Posted in Cats

Review of Sammie’s Tail: My Story of Rescue by Stasie Fishman

*****5 stars

As a cat lover and author who features cats in my book, I also enjoy reading about them. Sammie’s Tail: My Story of Rescue, is a children’s book told from the point of view of a rescued cat with special needs. It’s heartwarming and beautifully illustrated. While aimed at children up to fourth grade, adults will also appreciate this story that teaches about pet rescue.

Sammie is a Bombay cat who has trouble seeing out of her left eye. She started hanging around the author’s house. After being fed outside and gradually getting to know Stasie, she eventually summoned up the courage to go inside. Despite trying to escape through a screen, she adjusted and made the place her home.

I love how Ms. Fishman used the word “Tail” in the title as an acronym for Tolerance for Animals Inspires Love. A forthcoming rescue story of her cat Bettinna is previewed at the back of the book along with photos of her fur family and information on reader extras found on the website SammiesTail.com.

Posted in article, Cats

Cat Article: “Giving Love a Second Chance” (Cat Fancy, December 1998)

When I was cleaning my house during the time I was home, I found a bunch of cat articles I wrote for various pet magazines many years ago. I’ve started scanning them because, in most cases, those magazines no longer exist. Here is one from Cat Fancy, December 1998, that was one of my first pieces and I believe the one that helped me attain professional membership in the Cat Writers’ Association

Posted in Authors, Cats, Dogs, Guest Post

Guest Post by Fellow Pet Lover and author/Poet Ann Chiappetta

Yes, They All Get Along

By Ann Chiappetta

Eight years ago, a tiny short hair tuxedo kitten entered our lives. My daughter rescued it, hiding the 6-week-old fur ball in her closet.  Unbeknownst to my husband and me, she took her lunch money to pay for formula and saved it’s life.

Looking back, I thought the increased interest in her room by our dogs was odd but dismissed it for wanting to get in the room to scavenge for crumbs and candy wrappers.

I’m sure that by now, dear reader, you are asking, so when did she let the cat, um, kitten, out of the bag, um, closet? 🙂

It was my husband, actually. He asked me to cup my hands and since I am blind, I did not need to close my eyes; he deposited a palm-sized kitten into my hands and all my protestations of “no more animals”,  fell away as I felt his little body  and listened to his kitten cries.

A year later, Papa the cat and my other dogs were ready to meet my new guide dog, Bailey.  I sent out a prayer that it would all work out and walked inside, unharnessed Bailey and told him to sit. My daughter stepped forward with papa. Bailey stood up, straining at his leash. Papa growled. Bailey whined. Papa hissed and Bailey let out a loud bark, which made Papa jump from April’s arms and onto the wall unit where he hid for the rest of the day.

We knew that one day Bailey and Papa would become friends, but it would probably take longer than expected. It was a few years later, after our beagle mix died, that I noticed Papa rubbing on Bailey’s paws and letting Bailey sniff his head. Now the two of them jump in our bed and sleep together. When someone asks if our animals get along, I smile and say, yes.

When writing a short story, I determine if the theme and characters merit the mention of pets or service dogs. It’s about fifty-fifty. In my new short story collection, A String of Stories, From the Heart to the Future C 2020, I’ve managed to sneak in a guide dog and a pet dog and cat. I’m not going to spoil it but below is an excerpt from the short story, Kender.

After dinner, Kiki and Kender are introduced. Abbie sits at the base of the upstairs and has no clue what is going to happen. She is excited and nervous at the same time. Kathlyn sits above her on the carpeted step, brushing her unruly hair. She doesn’t even flinch when there is a knot, being absorbed in watching Dad and Nora bring the dog and cat into the room at the same time. Kender barks, Kiki arches his back, hissing.  Kiki runs up and swats him on the nose. He yelps and jumps away. Dad hangs onto his collar and talks to him. Kiki, hair standing up in agitation, jumps past Abbie and Kathlyn and runs up the stairs, most likely to hide under Nora’s bed.

“That wasn’t too bad,” Dad says, “Doesn’t look like he’s hurt.” Dad pets Kender on the head while looking at the scratch on his nose. He smiles when the dog licks his face.

“We can tie him up outside tonight and try again tomorrow,”

“Tie him up outside?” Nora says, “But I want to keep him in my room tonight,”

“I don’t think it’s a good idea until we get rid of his fleas and clean him up a bit first,” Dad says, “Besides, Kiki wouldn’t be happy about that.”

Nora’s face turns red and she runs upstairs, stomping her feet all the way to her room. She doesn’t slam the door, though. Door slamming is forbidden.

Thanks for reading and love-up those fur-faces!

About Ann

Ann Chiappetta M.S. author and poet.

Making meaningful connections with others through writing.

Ann’s nonfiction essays have been printed in Dialogue magazine, among others. Her poems are often featured in Poesis, The Pangolin Review, the Avocet, and Magnets and Ladders. Her poetry is also included in Breath and Shadow’s 2016 debut anthology, Dozen: The Best of Breath and Shadow.  Her    first two books, a poetry collection, UPWELLING: POEMS C 2016 and memoir, FOLLOW YOUR DOG A STORY OF LOVE AND TRUST C 2017, are available from all eBook sellers in electronic and print softcover, and as audio books from Audible.

Ann’s third book WORDS OF LIFE: POEMS AND ESSAYS  C 2019 can also be purchased in all eBook formats and in softcover. The Audible audio book will be released in Fall 2020. Ann’s newest title, A String of Stories: From the Heart to the Future C 2020, is also available as an eBook and softcover.

Ann’s blog: http://www.thought-wheel.com. Ann’s personal website: www.annchiappetta.com

Ann’s author page: www.dldbooks.com/annchiappetta/

Posted in Cat Writers' Association, Cats, Reviews

Review of Cat Life: Celebrating the History, Culture & Love of the Cat by Amy Shojai

Review: Cat Life: Celebrating the History, Culture & Love of the Cat

*****5 stars

This book is not only beautiful, filled with gorgeous color photographs of cats, but also extremely informative. I would expect nothing less from the author. Amy Shojai is a certified animal behavior consultant who has published 30 bestselling pet books.

Cat Life is divided into four sections: Evolutionary of cat; cultured cat; physical cat, and gallery of breeds. Anything and everything a cat lover might want to know about this unique animal is included in this book. A Table of Contents and an alphabetical index are also provided to help locate topics.

If you are looking for a complete guide that is wonderfully illustrated, you need look no further than Cat Life: Celebrating the History, Culture & Love of the Cat. A companion dog volume by Ms. Shojai is also available.
“Purr”-chase this book here.
JOIN Amy’s Audacious Allies, SUBSCRIBE to her free newsletter, READ her pet-centric blog: https://AmyShojai.com

Amy Shojai is a nationally known authority on pet care and behavior, a certified animal behavior consultant, a spokesperson for the pet products industry, and the author of 30 nonfiction pet books. She also writes THRILLERS WITH BITE! which includes the dog-viewpoint thrillers LOST AND FOUND, HIDE AND SEEK, SHOW AND TELL and FIGHT OR FLIGHT. In her other life, she’s a published and produced playwright of musical theater productions (some including pet characters!).

Amy addresses a wide range of fun-to-serious issues in her work, covering dog and cat training, behavior, natural and allopathic health care, nutrition, first aid, aging pets, “the bond” and cutting-edge medical topics. In her nonfiction books, she empowers pet lovers by providing the information they need to make informed decisions for their cats and dogs. She specializes in translating “medicalese” into easily understood jargon-free language, making it accessible to all pet lovers. Oh, and she loves bling-icity!

Her work has been honored with over three dozen writing awards and she is a two-time recipient of the “Friskies Writer of the Year” award. Her articles currently appear in the Herald Democrat newspaper, on Chewy.com and PetSafe.net among others. She’s published several thousand articles and columns during her career. Amy presents a twice-monthly “Pet Talk” segment at KXII-CBS, hosted the weekly “Pet Peeves” at PetLifeRadio.com and is an expert on Animal Planet DOGS 101 and CATS 101. Sometimes she has time to sleep.

Amy has been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and in The Wall Street Journal, USA Weekend, The New York Times, Washington Post, Reader’s Digest, Woman’s Day, Family Circle, Woman’s World, and many other leading newspapers and magazines. She has also been a featured pet care expert on Animal Planet Dogs 101, Cats 101, Petsburgh USA/Disney Channel program, Good Day New York, Fox News: Pet News, NBC Today Show, WGN-Chicago “Pet Central” and “Animal Planet Radio” and many others.

She is an active member of the International Thriller Writers, Sisters In Crime, and Alliance of Independent Authors. Amy is a certified member of International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, founder and Past President of the Cat Writers’ Association, member of the Dog Writers Association of America, and Past President and Honorary Lifetime Member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. She frequently speaks to groups on a variety of pet-related and writing issues, lectures at veterinary and writer conferences, and conducts training and behavior demonstrations around the country.

She and her husband live with Karma-Kat the feline delinquent and Bravo-Boy, the Bullmastiff. They, along with the enduring inspiration of Siamese wannabe Seren-Kitty and Magical-Dawg the German Shepherd, continue to inspire her work. Find more information about her work at www.shojai.com and follow her Bling, Bitches & Blood Blog at https://amyshojai.com.

Posted in Cats, holidays

Wow Meow! It’s National Cat Day!

Today is the day we celebrate those mysterious, funny, lovable creatures called cats who come into our lives and bring so much joy but also sadness when they go. National Cat Day was created to help the public recognize the need to rescue cats. It also encourages cat lovers to recognize the companionship and unconditional love that pet cats give us. This isn’t the only cat-related “holiday” celebrated in October which is known as Black Cat Appreciation Month. I wrote about other special October cat days on another blog. You can read my post On Pens, Paws, and Claws here and my cat Harry’s post about Black Cat Day here.

Cat lovers are encouraged today to share photos and stories of their cats on social media with #NationalCatDay.

Here are a few photos of my special cats, Harry, Hermione, and Stripey:

Stripey, my 11-year old, male Mackerel Tabby
Harry (black American shorthair) and his sister, Hermione (dilute calico)
Harry and Hermione
Harry and Hermione on their cat tree
me and Harry
Harry in his favorite spot atop our printer
Hermione in her favorite spot, the basket on top of my bedroom closet
Me, Harry, and Hermione
Harry, Hermione, and Stripey
Posted in Cats, Kittens

Remembering Harry and Hermione’s Adoption on Remember Me Thursday

Since today, September 26, is Remember Me Thursday, I thought I’d share the story of my one-year-old cats, Harry and Hermione, who we adopted last October when they were three-month-old kittens. My 14-year-old daughter had never had a kitten. We had an older cat who passed away when she was four. Then we adopted our present cat, Stripey. He was almost a year old and full-grown. He didn’t hit it off well with Holly because she was a typical noisy toddler. When Oliver came along, the senior cat I took in after my mother could no longer care for him, Holly began to bond with him, but he attached himself to me. My husband promised Holly that she could have her own cat when Oliver passed away. Five years later, that happened. It was a heartbreak for all of us. We didn’t rush to get another cat, and Stripey seemed content to be an only cat again.

As the one-year mark approached that Oliver took his trip to Rainbow Bridge, a cat cafe opened up on Long Island called The Shabby Tabby Cat Cafe. I thought it would be fun to visit and see the cats. We took a trip there, and Holly fell in love with a kitten named Ringo. Unfortunately, someone else had already laid claim to him. Holly was upset, but her dad assured her that we would get a cat for her eventually, and I explained that Ringo was just not the one meant for her.

We took another trip to the cat cafe on October 21, three days before my daughter’s 14th birthday. There was a fall fair going on in town that day, and I thought we’d just drop into Shabby Tabby and see if they had any new cats. It turned out that they had several new kittens. My daughter spotted a black one right away and began playing with him. Although Ringo had been white and orange, she’d always said she wanted a black cat, but the main thing was one that connected with her.

All the cats at the cafe are named. I found out they come from the Golden Paws Society rescue in Huntington. After playing with Harry for a while, Holly told me she was in love with him. I could see why. He was a playful fellow who seemed affectionate and bright. When I asked if he was available, I was told he was but that he couldn’t be separated from his sister, Hermione, a calico kitten. I knew my husband wouldn’t like the idea of our taking two kittens when we already had another cat, but when I laid eye on Hermione, I was sold. It was like fate because I’d always wanted a calico cat after having so many other types of cats all my life. I also thought it would be great for the two kittens to be together as playmates. Eventually, I could introduce our older cat to them.

I completed the adoption forms that had to be approved by Golden Paws and set a pickup date for that Wednesday night, October 24, which was the best day for us because I had the next two days off to watch the kittens while Holly was in school. It also happened to be her birthday. My husband wasn’t thrilled when we broke the news, but he finally agreed. To prepare for the new arrivals, I picked up some supplies including a similar pet playpen in which the kittens could stay when we weren’t around. We set it up in my daughter’s room because we wanted her to learn the responsibility of caring for her cats. She was able to fit a food and water bowl inside, a few safe toys, and a litter box. She also cleaned her room and made it cat friendly.

On October 24, we picked the kittens up from Golden Paws. When we got them home, they seemed to do fine in Holly’s room. They were accustomed to the playpen from the cat cafe, although my daughter kept them out after school while she was doing her homework. At night, Harry curled up and slept on her chest. We learned Hermione, despite being tinier and lighter than Harry, was a big jumper, so we had to be careful to keep the room closed when we entered and left. Stripey peeked in the “nursery,” and eyed the kittens. When they were old enough to be introduced to him, there was some hissing all around, but eventually they became accustomed to one another.

Harry and Hermione have grown into beautiful and loving cats. I’m convinced that they were meant for us, and we were meant for them.To help other pets find their forever homes and maybe win a prize for yourself and a rescue or shelter, visit the Remember Me Thursday website (https://remembermethursday.org/contest/) and share your rescue pet’s photo and story.

Posted in Cats

Appreciating my Black Cat Harry on Black Cat Appreciation Day

Today, August 17, is Black Cat Appreciation Day, and I’m happy to say that I have my own mini panther. Harry turned a year old in August and is the sweetest fur boy you could imagine. Here are some photos of this handsome cat.

 

 

 

 

For those familiar with my books, you know that I like to write about cats. Although the library cat in my Cobble Cove mystery series is Siamese, I have included black cats in some of my writing. In my latest release, Sea Scope, there’s a black cat named Al who lives at the inn in the book.

I also feature a female black cat, Agatha, in my short story, Murder at Lavender Lake Library.

Here are so more photos of Harry. Do you have a handsome or beautiful black cat?