as a kid; the apartment building I grew up in didn’t allow pets. However, I would temporarily adopt cats for the duration of almost every family vacation. I grew up in Germany, and in those days, a typical vacation meant that you went to one place and stayed there for two or three weeks at a time. We stayed at small bed-and-breakfasts or rented a vacation condo, and somehow, at every place we stayed, we would either find a resident cat or two, or there would be a number of stray cats hanging around the property. The times I spent with these cats make up some of my happiest childhood memories.
I got my first cat when I was in my twenties. Feebee was a grey tabby cat who was born in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia to a cat named Blue, who belonged to a childhood friend of my former husband. We were living in Germany at the time, but we would be moving back to the Washington, DC area shortly, so Walt’s friend saved one of the kittens in Blue’s litter for us. Meeting Feebee was love at first sight for me. We took him home as soon as we had moved into our new house, and for the next fifteen and a half years, Feebee was the love of my life.
What made you want to start a cat blog?
I initially started The Conscious Cat to build a platform for my first book, Buckley’s Story: Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher, but it wasn’t long before the site took on a life of its own.
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What will a reader find if s/he visits your site?
The Conscious Cat features articles on cat health, cat nutrition, cat behavior, cat lifestyle, pet loss, and, of course, pictures of cats. We’ll bring you product and book reviews, as well as news from around the cat world.
We also share Purrs of Wisdom in our Conscious Cat Sunday columns: lessons in conscious living, inspired by the cats who share our lives. Other features include our Mews and Nips; fascinating feline stories from around the globe, and Allegra’s World and Ruby’s Reflections; written from the perspective of my two girls.
What is your favorite part of your blog and why?
I don’t think I can answer that – that’s like asking a mother who her favorite child is!
What are some of your goals with your cat blog? Any big future plans?
The Conscious Cat has rapid growth over the past year, and the plan is for that to continue to make it the internet’s premiere resource for cat lovers.
Tell us about your cats, their personalities.
Allegra is six years old. I adopted her when she was about seven months old. She loves people and is our official greeter when visitors come to the house. She’s affectionate, but on her own terms. She does not like to be held, but loves to be petted, and occasionally, she will even sit on my lap. Since it’s not a regular thing, it’s always such a wonderful feeling when it does!
Ruby is five years old. I adopted her at the age of approximately nine months, a year after I adopted Allegra. She’s a bit shy with new people, but comes around quickly. She still acts like a kitten, and has purrfected the art of the “zoomies” – racing through the house at top speed, for no reason at all! I call her my “velcro” kitten: if she had her way, she’d be permanently glued to me at all times.
Are you a one wo/man show?
At this point, I am.
What has been the most rewarding thing about having a cat blog?
Without a doubt, the community the site has created. I couldn’t do what I’m doing without my loyal readers and followers, and I love interacting with them through comments on the site and on our highly active Facebook page.