CWA Announces 2002 Special Award Winners


Winner: Living in the Shadows: How to Help the Stray Cat in Your Life, (Amythyst Publishing) by Ann K. Fisher

This award 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 receives a cash grant of $500 and a certificate.

COMMENTS: [the winner] “”addressed a very timely topic-what to do with stray and feral cats. She discusses the tragedy of pet overpopulation and she also suggests ways to prevent the cruelty that many of these cats suffer. She writes in a simple, sequential and informative style. A person could come to the work with no knowledge or a wealth of questions and still find the chapters that pertain to each individual’s questions. She also provides her reader with a wealth of resources, including groups addressing the feral cat problem, spay/neuter programs, equipment suppliers, etc. Overall, I believe her book best adheres to the guidelines set forth.”” — Judge Debby Ryan, past president and member of Board of Directors of Homeless Pet Placement League of Houston, Texas.


Winner: Syndicated Column, “”My Pet World,”” by Steve Dale

Friskies PetCare Company presents this award to the writer and publication that have done the most to promote the welfare, health and proper care of cats during the contest year. The award honors an individual writer’s body of work in a single publication/syndication venue. Winner receives a Baccarat cat figurine and $500.

COMMENTS: “”The articles are well written and informative. They seem to reach a wide audience with good, varied information. In addition to great medical and behavioral Q&A’s, he has written some great columns on animal-related subjects from pet insurance to search and rescue dogs.”” — Judge, Patricia Mercer, Director of the Houston SPCA


Winner: The Complete Guide to Cat Care, (St. Martin’s Press) by Wendy Christensen and the staff of the Humane Society of the United States

This award is for best individual or series entry (includes articles, features, columns, short stories, books, poetry, etc.) about pet owner responsibility. Presented by the IAMS Company. Winner receives $500 and a commemorative plaque.

COMMENTS: “”I found [the winning entry]to be an easy choice for first place. While there are many cat care guides in the marketplace, this one does not take a stuffy textbook approach. It is written with a true appreciation of the nature and needs of the cat and communicates this information in a most interesting and readable manner from the first to the last page. The subject matter includes an extensive treatment of the psychological and emotional needs of the cat-an important topic that is often overlooked in cat care books. Cat ownership is a privilege and this book will provide cat owners with the information they need to provide compassionate and responsible care.”” — Judge Betsy Lipscomb, feline behavior counselor and lecturer, and president of Cats International


Winner: Kitty Stuff, (Pallachip Publishing) by Jodi Alessandrini and Kathy Kinser

This award is 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, another direct caregiver. Qualified entries include articles, features, columns, short stories, books, poetry, etc. Winner receives $1000 and a commemorative award.

COMMENTS: “”This cleverly written [entry]is a purrfect way to commit the entire family to the needs and well being of a feline family member. Through all phases of the kitty’s life there are educational tips to share, clever quips, and places to document your special kitty’s life stages and experiences. In addition to reminders of regularly needed vet visits, the health care sections list physical indicators to alert you to signs your friend may need to go to the veterinarian. A round-of-a-paws to the best content and illustrated kitty life book I have ever read.”” — Judge Sherry Ferguson, president of the Texas Federation of Humane Societies and executive director of the Houston Humane Society


Winner: How to Be a Good Veterinary Client (The Pet Press), by Kari Winters

This award honors the best single entry by a cat communicator who, at the time of entry: 1) Has not yet had more than three cat-related works published by professional-level markets (e.g., a market that pays $75 or more for each work); AND 2) Has not yet had work recognized, honored or rewarded by a CWA Muse Medallion or “”special”” CWA Contest Award. The purpose of the award is to encourage qualifying writers and artists to strive for the highest professional level of excellence; to recognize the winner’s achievement; and to provoke a significant change in the recipient’s cat-writing career. This is a “”turning point”” award designed to advance the up-and-coming cat communicator’s level of success. Winner receives $500 and a commemorative award.

COMMENTS: “”I would happily see this article disseminated to every cat owner for its accuracy, usefulness, and clarity. From start to finish, the article was filled with useful points and tips, with nary an extraneous sentence or word. While unquestionably addressed to the cat owner, she has written an article I have no doubt veterinarians would be pleased to hand out to their clients. I have high hopes that [the recipient], with the encouragement of the Peerless Health CATalyst Award, will continue to write such accessible and level-headed articles.”” — Judge Marcella Durand, former associate editor, Cats magazine, and current news writer for


Winner: “”Essential Fatty Acids: Are they essential for your cat?”” Cat Watch, February 2002 by Elissa Wolfson

Presented by the Nestle Purina PetCare Company, this award is for the best column, article, or book entry on the subject of feline nutrition. Winner receives $500 and a commemorative plaque.

COMMENTS: “”The article is well-written, easily understandable, and timely. It explores the question from various angles, and gives appropriate cautions for owners interested in these supplements.”” — Judge Dr. Jean Hofve is a veterinarian with a special interest in cats and holistic medicine


Winner: Complete Kitten Care, (New American Library) by Amy D. Shojai

The Nestle Purina PetCare Company presents this award to the author of the outstanding entry on caring for kittens. Winner receives $500 and a pewter bowl.

COMMENTS: “”I thought this book was very complete and addressed the most important aspects of kitten care. I especially liked the fact that [the author]addressed society’s penchant for the “”disposable””-reminding people that acquiring a pet means “”for life,”” not just until the cuteness wears off. Good use throughout of visual aids that help focus the readers’ attention on important information.”” — Judge Pat Jacobberger, owner, Voyageur Burmese Cattery, CFA Board Member, Chair of the CFA Breeder Mentoring Committee, and CFA Allbreed Judge


Winner: “”The Developing Focus on Feline Pain Control”” (Veterinary Practice News) by Fran Pennock Shaw

This award is for the outstanding single article reporting on feline health issues. Winner receives $500 and a pewter bowl.

COMMENTS: “”[the author]has addressed the most common misconceptions that stand in the way of cats receiving adequate pain management. She provides a forum for comment by several of the most vocal and well-respected voices in feline pain management. The article is well-balanced, but maintains a tone of advocacy on behalf of beings that cannot advocate for themselves. Congratulations to [the author]for shining a revealing light on this relevant and critical topic of interest to so many in the animal-loving world.”” — Judge Robin Downing, DVM, author of “”Pets Living With Cancer””


Winner: “”Training a Cat Like a Dog”” WalMart Pets, March 2002 by Barbara Florio Graham

Sponsored by Sticky Paws, this award is given to the best article on training techniques. The winner receives $1,000.

COMMENTS: “”I felt that [the article]did a very nice job of presenting the patient, take-it-as-it-comes style needed to train cats. Her five R’s of Respect, Respond, Reward, Reinforce and Repeat are an apt reminder of how to go about the process of training. I thought that her attention to the concept that you work with the natural behavioral tendencies of your cat will certainly help the average cat owner understand how to get started, and proceed successfully.”” — Judge Dr. Stephen Zawistowski, Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, Senior Vice President and Science Advisor, ASPCA


Winner: Complete Guide to Cat Care, (St. Martin’s Press) by Wendy Christensen and the Humane Society of the United States

Nestle Purina PetCare Company presents this award for the best entry on the subject of feline behavior. Winner receives $500 and a monogrammed pewter bowl.

COMMENTS: “”I like this book because it presents comprehensive and up-to-date information on caring for and living with cats, as well as for solving common problems. Good solid information is presented in a straightforward, organized way that does not get silly or anthropomorphic. The author demonstrates appreciation for felines, and encourages owners to be advocates for pets.”” — Judge Sheri Canfield, Executive Director, Kansas Humane Society of Wichita


Winner: “”Smile, Kitty,”” Your Cat, Fall 2001 by Roxanne Snopek

This award is presented to the single article entry that best educates and informs the general cat-owning public about technical advances and innovations in feline veterinary medicine. The winner receives $500 with a commemorative plaque.

COMMENTS: “”[the author]did a great job breaking the issue of dentistry into easily digestible bullet points. She also did a nice job using lay terminology to explain technical processes to the average cat owner. The other articles were excellent and informative, but I felt the article on dentistry did a better job of getting straight to the point and really connecting familiar topics (i.e., human dental care-something we’re all familiar with) to the topic of the article.”” — Judge Carissa Lester is Director of Public Relations for the Morris Animal Foundation


Winner: Beth Adelman.

Sponsored by founding-president Amy D. Shojai, this award recognizes the CWA member who has offered guidance, encouraging counsel, support, or other help that has had a direct and positive influence on another’s writing/publishing success. The honoree receives $500 and a copper bas-relief commemorative award. Judged by the Contest Committee.

COMMENTS: The letter of nomination relates, in part, that when articles couldn’t be used by the recipient’s publication, she suggested other markets, and she often worked with new writers to help form their voices. She has also steadfastly stood up for writers, demanding a fairer contract [on their behalf]than what was initially offered. She ensured that writers were paid and had their rights returned when Cats magazine ceased publication. The nomination letter-written by Dusty Rainbolt-notes that this person has always been an advocate both for animals and for those who write about them and has gone far beyond her duties as editor of a magazine.


Winner: “”Cat Jumping”” by Catherine Crawmer

This award is sponsored by the CWA, and is presented to the outstanding “”image”” entry among all the Muse Medallion winners that presents a distinctive style or “”voice”” beyond the ordinary. Winner receives $250 and a commemorative plaque. Judged by the Contest Committee


Winner: Feral Cat Activist edited by Kris Rerecich

This award, sponsored by the Cat Fanciers’ Association, is presented to the best entry among all Muse Medallion winners in regular contest categories. The winner receives $250 and a commemorative plaque. Judged by the Contest Committee

JUDGES COMMENTS: “”This entry is inspiring and well done, fresh and informative with excellent, compelling articles that are well researched and reported.””


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