A Special Book Signing with Ingrid King of The Conscious Cat

ingrid king and me

Me, brandishing my camera, with author Ingrid King, human of Allegra, Amber and Buckley.

Jay and Bernie

The two reprobates I arrived with, Jay Davenport, human of Stirfry and Tabatha, and Bernie Tracy, human of the famous Steeler.

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 signs a book

Ingrid signs a book; note the purple Hershey kisses in the dish.

Besides, I did know one of the people—Ingrid King, author of Buckley’s Story: Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher and the personality, along with tortie  Allegra, behind The Conscious Cat website and author of the blog post that brought us all together, “Tortitude”—the Unique Personality of Tortoiseshell Cats. I had met Ingrid at a Cat Writer’s Association conference in 2009 and purchased her book the following spring. And the group of us have been trading cat stories for at least a year on the blog post, so we had only to meet in person to feel complete!

Julie Shubin, Ingrid King, Harry Shubin

Ingrid King, center, with Julie and Harry Shubin, humans of Brooke and May.

We met at the Stray Cat Cafe in Falls Church, VA, hosted by Harry and Julie Shubin, and the book signing and Chinese auction proceeds would benefit an organization for which he volunteers and fails in fostering for the Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation of Arlington, VA.

car with family stickers

Harry's car is honest about the body count in the house.

I mention “fails in fostering” because they’ve officially added another cat, Piper, who had been a foster for about five minutes, as evidenced by their car…but they’ve also found homes for many cats thr0ugh the years.

ingrid king and renee austin

Ingrid and Renee Austin, human of Eva.

We also had the pleasure of meeting Renee Austin of Whimsy Cats Specialized Home Care for Cats in Ashburn, VA and author “you-know-who” of Eva’s blog EvaEvaEva. Eva and my Peaches were BFF, and Peaches even became Eva’s virtual assistant for a while last year. Don’t just adopt a senior kitty, hire one too! I was very happy for the opportunity to meet  Renee, especially since out cats had become such good friends using our computers behind our backs.

While it’s nice to see Ingrid and Renee, I also wanted to catch a little bit of the artwork in the cafe—really wonderful colorful style and actually dimensional as the paintings continued right off the canvas onto the wall. Along with the Lost Dog Cafe, the Stray Cat Cafe helps to support the Lost Dog and Cat Rescue, so you can “eat, drink and rescue”. The menu includes Mouse Tails, Catnip Dip, Nachos Gatos, and many more feline-themed foods, and feline-themed drinks like a Neuter Shooter, Feral Hiss and other amusing names that have to do with less-than-amusing feline activities.

bernie ingrid jay

Ingrid greets Bernie and Jay.

table of four

Jay, Julie, Bernie and Harry and Julie's daughter Rachel Shubin sample the menu.

Not wanting to arrive empty-handed, I was glad to donate Tortie Girls t-shirts to the Chinese auction and sets of Feline Art Cards and Animal Sympathy Cards for sale to benefit the organization.

We’ve been corresponding on the internet and feel as if we’ve known each other for years, but without the internet we probably wouldn’t even know about each other. All of us remarked at what a wonderful opportunity it was for us to be able to get to know each other, share stories and interests and eventually get together thanks to Ingrid’s one blog post about “tortitude”!

You can see photos of everyone’s cats by visiting The Conscious Cat on Facebook.