Serenah McKay is a freelance writer and editor who has more than 20 years of experience working for newspapers in California, Texas and Arkansas. With a bachelor's degree in communication, she has written for both print and online media, including the Los Angeles Daily News, Medical News of Arkansas, and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. She writes on a wide range of topics, and her areas of expertise include genealogy, cats, and small pets.
Serenah is an expert genealogist, working in the field since her early teens. Besides continuing to trace her own family lines, she does consulting work for other families building their family trees. She combines personal history interviews with online and archival research to create well-rounded and authoritative family histories. She created and maintains a family history website on one of her ancestral lines. She is a member of the Association of Personal Historians, the Oral History Association, and the Society of American Archivists. She keeps her skills up-to-date by attending genealogy conferences and seminars.
Serenah can't remember a time when cats weren't a part of her life. All of her cats are rescues, including some tiny kittens so young they needed bottle-feeding and round-the-clock care. She has also nursed many elderly and special-needs kitties with problems such as kidney failure, chronic urinary tract infections, blindness, and epilepsy. She is an ardent advocate for cat welfare, promoting low-cost spay, neuter and vaccination services for pets and TNR (trap/neuter/release) for feral cats. She served for three years as the website editor for Best Friends Animal Society's Arkansas chapter. She created and maintains a website with information on caring for senior cats.
Serenah's passion for animals isn't limited to cats. She's also owned mice, dogs, and birds. She trained in wildlife rehabilitation through the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council, learning skills such as tube feeding, administering injections, conducting physical exams, and wrapping injured wings and limbs. She has worked mostly with birds and rabbits.
A former professional dancer, Serenah earned a master's degree in dance at UCLA, focusing on dance therapy and choreography. She began ballet lessons at age 6, and soon added tap and jazz. At 16, she was accepted into a civic ballet company. That same year, she auditioned for and was invited to attend the San Francisco Ballet School's summer academy. In her college years, her interest shifted to modern dance and choreography. She danced with local professional companies, and after college pursued dance full time. She also has taught ballet, modern, jazz, and tap to dancers from age 4 to adult. Later discovering a passion for musical theater, she portrayed Lola in "Damn Yankees," and choreographed the musicals "Baby" and "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas."