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Thanksgiving Blessings, the Pet Writer Way

Thanksgiving Blessings, the Pet Writer Way

It’s two days before Thanksgiving 2018 and time again to count my furry blessings. This year I’m thankful to be home with my family—furry and human—rather than on the bumpy road and bumpier plane. I’m thankful my human family, though miles away, remain close-knit and...

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STARZ, the Musical! Review & Trailer Samples

STARZ, the Musical! Review & Trailer Samples

STARZ, the Musical We've been shouting to the world how thrilled we are with the premier our show STARZ musical. Even reviewers loved the Starz show -- see what Mark Beardsley had to say in the Herald Democrat here. This is the 4th musical theatre production by Shojai...

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STARZ Contest: Script, Score & Tickets Give Away!

STARZ Contest: Script, Score & Tickets Give Away!

STARZ Script Give Away! A brand new play STARZ, THE MUSICAL premiers April 19-20-21, 2018 and you are invited--to win free tickets! Even if you're not in the North Texas area, here's your chance to win a copy of this original show (script and piano score), autographed...

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Thanksgiving the Pet Writer Way: Giving Furry Thanks

Thanksgiving the Pet Writer Way: Giving Furry Thanks

It’s nearly Thanksgiving and I'm updating my annual blog. It's time again to count my furry blessings. This year I’m thankful to be home with my family—furry and human—rather than on the bumpy road and bumpier plane. I’m thankful my human family, though miles away,...

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Jesus Christ Superstar: Living The Part

Jesus Christ Superstar: Living The Part

Many of my readers know about my passion for plays and theater and music. So when the opportunity came to be involved in a rock opera, I had to audition for the chance to sing in the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice masterpiece, Jesus Christ Superstar. JESUS CHRIST...

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Recent Posts

What A Pain! Understanding Pet Pain & What to Do When Pets Hurt

September is Animal Pain Awareness Month, so I wanted to share this vital information again. We know pain hurts, but pain in pets and treating pet pain when pets hurt confuses us. They can’t tell us they feel pain, or where it hurts. Not like humans.

Because I get to work at home, there are certain perks I enjoy–such as going barefoot to work. But one afternoon last fall I moved too fast and kicked the whey outta my big toe. This wasn’t just a stubbed toe, either—it lifted and peeled the nail back to the quick, bled everywhere and hurt like the devil! Yes, I said a few choice words as I hobbled down the stairs from my office (trying not to leave a bloody trail) to get bandage material. Ooooooh, that puppy throbbed and made me whimper and howl, let me tell you.
I understand how Magical-Dawg felt several years ago. After a run in the field playing fetch, he started shivering when he came inside. The ninety-degree weather argued that he was not chilled. I checked him head-to-tail, and found nothing wrong. But later in the week, he again started shivering, and even growled at me when I asked him to move—very uncharacteristic.

Finally, after several days and two vet visits, we figured out his problem. He’d torn a dewclaw back to the quick. it hadn’t come off, so the injury remained hidden. Seren-kitty had this happen once, too, when her claw caught on bedding as she leaped from the pillow. She hid. But Magic’s short temper, shivers, and hyper-alert behavior resulted from being in pain. Here’s what you need to know to help your pets.

Cat Names for Happy Cat Month

Happy cat, happy life, right? Happy Cat Month should be every month! We celebrate Happy Cat Month in September, and nothing makes a cat happier than hearing his or her special cat name.

What do you call your feline friend? How did you come up with your cat’s name? I’ve got a theme going with my kitty friends. Seren (short for Serendipity) came to me at just the right time. And so did Karma-Kat, when our Magical-Dawg found him. Cats seem to name themselves and there are many popular ones these days. But you don’t have to go with the crowd. Learn how people say “cat” all around the world…plus some naming tips sure to please…

Pet Insurance: What You Need to Know To Choose Insurance For Pets

Do you have pet insurance for your cats and dogs? After what we’ve gone through with Bravo’s health challenges, it seemed a good time to revisit insurance for pets. September is National Pet Health Insurance Month. If you have an aging cat or a dog that’s a golden oldie, it may be a good idea to look into insurance for pets.

A heart-wrenching dilemma arises when treatment is possible, but the owner can’t afford the expense. According to the most recent American Pet Products Association (ABBA) National Pet Owners Survey, the U.S. spent an estimated $123 billion on veterinary care. According to the 2021-2022 APPA National Pet Owners Survey, 70% of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 90.5 million in homes.

Jack Stephens, DVM founded the first insurance company, Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) in 1980. He had the support of 750 independent veterinarians. Pet insurance has been slow to be adopted in the US and Canada, but the number of insured pets has slowly increased. A survey showed 3.45 million pets were insured by the end of 2020, according to NAPHIA, the North American Pet Health Insurance Association. Here’s what to look for when shopping for pet insurance…

Today, that’s a great option for many folks, but insurance for pets works a bit differently than human health insurance. Owners of pets must make health care decisions that often are based on financial limitations. Even if it takes ten or fifteen years for you to use pet insurance, you will.

National Dog Day & What Dogs Want Out of Life

At my house, National Dog Day happens every day. The celebration offers a wonderful opportunity to walk a mile in your dog’s paws. What dogs want can differ a bit from what dogs need.

While it’s a given that dog lovers treat canine companions with compassion every day of the year, during this special celebration, taking stock of what your dog wants out of life can offer insight to keep his tail wagging all year long.

WHAT DOGS NEED ON NATIONAL DOG DAY

Companionship

Our dogs want to be part of a family. That includes the humans in the household, but your dog may also count the other dogs, cats, rabbits or other animal friends as part of his extended family group. Karma-Kat adores Shadow, but never misses an opportunity to tease…maybe steal the dog’s new toys or bed!

It’s not quantity, but quality of companionship…

National Bring Your Cat to the Vet Day

August 22, is “National Bring Your Cat to the Vet Day.” The Catalyst Council along with American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP),  Cat Fanciers Association (CFA), The International Cat Association (TICA), and a major pet food company have partnered in this an opportunity to educate cat owners on the importance of routine check-ups.

I’ve posted about this topic for the past several years. Catalyst Council cites a study by Bayer Animal Health that half of all American pet cats do not see a veterinarian regularly. And of the 1000+ Banfield veterinary hospitals, only one cat is seen by a veterinarian for every five dogs, despite many studies reporting that there are nearly eight million more pet cats than dogs.

My two cats see the veterinarian, despite their reluctance to do so. So…are you ready to get Kitty to the vet? What’s holding you back?

What About Dr. Google?

Now, y’all know I have a boatload of books available about how to care for your furry wonders, from kittenhood to old age, first aid and everything in between. But a book or an Internet search is NOT how best to care for your cat!

There IS a new resource just for pet parents that can help you with some of the objections your cats (and you) have. Many kitties are afraid of changes in routine, so vet visits turn up the fear factor. You can join Fear Free Happy Homes for free–and access lots of tips for taking away kitty angst. I’ve also put together a short award-winning Quick Tips booklet with some helpful advice, too…

Cat Colds & Curing Kitty Congestion

Karma-Kat started sneezing a couple of weeks ago. When cats have the sniffles, you worry about curing kitty congestion. Cat colds are one of the most common health problems of kittens and adult cats. Feline upper respiratory diseases, sometimes called cat flu, often affect shelter and rescue cats. My cat Seren-Kitty also had a couple of severe bouts with kitty snorkles.

For more information about cat colds and dog coughs, see this post.

This time, we attribute Karma’s “achoo” to the work done in the house. We changed our carpet for hardwood, and they sanded the entire downstairs area. Once the dust settled, he no longer sneezed. Karma-Kat has only had sneeze-attacks one other time. I’m always alert to any change in behavior, so even a normal amount of A-CHOO makes me pay attention.

While there are preventive vaccinations available to help protect your cats, many kittens and cats become infected very early before they receive vaccines. Once infected, a cat may develop sniffles any time they become stressed. These tips can help relieve the sniffles and cat cold problems.

Cat Colds & Curing Kitty Congestion

Has the annual outbreak of flu, sinus infections, and general creeping-crud attacked you this season? Hopefully, you’re safe from the COVID-19 virus that causes similar symptoms in people. Thankfully, the COVID virus and variants don’t routinely cause cat flu symptoms.

I’m washing my hands constantly and staying home with the fur-kids as much as possible. That’s one more positive about working alone at home–less contact with contagious folks. I’ve been told that the flu vaccination (always a good thing!) works well when given in advance, but of course, that depends on the type of flu. The dang bug keeps changing. *sigh*

A stopped-up nose and crusty eyes are not only miserable for humans, these signs in cats also cause a wide range of health problems in cats. Discharge that’s runny and clear usually goes away in a couple of days by itself. But any time it continues longer than that, or the discharge is cloudy or thick and clogs up the eyes or nose, a virus could be the culprit. Upper respiratory infections in cats (URI) also cause mouth and eye sores. Here’s what you can do…

Black Cat Appreciation Day: Picking the Perfect Cat

August 17 is Black Cat Appreciation Day to counter black cat negative myths. Of course, those folks who share their lives (and pillows!) with a special black cat know better. Sadly, too many black cats remain in shelters rather than being adopted.
In fact, some evidence supports the notion that black cats (one of the first “mutations” of wild coat color), enhanced what I call the feline friendly factor. Black cats often seem to be much more agreeable and love spending time with their chosen human. Maybe that’s why so many of the so-called witches were associated with black kitties.
People have more difficulty picking cats because they assume all felines are the same. And because usually, cats pick us.

Pet-centric September & Shadow Thrillers Audiobook On Sale!

September & Shadow Thriller Trilogy #2 On Sale (in AUDIO)

This 3-book collection usually priced at $24.99 includes FIGHT OR FLIGHT (#4), HIT AND RUN (#5), and WIN OR LOSE (#6) in the series. Amazon won’t let me set prices (boo!) but I’ve discounted the audiobook on other platforms.

$1.99 on CHIRP books,
Discounted on Apple Audio
Discounted on Barnes & Noble.

Learn more…

Spoil Your Dog Every Day: 8 Ways How to Show Dogs You Love Them

August 10 is National Spoil Your Dog Day. So how do you spoil your canine companion? Or do you pamper your pet too much?

Our dogs give us unconditional love, and never care that we have a bad hair day, forget to change our socks or brush our teeth—actually, they might like that! They greet us at the door like heroes bearing treasures and always offer a happy wag and eager smooch. Whether dogs snuggle to share our joy or pester us out of a blue mood with a game of fetch, they love us 24/7/365.

That’s one of the many reasons dog lovers consider them part of the family. It’s only natural for us to return the affection by spoiling dogs. Dog lovers don’t need a Spoil Your Dog holiday, either–we love them every day of the year. Here are some ways to return the furry favor for your dog.

Recently, I’ve received a boatload of emails with product suggestions for spoiling dogs with healthy fun. So check out some of the offerings–and in the comments, add suggestions of your own! Then share the blog far and wide to spread the puppy love!

Do Cats Suffer Separation Anxiety? Signs & Tips to Relieve the Angst

Yes, cat separation anxiety affects many felines. When school restarts, and the kids go back to class, your cats (and your dogs) may suffer from separation anxiety. The signs of distress are very different, though. I encourage you to read on to learn about tips for helping your furry family members adjust.

More recently, with more folks working from home, the cats have finally settled into a new routine. But just about the time Kitty gets used to your new schedule, the world changes again if you go back to the office. That may make them more prone to developing separation behaviors when you go back to work or kids return to school and leave them alone.

We very often hear about doggy angst during a beloved human’s absence, but what about cats? Yep, it’s exactly the same—only different. Here’s how.

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Amy Shojai CACB is an award winning author.  You can find all her publications and book her to speak via her website. 

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