Got a book idea, but no time? Suffering from writer's block, or lack of motivation? Frustrated by distractions or "not good enough" second-guessing? Kick those doubts in the ass-ets and get the project on track and finished--even if you have only 10 minutes a day! Due...
Fight or Flight: Name That Dog, Name That Cat & Name That Horse Contest!
FINAL UPDATE! More than 50 names were suggested -- the finalists are listed on polls, below, and the POLLS HAVE CLOSED! With nearly 400 votes, the winners are: KARMA for the Rottie MAGIC for the Pup FURY for the Horse GIZMO for the Cat This contest, for the first...
Houston, We DON’T Have a Problem: Book Signing & Talk, Y’all Come!
Hey there Sweet Peeps! I'm excited about the CWA book signing and writers conference events this weekend in Houston, Texas. Please come on out an d say HOWDY! Here's the deets. CWA WRITERS CONFERENCE The CWA Writers Conference is an annual event for beginning to...
Cat Writers Conference Shares Good Publishing & Writing Advice
I love a great writers conference, don't you?. Y’all know that I write about pet-centric topics in both my nonfiction and fiction, so the Cat Writers Association events are one of my favs--and I've not missed a single conference. Hey, don’t laugh—it’s not the cats...
Writing Advice? Publishing Classes? A New Pet Project (Maybe!)
I'm very fortunate to work at a job I love. In fact, I frequently am asked about offering publishing classes and writing advice -- who, me??? Maybe a book: I could call it WRITING LIKE CATS & DOGS! ha! Many of y'all have heard me say that I've had to "reinvent"...
Amy Shojai Named Pet Industry Woman of the Year Finalist in WIPIN Pet Industry Awards
So...this happened. I'm a Women In the Pet Industry (WIPIN Pet Industry Awards) FINALIST for Solopreneur of the Year. The other award categories are Entrepreneur, Corporate, Advocate and Rising Star. DARE TO DREAM BIG The pet industry is chock full of amazingly...
Thoughty Thursday: What’s YOUR Bliss?
I’ve had a lot of jobs over the years, all why searching for my own personal bliss. Some were glorious adventures while others hit big numbers on the suck-ometer. That happens, when you follow your muse...in my cases, a furry one. Jobs, Careers & the Bliss Factor...
Cat Writers & BlogPaws Rock the Pet World!
Cat Writers' Association and BlogPaws joined furry forces for an historic combined conference benefiting writers and bloggers of all purr-suasions--and to enthusiastic applause by one and all! In the coming days and weeks, many of us will continue to shout out praises...
Thriller Thursday: Theater, Horses & Murder = One Dead, Two to Go
THRILLER THURSDAY is a new occasional feature of Bling, Bitches & Blood. As a member of International Thriller Writers and alumni of the ITW Debut Author Program, it is my honor to showcase select ITW authors and books participating in the ITW Bloggers Program. If...
Dare Or Die RELEASES: Amy Shojai Thriller Book #7
DARE OR DIE RELEASES
It’s a book baby birthday today–DARE OR DIE releases, thriller #7 in my THRILLERS WITH BITE series featuring September and Shadow. Get your copy from any of the Ebook platforms.
Or if you prefer physical copies, I gotcha covered with trade paperback and also hardcover versions, available on Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, or (maybe) if you ask your librarian nicely to order a copy. For all the audiobook lovers out there–yes, in the works, so stay tuned. I hope to have the recording finished and sent to the editor for a late May release on all audiobook platforms.
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR DARE OR DIE!
“Wow—what a ride! I cannot express how much I loved DARE OR DIE. I enjoy thrillers, but you gave new meaning to the genre with this one. Now I have to go back and read the entire series!” ~Mary H.
“Such a great page turner. Twisty.” ~Carol S.
“This might be the best one yet! As always, you are the queen of the (chapter ending) cliffhanger…” ~Kristi B.
“Another great addition to the Thrillers with Bite series.” ~Nicola A.
Get your copy now…Ebook, paperback, or hardcover. Ya know ya want to…
Cat Urinary Blockage, Feline Urinary Tract Disorders & The “Stoned” Cat
Do you know the signs of a cat urinary blockage? Do you know about FLUTD? Maybe you’re puzzled why your cat suddenly pees outside the box? Or maybe he strains and strains but can’t elminate. Is it constipation? Or does he have a cat urinary blockage? How can I stop my cat from peeing on the carpet?
If you’re asking these questions, you’ve come to the right place. Feline lower urinary tract disorders (FLUTD) can cause deadly cat urinary blockage. It frustrates cat owners—and also the cats! A cat urinary blockage can be deadly, so it’s vital to recognize the signs of a feline urinary tract disorder. This post is dedicated to my friend Susan Richardson-Cripps and the memory of Heathcliff, her fun-loving orange kitty boy.
How To Give Pets As Gifts
Giving pets as gifts prompts discussions every time the subject comes up. Most recently, we got our “gift puppy” and “gift kitten” when they adopted us, and we’re so glad Karma-Kat and Shadow-Pup are part of our holidays. But for many folks, this year means a new puppy or new kitten for Christmas. Learn how to gift pets–and please share your experiences in the comments!
The professionals used to say that the holidays were a TERRIBLE time to get a new pet–that impulse adoptions could leave the cat or dog without a home after the cute-holiday-thrills wore off. More recently, though, the ASPCA conducted some surveys and discovered that when done properly, these adoptions can be lasting, loving adoptions. So I had to re-think my advice.
Holidays tend to be hectic times when normal routines go out the window. Whether a baby, adult, or senior rescue cat or dog, new animals need the stability of knowing what to expect. In fact, some holiday schedules may allow you to be home more during this time to help the new kitty or pooch adjust.
Holiday pets take more work, true. But just think: you’re not only giving the pet to a person—you’re giving a special human to a waiting cat or dog, a fur-kid hungry for a loving, permanent home. Happy holidays, indeed!
How to Get the Most from Vet Visits: What to Ask & How to Ask
When I worked as a veterinary technician many years ago, pet parents ask questions all the time, but rarely to the vet. Folks often acted embarrassed, or waited to telephone from home hours or days after the appointment. Perhaps they felt intimidated by the doctor when they take pets to the back, or feared their questions were foolish. Maybe the busy schedule of the clinic offered little opportunity to ask.
Whatever the reason, remember that there are no foolish questions for your beloved cat and dog. Does your dog hate the vet, or is your cat fearful of vet visits? That can increase your own worry and stress.
As your pet’s top advocate, it’s up to you to arm yourself with expert advice and information to provide the best care possible. Here are some tips to be fear free when asking your vet questions.
Calling All Pet Professionals: What to do about Dr. Google
Many years ago when I worked as a veterinary technician, I spent much of my time “translating” the doctor’s medical-speak into language that pet parents more easily understood. I can’t complain, because that gave me my career. But why turn to the vet tech instead of the doctor? Well, clients felt intimidated to ask the veterinarian for clarification, embarrassed they didn’t understand, and reluctant to “waste the doctor’s time.”
My, how times change. Today, many pet parents arrive at the clinic with the leash or carrier in one hand and a printout in the other, courtesy of “Dr. Google.” Pet professionals applaud their advocacy and determination to self-educate and provide the best care for their animal companions.
But pet professionals become frustrated when this information is at best inapplicable, and at worst, downright dangerous. Yet, you don’t want to appear condescending or “hiss off” your clients, so they stop coming altogether. And pet lovers–you don’t want to be discounted in your hunt for best practices for your cats and dogs.
Don’t bump heads. Here are some ways to manage Dr. Google without driving each other away.
Earth Day for Pets: How to Celebrate Responsibly
It’s Earth Day! Now, we have to be responsible because the Earth is the only place that has dogs and cats. Am I right? So how will you make Earth Day for pets a fun celebration? Shadow-Pup, Karma-Kat and I are encouraging everyone to do their part to help take care of this gorgeous planet we share.
4 Eco-Friendly Ways to Enrich Your Cat’s Environment
Do you get bored? How do you know when your cat feels bored, just like we do? Cats may sleep more (and they already sleep a LOT!). If you free feed leaving out food all the time, a bored cat fills up their empty feelings with a full tummy. Or, they may act out by scratching the wrong object, or–in my Karma-Kat’s case, he torments the dog.
I’m a huge proponent of environmental enrichment for cats. Think about it–while dogs more typically get outings with walks in the park or car rides, we keep cats safe inside. No wonder they get bored. With Earth Day coming up on April 22, think about some eco-friendly ways to enrich your cat’s environment.
You don’t have to spend a bunch of money, either, or a lot of time. Here are some easy and fun “green” projects to try and see if that turns on the kitty purrs.
4 Eco-Friendly Ways to Enrich Your Dog’s Environment
Dogs, cats and other pets can get bored just like we do. I struggle not to binge on snacks and bad TV. Keeping our minds and bodies active is important for our health, and environmental enrichment elevates your dog’s physical and emotional health.
When Shadow-Pup feels bored, he terrorizes Karma-Kat. Oh, they love to play together, but he overdoes things and can get too rough when he feels bored. He’ll also demand more attention from his humans. That takes the form of staring and barking at us (READ MY MIND!), or bringing toys to play, or even indulging in zoomies–racing around and around the house l
There are many ways you can add some stimulation into your pet’s world. That doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Check out these easy and green pet-parent projects you can try this spring.
How to Leash Train Cats
Why would you want to leash train cats and confine kitties from stalking and pouncing? Isn’t that mean? Actually, it’s not cruel, but without proper introduction, it can be a wee bit scary. In my Complete Kitten Care book, I call this LIBERATION TRAINING. Teaching your new cat to walk on a leash is a safety issue, but also means they get to venture beyond the confines of your house and into the yard and beyond.
This week during a cat consult, a pet parent asked about training her cat to walk on a leash. It’s always a good time to revisit the notion. An adult cat won’t automatically understand the concept, though, so this blog not only explains the benefits of leash training to YOU, it also helps you purr-suade your cats to get a new leash on life. Sorry, couldn’t resist.
Cats and Mirrors: Stranger Danger or Twin Fun?
Years ago, when I was the spokesperson for the Purina Cat Chow Way of Life Tour, we’d arrive in town the evening before and visit the shelter to choose a kitty for the next morning’s TV appearance. The “stars” almost always received lots of attention from viewers and got adopted. Understandably, shelter staff had their favorites and often urged us to choose a special feline that had less chance for a forever home. I had the delight of spending the night in the hotel room with the lucky kitty. Believe me, it was tough not to bring a whole clowder home!
One memorable kitty hated mirrors. Oy!
The shelter volunteers urged us to take a “lifer” onto the TV show. This kitty had been there for several years, and probably couldn’t remember ever being on the “outside.” She’d had reconstructive eye surgery for a birth defect (problems with the eyelids) and had poor vision. But she was sweet and adored by the whole staff–so we chose her to make a television appearance.
That evening, when I opened the carrier door in the hotel room to allow her to stretch her legs, she got as far as the closet door, and FREAKED! The mirror reflection terrified her—that strange cat in the glass hissed at her, screamed at her, threatened to attack—and this poor cat hadn’t a clue what to do. Why do cats get freaked out by mirrors? It’s likely the eyesight issue made it worse, but many cats react to mirrors poorly. Learn here why cats hate mirrors and what you can do to ease the angst!
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