Meet Our Contributors

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: I Can't Believe My Cat Did That!

Meet Our Contributors

Debbie Acklin is a professional writer living in Alabama with her husband and her two children. Her current feline family member is three-year-old Duchess. Contact her at

Valerie Fletcher Adolph is a writer and speaker. She teaches and blogs about writing and gives presentations to volunteer and employee groups. Her book, The Story Solver, helps speakers use stories effectively. Published internationally, she is a teacher and mentor specializing in speech editing and evaluation. Learn more at

Teresa Ambord writes articles for business full-time from her rural Northern California home. For fun she writes stories about her family and pets. She is fully owned by the cats, small dogs, and foster dogs that inspire her writing and decorate her life. Her volunteer work with animals is through E-mail her at

Monica A. Andermann lives on Long Island with her husband Bill and their cat Charley. She is a frequent contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. More of her work can be found in such publications as Sasee, Skirt!, The Secret Place, and Woman’s World.

Elizabeth Atwater lives in a small town in North Carolina. She discovered the pleasure of writing at a very early age. She was encouraged to write by her teachers who thought she had a “gift for words” as one of them put it. Her “gift” brings her endless hours of pleasure.

Carol Ayer is a freelance writer and poet living in Northern California. Her credits include Woman’s World, The Christian Science Monitor, and several Chicken Soup for the Soul books.

Karen Baker lives with her veterinarian husband and their dogs, cats, cattle, sheep, and horses in Napa Valley, California. She is a past recipient of the Jessamyn West Writing award and her stories about animals appear in the anthologies My Dog Is My Hero and A Cup of Comfort for Dog Lovers II.

Dana J. Barnett is a writer and English teacher. Her favorite things to do are writing, reading, hiking, watching movies, junking, and doting on her cats. Currently, among other projects, Dana is working on a children’s book. Please send good thoughts her way. Contact her at

Jane Barron received her Bachelor of Science degree, with honors, in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from the University of Alabama. She taught school until 2002 and is now a full-time mom and author. Her story “Stickers” appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grieving and Recovery. E-mail her at

Garrett Bauman lives a mile from the nearest road in the Finger Lakes region of New York, where bears are becoming regular visitors. A retired professor from Monroe Community College, he has published two college textbooks and stories for many books and magazines. Contact him at

Joan McClure Beck has a master’s degree in education. Retired as a reading specialist, she also has taught at the community college level and in a GED program. Joan has several publication credits, including two prior Chicken Soup for the Soul stories. Besides writing, she loves watercolor painting and volunteering.

Valerie D. Benko is a Communications and Community Relations Specialist from western Pennsylvania. She is a frequent contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and has been published in other anthologies and online. To see all of her publishing credits, please visit her at

Jeanne Blandford has found her dream job as an editor at Chicken Soup for the Soul. When she is not reading inspirational submissions, she and her husband, Jack, are visiting their two children, working on documentaries, writing and producing children’s books or volunteering for OPIN, a local animal rescue.

Verna Bowman is a writer, a speaker and has been involved in ministry to women for many years. She and her husband Jeff reside in Pennsylvania and have four children and five grandchildren. Her personal experience stories have appeared in several devotionals and publications.

Mary Brennan has taken writing classes on and off for several years, and lately the teacher and several students seem to like many of her stories and have encouraged her to submit some. This is the first story that Mary has published professionally.

Caroline M. Brown lives in Maine with her two cats, and would like to see if any more stories can be published. She enjoys reading, old movies, walks on the beach and watching the sun come up over the ocean.

Debra Ayers Brown, a marketing professional, has received numerous project, design and writing awards on a national and international basis. She graduated magna cum laude from UGA, earned her MBA degree from The Citadel, and was recently included in the Stanford Who’s Who. Please follow her blogs at

Betsy Burnett lives in Illinois with her husband and four children. This homeschooling mom enjoys writing, reading, and bike riding. Active in her church, Betsy oversees the children’s ministry. To nurture her creative side, she teaches craft classes as well as organizes scrapbooking events. E-mail her at

Sammie Callahan-Hutchens is a freelance writer living in Odessa, FL with her husband Greg. A member of the Christian Writers Guild and the Florida Writers Association she enjoys writing short stories and historical fiction.

Hana Haatainen Caye, aka Green Grandma (, is the agency principal for Speechless (, a company specializing in voice-overs, copywriting, creative writing and editing services. A multi-published journalist, award-winning poet and author of short stories, Hana presents writing workshops at conferences and leads a monthly writing group in Pittsburgh, PA.

Mary C. Chace lives with her family and menagerie in Northern California. She enjoys the company of her husband, their six children, a horse, dog, hamster, tortoise, and of course, Sophie, the cat. Besides freelancing, Mary helps students improve their college admission essays and timed writing skills. E-mail Mary at

Bonita Chambers is the office manager for St. John Lutheran Church in Angleton, TX. She has always enjoyed writing and photography and works part-time for Image Magazine, a reflection of Brazoria County living. E-mail her at

Linda S. Clare is the coauthor of three nonfiction books and author of a novel, The Fence My Father Built (Abingdon Press, 2009). She teaches writing at Lane Community College in Eugene, OR, and for George Fox Evangelical Seminary. She lives in Eugene with her family and three wayward cats. E-mail her at

Harriet Cooper is a freelance writer. Her topics often include cats, health, exercise, diet, family and the environment. A frequent contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, her work has also appeared in newspapers, magazines, newsletters, anthologies, websites and radio. E-mail her at

Shirley Corder is a registered nurse, cancer survivor and freelance author. She lives near the sea in Port Elizabeth, South Africa with her husband Rob. Her book, Strength Renewed: Mediations for your Journey through Breast Cancer, is due to be released September 2012. Contact her at

Mary Dempsey, a former teacher and bookstore owner, now resides in Bluffton, SC. Her writing has appeared in newspapers, magazines and in a recently published Chicken Soup for the Soul anthology. She does freelance writing for a local newspaper and recently published a book of her short stories. E-mail her at

Sally Desouza received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Oregon and Educational Specialist degree from Lewis & Clark. Before a recent move to Virginia, Sally worked as a school psychologist near Seattle. She is currently traveling and writing about her experiences. Contact her through

This is Cynthia M. Dutil’s first published story. Cynthia has always loved pets, and is living in a nursing home. She hopes to write more stories.

Susan Peterson Gateley sailed Lake Ontario with her cats for several years and published a book about her three cats’ cruise to Canada, Twinkle Toes and the Riddle of the Lake, available from or Amazon. E-mail her at

Liz Graf is a retired high school biology teacher with three grown children. She and her high school sweetheart are now settled in Palm Coast, FL. Liz loves seeing and translating the world through the written word. She strives to make every day a Sunshine Day. E-mail her at

Wendy Greenley graduated from the University of Delaware and the Villanova University School of Law. She is a member of the SCBWI and her love for animals works its way into many of the stories she writes. E-mail Wendy at

Dale Mary Grenfell is a prolific freelance writer, educator, storyteller and workshop facilitator. She loves living in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and actively volunteers in her community. She graduated with honors from Regis University in sociology and with a minor in religious studies. E-mail her at

Bill Halderson received a B.A. degree from California State Polytechnic University, and an M.A. degree in government from Claremont Graduate University much of a lifetime ago. Bill retired from a career as a corporate manager and trainer. He lives and writes in Cookeville, TN. E-mail him at

Maryanne Hamilton has enjoyed the company of mischievous and loving cats since childhood. She is a published author and an artist/art therapist with children and adults. In her leisure time you may find her traveling, creating art, writing children’s books, or playing her clarinet in a very large marching band.

Sharon Harmon has published numerous short stories, articles and 120 poems. She has been published in A Patchwork Christmas, Birds & Blooms and Swimming With Cats. She lives in the woods with her husband and cat and is working on a memoir. E-mail her at

Dena Harris’ book Who Moved My Mouse? A Self-Help Book for Cats (Who Don’t Need Any Help) has been translated into six languages. A writer and in-demand speaker, Dena owns a freelance copywriting business, runs ultra marathons, and frightens her husband and cats with her experimental cooking. Learn more at

Karen R. Hessen has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Divorce and Recovery, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Food and Love, Guideposts, Vista and many others. She and her husband Douglas live in Forest Grove and Seaside, OR. Karen can be reached at or visit her website at

Rebecca Hill’s cat, Saddie “Spot” Wilson, was respected by all and loved by an elite few. Her biggest fans were Tom Caufield, Chip Wilson, Kandy Hill, Laura Gorenstien-Miller, Cindi and Faye Toth, Jini Durr, Nicole Damato, Darnell (from Dr. G’s office) and Gary and Sherry Guinn. Spot is missed greatly.

Tracie Hornung is a former award-winning reporter, a freelance writer, and a volunteer at cat shelters and wildlife rehabilitation organizations in the Pacific Northwest. In addition to writing about animals, she enjoys hiking, bicycling, boating, and nature photography. Visit her website at

Carol Huff is a frequent contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series as well as other well-known publications. She owns Sudie Belle Animal Sanctuary in Northeast Georgia and spends most of her time taking care of rescued and special needs animals. E-mail her at

BJ Jensen is an author, inspirational speaker, dramatist and music-signing artist. She directs Love In Motion Signing Choir (, which travels internationally. BJ is happily married to Dr. Doug Jensen and they live near their son, daughter-in-law, and three precious granddaughters in San Diego, CA. E-mail her at

Ruth Jones lives in Cookeville, TN with her husband Terry and a very fat calico named Annabel.

Ron Kaiser lives in the foothills of the New Hampshire White Mountains with his wife Meghan, whose beauty and intelligence exceed the writer’s ability to describe. They have a wonderful son together, named William, who is silly as all get out. Ron is currently at work trying to publish a fantasy novel. E-mail him at

April Knight is an author and artist. She loves cats and believes every cat she has owned has enriched her life. She is currently living in soggy, dreary Seattle where the sun never shines. Learn more at

Kimber Krochmal lives in a small town in North Carolina. When not writing, she enjoys drawing, painting, and spending time with her large family. Her children, including her “fur children,” are her biggest inspiration as an artist and a storyteller.

Nancy Kucik and her husband Dennis, both Wisconsin natives, live in Alabama with their two mixed-breed dogs, and two cats — eighteen-year-old Fluffy and a new kitten, Mocha. Nancy works as an editorial assistant at a medical journal and enjoys reading, running and writing in her spare time. E-mail Nancy at

Joyce Laird is a freelance writer living in Southern California with her menagerie of animal companions. Her features have been published in many magazines including, Cat Fancy, Grit, Mature Living, I Love Cats and Vibrant Life. She contributes regularly to Woman’s World and the Chicken Soup for the Soul anthology.

Ginny A. Lee lives on about 230 wooded acres along Minnesota’s Mississippi River. She shares her life with a variety of cats, dogs, horses, cows, chickens and the occasional donkey or sheep. She finds it a singularly satisfying life, supported by therapeutic and able-bodied riding lessons.

Kathy (Kat) Linker has a B.A. degree in psychology, a graduate degree in clinical art therapy and a master’s degree in education. She has traveled the world extensively but found her true home in Hawaii. She is currently writing inspirational stories about her life and travel adventures. E-mail her at

Virginia Maher, of Halifax, Nova Scotia, is a long-term wife, mother and grandmother. She enjoys these three roles tremendously most of the time and prefers to approach life’s challenges with a sense of humour. Virginia enjoys writing, reading, traveling, sewing, knitting, photography, gardening and spending time with her family.

Irene Maran, a retired high school administrator from the Montclair Kimberley Academy in New Jersey, enjoys writing humorous essays. Irene writes a bi-weekly column for the News-Record of Maplewood/South Orange and The Coaster in Asbury Park. She directs two writing groups at the Jersey Shore. E-mail her at

Alice Marks retired from a career in Early Childhood Education in Roseville, MN. In 2005, she and her husband moved to Port Aransas, TX. She joined a writers’ group, Port A Pens. Inspired by this group, she writes regularly. Other passions include people, pets, and volunteer work at her church. E-mail her at

Tina Wagner Mattern is a Portland, OR writer who is married to a great guy, has two awesome kids and is the adopted parent of a bad kitty named Sauza. She is grateful to have been published in four other Chicken Soup for the Soul books so far. E-mail her at

Linda Mehus-Barber lives with her husband, two dogs, and a cat in the seaside community of Crescent Beach in Surrey, British Columbia. She teaches English and Ancient History to energetic middle schoolers, and writes as a way to relax.

Lynn Maddalena Menna is a freelance writer and former educator. She is a columnist for Main Street Magazine and writes for NJ Education Now. Lynn lives in Hawthorne, NJ with her husband, Prospero. Sadly, Toonsie passed on to heaven, but lives on in their hearts. E-mail Lynn at

Diane Morey received her B.S. degree in Dental Hygiene with highest honors from the University of Louisville and an M.S. degree in Education from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. She has published professional articles, is retired, and lives in Rhinelander, WI with her mother and her two cats, Ember and Cinder.

Lisa Kirkpatrick Mueller is a psychology major at Liberty University. Lisa and her husband, Ian, currently reside in Kennesaw, GA with four felines: Leo, Budd, Snowie, and Smokie. Lisa enjoys writing, cross-stitching, reading, and watching movies. The stories in this book are Lisa’s first published work. E-mail her at

S. Kay Murphy is a writer, high school teacher and lover of black cats. She can be contacted at — and if you enjoyed her story, please find Sugar Plum on Facebook and let her know!

Irena Nieslony was born in England and received her B.A. degree in English and Drama from the University of London. She now lives in Greece with her husband and numerous cats and dogs. As well as writing short stories, Irena is working on her first novel. E-mail her at

LaVerne Otis lives in Southern California where she loves writing, photography, bird watching, reading and spending time with family. LaVerne is recently retired; taking classes at a local community college. She has been published several times in Chicken Soup for the Soul books and various magazines. E-mail her at

Linda Panczner teaches composition at The University of Toledo and tries to practice what she preaches through freelance writing. Her cats provide ample inspiration for some of her prose because of their pleasing, sometimes perplexing, personalities. Whereas writing can be a challenge, reading is pure bliss.

Mark Parisi’s award winning “off the mark” cartoon appears in newspapers worldwide. His work also appears on calendars, cards, books, T-shirts and more. Visit to view 7000+ cartoons. Mark resides in Massachusetts with his wife and business partner Lynn, along with their daughter Jen, three cats and a dog.

Nancy Peacock is a retired librarian who loves to read and write children’s books and spy novels. Her short stories have been published in several anthologies. Her husband and daughters love to read anything she writes and are her best critics. Her critique group members call her the “Punctuation Police.”

Award-winning columnist/novelist Saralee Perel is honored to be a multiple contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies. Her book, Raw Nerves, is now available as an e-book on E-mail Saralee at or visit her at

Mary C. M. Phillips is a caffeinated wife and mother residing in New York. Her work has appeared in the Cup of Comfort book series and Bad Austen: The Worst Stories Jane Never Wrote. Mary is currently writing her first Austen-inspired novel. With enough coffee, she may finish it. Learn more at

D.R. Ransdell got her starter cats a decade ago and has kept a house of felines ever since. To read Bandit’s version of the story, please consult The Secret Lives of the Pink House Cats: Prose Poems by Five Felines or visit

Denise Reich practices flying trapeze, dances, and likes to paint. She can be seen dancing in the “mob” in five episodes of the TV show Mobbed. Denise’s most recent writing credits include several Chicken Soup for the Soul titles, the anthology She’s Shameless, The Pet Press, Bunker Hill magazine and Goodkin.

Bruce Robinson is an award-winning, internationally published cartoonist whose work has appeared in many consumer and trade magazines, including National Enquirer, The Saturday Evening Post, Woman’s World, etc. He is the author of the cartoon books Good Medicine and Bow Wows & Meows. Visit or e-mail him at

Janet Rockey is president of CWG/Word Weavers-Tampa Chapter and is a member of Florida Writers Association. She lives in Tampa, FL with her husband and two cats. Her writing withstands a fulltime job, constant home improvements, and her feline “children,” all inspiration for her stories. Visit her blog at

Lynn Rogers lives on a small farm in Central Kentucky with her husband and various critters. She enjoys writing in her spare time.

Jazmyne Rose has been writing since she could hold pen to paper. It has always been her passion and she hopes to unite people all over the world through a love of literacy. For more works by Jazmyne check her out on Facebook or Myspace!

Linda Sabourin lives in the River Valley of NW Arkansas. She shares a home with her brother, her boyfriend, several cats and one dog. Formerly an accountant, she now spends her time going to auctions and selling vintage items on eBay. E-mail her at

Kelly Boyer Sagert has published eleven nonfiction books, most recently Icons of Women’s Sport (ABC-CLIO). She has also been commissioned to write three full-length historical plays. Kelly and her family now own four beautiful cats: Char, Coal, Milo and Dylan. E-mail her at

Ayesha Schroeder lives in Texas, where she does web content writing by day and plays house by night with her two Bengal cats and husband. She enjoys writing, scuba diving, cooking, and blogging. E-mail her at or visit her website at

Mary Z. Smith is a regular contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul anthology as well as Guideposts and Angels on Earth magazines. She resides in Newton Falls, OH, enjoying penning praises to God.

L. Stewart is a freelance writer from the Midwest. She loves teaching and working with college students, writing plays, and hang gliding with her dad. She loves her God, her family and her writing, in that order, and never plans to retire.

Susan Sundwall is a freelance writer and children’s playwright. She is working on her first novel, a comic cozy mystery. E-mail her at

Pamela Tambornino teaches English full-time at a tribal university. She has a B.A. degree in English, MLS and M.A./English. E-mail her at

B.J. Taylor can’t believe how Red helped her find romance again. She is an award-winning author whose work has appeared in Guideposts, more than two-dozen Chicken Soup for the Soul books, and numerous other publications. You can reach B.J. through her website at and check out Charlie Bear’s dog blog at

Karen Teigen is a retired library director who has worked in school and public libraries. She wrote this story as part of a leisure learning course on non-fiction writing. She enjoys reading, traveling, crocheting, and spending time with her children and grandchildren.

The cartoons of Andrew Toos have been anthologized in numerous cartoon collections, such as Lawyers! Lawyers! Lawyers!, Cats, Cats, Cats and Modern Employment. His cartoons appear in textbooks, trade paperbacks and books published by Cambridge University Press, Simon & Schuster, Warner Books, Contemporary Publishing, Gibbs Smith and many others.

Ann Vitale has been a microbiologist, a dog trainer, and a car dealer. Previously published by an educational press, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and local newspapers, she is working on a mystery novel. Her interests are wildlife, teaching in adult schools, and art. E-mail her at

When she was eight, Shireen Wahid fed a pregnant stray cat that wandered into her backyard. Since then, their antics and purring companionship have been a constant in her life, seeing her through some rough times. Shireen lives in Sydney, Australia. E-mail her at or visit her blog

Pat Wahler is a freelance writer from Missouri who has published stories in multiple venues, including both local and national publications. Pat balances a full-time job, family, and writing with varying degrees of success. She blogs all things animals on Critter Alley at

Beverly F. Walker lives in Tennessee with her retired husband. She enjoys writing, photography and scrapbooking pictures of her grandchildren. She has stories in many Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, and dedicates this story to her cat Audrey, who once belonged to her late son Donnie.

Samantha Ducloux Waltz is an award-winning freelance writer in Portland, OR. Her personal stories have appeared in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, numerous other anthologies, The Christian Science Monitor and Redbook. She has also written fiction and nonfiction under the name Samellyn Wood. Learn more at

Whether through words or photographs, Cari Weber is passionate about telling stories. She is a freelance writer and award-winning photographer whose work has been published in several books and magazines. Cari finds beauty in the ordinary and especially enjoys nature and wildlife. Visit her website at

Anne Wilson teaches at University of San Diego. She has published/won prizes in poetry since 1996, and during the 1980’s published articles in spiritual/religious magazines and academic journals. Powder Puff was her cat in Northern New Mexico, where she lived with her husband until the 1990’s.

Deborah Wilson resides in Everett, WA with her husband and two cats. Deborah is a graduate of the University of Washington and a member of Toastmasters. She and her husband enjoy hiking and biking in the beautiful Northwest. Other passions include reading, writing, cooking and knitting.

Tamra Wilson lives in North Carolina and has been published in more than fifty literary journals and anthologies. She earned her Master’s of Fine Arts degree from the University of Southern Maine and released her collection, Dining with Robert Redford, in 2011. E-mail her at

Paul Winick, M.D. lives in Hollywood, FL with his wife Dorothy. He practiced there for thirty years and is currently Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at University of Miami medical school. This is his eighth Chicken Soup for the Soul contribution. His second memoir, Cancer Dreams, has just been released. E-mail him at

Lisa Wojcik teaches literacy and art to low-income elementary grade children through a Florida public library system. Degreed from The University of New Mexico, Lisa is a science researcher, artist, and writer. Her short stories, poetry, children’s literature, and research work can be seen at E-mail her at

Lisa M. Wolfe is a freelance health and fitness writer. She is also the author of six fitness books and one Christian fiction novel. Lisa and her two children remain active and healthy. Mars passed away in 2010 and they miss him every day.

Susan Yanguas received a B.A. degree with honors and distinction in all subjects from Cornell University. She lives with her two cats in Maryland, where they help her write by manipulating her mouse and walking on the keyboard. Susan (with feline assistance) has also written two novels that are currently seeking publication.

Sue Zendt holds an MFA degree in Theatre; she is a playwright and a retired teacher of Theatre, Composition, and Literature. She can’t imagine a home without cats in it.

Patti Zint is a freelance writer and private college program director. Home is shared with numerous pampered cats and two wish-we-were-cats dogs. She is the proud mother of one amazing teenage daughter, one inspiring Marine son, and one awesome twenty-something son. E-mail her at is

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