Cat Writers' Association, Inc.


Over 100 people attended the gala Cat Writers' Association annual awards banquet held in San Mateo, CA on November 17, 2007. Through the generosity of corporate sponsors, the CWA presented the following Special Awards:

ASPCA HUMANE AWARD - The ASPCA National Programs Office sponsors this award that is presented to the author or creator of the work that best illuminates an aspect of the ASPCA's mission, such as pet overpopulation, humane education, shelter adoptions, or the prevention of cruelty.
The winner is Katina Antoniades for "Highlighting the Wallflowers," Animal Sheltering magazine.

Jane Hoffman, President and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "I selected this submission because it covers its subject completely and authoritatively, and is well-written and accessible. The article will spark the imagination of even a seasoned shelter director, yet would be of interest to a non-rescue person, e.g., an adopter or anyone who cares about animals, because it illuminates a particular aspect of shelter adoption. It offers excellent ideas for promoting animals that are oftentimes overlooked, and it provides clear and simple (but not simplistic) advice that is actionable. I believe the reader can gain as much, if not more, value from this article than from an entire book. The writer has taken a narrower topic than some, and explored it thoroughly. The material is organized logically, written well, and generates interest and enthusiasm. It covers cats and dogs, but easily meets the criteria for inclusion in a cat writing competition (must be at least one-third about cats). To me this entry is right on target for the ASPCA Humane Award."

AKC COMPANION ANIMAL RECOVERY AWARD is given to the best single entry which informs and educates the general public about issues relating to lost cats, stray cats, behaviors of roaming and feral cats, and all forms of pet identification and recovery. The most appropriate topics are those which emphasize reuniting cats with their owners and responsibly preventing lost cats, such as by using identification and keeping pet cats indoors.

The winner is Bryan Kortis for "Implementing a Community Trap-Neuter-Return Program."

The judge for this category was Dr. Valerie Creighton, a feline veterinarian and incoming president of the American Association of Feline Practitioners. She is also the owner and founder of The Cat Doctor, a cats-only veterinary hospital in Thousand Oaks, California.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "The author attended, in a very practical way, to the wide and colorful ariety of demographic settings, volunteer resources and feral cat situations that can be found around the nation today. His treatment demonstrated a deep understanding of the motivations and challenges faced by those who strive to alleviate the problem of abandoned and feral cats. "The author's style showed a directness, clarity and sensitivity in addressing some of the more emotionally charged aspects of implementing a TNR program in the social and political milieu of a community. The piece was thorough and detailed, yet easy to understand, inspiring and focused on positive results. I cannot imagine a more useful or better-written guide to the implementation of a TNR program. And as such, it could have a beneficial impact on the well-being of both feral cat and human communities. "

Dr. Jim Richards/Cornell Feline Health Center Veterinary Issues - Arden Moore, winner (l), presented by Lea-Ann Germinder (r)
Photo: ©Betsy Stowe
DR. JIM RICHARDS/CORNELL FELINE HEALTH CENTER VETERINARY ISSUES is offered by Cornell University's Feline Health Center to the highest-quality entry on the topic of technological advances, research, new medical developments or innovations in feline veterinary medicine.

The winner is Arden Moore for "Feline DNA and You," Catnip

The judge for this category was Dr. Loraine Kogut Jarboe, a classmate of Dr. Jim Richards at Ohio State University. She is certified in both the Feline Practice and the Canine/Feline Practice specialties.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "I felt that this article was well organized, and focused on all the topics that the award is designed for: technological advances, research, new medical developments and innovations in feline veterinary medicine. The author style is easy to read and the information was both accurate and complete."

FORT DODGE/ HEALTHY CATS FOR LIFE TURNING POINT AWARD is for the best published work by a beginning cat writer or photographer.

The winner is Helen L. Wilbur for M if for Meow: A Cat Dictionary.

The judge for this category was Harriet Weatherford, a former president and member of the board of directors of the Champaign County Humane Society in Illinois. She has fostered nearly 1,000 cats, dogs and other species.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "The poems are very nice, but the sidebar information is some of the best I have ever seen. The subject matter enhances the little poem very well and is entertaining and informative. It is a wonderful piece of humane education."

Friskies Writer of the Year Award - Arden Moore (l), presented by Kaite Flamm of Purina (r)
Photo: ©Betsy Stowe
THE FRISKIES® WRITER OF THE YEAR AWARD is presented by Purina to the writer who has done the most to promote the welfare, health, and proper care of cats during the contest year. This award is for "a body of work" and can include different publications during the contest period.

The winner is Arden Moore for The Cat Behavior Answer Book.

The judge for this category was Paul Jolly, vice president of Petco Director of the Petco Foundation.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "I found the articles to be concise, informative, and understandable. I really enjoyed The Cat Behavior Answer Book, and spent a whole dinner party entertaining guests by asking them the questions, getting their responses, then reading the author's "educated" response. Either this shows that the book is engaging or else I need to get a life. I am betting on the former.
"Instead of a mystical quality, cats under the influence of her writing, take on amusing, curious and friendly qualities, encouraging cat lovers and the simply cat curious to get to know them better. How could anyone not want a cat in their life after reading her writings? Certainly not me. Thanks for sharing your insights

Hartz Every Day Chewable Vitamin Award - Winner Bernadette E. Kazmarski (r), presented by Dr. Jill Richardson of Hartz (l)
Photo: ©Betsy Stowe
HARTZ EVERY DAY CHEWABLE VITAMIN AWARD, sponsored by Hartz Mountain Corporation, is given to the highest-quality entry on the topic of older cats. Topics can include but are not limited to adoption, health, innovative care, and senior-for-senior programs.

The winner is Bernadette E. Kazmarski for "Senior Cat Care: Beyond Food and Water,"

The judge for this category was Mike Patrick, a Certified Veterinary Technician who currently works at the Animal Diagnostic and Wellness Center Temple in Terrace, Florida. He is President of the Florida Veterinary Technician Association.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "This entry outshines all the others with its systemic approach to the needs of the aging cat. Through its contents, one can extrapolate the need for keen observation and proactive medical intervention. The research was complete and it included many links to allow the reader resources for more information.."

Hartz Glamour-Puss Award - Winner Jan Jaeger
Photo: ©Betsy Stowe
HARTZ GLAMOUR-PUSS AWARD honors the best single entry on the topic of feline skin and coat care.

The winner is Jan Jaeger for "The Cat Bath," Nantucket Independent

The judge for this category was Erica Sanfiz, the owner and pet stylist of Just 4 Paws Mobile Pet Spa, a mobile grooming business based out of Rutherford, New Jersey.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "I found this article upbeat and fun to read, with a few whimsical points that made me chuckle out loud. For instance, when referring to the "horror stories about how much cats hate getting wet", the author facetiously jokes about the potential for "involving the Fire Department" or spending time in "the Emergency room".
"As a cat groomer myself, I found this step by step description of cat bathing thorough, as well as mindful of the "stressed out" cat owner or care provider. The author takes the time to make this narration detailed enough to get the job done, but not so bogged down by information that it would overwhelm the reader. So in the end, the main reason I chose this article as the winner is the overall benefits it can provide to cat owners, and/or petcare providers everywhere. Great job!

Hartz Milk Replacement for Kittens Award - Elissa Wolfson, winner
Photo: ©Betsy Stowe
HARTZ MILK REPLACEMENT FOR KITTENS AWARD, sponsored by Hartz Mountain Corporation, is awarded to the best single article (published in a newspaper, magazine, newsletter, or professional online venue), or single radio or television broadcast on the topic of rescuing kittens.

The winner is Elissa Wolfson for "Facts on Fostering," Catnip

The judge for this category was Kim Cousins, who founded Unleashed Magazines, Inc.; local pet magazines that connect pets, people and communities.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "The author offered information on the foster process and what to expect as a foster home, as well as "ways for interested parties to get more information." She "tied in the animal-human bond" and the "emotional well-being of humans." It was "easy to follow and read"

HSUS Pets for Life Award - winner Sandy Robins (l), presented by Nancy Peterson of the HSUS (r)
Photo: ©Betsy Stowe
The Humane Society of the United States presents the HSUS PETS FOR LIFE AWARD to the best single work of the year published in the mass media that highlights keeping cats in their homes for life.

The winner is Sandy Robins for "Project Bay Cat," Cat Fancy

The judge for this category was Joseph S. Cavarretta, Executive Director of People Animals Love, an organization that brings people and animals together, brightening the lives of the lonely, easing the pain of the sick, and enriching the world of at-risk children.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "This year's recipient totally captured how a community working together can help cats. Her style is informative and engaging.."

Iams Responsible Cat Ownership Award - winner Dusty Rainbolt (r), presented by Kurt Iverson of Iams (l)
Photo: ©Betsy Stowe
The IAMS Company offers the IAMS® RESPONSIBLE CAT OWNERSHIP AWARD for the best individual or series entry, in professional print or online venues, on the topic of pet owner responsibility.

The winner is Dusty Rainbolt, "College Kids."

The judge for this category was Janell Granier, who has been a foster mom to more than 60 orphaned bottle baby kittens over the past four years. She is Director of Programs by the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "Picking a winner in this category was not an easy task given the excellent submissions. In an entertaining way this entry clearly addresses the largest problem currently facing our country in terms of pet overpopulation, unaltered cats being allowed to roam freely outside. The column, written from the perspective of an abandoned pregnant cat spoke strongly to the horrors abandoned cats face when fending for themselves outside. The article's impact was strengthened given the complete lack of thought by the humans who abandoned the cat featured in the column. I would like to have copies of this column available in each of our local shelters. It is an easy read while waiting in line to turn in yet another litter of kittens and it may just succeed in making one of those repeat customers question what they are doing."

Merial sponsors the MERIAL HUMAN-ANIMAL BOND AWARD, presented to the entry that best reflects and promotes the strengthening of the human-animal bond, highlighting the bond between a cat and its owner, as well as their relationship with their veterinarian as another direct caregiver.

The winner is "TJ Banks, Catsong.

The judge for this category was Dr. Caroline Schaffer, a veterinarian and assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences in the School of Veterinary Medicine at Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "Every chapter of this book contains a delightfully vivid word picture of cats being cats. (It also included) the joy that she, her husband, and her daughter received by being blessed with the companionship and delightful antics of their many beloved cats. This is a book that truly honors the relationships among people, cats, and their veterinarians. She bravely shares her anxieties while nursing cats back to health and the reality that, even with the best of care, not all cats and kittens will get well. Her references to visits to the veterinary hospital show the importance of finding compassionate veterinarians who share their clients' love of cats."

Petmate Safe Cat Award - Dusty Dainbolt, winner
Photo: ©Betsy Stowe
The PETMATE SAFE CAT AWARD for the best entry on cat safety, is sponsored by Petmate Pet Products. The entry should take a positive approach to inform and educate the readership about feline safety issues, which include but are not limited to safe travel, safety in the home, pet identification, and medical and training preparedness.

The winner is Dusty Rainbolt, "Ho Ho Holly."

The judge for this category was Dr. Sherry Welch, a veterinarian who has practiced clinical veterinary medicine and surgery at a mixed animal practice, and also owned and practiced in a small animal emergency practice.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "This article was well researched, accurate, entertaining and covered the topic of holiday dangers to cats very well."

Pro Plan Pedigreed Cats Award - J. Anne Helgren (l), presented by Kaite Flamm of Purina (r)
Photo: ©Betsy Stowe
The PRO PLAN® PEDIGREED CATS AWARD is presented to the writer or creator of the best entry of the year that focuses on cat breeds, pedigreed cats and professional breeder issues including (but not limited to) health, care, nutrition and showing cats.

The winner is J. Anne Helgren, "Cat Breed Profiles."

The judge for this category was Annette Wilson, an all-breed judge licensed by The Cat Fanciers' Association.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "It was a very difficult selection but I was most impressed by this entry. This is an on-line medium which certainly has its advantages; however, it's not always easy to walk the fine line between lecturing. The well-researched detail and depth of information on each breed is organized in a way that is both intuitive and useful to the reader. Professional headshots of each of 50 breeds make up the directory; the individual breed profiles provide first an overview of ancestry and characteristics and then in-depth history, description and personality. Each profile is written in an interesting and detailed manner that engages the reader throughout. I would refer anyone interested in pedigreed cats to this site."

Purina offers the PURINA® CAT CHOW® NUTRITION AWARD for the best column or article (print or professionally published online) or book entry on the subject of feline nutrition.

The winner is Sandra Toney, "Finicky and Fussy about Feline Food."

The judge for this category was Dr. Craig Datz, who teaches clinical practice to veterinary students at the University of Missouri-Columbia College of Veterinary Medicine.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "The submission dealt with a common problem (cats that won't eat) and had good suggestions, especially the advice to start with a veterinary checkup. The writing style and organization made it easy to read."

Purina Kitten Chow Kitten Award - Dusty Rainbolt (l), presented by Kaite Flamm of Purina (r)
Photo: ©Betsy Stowe
The PURINA® KITTEN CHOW® KITTEN AWARD is presented by the Purina to the author of the outstanding entry on caring for kittens.

The winner is Dusty Rainbolt, "Orphan Basics," Cat Fancy.

The judge for this category was Sheila Smith, Founder and President of Shadow Cats. Shadow Cats has spayed and neutered more than 2,000 cats.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "This author receives my votes because of her ability to provide information in an informative, organized and insightful way. Every spring we are deluged with "What do I do with this kitten I just found?" She answers that question and does this with obvious expertise on the subject.
"I especially appreciated her addressing specific issues, such as the correct way to position a kitten during feeding and keeping kittens warm and some "tricks of the trade" such as loosening the bottle ring to make it easier for a kitten to nurse.
"I found this article to be accurate and helpful and would certainly benefit both experienced and inexperienced readers finding themselves in the position of caring for orphaned kittens

Purina offers the PURINA® ONE® HEALTH AWARD for the outstanding single article (print or professionally published online) reporting on feline health issues. Articles are judged on excellence of writing and technical accuracy; significance of the topic and public education impact on feline health are also considered.

The winner is Arnold Plotnick for "Spotlight on Bartonella," Catnip.

The judge for this category was Dr. Kenneth Bell, Director of Veterinary Services at PROSAR, a poison control and drug safety center in Saint Paul, Minnesota

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "This article was a really thorough and insightful piece that had something for every reader: a medical mystery with a happy ending, keys to protecting your cat and yourself from a serious zoonotic disease, and an honest primer on what it really takes to make a diagnosis in many infectious diseases -- a feline owner with the patience and fortitude to stick with the diagnostic process, a veterinarian with a solid and realistic understanding of what individual tests can really tell us, and a systematic, evidence-based approach to which both owner and vet adhere. The more understanding veterinarians and clients can share about the depth of challenges in medicine, the faster we can make progress on so many difficult feline illnesses. Great job, and my thanks to every one else who shared your excellent work!"

Sticky Paws Training Award - Winner Amy D. Shojai
Photo: ©Betsy Stowe
The STICKY PAWS® TRAINING AWARD, sponsored by Fe-Lines Inc./Sticky Paws®, is for the best article or tape entry on training techniques. Entries should have a "how-to" focus.

The winner is Amy Shojai for "Cat Meets Dog; Bringing Home Magic."

The judge for this category was Ginny Price, a Certified Veterinary Technician who, along with Donna Dyer and Julie Shaw founded the Society of Veterinary Behavior Technicians.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "This case study was well written. It embodied the major criterion for the Sticky Paws Training Award by instructing people on how to train their cats. Amy used a real life situation to instruct people on techniques when introducing a new dog to a household containing a solitary cat. In her article techniques using solid scientific theory were discussed along with the direct consequences of using these techniques. The article was full of interesting and important facts about dogs and cats. She included evolutionary, social and behavioral information about both species. Her specific techniques for introducing these species concurred with the advice of top individuals in the field of animal/veterinary behavior. Besides writing a terrific scientific piece on animal introductions, she has written an interesting paper on species of animals that people own but may know less about than they think"

Tidy Cats Feline Behavior Award - Arden Moore (l), presented by Kaite Flamm of Purina (r)
Photo: ©Betsy Stowe
The TIDY CATS® FELINE BEHAVIOR AWARD is presented by the Purina for the best entry on the subject of feline behavior. Highest consideration goes to those works that are both skillfully written and technically accurate.

The winner is Arden Moore, The Cat Behavior Answer Book.

The judge for this category was Carla Reiss, an Annandale, New Jersey veterinary technician, feline product designer and owner of Meow Wear.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "I have had cats all my 51 years and on top of my regular work as a product designer, I assist at a vet's office. I have faced a number of behavioral problems over the years, and have heard numerous stories from veterinary clientele. I chose this book because feline behavior problems can be very frustrating to the average pet owner and I think her "one stop shopping" approach to finding answers is a very consumer-friendly one.."

World's Best Cat Litter-ary Award - Betsy Stowe, winner
Photo: ©Betsy Stowe
The WORLD'S BEST CAT LITTER-ARY AWARD is for the outstanding novel, short story, poem or radio/television dramatic script which portrays cats and cat ownership in a positive way.

The winner is Betsy Stowe for her poem, "Retirement Home Cat," CFA Fanc-e-Mews.

The judge for this category was Dr. Cynthia Rigoni, owner of All Cats Veterinary Clinic in Houston who has been a professional cat breeder for over 20 years.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include:

"I read my way through all your offerings
This year they were all good.
I laughed through Tiger Daze
Guessed through mysteries
Enjoyed sci-fi and children's literature.
Through them all
The one that captured me
This poem.
Not that some of the other weren't very, very good.
I never thought the poetry would have a chance against a novel.
But it stuck in my mind,
I thought about it daily
Comparing it to the novels
The children's books
The Harry Potter I was listening to in the car.
I think it and Harry will be with me for a long time.

The KUYKENDALL IMAGE AWARD is sponsored by CWA and is presented to the outstanding "image" entry featuring cats -- whether photography, illustration or graphic art.

The winner is Robert Papp for his illustrations in M is for Meow: A Cat Dictionary.

The judge for category was Larry Kay, president of Animal Wow Entertainment (, an award-winning children's media company that inspires positive values by helping kids become best friends with pets.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "The artwork in this book is masterful, and the paintings deserve gallery showings. Each image evokes a story that greatly expands the book's prose. Each cat is a distinct character, from the playfully expressed kitten on the cover to the majestic sabertooth cat. Each painting also invites the viewer's wonder and interpretation. The book deserves an honored spot on American coffee tables, in school libraries, and in book collections."

Shojai Mentor Award - awarded posthumously to Dr. Jim Richards, accepting on behalf of his widow was Lea-Ann Germinder (r), presented by Amy Shojai (l)
Photo: ©Betsy Stowe
The SHOJAI MENTOR AWARD, sponsored by past-president Amy D. Shojai, recognizes the CWA member who has offered guidance, encouraging council, support, or other help that has had a direct and positive influence on another's writing/publishing success. .

The winner is the late Dr. Jim Richards. Lea-Ann Germinder accepted on behalf of his widow.

Amy Shojai writes: "For his entire career, he did everything he could to better the lives of cats and to educate the public and the veterinary world. He did so with patience and knowledge. He was a friend to many of us and the unanimous choice to receive this year's award. Thanks to him, the world is a better place for cats - and people."

The CWA PRESIDENT'S AWARD, sponsored by the Cat Fanciers' Association, is presented to the best entry among all Muse MedallionTM winners in the regular contest categories.

CWA President's Award - Winner Mary Anne Miller (r), presented by Joan Miller (l) of the Cat Fanciers' Association
Photo: ©Betsy Stowe

The winner is Mary Anne Miller for her excellent website,

The judge for this category was CWA President, Nancy Peterson.

The judges comments about the winning entry include: "My winner has a lovely layout, is easy to use and promotes the welfare of all cats - pedigreed, mixed-breeds, strays and ferals. There's a wealth of information - from its quality articles on health and behavior to its fun photos and cat horoscopes - for the wannabe cat owner, the new cat owner and the experienced cat owner. CWA members are among the contributors and a Muse Medallion graces every page. I'm sure this winner will proudly display her President's Award as well."

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