1. What was the inspiration behind the book?
When my late tortoiseshell kitty, Muffin, received an invitation from her veterinarian, Jeff Glass, to enjoy some spa treatments to destress after a long illness, the idea for this book was born. That was in 2004. At the time, the pet industry was beginning to take off with health and beauty treatments and lifestyle ideas for pets that mimic human desires. Today, statistics show that more then 80 percent of cat owners call themselves “pet parents.” Whether they have a cat adopted from a shelter or a purebred cat, when it comes to our cat’s grooming needs and general well-being, nothing is too good for our fur kids!
2. What was the most difficult part of writing the book?
It wasn’t really difficult. It was about making a conscious effort to be up to date in every respect – rather like a doctor trying to keep tabs on the latest treatments and medications in an ever-changing world. I go to many trade shows and conferences to keep abreast of trends, and I am confident that I included all the latest.
3. What was the most rewarding part of writing the book?
A great deal of this information has never been published in book form before. Also, I believe many cat parents are doing the things in the book without knowing it. For example, petting a cat is a form of cat massage. I’ve simply taken things to a new level by providing some new ideas to try. By making people more aware of our cats’ lifestyles, I hope to make things better for cats. Cats are often forced to be couch potatoes because it’s safer to keep them indoors and this leads to weight problems. It’s up to us as pet parents to change things up and enrich their lives. It’s all part of loving them.
4. What type of feedback have you received so far?
I have been both blown away and very flattered. Here are some of the comments I have received from some prominent names in the pet world, as well as from cat lovers such as author Debbie Macomber.
- “Everything anyone wants to know about the care of felines. In a word: fantastic. Whiskers from Blossom Street would approve.”
– Debbie Macomber, New York Times bestselling author
- “ ‘Fabulous Felines’ breaks new ground spotlighting the enormous array of innovative beauty, grooming, and fitness trends and treatments that focus on feline well-being! A must-have for any cat owner who wants to pamper their favorite fur kid with a fabulous lifestyle and the utmost in good care.”
– Marty Becker, resident veterinarian on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and veterinary contributor for “The Martha Stewart Show”
- “ ‘Fabulous Felines’ is an instructional blue print with a refreshing sense of humor. It allows feline lovers and owners alike insight into the wonderful world of cat care. Our feline friends are sure to breathe a much-needed sigh of relief once they discover we’ve read this book. You’re bound to hear them purr, ‘Finally they get us!’ ”
– Artist Knox, groomer of the year, winner of “Groomer Has It,” Animal Planet
5. What is your writing/editing process?
As a pet lifestyle expert/writer, I am constantly researching. Fortunately I have a lot of friends who sent me snippets of useful information from all over the world. I write with two assistants: Cali, a calico who insists on sleeping on my research papers on the floor, and Fudge, a green-eyed tabby who likes to lie in front of the computer. I like to write at night when it’s quiet and then rewrite and rewrite and rewrite. The cats assist by snoozing and munching treats.
6. Do you have any other books?
I have a romance novel called “Glenda.” It was made into a movie of the same name which is out there somewhere. I also have two pet-related books in the works, thanks to my enthusiastic agent.
7. Tell us a little bit about your cats.
I have two very spoiled cats: Cali, who just celebrated her 18th birthday, and Fudge, who is 11 years old. Along with my late Muffin, they moved with us from Cape Town, South Africa, to our home in California. They are true jet-setters. Cali has decreed no more interlopers for now; life is just “purrfect” the way it is. Pet product samples and new gear arrive constantly at my front door, so everyone gets to “test.” Thereafter I donate to an animal shelter, which is something that makes me feel good and gives a positive spin-off to my work.
8. Do your pets influence your writing?
Absolutely! Everything I write about I have tried and tested on my fur kids and in many respects made a part of their daily lives. Also there is no question that having pets around keeps you grounded and in my case, sane. They are in my office with me every day. I am the one who is truly spoiled.
Stacy N. Hackett is a contributing editor to CatChannel.com who lives in Southern California with her husband James, children Kayla and Parker, and two adorable Cornish Rex cats, Evita and Carson.