1. What was your inspiration behind the book?
Although I am a professional entertainer and my pets work on stage, they are still pets, and treated as part of my family. All the animals in my trained menagerie are well cared for at the Popovich residence. They are loved and pampered. They are provided a comfortable environment, healthy food, playtime and toys, and regular veterinary checkups.
Even after all these years — really, my entire life — working with cats, I still treasure the moments of connection with these dear creatures that share my daily life. Because I have absorbed a great amount of knowledge about how to get along with cats, I finally felt compelled to write a book sharing the vital knowledge I have gained.
2. How many cats are part of your troupe? What are their names and ages?
The show’s cast includes 16 cats of all ages. There’s Zuzu, Sebastian, Peter, Orange, Kesha, Sebastian, Smoke, Mary, Mahsa and Zita, just to name a few. All of my cats were rescued from animal shelters, which is where I strongly encourage cat lovers to go when they are looking for a new pet.
3. Where can people see your cats (and dogs) in action?
My cats have appeared on “The Tonight Show,” “Late Night with David Letterman,” “Craig Ferguson,” “America’s Got Talent,” Penn and Teller and the Animal Planet television network. The Comedy Pet Theatre also performs at V Theater inside the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
4. What is the secret to your show’s success?
I teach the animals to perform onstage by allowing them to show off their individual personalities and talents. Just like people, every pet has a special quirky thing they like to do. This thing, or trait, allows the pet to show a unique part of their personality, and is what makes them who they are. By allowing my pets to perform the skills and stunts they naturally love to do, they enjoy performing as much as the audience loves watching! “You CAN Train Your Cat” explains this philosophy in more detail, and describes how you can adapt my methods to prevent unwanted feline behaviors.
5. Do your pets influence your writing?
“You CAN Train Your Cat” is based on a lifetime of working with cats. All the information is gleaned from my first-hand experience working as a cat trainer.
6. Do you have any other books?
This is my first book.
7. Do you plan to write any other books? On which topics?
My show’s cast includes not only cats, but also 13 dogs. At some point, I plan to write a book about dog training that incorporates the methods I use with the dogs that perform in the show.
Stacy N. Hackett shares her Southern California home with two adorable Cornish Rex cats, Carson and Evita, and a playful tabby named Jackson.