Lynley Cannon’s FRIDAY FELINE FACTS & FANCIES, Old Cats Rule

 

Lynley Cannon, star of the Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery series, is often referred to as a crazy cat lady herself, but when it comes to the feline species, this sixty-something cat shelter volunteer knows her stuff. Check here each Friday for instructive and intriguing information on our favorite subject: cats!

Artwork by Svetlana Petrova

Cats are one of the oldest mammals on the earth. Fossils of African wild cats from as early as thirty eight million years ago have been found and documented.

~Cat Call, Chapter 24

 

Check out more of Lynley Cannon’s kitty tips, tricks, and facts preceding each chapter in CATS’ EYES, COPY CATS, CAT’S PAW, and CAT CALL.

 

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BOOK (AND CAT) TALK with PATRICIA FRY

 

Patricia Fry has been writing for publication for 45 years, having had hundreds of her articles appear in about 300 different magazines and newsletters, including Writer’s Digest, Cat Fancy, Cats Magazine, Health, Entrepreneur, Woman’s Own, ASPCA Animal Watch, The Toastmaster and others. She has 71 books to her credit and 29 in the Klepto Cat Mystery series. She started writing the series in 2012, after a long career writing nonfiction. The latest book in the series is, according to Patricia: “… somewhat unorthodox as it’s the memoirs—Meowmoirs, if you will—of Rags, the Klepto Cat staring in my series.” Patricia lives in Ojai, CA with 2 cats and has 9 great-grandchildren who each help to make up several groupings of 5-generations within her family—the youngest being three months and the oldest (Patricia’s mother) 96.

My guest today is Patricia Fry, author of the Klepto Cat Mystery series.

 Welcome, Patricia!

 ~You have a new book out, “Meowmoirs of a Klepto Cat.” Tell us a little about it.

A: This is the life story of Rags, the amazing, precocious cat who stars in the Klepto Cat Mystery series. You’ll read about his precarious kittenhood, marvel at some of his intriguing and touching teenage escapades, and delight in revisiting many of his more recent adventures. Rags is a cat with a purpose. While some people believe it’s to cause chaos, others see this feline as a knight in furry armor. If we could get into Rags’s head, however, we’d probably see that it’s filled with butterflies and trinkets. Yes, he marches to the beat of a different drummer and leaves behind an assortment of reactions. Is Rags clever or naïve, intuitive or fluky, smart or lucky? And does it really matter? One thing’s for sure, he makes an impression wherever he goes and that’s just the way his fans like it.

~Like me, you are a member of the Cat Writers’ Association, demonstrating your true dedication to cats. How many cats do you have? Do they help with your writing?

A: We currently have two, Lily and Sophie. Lily was one of 15 kittens born to three feral mother cats eight years ago. She was born in an abandoned Volkswagen. Shhhh. Don’t tell her she’s feral, she really never got the hang of shying away from people. She’s a sweet, sweet torbie, a tabby with splashes of soft orange in her fur. At a very young age she was diagnosed with kidney disease. We’ve had some rough times with her—she’s seriously allergic to some of the feline vaccines. And it took us a while to get her on a good low protein diet for her disease. Presently, she’s 8 years old and holding her own very nicely. We just had another blood draw this week and it shows that she’s maintaining her 12 pound figure and, although her kidney values are rising, it’s very slow and the veterinarian believes that because it’s rising so slowly at this point, her body is able to handle it. We don’t know what’s in Lily’s future, but for now she’s every bit a healthy cat and we adore her to pieces.

Lily is one reason for the Klepto Cat theme in my series. She has several small stuffed animals that she loves to carry around in her mouth. She delivers a stuffed hedgehog, kitty, bunny, owl, moose or lamb to me practically every day. Sometimes she brings me my slippers.

Sophie is a tortie. She was found hanging out in a colony. Someone trapped her when she was around10-weeks old and took her to a veterinarian to be spayed. We knew the vet tech and she knew we’d just lost our beloved 17-year-old Himalayan, so she called to tell us that she was pretty sure this kitten would make a wonderful pet if someone would just show her some love. They were right. Sophie still has many of her original feral fears, but she has come a long way and boy does she love a good lap cuddle.

As for the cats helping me with my writing—oh yes, practically every day they provide me with support and ideas. They entertain me and remind me to take breaks (to feed them or to snuggle). And as you can see, Lily’s even been known to help me write a crucial scene.

~Tell us your favorite real or fictional cat story.

A: Oh my goodness. There are so many. I just finished writing Book 30 of the Klepto Cat Mystery series (to be published later this month). Plus I have a book of true cat tales—Catscapades—which features 25 amazing stories. I’ve posted five blogs per week for about seven years now—so you know I have stories. Here’s one with a message for everyone who loves their cats. Yes, it’s a true story:

My friend Johanna one day asked me if I’d take care of her cats should something happen to her. I laughed. Johanna was 55 years old and in excellent health. She had four beloved cats—all having come to her from dire situations. She told me that day, “I want to arrange for my cats’ care just in case. It’s important to me.” She also said, “I know that you have four cats of your own (yes I did at the time) and you can’t take them into your home. I’ve set aside a bank account for you in case you need money to donate to a shelter that will take them or in case they need medical treatment.”

Wow! What was I to say? Of course I agreed—knowing that Johanna would certainly outlive all of her cats and probably me.

A year later, Johanna died of a brain aneurism suffered while on a tropical vacation with her fiancé. And I became responsible for 4 more cats. I was already caring for Johanna’s cats in her absence. But now what? Who would take on these adult cats? It had to be the sort of situation Johanna would want for her treasured kitties.

Do you believe in Divine intervention? I do. They’d flown Johanna to a local hospital in a coma and, as I left the hospital the day she died, a nurse said, “I believe one of the nurses would like to take one of her cats.”

Sure enough, this nurse knew Johanna and was aware of her deep love for her cats. She wanted to continue caring for one of them, so we introduced her to Lilly—a plump gray-and-black tabby—the sweetest of the bunch. It was love at first pet.

After the funeral, Johanna’s brother wanted to meet his sister’s cats and he decided to adopt Charlie.

My good friend, Virginia, took Goldie and thoroughly enjoyed her for as long as she lived.

It took a while, but Johanna’s fiancé finally decided he had to have Nikki, Johanna’s favorite and the shyest of them all.

Since then, I have written articles on the importance of arranging for God parents for your cats long before you plan to “retire” from this earth plane—another gift to cats and their people.

 

 ~What do you consider your greatest accomplishment in the cat world? And your greatest disappointment?

A: Interesting question. Throughout my long writing/publishing career, I’ve felt good each time I found a publisher for an article or a book with a helping or educational aspect. And this is true whether it was designed to help cats, horses, children, entrepreneurs, women, authors, etc. I loved knowing that my piece on how to help the feral cat in your backyard, how to teach children responsibility through gentle pet care, how to successfully introduce a new cat into the family, and so forth might have helped many cats have a better life. This is still a priority for me, so I continue to educate, inform, and entertain on behalf of cats through my Catscapades blog. But I was delighted to learn that I’m helping even more cats through my Klepto Cat Mystery series.

I had no idea, when I started writing this series, how much of my seemingly natural tendency to teach about and support cats would seep into my stories. But here I am sometimes using a journalistic approach while delivering a tantalizing mystery. As most novelists know, there has to be truth in fiction and I still strive to educate and even change minds with truths that are wrapped up nicely in sometimes exquisite, mostly tantalizing, and usually complex storylines. Sharing concepts that help us to better serve our cat populations and be better cat parents is extremely satisfying to me.

However, I must say that my cat star, Rags, doesn’t always make it easy to do the right thing by him. He’s a renegade who marches to a different drummer and who seems to be a magnet for trouble. He also pretty much always comes out on top of the heap with clues that help to solve the current mystery. He’s a klepto cat, after all.

As for my greatest disappointment: despite all that we’re doing and have been doing over the years to educate pet owners and to reverse the outrageous numbers of abandoned cats, it still isn’t enough. There are hundreds of shelters and thousands of volunteers working hard in the trenches to save and protect cats and still the number of homeless cats is horrendously out of control.

My step-Grandmother Kathleen was ahead of her time in this effort. She was known in our small town as the cat lady and anyone with a cat or a litter of unwanted kittens dropped them off at her home. She had a running bill with the local veterinarian for spaying and neutering these cats and keeping them healthy. Many cats had the run of her house, but most lived in a series of huge pens in her backyard. I don’t believe she ever let one go. She didn’t trust anyone to care for her cats as well as she could.

I think she’d be pleased to know that I’m doing what I can to help cats. Not only do I attempt to educate people about cat care and rescue through my daily blog and my books, I rescue. Both of our current kitties are rescues and there have been several before them.

~What five words would you use to describe yourself?

A: Passionate (about cats, writing, and life—always have been always will be). Impatient (when it comes to most things that take time, from technology glitches to molasses). Silly (I see nothing wrong with silliness in the right place at the right time—or not—even at my advanced age—78 and counting). Family-oriented (well, who isn’t? I thoroughly enjoy my three daughters, six grandchildren and all of their spouses. The crowning glory in our family are my nine great grandchildren.) Health-Conscious (I take a power walk almost every day and have done so since recovering from a back injury about forty years ago. I’m also always adjusting my diet for optimal health).

 ~What is the most useful writing tip you’ve ever been given?

A: Having been in the writing game for 45 years and having started my writing career and my publishing company long before it was fashionable or convenient, I’m generally the tip-giver. Before my new life as a fiction-writer, I traveled all over the US speaking to would be authors at writers’ conferences and club meetings. The question I’m asked more than any other is “How do you find time to write?” This is closely followed by “How do you organize your time—get it all done?”

I try to convince these folks that it all boils down to their personal motivation. I was motivated to build a business around my writing because of my passion for writing and my strong desire to spend my days writing. In order to stay at home and write, I had to find a way for the writing to pay the bills. There’s also a part of me who wants to be heard—or, in this case, read. Those motivating factors are so strong for me that, even against some difficult odds, I have been able to create a business from my writing and make it pay.

Some authors/writers might be motivated to help others through their writing. Yes, that’s part of my motivation as well, as is evident in the types of articles and books I’ve had published over the years. Additional motivations might be to prove something to yourself and/or others, simply the joy of seeing your words in print, or achieving recognition as an expert in your field. For some, the simple motivation isn’t enough to keep them on track, so they set up a rewards system—if you write for an hour, you can take a walk or call a friend or play with the cat, for example. Once you’ve met a certain writing goal, you’ve earned a night out with your best gal/guy, an overnighter with your grandchild, or a new plant for your garden.

The thing most writers learn only with time is that each of us has a different level of motivation and passion. Our goals are not the same and our approach to our writing projects also differ. So hanging out with other writers and picking the brains of those who are successful is a positive move, but it’s still up to you to find your way in this highly competitive, amazingly enjoyable world of writing.

~Add something you would like to tell us just for fun.

People get a kick out of some of my writing techniques—or I should say my story-organizing techniques. For example, I’ll watch my cats and make notes and take photographs, then practice using terms and words to describe some of their actions. I once got down on the floor into some interesting contortions while trying to find the terms to describe a physical confrontation occurring in one of my stories. They say seeing is believing, so it’s important to create the scene so it is believable, don’t you think so?

~I do, and I have pictures of me cuffed with zip ties to prove it! 

 ~My chat with you today is part of your promotional book tour. Where else will the tour take us?

The book tour schedule will be posted at Catscapades on Friday, July 13th and Monday, July 16, as well as my Facebook page. Please stop by! facebook.com/KleptoCatMysteries.

~Besides your new book, do you have any big news coming up soon?

A: Hopefully. This blog tour is big and exciting. So far this year, I’ve had the opportunity to speak about my Klepto Cat Mysteries at a quaint local bookstore—once a church. I spoke outdoors under a beautiful stand of oaks, then signed books as guests enjoyed refreshments. It was fun. I also spoke to a group of authors and hopeful authors south of here about successfully transitioning from nonfiction to fiction. I was on a panel discussing research for fiction—a hugely important topic—at the Cat Writers’ Association Conference in Houston last month. I’m always seeking out and accepting opportunities to speak. It’s what you do when you want to make friends and fans.

~What is the best way to keep up with you?

www.facebook.com/KleptoCatMysteries

www.matilijapress.com/Catscapades (my everything-cat blog)

www.KleptoCatMysteries.com

~Thank you for being with us today and best of luck, Patricia.

 The Klepto Cat Mystery series covers are painted specifically for Patricia by cat artist and CWA member Bernadette E. Kazmarski, who has won multiple Muse Medallions for her artwork.

Rags’s Memoirs, book 29 in the Klepto Cat Mystery series, is now available in print and Kindle format. Order yours here.

 

Order the Kindle or print version of Meowmoirs of a Klepto Cat or any of the other 28 Klepto Cat Mysteries at Amazon.com.

 

 

Posted in Book Talk, CAT WRITERS, Cats, Crazy Cat Lady Mysteries & More, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Lynley Cannon’s FRIDAY FELINE FACTS & FANCIES, Hero

 

Lynley Cannon, star of the Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery series, is often referred to as a crazy cat lady herself, but when it comes to the feline species, this sixty-something cat shelter volunteer knows her stuff. Check here each Friday for instructive and intriguing information on our favorite subject: cats!

Artwork by Alana McCarthy

Despite their aloofness, cats have proven themselves loyal and brave. History honors Tony (alerted their human to fire, 2015), “hero cat” (guided man lost on Swiss mountain to safety, 2013), Crimean Tom (led starving soldiers to food, 1854), Smudge (defended child from bullies, 2014), Simon (protected ship food stores, 1949), just to name a few.

~Cat Call, Chapter 29

 

Check out more of Lynley Cannon’s kitty tips, tricks, and facts preceding each chapter in CATS’ EYES, COPY CATS, CAT’S PAW, and CAT CALL.

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COMING SOON: CAT CAFÉ!

 

I’m thrilled to announce Cat Café, the 5th Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery is well on its way.  I don’t have a release date yet, but I am thinking it’s going to be out before the planned month of November. I’m checking over the proof copy as we speak. I take it as a good sign that the story still excites me, even though I’ve read it many times.

Coffee, Tea, or Me? by Leslie Cobb

A body is discovered on the floor of the cat café, and all the black cats are missing!

Sixty-something cat shelter volunteer Lynley Cannon always seems to find more trouble than a cat in catnip, but this time it’s not about her. Someone is targeting very senior citizens, and when Bea Landrew, owner of the Blue Cat café turns up dead, Lynley’s mom Carol could be next.

Handsome Detective Devon is looking for a link between the victims when he makes a different sort of connection— with Lynley! It’s been a long time since the cat lady had romance in her life, but while her mom is in danger, the case comes first.

It appears the cat café will go the way of its deceased owner, but Bea’s grandson, a slick Miami businessman, steps in at the last minute. Arthur is not a cat person so why would he bother? Romeo, the big Russian Blue, senses ulterior motives, but who will listen to a cat?

A black cat rescue, a discovered photograph, an elaborate payback. Is this killer seeking justice or vengeance? With death as the objective, the results are the same.

Cat and His Pretty on Paris Roofs, by Atelier de Jiel

Cat Café, the 5th Crazy Cat Lady Cozy Mystery

Other books in the Crazy Cat Lady Cozy Mystery Series:

Books need not be read in order.

Learn about cats! Lynley’s cat tips, tricks, and facts precede each chapter.

 

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PLACID RIVER RUNS DEEP GIVEAWAY WINNER

Thanks to everyone who entered the PLACID RIVER RUNS DEEP Giveaway.

The winner is….

Cherilyn

Congratulations, Cherilyn!

Posted in Contests, Crazy Cat Lady Mysteries & More | 17 Comments

Lynley Cannon’s FRIDAY FELINE FACTS & FANCIES, Rescue

Lynley Cannon, star of the Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery series, is often referred to as a crazy cat lady herself, but when it comes to the feline species, this sixty-something cat shelter volunteer knows her stuff. Check here each Friday for instructive and intriguing information on our favorite subject: cats!

Why buy a pet from a breeder when so many “accidental” animals need loving homes? And if you must have that special breed, try a Breeder Rescue. Shelters also offer breed animals as well as mutts. Adopt your next pet from a shelter.

~Cat’s Eyes, Chapter 26

Artwork by Nancy Halverson

Check out more of Lynley Cannon’s kitty tips, tricks, and facts preceding each chapter in CATS’ EYES, COPY CATS, CAT’S PAW, and CAT CALL.

Posted in Cats, Crazy Cat Lady Mysteries & More, Friday Feline Facts & Fancies | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

FOSTER SUCCESS

 

Anyone who fosters animals knows that someday the time will come when they take that animal back to the shelter to be adopted out. The expression used if per chance the foster parent falls in love with that animal and chooses to adopt it themselves is foster failure. As I write this, my latest foster fail purring on my lap, I am changing the term to foster success, because giving Blaze a forever home is one of the best things I’ve done in a while.

The 10-year-old tuxedo male came to me as a temporary foster from the Oregon Humane Society in March of this year. He had arrived from another shelter back in January with a badly broken front leg. OHS set the leg and sent him out to foster with another person. Two months later, when they found the leg still hadn’t healed, they put pins in it and sent him home with me.

I’ve been fostering with OHS since 2006. Foster time for a cat with upper respiratory infection, the most common shelter illness, is usually around two weeks. A cat who is going through a surgery may come preceding surgery and then return to recuperate afterwards, taking nearer three to four weeks. I have twice fostered hospice cases who spent their final days with me. (As it turned out, they perked up once they were in a real home— one lasted another year, and one, several months.) When the time came to say goodbye, the loss was as if they were one of my own. Two weeks is easy; four is doable, but the longer they stay in my care, the harder it is to let them go. Blaze was with me for three months.

I have a dedicated room with a large kennel where I can house sick and injured cats until they are well and ready for adoption. This was especially important for Blaze who was on indefinite cage rest in hopes that this time the break would heal properly. It isn’t as dismal as it sounds, having all the kitty comforts— a big bed, litter box, scratcher, food and toys— plus a window that looks onto an overgrown back yard with the promise of bird TV. Even so, it can’t compare with the freedom of a normal cat’s life, so I spent a lot of time with Blaze, overseeing his actions. Luckily Blaze’s favorite thing on earth was to sit on my lap, so every morning, we would work on my book, and every afternoon we’d sit in the rocking chair and watch Dr. Who on my phone.

I kept taking him back for his check-ups, and the doctor kept saying another week, another two weeks. With each increment of time, wBlaze and I grew closer. The shy but affectionate cat came to trust me, and I began to think of him as one of the family. Eventually as his leg improved, he was taken off cage rest and put on limited exercise. That meant he could walk around a bit as long as he didn’t run, jump, or play. I fixed up a few beds around the room, and his exercise, when he wasn’t sitting on my lap, was moving from bed to bed. He limped a little at first, then it stopped. I couldn’t leave him unsupervised but got him out whenever I could.

Weeks rolled into months. Over time, Blaze met my cats Little and Tyler. Little, a foster failure from ten years ago, hadn’t been getting along with Tyler whom I adopted last year. The big male wanted to play with her, but she perceived it more as an affront, and it usually ended up in a hissing match. Suddenly there was Blaze. Both other cats were so astonished they forgot their peeves. Tyler tried his aggressive move on Blaze, but the mellow tuxedo cat just looked at him like, “I so don’t care.” Little gave a few hisses, but soon she and Blaze were cozied up at the screen door, looking out the wildlife. Could it be that this third cat was the ingredient that could defuse the tension between the other two?

Finally the day came when I was to take Blaze back to OHS to have his pins removed. From there, they would decide what came next, adoption or more time in foster. Even though I wanted him to be well and healthy, I found myself longing for him to come back home with me. I convinced the doctor it would be good for me to keep him a little longer, just to make sure everything went okay with his leg. She gave him another week. Suddenly I was faced with the fact I loved this cat, he fit with my community, and yes, I really wanted to adopt him myself.

I put the idea out on Facebook and got a 100% “do it!” response. Everywhere I looked I found positive signs; after all, the month of June is Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat month. Everything pointed to my keeping Blaze, but there was that one lingering guilt: You’re not supposed to keep your fosters— Foster Failure!

I was talking to some cat friends a few days before the return day, and needless to say, the subject turned to my desire to adopt Blaze, but when I mentioned foster failure, a friend immediately got on my case.

“I don’t like the term, foster failure,” she said. “There’s nothing failure about it. You know this cat better than anyone and have determined that you can give him a great home. I’d call that a foster success!”

A foster success? I’d never thought about it like that. But why not? It’s not like I adopt all the cats I foster, and at ten years old, a shy cat with a few health issues isn’t the most adoptable cat in the shelter. Though OHS tries its best to find every animal a good home, sometimes it takes a while, and it doesn’t always work out even then. Why put this boy through that if we didn’t have to?

So I took the plunge and brought Blaze home. Now he can have the run of the house. I’m happy. He’s happy. My Facebook friends are happy. (He’s already been asked for an interview with Sneaky the Library Cat’s blog.)

And I’ll never again use the term, foster failure. It will be only foster successes from now on.

 

Posted in Animal Shelters, Cats, Crazy Cat Lady Mysteries & More, Thankful Thursday | Tagged , , , , , | 26 Comments

Remember our Animal Heroes

“From the carrier pigeons of World War II who delivered critical messages between soldiers on the frontline and their counterparts back home, to the sniffer dogs detecting deadly improvised explosive devices in more recent conflicts, their contribution should never be underestimated or forgotten.”

Read about a special cat Simon who served aboard the HMS Amethyst.

Source: Remember our Animal Heroes

Posted in Cats, OTHER BLOGGERS | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Lynley Cannon’s FRIDAY FELINE FACTS & FANCIES, Back from Hiatus

 

Dear Readers,

You may or may not have noticed I’ve been absent from your Friday mailbox for a few weeks. I’d like to say I was on vacation in a tropical paradise or winning the Nobel Peace Prize, but alas, it was just my writer who has gotten behind. Don’t worry. I have many more cat stories and choice bits of advice to give you, and I promise to get the writer writing again soon.

Thanks for your patience,

Lynley Cannon

 

Posted in Cats, Crazy Cat Lady Mysteries & More, Friday Feline Facts & Fancies | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

CAT WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE 2018: PARTING THOUGHTS

 

The trouble with having procrastinated my recap of the Cat Writers’ Association Conference for so long is that those CWA members who delivered their blogposts in a more timely manner have already said it all: how amazing the conference was this year; how helpful the networking; how interesting the presentations; how fun to go to El Gato cat café for a book signing and fur fest; how humbling to win the prestigious Muse Medallion awards; and finally how wonderful it felt knowing we’d made real connections, real friends. Since I can only elaborate on things already mentioned by those who didn’t wait two weeks to blog, I’ll take a different approach and talk about a few things that stood out to me.

This year the conference was structured differently than in the past, with a single track of presentations, breaks, meals, and networking. The obvious result of this format was that no one had to pick and choose which event to attend and no one missed anything. The more subtle result was an atmosphere of calm and unhurriedness which I found conducive to listening, learning, and sharing among the group. Over the time spent at the tables, we got to know each other. For me, someone not so good at multi-tasking, it made for a more intimate setting without that frenzied feeling of just trying to remember everybody’s names.

Our keynote speaker, the charismic and intelligent Dr. Marty Becker of Fear Free Pets, was wonderful, as were the other presenters, but I personally got the most useful information from Rick Reichenbach’s “Cat Photography Made Simple”. If you’re like me, or maybe I should say, if your cats are like my cats, every time I get out the camera, they either come straight toward me or plop down and lick their tail parts, so I was very interested in what Rick might have to say, especially the “made simple” part. The lesson did not disappoint. Rick was a skilled and effective teacher, and I came away with new, easy-to-implement ideas for how to get the best photos of my cats.

Rick’s book, How to Take Beautiful Pictures of Your Cat: A Step-by-Step Guide to Cat Photography, is available here.

Who doesn’t love a good cat café? El Gato Coffeehouse in Houston, like many cat cafés, is a one of a kind.

“Our mission is to provide a comfortable environment for adoptable cats until they find their furrever home. If guests aren’t looking to adopt, they can enjoy cat therapy, which also helps socialize the cats.”

El Gato partners with Friends For Life No Kill Animal Adoption & Rescue Shelter that supplies the cats who inhabit the “Cat Cottage”, a fixed-up older house in a residential neighborhood of Houston.

Ramona Marek, Cats for the GENIUS

Sandy Lerner, author of Caticons

Janiss Garza, author of Rescued and other cat books

Anita Aurit, FelineOpines

CWA had been invited to sell our books in their parking lot on Friday evening. It was hot, of course, being Houston in June, but the gravel lot was shaded by big trees and a breeze cooled it comfortably. Each of the several participating authors had a nice big table to show off their books. We were even supplied with cat ears upon request. Though I doubt any of us sold a ton of books since the event hadn’t been widely publicized, it was great fun, and we all got time to spend with the cats in the cottage.

Kiril Kundurazieff & Amy Shojai

Lee-Ann Germinder

Deb Barnes

I can’t get away without a nod to the Awards Gala, where everyone had a chance to show off their finery, cat themed or otherwise. We enjoyed a cocktail hour chatting and watching the parade of finery. I thought the buffet dinner was excellent, and they didn’t run out of desserts like all too many catered affairs. Then came the awards themselves.

Jessica Spawn & Rick Reichenbach

Contest categories were many and varied, not just covering writing itself, but all aspects of cat-creativity. The bar that must be met to qualify for the awards shortlist is high, and winning, an honor. The Cat Writers’ Association understands how important it is for creative people to receive acknowledgement of their work from time to time. There is nothing quite like hearing your name called, walking up onto the stage to the applause of your peers, and having your picture taken with one of CWA’s elite. (The big, beautiful medal doesn’t hurt either!)

There is so much more I could write about— the cat show, the informal get-togethers in the bar, the swag bag stuffing party and the swag itself (my cats are still getting surprises from that big green and white bag)— but I don’t want to turn this post into a tome. Instead I’ll finish with a huge thank you to everyone who made the conference possible.

Note: If you are a cat writer, blogger, photographer, poet, artist, or anything else creative that has to do with cats, consider joining the Cat Writers’ Association, and be part of something that really works!

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The 2018 conference of the Cat Writers’ Association was made possible by the generous support of our Sponsors. Thank you. We are so very grateful to you all.

@alleycatrescue #aafp #catalystcouncil @ceva_usa @cfacats #cfagulfshore @clawguard @cornelluniversity @drelseys @fearfreepets @felinefixbyfive @gentleharvest @goodnewsforpets @hartzpets #hogs4paws @metropaws_llc @petcofoundation @petsafe @petsittersinternational @pettreehouses @pioneer_pet @prestoncares @purina @sleepypod @sturdiproducts @ticashows @tikipets @worldsbestcatlitter @zenbycat 🐾

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#catwriters #cwa2018 #catwritersassociation

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