Cat Writers' Association, Inc.
Home | Goals | Recommended Resources | Members | Executive | Annual Conference | Contest | Book Store

2005 CONTEST
SPECIAL AWARDS WINNERS


Over 100 people attended the gala Cat Writers' Association annual awards banquet held in San Mateo, CA on November 19, 2005. Through the generosity of corporate sponsors, the CWA presented the following Special Awards:


"The Neighborhood Cats TNR Handbook"
Photo: ©Betsy Stowe
The ASPCA National Programs Office sponsors the ASPCA SPECIAL HUMANE AWARD, presented to the 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. Preference will be given to a substantive entry that exhibits the highest level of professionalism in its execution. The award consists of a certificate and $500.

The winner is Neighborhood Cats "The Neighborhood Cats TNR Handbook"

The judge for this category was Susan Stanton, a communications professional with experience in television, magazines, newspapers and book publishing. As a columnist for The Florida Times-Union, she writes Pet Tales, a pet column that promises readers humorous, inspiring and uplifting stories about people and their pets.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "The extraordinary depth and breadth of information, as well as the high level of professionalism in writing and execution, separated it from the other entries. This Handbook embodies the humane mission of the ASPCA in its ability to give those involved in the care of feral cats the education needed to prevent cruelty and pet overpopulation while promoting adoption when possible. Congratulations to all involved in compiling this extraordinary resource book."



Amy Shojai
Photo: ©Betsy Stowe
The AKC COMPANION ANIMAL RECOVERY AWARD is given to the best entry that 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 that emphasize reuniting cats with their owners and responsibly preventing lost cats, such as by using identification and keeping pet cats indoors. The award consists of $1,000 and a commemorative item.

The winner is Amy Shojai "Finding Lost Pets" , Herald Democrat newspaper

The judge for this category was Dr. Drew Weigner, a board-certified specialist in Feline Practice and a Diplomate of The American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. He is also a past president of the Academy of Feline Medicine and a former columnist for CATS magazine.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "This entry not only incorporates the most significant criteria for this award but is also well written, meets the intended purpose and accurately covers the topic of reuniting lost cats with their owners."



Kathryn Hopper
Photo: ©Betsy Stowe
The CORNELL FELINE HEALTH CENTER VETERINARY ISSUES AWARD 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. Entries should be designed to educate the general cat-owning public about new developments. The award consists of $500 and a certificate.

The winner is Kathryn Hopper "Feline Asthma with Fritz the Brave" from her web site www.FritztheBrave.com

The judge for this category was Dr. Philip Bergman, the head of the Donaldson-Atwood Cancer Center and Director of the Flaherty Comparative Oncology Laboratory, both part of the Animal Medical Center in New York City. Dr. Bergman holds an adjunct associate faculty position at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "This web site is VERY well done with lots of information that is thoroughly researched and well referenced, and most importantly it is personalized; it looks like it is from Fritz the cat himself. Bravo!"



Laurie McDougall
Photo: ©Betsy Stowe
The FORT DODGE/RESPONSIBLE HEALTHCARE FOR PETS AWARD is for the best published work by a beginning cat writer or photographer. At the time of entry, the author must not have had more than three cat-related works published by professional markets and must have not yet had their work honored by a CWA Muse Medallion or a special CWA Contest Award. The purpose of this award is to encourage qualifying writers and photographers to strive for the highest professional level of excellence and to provoke a significant change in the recipient's cat-writing career. This is a "turning point" award. The award consists of $500 and a commemorative item.

The winner is Laurie MacDougall "Rocky's Bumpy Road", Our Animals Magazine

The judge for this category was Dr. Carin A. Smith, a career consultant and nationally recognized, award-winning author of materials for veterinarians and veterinary-related companies. She is the owner of Smith Veterinary Consulting and is the author of hundreds of magazine and journal articles and 9 books.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "Not only is it well-written, but it takes a new approach to educating readers about a difficult situation. Many people have no idea what work it takes to rehabilitate an animal with a behavior problem, or how much work the typical animal shelter does to try to correctly place animals in suitable homes. This story educates without lecturing. The author does not leave us with a sugar-coated message, but a practical one: difficult animals have specific requirements, and their new owners take on significant responsibility. This writer has a great career ahead."



Amy Shojai
Photo: ©Betsy Stowe
THE FRISKIES® WRITER OF THE YEAR AWARD is presented by Nestlé Purina PetCare Company to the writer who has done the most to promote the welfare, health, and proper care of cats during the contest year. The award honors writing excellence and the ability to communicate technical information in a clear and creative manner to better educate cat owners and help improve the lives of cats. A Baccarat cat figurine and $500 are awarded.

The winner is Amy Shojai

The judge for this category was Heidi Jeter, Publications and Media Specialist at Morris Animal Foundation., a nonprofit organization that funds animal health studies. She shares her home with her husband and two very spoiled, 10-year-old tabbies, Pandora and Sasha.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "The winner best captured the balance between welfare, health and proper care. In addition, her submission offered diversity in both topics and types of publications. Her writing was clear, concise and well-researched, and her voice was appealing and informative."



Laurie McDougall
Photo: ©Betsy Stowe
The HARTZ EVERY DAY CHEWABLE VITAMINS AWARD, sponsored by the 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. This award consists of $500, a travel stipend of $350, a certificate and a crystal cat sculpture.

The winner is Laurie MacDougall "Rocky's Bumpy Road"

The judge for this category was Dr. Daniel Carey, a veterinarian and Director of Technical Communication of The Iams Company. He has spent the past 25 years in clinical nutrition and nutritional research. He wrote the nutrition chapter of the CFA Complete Cat Book, is co-author of Canine and Feline Nutrition and coeditor of all three volumes of Recent Advances in Canine and Feline Nutrition.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "The winning article has an easy-to-read, story-like format. It conveyed some key, specific points about a behavior condition that is quite common. Without being too schmaltzy, it highlighted the need for persistence in behavior cases. Too often, owners (or adopters) expect an instantaneous fix. Those quick responses are welcome, but are not the norm in behavior problems."


The HARTZ GLAMOUR-PUSS AWARD honors the best entry on the topic of feline skin and coat care. Qualifying topics include, but are not limited to, coverage of home and professional grooming, parasite control, nail care, teeth and ear care, and feline skin/coat disorders. Sponsored by Hartz Mountain Corporation, this award is $500, a travel stipend of $350, a certificate and a crystal cat sculpture.

The winner is Arnold Plotnick "Brush Up on Hair Loss", Catnip (published by Tufts University)

The judge for this category was Carol Harvey, who has bred Persian cats for 4 years and has groomed professionally - from private shops to vet clinics to corporate stores to mobile - for 20 years. Her hobbies include showing Australian Shepherds.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "With an award name of Glamour-Puss, I had expected a selection of "fluff and primping" type articles, but instead was presented with a wide variety of well-written works that really got to the heart of caring for the feline skin and coat. My winning article chose a delicate topic - hair loss - and really gave the reader useful information and some questions to present to their veterinarian. I found it to be very informative, educating, and interesting. It is also not a topic that has been overused."



Sandy Robins
Photo: ©Betsy Stowe
The HARTZ NURSE-MAID AWARD, sponsored by the Hartz Mountain Corporation, is awarded the best single article or single radio or television broadcast on the topic of rescuing kittens. Appropriate topics include "how to" articles, stories about feral kitten rescue, early spay and neuter, orphaned kittens and kitten adoption. This award consists of $500, a travel stipend of $350, a certificate and a crystal cat sculpture.

The winner is Sandy Robins "The Kitty Whisperer", Cat Fancy

The judge for this category was Esther Mechler, the founder and national director of SPAY/USA. A regular speaker at seminars and conferences in the U.S. and Eastern Europe, she also helps edit Paws to Think magazine. Ms. Mechler has assisted with the startup of hundreds of affordable spay programs and clinics throughout the United States and more recently has helped organize study tours by vets from other countries who wish to learn more about methods and techniques used in the U.S. She has co-produced two award-winning videos promoting animal welfare and won the Geraldine R. Dodge Award for Humane Ethics in Action in 1995.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "I liked this entry not only for the good writing but also for the inspiration it could give children to act on their compassionate impulses (and how to do that). It can also reassure parents that is it okay for kids to take on a risky project like a feral kitten. Parents need to read this kind of story."



Dusty Rainbolt
Photo: ©Betsy Stowe
The Humane Society of the United States presents the HSUS PETS FOR LIFE AWARD to the best work of the year published in the mass media that highlights keeping cats in their homes for life. Topics include, but are not limited to, stories about owners and agency services to overcome obstacles such as behavior problems, family changes, housing challenges, health issues or other situations that might cause the cat to lose his home, and reporting on legislation or community projects to help abandoned cats. Highest consideration goes to in-depth reporting, such as series articles, that appear in general interest publications or that reach non-cat-owning audiences. The winner receives $500, with an additional $300 travel stipend.

The winner is Dusty Rainbolt "Hammer Heads Home", Cat Fancy

The judge for this category was Jonnie England, Executive Director of Operation Kindness, the oldest and largest limited-admission shelter in North Texas. She was a founding director of Animals Deserve a Change, a non-profit organization that rescues spay/neuters, feeds, and adopts stray animals. She is currently on the City of Dallas Animal Shelter Commission.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "I was fascinated to learn that it was even possible to bring an animal back to the U.S. from Iraq. It was informative and educational, mentioning the agencies that provide financial and other assistance to those who want to bring a pet back. And it shows the dedication and compassion of one man, a soldier, who was determined not to abandon the feline friend who had brought him comfort and companionship in a war zone."



Wendy Christensen
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. Entries are judged on clear writing and should educate readers while promoting positive approaches to responsible cat ownership. The award is $500 and a commemorative plaque.

The winner is Wendy Christensen "Outwitting Cats", The Lyons Press (book)

The judge for this category was Bonnie Pemberton, the founder of Fe-Lines, Inc., makers of Sticky Paws. She also established the BUDDY FUND as a way for Fe-Lines to donate a portion of all proceeds to a variety of humane causes. Fe-Lines has been an active campaigner against declawing cats.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "Though all entries were well researched with many interesting topics, this entry was so broad in scope (covering everything from emergencies to armpit nuzzlers) that I was amazed it was only 293 pages. Each chapter was well organized, easy to navigate, and the author's knowledge of and respect for her subject shone through every page."


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. Entries will be judged for exceptional quality and on the ability to convey this concept and connect with the reader. A $1000 award and commemorative certificate are presented.

The winner is Arnold Plotnick "Ethel", from his website www.manhattancats.com

The judge for this category was Dr. Cindy Rigoni, who opened the fifth cats-only veterinary practice in the U.S. in 1984. She still owns and runs All Cat Veterinary Clinic in Houston. In the late 1970s she began breeding and showing Cornish Rex. Dr. Rigoni is also a Cat Fanciers Association master clerk.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "This article fulfilled all the criteria set forth. It also had me tearing up - a hard thing to do."



Dusty Rainbolt
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. Special consideration will be given to single articles in non-cat-specific publications; however, written and pictorial works in all media will be accepted. The winner will receive $500 and a commemorative item, plus an additional $250 travel stipend.

The winner is Dusty Rainbolt "Feline First Aid Products", Catnip

The judge for this category was Dr. Armelle de Laforcade, an assistant professor in veterinary emergency and critical care medicine at The Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. She is a consultant to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and is certified by the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "This article was very thorough and well researched. The author went to great lengths to identify the different first aid kits available, and evaluated the contents of each on of them. In addition, they sought the input of veterinarians for advice on what to do in case of an emergency situation. All in all it was well researched, well written, and detailed, so I picked it as my winner!"



Audrey Pavia
Photo: ©Betsy Stowe
Nestlé Purina PetCare Company offers the PURINA® CAT CHOW® NUTRITION AWARD for the best column or article or book entry on the subject of feline nutrition. Highest consideration goes to those works that are both skillfully written and technically accurate. The recipient cannot be an employee of or associated with a pet food company at the time that the entry is judged. The winner will receive $500 and a commemorative pewter bowl.

The winner is Audrey Pavia "Nutrition for the Ages", Catnip

The judge for this category was Dr. Philip Roudebush, a former faculty member at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Mississippi State University and chairman of the Department of Clinical Sciences for three years. Dr. Roudebush has been with Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc. since 1989, where he is currently a member of the Technical Information Services department. He is an adjunct professor at Kansas State University, a Past President of the American Academy of Veterinary Dermatology and one of the editors of the Small Animal Clinical Nutrition textbook.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "The article does a good job of discussing nutritional needs of kittens and how they differ from those of adult cats. The author quotes several well-respected veterinarians and nutritionists to support the major concepts discussed. The article also discusses AAFCO and feeding trials in a cogent manner, which is important for cat owners to understand when they are choosing commercial pet foods for their beloved friends. Finally, the important topic of nutrition is presented in a reader-friendly style."



Dusty Rainbolt
Photo: ©Betsy Stowe
The PURINA® KITTEN CHOW® KITTEN AWARD of $500 and a commemorative pewter bowl are presented by the Nestlé Purina PetCare Company to the author of the outstanding entry on caring for kittens. Entries will be judged on writing excellence and content accuracy.

The winner is Hobbes Egan, as told to Dusty Rainbolt, "Dear Hobbes, Answers to your cat questions", City & Country Pets Magazine

The judge for this category was Leslie Spiller, a former breeder of champion Devon Rex Cats. She is a member and past president of the Lincoln State Cat Club in Illinois, and is also former editor of the Devon Rex Breed Club newsletter. Retired from breeding and showing, Leslie shares her home with a retired Grand Champion Devon Rex and a domestic shorthair, both lovely calico girls.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "This column is written in a clear and uniquely chummy and down-to-earth voice, and touches on issues dear to my heart-early kitten care and early spay/neuter. The early kitten care column contains highly detailed information in a conversational and encouraging manner. Having fostered more than one litter myself, I know that it can present a very daunting task for the uninitiated. Outside of books written with a slant toward breeders, I have never seen such a concise and useful outline of early kitten care. I believe that anyone could read this column and handle the job ably, and with confidence."



Amy Shojai
Photo: ©Betsy Stowe
Nestlé Purina PetCare Company 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. Prize of $500 and a commemorative pewter bowl are awarded.

The winner is Amy Shojai "The Many Faces of Feline Infectious Peritonitis", the Herald Democrat newspaper

The judge for this category was Dr. Janice Willard, a veterinarian who also has degrees in Animal Science and Psychology, and a strong interest in studying animal behavior, particularly the behavior of domestic animals. Dr. Willard works with Dr. Marty Becker and writes articles on veterinary medicine and pet behavior for the public. Dr. Willard lives with her husband, also a veterinarian, and two children on a small farm with numerous animals outside Moscow, Idaho.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "In addition to tackling a difficult topic and making it understandable, what distinguished this article for me was the level of readability. She explained technical terms when she used them and had narrative examples for many of the problems encountered. She presented the enormity of the problem but also outlined some specific things cat owners could do to at least reduce risk. What really distinguished this article for me was its flow: it read like a good novel (complete with a tricky villain), illustrating its points by showing rather than telling."


The PURINA 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 award, presented by Nestlé Purina PetCare Company, consists of $500 and a commemorative bowl.

The winner is Lynn Thompson, National Alliance of Burmese Breeders Newsletter

The judge for this category was Dr. Marge Collier, the author of Siamese Cats: A Complete Pet Owner's Manual and geneticist to the Cat Fanciers' Federation from 1984 to 1999. She's also the co-founder and Director of the Writing to Learn Program at Saint Peter's College.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "The quality of the writing was excellent throughout. Ideas and concepts were presented logically and objectively. The topics were diverse, and all were appropriate and useful to breeders and exhibitors of pedigreed cats. The reports of research and conferences were packed with condensed information and very clearly presented. Similarly, articles on breeding, kitten rearing, and genetics were easy to read, informative, and correct. I read all three issues cover to cover!"



Amy 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. Appropriate entries cover topics such as (but not limited to) litter box training, proper scratching behavior, trick training, or training cats to stay off countertops, tables or other forbidden places. The award consists of $1000.

The winner is Amy Shojai "Trick Training Tabby", the Herald Democrat newspaper

The judge for this category was Dr. Petra Mertens, Assistant Professor in Behavior Medicine at the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine, where she coordinates one of the nation's busiest behavior consultation services, teaches behavior courses for veterinary students, and conducts clinical research. She is the author of numerous articles and book chapters, and is a popular speaker at national and international veterinary meetings.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "She gave owners hands -on advice, including reasons to train a cat, differences from dogs, choosing the right reinforcer, as well as a few good examples to get started. The article is on target, and does not include any incorrect information or common myths and misperceptions."



Wendy Christensen
Photo: ©Betsy Stowe
The TIDY CATS® FELINE BEHAVIOR AWARD is presented by the Nestlé Purina PetCare Company for the best entry on the subject of feline behavior. Highest consideration goes to those works that are both skillfully written and technically accurate. Qualified entries should educate readers while promoting a positive approach to understanding and dealing with feline behavior. The award consists of $500 and a commemorative pewter bowl.

The winner is Wendy Christensen "Outwitting Cats"

The judge for this category was Nadine Gourkow a Board-Certified Companion Animal Behaviourist (BCCAB) with the American Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors. As the Animal Welfare Manager for the British Columbia SPCA in Vancouver, she oversees the implementation of dog and cat management practices to maximize welfare and increase adoptions of companion animals. She created The Emotional Life of Cats Video & Manual - the first guide for shelter workers to help them understand the emotions experienced by cats in their care, to help reduce the grief of separation, anxiety & fear of events they cannot understand and the quiet despair of behavioural restriction.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "This is a brilliant book. The information is well researched. The recommendations are clear and easy to follow for any cat owner. The quotes and humorous statements throughout the book make for such a fun read, an element often missing in books on cat behavior. This is definitely a must read for all cat owners."



Victor Digenti
Photo: ©Betsy Stowe
The WORLD'S BEST CAT LITTER-ARY AWARD, sponsored by World's Best Cat Litter, is for the outstanding novel, short story, poem or radio/television dramatic script that portrays cats and cat ownership in a positive way. All fiction genres are eligible. Highest consideration goes to those entries that include cats as an intrinsic part of the plot. Works will be judged for the exceptional, individual quality of the writer/creator. A $500 cash grant and a commemorative pewter bowl will be awarded.

The winner is Victor Digenti "Windrusher and the Cave of Tho-hoth"

The judge for this category was Lee Killough, who has been publishing science fiction, fantasy, and mysteries since 1970. Her short story "Symphony For a Lost Traveler" was a Hugo nominee. While the non-humans in her 17 books and 30 short stories have been aliens, werewolves, and vampires rather than cats, she has been a pet lover all her life, owning horses and dogs and being the handmaiden of Domestic Shorthair and Burmese cats. Before turning to writing full time, she spent 26 years as the chief radiologic technologist in the clinic of Kansas State University's College of Veterinary medicine.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "It has a compelling, well-written, plot with plenty of nail-biting suspense. The cats are absolutely relevant to the plot. Without them, the story wouldn't have happened. They are brave and resourceful, and despite being anthropomorphized, still act like cats. And the cats' owners are caring and responsible, and brave themselves in defense of their pets."


The KUYKENDALL IMAGE AWARD is sponsored by the Cat Writers Association and is presented to the outstanding image entry featuring cats-photography, illustration or graphic art. The award consists of $250 and a commemorative item.

The winner is Drew Strouble "Waiting for Tom", published by CatManDrew

The judge for category was Jonathan Bayley, who has worked as a graphic designer, photographer and art director in publication and television broadcast design for 20 years. Jon is also the former art director of CATS magazine. He shares his New Jersey home with his wife, two children and two orange tabby cats.

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: "The technical quality was superior and I could sense the personality of the subject through the cat's posture and expression. The detail in the fur was extraordinary. This image really captured the attitude of 'the waiting game' I see in many cats."



Arden Moore
Photo: ©Betsy Stowe
The CWA PRESIDENT'S AWARD, sponsored by the Cat Fancier's Association, is presented to the best entry among all Muse Medallion winners in the regular contest categories. All Muse Medallion winners are automatically entered for this "Best of the Best" award. The prize is $250 and a commemorative award.

The winner is Arden Moore, Catnip

This award was judged by Fran Pennock Shaw, CWA President

The judge's comments about the winning entry include: This national-circulation newsletter consistently gives its lay readers important information in an entertaining package of well-thought-out, well-executed articles, columns, photos and illustrations. Its black-and-white design is attractive; its content organized and easy-to-read. It obviously reflects the interests its readers, while guiding them gently into being more responsible and educated cat owners.



Shojai Mentor Award
Photo: ©Betsy Stowe
The SHOJAI MENTOR AWARD, sponsored by past-president Amy D. Shojai, 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. Qualifying mentor experiences are limited to those occurring within the past three contest periods (approximately the last three years). The recipient shall exemplify the highest ideals of the CWA vision, that is, to promote communal support, networking, and mutual respect between colleagues. Only CWA members are eligible for this award. The honoree shall receive $500 and a commemorative award.

The winner is Lee Wardlaw, who was nominated by Priscilla Maltbie

This award was judged by the Contest Committee

Back to the contest page.


Home | Goals | Recommended Resources | Members | Executive | Annual Conference | Contest | Book Store

CWA Copyright ©1998-2009 Cat Writers' Association, Inc. All rights reserved.
Please respect the copyright of our writers and artists. Articles,
photographs and illustrations may not be downloaded and re-used
without the express written permission of the owner, artist or author.
For comments and questions: comments@catwriters.org.
Created: 6/10/98 Updated: 12/27/2005
Site design by Karen Lawrence.