Preview of Coming Attractions

Over the next several months, I will be traveling across the country in search of cat stories, visiting innovative cat rescues and shelters, interviewing eccentric cat lovers, leading vets and behaviorists and so much more. To view my travel schedule and learn more about my Cat Behaviorist business, please visit . If I will be in your area and you feel you have some interesting cat stories to share, please don't hesistate to contact me via my website.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Nashville Paw

There are so many ways to give service to cats—to aid in the plight of animals, increase awareness etc. Heather Davis has certainly found her niche as editor and publisher of the Nashville Paw ( The articles are meaty and informative, challenging and interesting—not to mention well written, the format and design are professional and engaging. I was thrilled when I picked up my first copy at a local pet supply store. I sent her writing samples—very eager to be involved. We lunched yesterday. She’s tired—carrying a mostly one woman show, pouring her own resources into it.

We are told repeatedly that the pet industry is a multi billion dollar industry—and yet I see so many brave, dedicated souls that scrimp and save and give their life’s blood to the cause of animal rescue and rights. Heather said they almost didn’t pull together the finances for the sixth issue—they didn’t make enough ad sales, fortunately some donations saved the day. Of course, Heather has also been helping to fund the endeavor from her personal finances (much like Lorie, my friend and editor of the Southern California Pet Gazette.)

I worry that the Nashville Paw will fold. Why is that important? Because the Paw is a unifier, a communication tool that links all aspects of the pet world: the business people, the rescuers and activists, the veterinary and behavioral professional and the public—all of them, the pet loving and merely pet curious. It provides the opportunity to deepen everyone’s understanding of their animals. And learning to understand animals has been such a profound transformation in my life, everyone deserves at least the chance to move beyond casual affection to experiencing the soul of another species—that only comes through understanding.

On a more practical level—it also provides an excellent resource guide. The listings at the back of the magazine can help pet owners who need a pet sitter, a trainer, a behaviorist, a vet—not to mention local rescue groups. Just knowing where to look to find these resources can help pet owners overcome the many challenges of sharing one’s home with animals.

So, I discussed it with my husband and decided to postpone launching my business for a month. I committed 20 hours a week to the Nashville Paw for the next month—to sell advertising. My commitment is short term—just to bridge the gap until she finds the permanent person. I don’t want to turn into an ad rep person, I want to focus growing my cat behaviorist practice, my writing, as well as developing other cat education projects, but this is important. I think that Nashville Paw needs to stay viable. In many ways, Tennessee is a bit behind the curve with regard to animal issues. Animal Control is criminally under-funded to the point that they simply can’t respond to most animal cruelty reports. There is little awareness about the importance of spay/neuter, feral cats are mistreated, dogs are tethered. There is a strange dichotomy between the upper middle class that can support the pet stores, the luxury boarding facilities, animal masseuses (and dare I say, cat behaviorists—after all, this is where Pam Johnson Bennett made her name) and the rest of the population that is dramatically under-educated about these issues. The Paw offers free information and a focal point for communication between groups.

Plus, in all honesty, it is the only local print publication that makes sense for ME to advertise in—so if it goes belly up—there goes the easiest way to get the word out about MY OWN business.

I tossed my first pitch tonight—going for the big sale, the back cover of the February issue to the company that is installing the whole house HEPA filter in our new home. The owner is very proud to have saved many animal lives, helping improve the home air-quality and designing allergy relief programs for pet owners who find themselves reacting to pets. The Nashville Paw is a perfect match. I”ll let you know if he buys the ad space!

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