DogTime interviews Ingrid King of Conscious Cat, winner of the 2011 Petties Award for Best Overall Pet Blog. Congratulations, Ingrid!
DogTime: Who or what is the inspiration for your blog?
Ingrid King: The Conscious Cat was inspired by Amber, who was the original conscious cat. She was a wise old soul in a feline body. I’ve always believed that animals come into our lives to teach us. First and foremost, they teach us about unconditional love. But they also teach us to stretch and grow, to reach beyond our self-imposed limits, and to expand our consciousness. They take us to places we did not think were possible for us to go. I’ve been fortunate to have a number of these animals in my life, and not surprisingly, they’ve all been cats.
DT: How did your blog begin?
IK: I initially started my blog as a vehicle to build a platform for my book Buckley’s Story: Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher, but The Conscious Cat quickly took on a life of its own. I loved having a wider audience to share one of my passions: educating cat parents about feline health and nutrition. Eventually, I added feline lifestyle features, book reviews of cat themed books, and more. Amber had her own column, Amber’s Mewsings, until she passed away last year. My two torties, Allegra and Ruby, are following the family tradition of blogging cats and not only write their own columns, Allegra’s World and Ruby’s Reflections, but also assist me with product testing and reviews.
DT: Has your life changed since you started blogging? If so, how?
IK: My life has become richer, and I don’t mean that just in the monetary sense, although the blog is starting to generate some income. I treasure the connections I’ve made with my readers, and within the blogging community. But even more than that, I am happy to know that because of what I write about, so many of my readers’ cats are happier and healthier as a result of being better educated about health and nutrition. They’re being fed a more species appropriate diets, receiving more frequent veterinary care, and my readers are aware of health issues they might not have known about, or understood, prior to reading my blog.
DT: What does winning a Petties Award mean to you?
IK: I am absolutely thrilled to have won this award, because it was determined through votes from my readers. What greater compliment could I ask for than loyal readers who spent a couple of minutes each day for an entire month voting for me and The Conscious Cat? The competition in the Best Overall Pet Blog category was fierce, and all the other blogs were not just blogs of exceptional quality, but they were dog blogs!
I’m also delighted that winning this award means that Dogtime Media is donating $500 each to the two rescue groups of my choice. In this economic climate, charitable contributions are hard to come by for non-profits, and this is especially true for animal rescue organizations.
DT: What do you hope to accomplish with your blog?
IK: The Conscious Cat has experienced rapid growth over the past few months, and I’m hoping that this pattern will continue. My blog has been called “educational catnip for the cat lover,” and I’m looking forward to continuing to provide the trusted information cat parents have come to expect from me, so they can make the lives of their feline family members happier and healthier.
DT: How did you decide which organization would receive the Petties donation money?
IK: The decision was easy when DogTime told us we could allocate the donation money to more than one organization – otherwise, I would have had a hard time choosing between Casey’s House and Kitten Associates!
I choose Casey’s House, a small private rescue in Bluemont, VA, because they’re the group that rescued Buckley. Casey’s House specializes in older and hard to adopt cats. They also provide low cost spay-neuter and TNR services. If it wasn’t for Cindy Ingram, the founder of Casey’s House, I might never have met my little cat, and Buckley changed my life in ways I never could have imagined. If it wasn’t for Buckley, there would be no book, and there would be no Conscious Cat!
The second half of the donation will go to Kitten Associates, a private rescue based out of Newtown, CT. Robin Olson, who won the Pettie for Best Cat Blog for her blog Covered in Cat Hair, is a dear friend, and I’m so impressed with what she has been able to accomplish in just a little over a year. Kitten Associates is dedicated to saving the lives of cats (and dogs, too!), supporting animal rescue organizations with powerful online marketing tools, and championing legislation for spay/neuter programs to end pet overpopulation. In its first four months, Kitten Associates rescued more than 70 cats, most from shelters in the southern United States, where euthanasia rates are alarmingly high compared to other parts of the country.
Check out all the Petties winners’ interviews…