Cat Writers Hosts Awards Banquet
I have attended every Cat Writers Association event since the beginning that celebrates cat writing awards, and almost missed the 23rd Annual Conference and Awards Banquet this past weekend. Part of that was concern about my two aging pets. Magical-Dawg at age 10 and Seren-Kitty now 21 years old are not in ideal health, and I know my colleagues understand the pets must come first.
With some gentle purr-suasion, though, I was convinced to make an appearance. So I flew to Myrtle Beach on Friday for an overnight stay, to attend the awards banquet and some of the Saturday sessions before returning home. Boy, I’m glad that I did! With 240 entries and 42 awards presented, for writers like me, this is the a-CAT-amy awards.
One of the best parts of the annual event is reconnecting with colleagues and friends like PetWorldInsider folks (above), and networking with pet products companies. This year, I had little opportunity to visit the exhibit hall, but gave and received as many hugs and greetings as possible.
Wins, Wins Everywhere!
The Friday night banquet offers a chance to BLING UP. In addition to being nominated for several awards, I also sponsored and presented the SHOJAI MENTOR AWARD (above), this year given to longtime CWA member Paul Glassner.
I was delighted to receive recognition for my Herald Democrat newspaper column, P’ETiQuette. These medallion categories are judged by three professional CWA members, and the highest of their composite score selects the winner. It always means so much to be recognized by peers.
My second Muse Medallion recognized a cat behavior blog contributions I write for PetSafe.com Paw Print Blog. This Bling, Bitches & Blood Blog also was nominated so actually, I got to compete with myself!
FEAR FREE PETS AWARD
I’ve talked about the Fear Free Pets initiative before and I believe so much in this program, I’ve become Fear Free Certified, too. The program inspired me to write one of my quick tips books MY CAT HATES MY VET: Foiling Fear Before, During & After Vet Visits–and that booklet last Friday night won the Fear Free Pets Award, mee-wow! The prize comes with a $2000 cash award, plus that whimsical mirror shown above (Peeping Toms, LOL!). I was excited to receive the award from Dr. Elizabeth Bales (left) and CWA President Marci Kladnik (left).
AAFP CAT FRIENDLY AWARD
Not only did MY CAT HATES MY VET win the Fear Free Pets award, it also was recognized by the American Association of Feline Practitioners with the Cat Friendly Award of $500 and a certificate. The Cat Friendly Practice initiative seeks to make veterinary practices “feline friendly” to increase cat health visits.
To celebrate these honors, I’ve made the Ebook version FREE for the next few days (until Friday). So please tell everyone to get a copy of the free book here and get rid of the HISSES surrounding vet visits.
Finally, an editorial about caring for aging cats received the Hartz Award of $500 and a gorgeous glass engraved trophy. Since I have a 21-year-old kitty, this is a topic very close to my heart. My friend and colleague, contest chair Arden Moore (below, left) presented the trophy that evening.
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Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified cat & dog behavior consultant, a consultant to the pet industry, and the award-winning author of 35+ pet-centric books and Thrillers with Bite! Oh, and she loves bling!