1. What was your inspiration behind writing the book, “Ask the Cat Keeper”?
Bowtie Press contacted me and said, “We see you on ‘Martha Stewart Living’ and you dispense knowledge without being judgmental. Would you write a book for us?” And I said, “Yes,” so here we are!
2. What was the most difficult part, if any, of writing the book?
The most difficult part was writing about cats I’ve had in the past. I became wistful remembering them and the wonderful times we had together. Then when I saw what I had written about them in print, it struck a chord, and made me a little weepy. It hurts a little, writing about pets that meant so much to you. It was difficult writing about Frosty and Rocky, two of the favorite cats I’ve had.
3. What was the most rewarding part of writing the book?
I always like to reinforce how important it is to look at a situation from the point of view of the animal. When you do, you can see clearly how a situation can be resolved. It makes things so simple. An animal doesn’t have the same expectations or preferences as a human being, and is driven by different needs and wants. When you are able to see a situation from the animal’s point of view, it explains why the animal does what it does. When you understand that, you can learn how to prevent certain situations. I enjoy turning on the light bulb for the reader, realizing they are having that moment where they say, “Oh, OK, that makes sense.”
4. What is your writing process?
The writing just flows out, and the editors and contributors follow behind me and clean it all up. Ideas pop into my head randomly, like light bulbs going off. I have to write it all down right away or it goes away for 10 years. The question-and-answer style of “Ask the Cat Keeper” works best for me because people ask me questions about animals all day long. That’s how I think: in question-and-answer format.
5. Have you written any other books?
Just the books in the “Ask the Keeper” series: “Ask the Cat Keeper,” “Ask the Bird Keeper,” “Ask the Dog Keeper” and “Ask the Fish Keeper.”
6. Do you own any cats?
Cats are always coming and going out of my life, but currently I live with eight cats. Their names are Nastia, Choosine, Wheezer, Paulie, Tootie, Tiger, Coco Chanel and Louie.
7. Do your cats influence your writing?
Cats are my conscious life. Everything I know about cats is from observing them; I have no formal training. As far as my current cats influencing my writing, Choosine keeps me company while I write. She’s a keyboard cat. She also enjoys going on television and often appears with me on “Martha Stewart Living.”
Stacy N. Hackett shares her Southern California home with two Cornish Rex cats, Carson and Evita, and Jackson, an orange tabby.