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Furry Friday: Channeling Your Inner Fur-Kid

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What are you TELLING me?

How the hell does she swing from the drapes and seek out the highest spot in the house? Why in doGs name did he roll in dead fish—and then share by rubbing clean against my socks? Does shedding itch? Is that cute innocent look for real, or just an act?

Are you passionate about pets, too? Do you ever stop thinking about them? For more than twenty years, I’ve puzzled over their actions, behaviors, motivations and care, nearly 24/7. Pets rule.

Okay, so according to the pet-less, I have no life. Some folks write to change the world. They do so with passion, dedication, and great skill, and I admire them greatly. But I’m not the only writer obsessed with fluffy subject matter.

Amy Shojai with Golden

Westminster Kennel Club dog show after the DWAA events, where you can meet the most glorious dogs and dedicated pet people!

Pet writers also write to make a difference, and sometimes manage to save lives. After reading several cat-egories to judge a recent CWA contest of outstanding work, this hits home with me in a big way. Cat Writers Association members as well as Dog Writers Association of America folks rarely know what impact the work has, because those who most benefit from pet writing never read it. In fact, some of ‘em probably baptize it.

Please don’t leave my Petiquette newspaper columns on the floor. It’s disheartening. And if you use them to line the bottom of the parrot cage, let that be your little secret. I don’t need to know. Really, I don’t.

FAN? Really, a FAN?!

Last week I received a letter–yes, a real hand-written-and-printed-in-pencil letter–from a fan. It seems that an eleven-year-old wannabe kitten owner had been told by her Mom she needed to learn about taking care of kittens FIRST before adopting a furry baby. So the little girl decided to write to me after reading my kitten book. WOW-WOW-WOW! and hurray for Mom!

It’s worth it. Every bit of the sleepless nights. Pet writers get paid with more than $$. What made your day/week/month worth the angst?

kitten with typewriter

Cat writers channel their inner kitten...

Of course pet writers wish their audience had pocketbooks. In this economy that would help more of the furry-inclined to spend more time doing what makes writerly hearts go pitty-pat. But if pets could read and had wallets, they’d spend hard-earned kibble on Kitty Kaviar, Puppy Crunchies or fuzzy squeaker toys to disembowel (or hump) at the most inappropriate time. At least, that’s what Magic and Seren would do. What would your fur-kids buy with their spare change?

My illiterate furry audience “reads” in very different ways–puppies communicate one way and cats talk another. My true readership will never ask for a pawtograph, or care if I have initials after my name. But they will do back-flips for the right treat, and wag and purr with delight should a human finally understand that tail-talk.

What about you? are you different? What’s your obsession? Writing? Sparkly objects? Gerbils? Cheetos and M&Ms? (that’s writerly brain-food, ya know!).

As for me, until my audience comes out from under the bed, or tires from dog-earing one of my books and actually SPEAKS in language most owners understand–and puts me gloriously, wonderfully out of business–I’ll keep typing, blogging, fiction-ing and radio-ing away.

Wait, I’m channeling a message now. It’s coming clear, yes, it’s…I see it all now! what I absolutely, without a doubt, know to be the meaning behind all the howls, hisses, yowls, and wags. The fur-kids of the world sit up and beg and howl their message loud and clear:


Trust me. I’m a professional. And pets never lie.

What do YOUR pets tell you to do? I’ll give you a moment to channel the fur kids. Go ahead, I’ll wait . . . . everybody here? So ask ’em. What does the cat say? Is her fondest desire to doze in front of the fan? or eat mouse morsels off a crystal plate?  or have you give up your job to scritch her itchy spots all of the time? If your fur kids could have their most favorite wish come true, what would it be?

One of my wishes would be for all the pets of the world to get along with each other and their people. I think the critters in the video, below, are on their way to making that happen. What do YOU think?

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? I’m nearly ready to record a bunch of new ones, so be sure to get your requests in the comments. Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

About amyshojai

Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified animal behavior consultant (dogs/cats), award winning author of 30+ pet care titles and thrillers, and spokesperson to the pet industry.

11 responses »

  1. My new kittens are hilarious. Lorenzo, the red point sure-looks-like-a-siamese-to-me, is a lover. He wants to snuggle, allows belly rubs, and makes the cutest trilling sound when he’s being snuggled. Lilah, the light colored calico, is the feisty one. She thinks she’s a kitty James Bond. Or maybe Seichan from James Rollins’ Sigma Force books. Together, they tumble all over the house, wrestling and chasing. This morning they were playing soccar with a puff ball. 😀

  2. LOL! Kittens provide endless entertainment. Love the “puff ball soccer” visual! Thanks for visiting–you’ll have to share some pictures. *s*

  3. Is it worth it? Four paws straight up, yes! I learn about life from every cat I work with and/or live with. It’s about challenging what I already know while being open to new possibilities. This week I made a breakthrough with an aggressive foster Siamese cat by devising a new “toy”. I’ll be blogging about it tomorrow. I speak Siamese and this Dragon Lady has a lot to say. The beauty is: everyone can learn to channel or communicate directly with their pets if they take the time to listen. We’re so plugged in and yet out of tune. In the silence, when we still our hearts and minds, we can hear our pets loud and clear.

    • Layla I agree with you! But…your comment “four paws straight up” offers a visual that’s ROTFL! funny! That’s the way my dog sleeps sometimes but haven’t seen Seren do the four-feet-the-air posture yet. *s*

      Great news you’ve gotten through to the kitty Dragon Lady. *s* I look forward to reading your blog tomorrow.

  4. I can’t imagine my life without pets!! That would truly be ‘no life’ for me! And as for what my pets tell me do do…Play! Eat! Walk! Ride! Love meeeee! LOL

  5. I can’t imagine my life without pets!! That would truly be ‘no life’ for me! And as for what my pets tell me do do…Play! Eat! Walk! Ride! Love meeeee! LOL

  6. Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

    I do all of my writing with at least one puppy, and usually at least one kitty snuggled up to me. I can’t concentrate without the fur kids helping me write.


  7. Wayne, I think you’re like most of the folks who read the blog–fur is part of the recipe for good writing.

  8. Our traveling lifestyle doesn’t allow for pets at the moment. Thanks for giving me my furry fixes, Amy!


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