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Monday Mentions: Cats, Dogs, Writing & CWA

Monday Mentions is the mash-up-day of all the neato-torpedo links and blogs and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week. This past weekend I’ve been at the Cat Writers’ Association 18th Annual Conference–woot!

In fact, you can check out the video at the end of today’s blog that has lots of photos and video clips from both the conference and the cat show. I’m writing this blog from the hotel lobby and won’t be home until late tonight (Sunday actually), so later in the week I’ll post a text recap of the experience.


Wonderful World of Cats Poster--4th Edition

The Fourth Edition of “The Wonderful World of Cats” poster came off the press July 2011 with a very limited edition of 3,000 posters offered to all cat lovers! This comes from my friend and colleague, CWA and DWAA member Patie Ventrie, and is considered a work of art by many feline fanciers–me, too! It has been produced in full color with 47 vibrant cat illustrations on an intentionally subdued blue/grey color background that enhances the beauty of the cat drawings.  Stunning, fascinating, and informatinve! Patie sent complimentary copies to attendees at this year’s CWA Conference and I can attest to the lovely work. She also donates a percentage of sales to Cat Fanciers Association, where you can order one or multiple posters.

Cat Heroes of War — Last week’s Monday Mentions included a link to war dog heroes so it’s only fair that this week we honor CATS!

Another friend and colleague you’ll recognize if you’ve ever seen the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, or the National Dog Show Presented by Purina (this coming Thanksgiving day broadcast, watch for it!). David Frei has been “in dogs” for likely more years that he wants to count. I had the distinct pleasure to interview him a couple of years ago for my very first Pet Peeves Radio Show about dog shows. At that time he was very active with the Angel On A Leash dog visitation programs into hospitals and more–and now he’s written a book on the subject. Full disclosure–I received a copy of the book literally as I prepared to board a plane, so I’ve not yet read it. So a review will come later–but I wanted to give David a shout-out AND point you to the National Dog Show this Thursday. Watch for more info on Woof Wednesday. And check out what promises to be a touching, moving and educational look at therapy dogs with Angel On a Leash.

Help A Pet, Give A Gift–Symbolically! Do you have a pet-loving friend who has everything? The ASPCA offers a brilliant solution for those hard-to-decide gifts. It’s a way to give a donation in a friend’s name to the cause of your choice–from “symbolic grooming” to “disaster transport.” Check it out!

Winners of ASPCA’s Humane Awards Seven outstanding animals and people—including a badly burned cat who refused to abandon her kittens and a six-year-old boy who raised more than $28,000 for his local animal shelter—were honored at this year’s ASPCA Humane Awards Luncheon. The link includes an awesome video of some of the recipients.

UC Davis Alumni Achievement Award, you can vote for your fav veterinary grad from this school.


What NOT to Blog About from agent Rachelle Gardner

Thriller Thursday Guest Blogger Allison Brennan, another great post from Stacy Green–and I have to second Stacy’s note about what a terrific and approachable and thoroughly NICE (plus great writer) Allison is. My first year attending Thrillerfest we met and … guess what? She’s got a kitty AND a doggy, too. *s*

Gene Lempp’s Blog Treasures Mash Up has an incredible array this week of writing and other fun schtuff (even a couple of my kitty-flavored offerings!)

Self Pub-ing Lessons from David Gaughran’s terrific blog with guest Mainak Dhar

Taking Your Novel from Good to Great from Kristen Lamb’s guest poster Danielle Poiesz, the Book Country Editorial Coordinator.


Pole Dancing Dolly–Huh??? from Manic Monday blogger Stacy Green, about all the lively educational toys your daughters can enjoy (NOT!)

Packing for Baby Disasters  at Jenny Hansen’s Risky Business blog, for that delivery-day preparation. Hey, I never had a two-legged so this is fascinating to me! (and great info for those expectant parents)

Tiffany A White’s OOOO Factor, all about Thanksgiving faves and great yummy recipes.

I was not able to capture every moment with my camera. Frankly, when you attend the CWA conference folks get caught up in the fun and camaraderie and forget to get it on film. Several photographers shot images, though, especially of the awards and (I understand) of Susan Logan and I doing our singin’ gig on Friday night, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, here’s a small taste of what happened. One of the “kittens” (first time attendee) has already posted that she landed an agent while here!

Plan for next year–start saving nickels and dimes now. The 19th Annual Conference also will be CWA’s 20th Birthday Celebration, in LA and some very special events will take place! Until next year, be good to yourself, feed your furry muses, and celebrate your own and colleague’s successes. Oh, and pet your pets and thank ’em for trusting us to be their voice.


This month as a special “thank you” to all my furry-fantastic-followers, I’ll give away a paw-tographed copy of Complete Care for Your Aging Cat and Complete Care for Your Aging Dog. To get in the running, simply post a comment in the blog about your special pet (old fogey or not) and I’ll draw two names at the end of the month. You can use these award-winning updated books as a resource for yourself or wrap up for a pet-friendly holiday gift to a fur-loving friend. And as an EXTRA-special incentive–and to encourage all of y’all to mentor each other and spread the blogging/twitter/Facebook love–the two winners get to name one purr-son who gives them wags of support and deserves a book, too!

#AskAmy Sweet Tweets

Folks who “follow” me on Twitter are the most awesome Sweet Tweets around–they love #cats and #dogs and #pets, many #amwriting. We’ve become a great community including those in the #MyWANA social network twibe hosted by the awesome @KristenLambTX.  So I’m stealing borrowing Kristen’s methods and creating my own hashtag. Just follow and include the #AskAmy in your tweets if’n you’re interested in pithy links to articles, books, blogs, experts, fictioning and sparkle-icity!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? 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!

Monday Mentions: Pet Books, Webinars & Howl-oween

Monday Mentions is the mash-up-day of all the neato-torpedo links and blogs and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week. Today we’re celebrating mostly pet stuff, and (ahem) some Amy-schtuff as this is a busy time with lots of appearances.

Please don’t be shy about sending me your own links or suggestions for others to highlight. I love doing a SNOOPY-DANCE-’O-JOY! in celebration of all the savvy writers and animal advocates doing the work of the angels–and to a few angels as well.


TWO-FACED CAT right in time for Halloween–and yes, this is a real cat and still living, wow!

HALLOWEEN PET SAFETY for all of the pets of your life.

DOGGY HALLOWEEN COSTUMES–how to get him to wear it? Magical-Dawg hasn’t any interest in dress-up And I’m afraid to ask the cat, she knows where I sleep. But if you’re in the mood to get all ghostly-photo-op-icity with your pets, the latest article in the link could be a help.


Most of y’all know that in addition to this blog, I also write books. You can find links to the various titles on the right side of the screen. And I’ll be making some *virtual* appearances to lecture on the topics covered in a couple of these books, if anyone is interested in learning more. You can even ask me specific questions and I’ll do my best to answer in a semi-intelligent way. Hey, I’m an actor, I can channel my inner intellectual (even if I cain’t spell it without, you know, spell check).

For the rest of the month I’m the guest author on the DogRead Cyber Book Club and discussing my Pet Care In the New Century cutting edge medicine book for the first couple of weeks. We’re covering bloat, back problems and paralysis, stem cell therapies and more to come–all those WOW-medical treatments now available to our cats and dogs.

The last half of the month we switch to dog and cat behavior and discuss the PETiQuette book. So if you have pet behavior concerns about multiple dogs, multiple cats, or putting the two together–or just like to talk about all the weird and wonderful things cats and dogs do, the discussion promises to be great fun.  The DogRead Email discussion list is FREE!


On Monday October 24 you can dial up a live Webinar at Danish-Swedish Farm Dogs USA for a fun hour discussing pet introductions–cats to cats, dogs to dogs, cats-dogs to each other, pets to babies/kids–the whole shebang. The event is pretty dang reasonable, and is sponsored by a wonderful savvy dog group that donates part of the proceeds to a doggy foundation (you get to choose) such as the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, the Rabies Challenge Fund, or the Canine Companions for Independence. Behaviorists and trainers can earn continuing education units. Dang, guess that means I’ll have to say something halfway intellectual again. Hmnn. Hope to *see* you there.

Here are a few more links that caught my — OOOOH SHINY! (ahem, sorry)… If you’ve never before had the delightful experience of watching a Simon’s Cat video, you’re in for a treat! Hint: Any writer who lives with a cat will relate.


ASPCA FUNNIEST DOG VIDEO CONTEST in conjunction with October’s Adopt A Shelter Dog Month

DOG LAW RESOURCES an interesting blog for dog writers–or dog lovers.

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? 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!

Monday Mentions: Cancer Support, Disaster Help & Furry Professional Ops

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Please take me home!

I’ve saved up lots of great info to share in today’s Monday Mentions. First, I had to share some of the puppy-licious pictures from this weekend’s adoption event. The babies mostly slept but finally woke up for some yappy-happy playtime. If you have a dog intent on breaking the bark-a-thon record, the latest tips for curbing barks may help.

Older dogs benefit from a terrific promotion hosted by Morris Animal Foundation on Sunday, September 18, for a K9 Cancer Walk at the Cove at Concord Park in Knoxville. The event will benefit the Foundation’s Canine Cancer Campaign, an initiative to fund research to prevent, treat and, ultimately, cure cancer in dogs. An estimated 50 percent of all dogs will battle cancer. All dog lovers are invited to attend and are encouraged to walk to celebrate the life of their canine best friend or walk in memory of dogs that have lost their battle with canine cancer.

Last week I talked about disaster pet preparation tips on the blog. The ASPCA has worked closely with the Joplin Humane Society and the last I heard, nearly 850 animals have since been rescued__with more than 200 beloved pets being reunited with their families. Here’s one story of a kitty and owner reunion!  Now the recent fires have displaced more families–and animals. Check out this video…and help if you can:

Some might be curious about those initials after my name, C.A.B.C.–that stands for Certified Animal Behavior Consultant (dogs and cats). I’m a professional member of IAABC. This professional membership organization promotes Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive (LIMA) principles in work with companion cats, dogs, parrots, horses and working animals.

In honor of Cat Adoption month in the U.S, the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants have a “special deal” for Cat Division applicants. The application fee has been waived for all new members (to all divisions) throughout the month of June–YEEE-HAW!!! President Marjie Alonso writes, “Cats are currently the most popular pet in the United States and  it’s imperative that we support and educate regarding growing need  for feline behavioral assistance and services to help cat owners.  Learn more about joining IAABC here.


Adopt a new friend, don't wait!

This past weekend I attended a puppy and kitten adoption and am pleased to say several fur-kids found new forever homes. But there are always so many more waiting . . . and after all, there’s still several days left in Adopt A Cat Month.

CATalyst Council is working with American Humane Association, American Veterinary Medical Association, and to make this June the most successful Adopt A Cat Month® ever! Check out the official website here. Better yet, visit your local shelter this month to take home a new feline friend! Oh, and check out the fantastic how-to video on kitty carrier training at the end of the blog, courtesy of Catalyst Council folks.

Can’t adopt right now? No problem. Consider fostering. Everyone wants to help critters–well, those who read this blog do anyway! But it comes at a cost. Good news! Did you know that your expenses of caring for “foster animals” may be tax deductible?

Unable to foster? One of my fav organizations Alley Cat Rescue offers a brilliant alternative. You can have a virtual adoption and sponsor an ACR office cat or special needs kitty.

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions–and to stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

Feline Friday: Easter Lilies Kill Cats!

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"I soooo cute...can I eat it?" (note, daffodils are toxic...these are fake!)


Cats are SUPPOSED to be obligate carnivores…a fancy way of saying they need meat. I’m sure that’s a comfort to the mice. So if they love mousy morsels so much, what’s up with them gnoshing greens?

Seren loves eating flowers. Roses, tulips, palm greenery…anything that comes into the house within paw-reach gets tasted. And actually dogs are more likely to munch on vegetation and target houseplants. But this time of year, as the Christian world celebrates Easter, our cats are at high risk for dying. Easter Lilies kill cats!

Detailed advice for dealing with the most common plant poisoning is available in The First-Aid Companion for Dogs and Cats. The ASPCA Animal Poison-Control Center is available for telephone consultations (1-888-426-4435) in case of poisoning emergency. For Easter lilies, if you see your pet munching, make ’em vomit immediately by squirting 3 percent hydrogen peroxide into the pet’s mouth–then get the vet asap.

Glass flowers are safe.

You can keep your pet family members safe and sound by simply removing all dangerous plants from their access. Consider beautiful but safer alternatives to lilies, such as Easter orchids, Easter daisies and violets. This Pet Talk video is from a year or so back (the dogs have been adopted, yay!), but the info is still current and important.

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions–and to stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways! NOTE: The newsletter went out yesterday–you can still sign up and I’ll send you the latest, so you can compete for the book give-aways!

Monday Mentions: Cat Artists, DNA & Purr-fect Reads

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Copr. Wendy Christensen, All Rights Reserved

Welcome to my weekly mash-up of blogs, websites, articles and/or video–anything that strikes my fancy. It can be furry, bitchy, bloody, sparkly, or any combo thereof, but (one hopes!) always interesting. Today, the blog focusses on the feline. And oh! what a clowder I’ve got for you!

I’m going to open and close the blog with cat artists extradinaire. Wendy Christensen not only is a brilliant artist (that’s her painting, above), but a gifted and award winning author. Her book, OUTWITTING CATS, teaches you the secrets of the irresistible “good deal” your cat craves. Outwitting a cat means persuading him that what you want is also what he wants. You can view more examples of her paintings to contact her about a feline portrait of your furry wonders as well as getting answers to kitty questions in the book.

Those who enjoy bloody good thriller writing or aspire to do some nefarious plotting of their own, check out D.P. Lyle’s Forensics Blog. Doug’s an MD, the author of Forensics for Dummies, several critically acclaimed thrillers of his own–oh, and a cat lover.

Forensics and DNA research has entered the forefront of animal investigations. Just last month, an ASPCA animal cruelty case employed DNA evidence to convict in two animal cruelty cases, sending two cat torturers to prison.  

Lottas ullisar’s Blog features all-things-cat, a nice mix of fun-t0-serious kitty content for quick reads and your feline fix. Check it out.

Drew Strouble is another cat artist currently featured on MUST LOVE CATS show on Animal Planet. I’ll let the clip speak for itself.

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions–and to stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

Feline Friday: SEX and the Single Pet

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Visit local shelters and adopt a friend today.

My editor of my newspaper column is a passionate animal advocate in her so-called spare time, and had a request. “Since it’s quickly becoming the season of “love” for cats and dogs, could you dedicate a near future column to the importance of spaying/neutering pets or at least doing something to keep them from breeding? The parking lots are already looking like an animal flea market every weekend with people who “accidentally” let their female dogs/cats get pregnant, or just wanted little Junior or Sissy to see a live birth so decided to let their pets breed instead of viewing any of the thousands of live animals births available on Animal Planet, or those who just want to try and make a quick buck or two. We’re already ready seeing it in the shelter/rescue operations and it’s only just starting.”

You got it! Next Tuesday’s “PETiQuette” column is titled “Don’t Make Litter-ary Mistakes” and likely will also be included in the April Pet Peeves newsletter.

I know that I’m preaching to the kitty choir. We all know that kittens are full of adorable-icity, but most of us do the responsible thing. Too many mom and dad cats (and dogs) suffer from parenthood. Intact cats are much more likely to end up hit by cars while seeking feline Romeos, and cat bites, cat fights, and kitty aggression escalates during the love-fest. Learn more about dealing with these by clicking on the links provided.

Besides, how do the kitties feel when hormones lead to love-spurned angst? With tongue planted firmly in furry cheek, check out this video, titled Cat Betrayed His Girlfriend! Sex! Heat! Rage! Foul language! (with ORIGINAL ENGLISH CAPTIONS)

Let’s get serious here. Springtime brings out the romance in our dogs and cats. And if owners aren’t careful, your precious FiFi will shake her furry tail at the Romeo down the street, and present you with a boatload of babies. It’s time to nip such romantical notions in the bud, and a great time to learn about the benefits of spay/neuter–including pediatric procedures done as early as 6 weeks on the youngsters. Join Dr. Lila Miller of the ASPCA for a discussion of the pros and cons of PET-SEX, and how to relieve your best friend of the urge to splurge on that love connection. Check out my Pet Peeves radio interview to learn more about Sex Sex Sex And The Single Pet!

Please share this blog and the links with other responsible pet folks, shelter advocates, and pet lovers (especially those who might be tempted by the adorable-icity factor!).

NEWS FLASH! In honor of’s 15th birthday, Tuesday March 15 has been designated Help Petfinder Adopt the Internet Day, a day devoted to getting the word out there about pet adoption and helping homeless pets find homes. Stay tuned for next week’s WOOF WEDNESDAY and FELINE FRIDAY blogs for more info.

Purrs and trills,


To stay up to date on all the latest cat-egorical or dog-matic content, subscribe to this blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

Writers Conference, Weird Weather & Radio Shows

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It’s been a busy month, with several assignments, regular columns, and volunteer duties cluttering my calendar. Between times, we’ve had CRAZY weather — nearly 80-degree temps in February alternating with ice storms, 8-12 inches of snow (in N. Texas?!) followed by many inches of rain after several years of drought.

The dog loves the snow, loves the rain, heck, he loves any excuse to get messy!

The OWFI Writers Conference this May 1-3 looms. After a year of work, I’m anxious to have the whole thing underway yet a bit nervous as well. Throwing a party of this magnitude ain’t for the faint of heart, and there’s always concern that the guests will actually come and appreciate the effort. There’s still time to register––come meet JA Jance, and many other authors, schmooze with editors and agents (maybe they’ll want to buy your next project!), and sign/sell your books at the autograph party.

For those of a furry purr-suasion, I’ve a few more radio shows posted at — simply click on the Pet Peeves logo and browse the offerings. Currently you’ll find an interview with Dr. Steve Hansen of the ASPCA’s poison prevention hotline, as well as another show featuring Dr. Susan Little and the Winn Feline Foundation. I’ll post a note when a very controversial upcoming show on cat declaw is available.