Cat & Special Events

The Cat Daddy of Our House Shares Some Favorite Memories and Photos for Father’s Day

It all started back in 2005 with this photocopied image of a kitten who would eventually change my life, and Dan’s. We brought him into our home, named him Zee, and he has stolen our hearts ever since. Happy Father’s Day, Dan! Here’s to many, many more photographs and memories!

Editor’s Note: As a writer, one of the most difficult tasks for me is when I’m told to summarize a 1000 word concept into 50 words or less. Like an artist, words are the paintbrush to my canvas and I don’t do well with a minimalist approach. You can only imagine then, what it would be like to tell a seasoned photographer to do the same – task them, from their near endless library of pictures, to pick out their favorite one. But that’s exactly what I did with Dan for this Father’s Day.

Those of you familiar with my blog know Dan is responsible for the vast majority of the pictures I share of our feline gang. Sure, I might doctor them up with inspirational quotes or funny little props, but for the most part, I share them as is. He’s brilliant at his craft and the cats are his babies – they love and trust him so implicitly that the camera becomes an extension of him, and as a result he’s able to capture the essence of each of them with what seems like ease because they are completely natural around him.

While I know it’s impossible to pick a favorite photo, I thought for Father’s Day it would be fun for Dan to pick out a couple pictures of each of our seven cats – Zee, Zoey, Mia, Peanut, Rolz, Kizmet, and Jazmine – as well as our angels, Mr. Jazz and Harley, that were extra-special to him. I then asked him to briefly describe why he chose each particular photo. It was a long trip down memory lane for him, but I think it was a beautiful trip nonetheless. Each of our cats has captured his heart in a unique way and he’s the ultimate Cat Daddy in my eyes.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there – I hope you have a wonderful day. Now, without further ado, the table belongs to Dan!

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Truth be told, I’m a Cat Dad (or Daddy) with a camera who loves to observe and capture images of his “kids” – what father doesn’t love to do this? However, this seemingly simple task becomes a daunting challenge when you realize that my image catalog contains nearly 50,000 digital images, most of which are images of our little furballs.

48,512 images to be exact…

I can’t even begin to describe how difficult the process of reviewing, selecting, eliminating and re-selecting actually was. There were so many images that are personal favorites, and there were far too many of those that had to be set aside to move the final selection process along. I ultimately ended up with two images for each of our lovable felines, and then I slipped in a few bonus images in which more than one of the gang appears.

I hope you enjoy viewing these images and that they inspire you to get out your camera and capture moments like these of your own “kids.” There’s always a hint of mystery and just enough of us in them that makes them fascinating to watch and photograph.

Photo one – Zee

Deb gave Zee to me as a gift nearly 12 years ago when he was just a kitten. I’ve always admired the Maine Coon for their personality and intelligence. This image of Zee is one of my favorites because he’s always keenly aware of my presence and should I go off to another room, he will follow. And yes, that fur is as soft as it looks.

Photo two – Zee

Zee is an indoor cat, as are all of our cats, but on the occasions that we allow them some supervised “outside time” in our fenced-in back yard, Zee relishes the moments. He rarely attempts to run off and explore, and will quietly observe you in his repose of stateliness.

Photo one – Zoey

Zoey, our Bengal Queen and most certainly not your typical laid-back lap cat! She’s curious, can be naughty and quite a handful. She’s very vocal and VERY loud when she wants to be, but she’s also very affectionate and particularly loyal to Deb.

Photo two – Zoey

Zoey, the Huntress. I like this image of Zoey because for me it’s a bit mysterious and seems to capture the Asian Leopard Cat side of her genetic makeup. The golden light on the left of her is a result of a sun puddle reflecting off the wood flooring.

Photo one – Rolz

I think Rolz would be first in line if the Egyptians put out a call for a model to update the sculpture of the Great Sphinx of Giza. Rolz has a sense of regalness about him which he likely gets from his mother and father (Zee & Zoey).

Photo two – Rolz

I love the intensity of expression in Rolz’s eyes in this image. Again, very much like his mother.

Photo one – Peanut

Peanut can often be found in a corner of our living room where we leave a blanket on top of the tile floor for the gang. She likes to lie there to watch the comings and goings throughout the house.

Photo two – Peanut

Peanut also likes to sit in our window sills to watch the comings and goings of creatures in our yard. I took this image of her from outside with a very long telephoto lens, capturing the moment precisely when she recognized me and focused her gaze.

Photo one – Mia

Shhh… Mia’s hiding! Because her tail is across her face, she actually thinks I can’t see her. We keep a large basket full of plush toys that she and the others are fond of curling up in. At night, those plush toys become gifts to the Gods, which we find scattered about our bedroom floor in the morning.

Photo two – Mia

I love the symmetry in this image and the intensity of color in Mia’s eyes. She’s lying on a cushion, made by a friend of ours (thanks again Liz!), which we keep on the floor in front of a window.

Photo one – Kizmet

We adopted Kizmet as a kitten after Deb spotted him in our local Pet Supermarket. Obviously she fell in love with him, texted a photo to me, and the story continues…

Photo two – Kizmet

And here he is today, a very regal old soul. He’s incredibly loving, and had a great influence on easing and transitioning the next adoption (Jazmine) into our home. At night, Kizmet appears on the sofa with us, and proceeds to climb behind Deb’s head, puts both paws around her head, and then lays his head on hers.

Photo one – Jazmine

We adopted Jazmine after fate introduced us to her at the Global Pet Expo in Orlando several years ago. This is just one (of many, many, many) favorite images of her taken one morning in our kitchen. The sun comes through this window each morning and she loves the warmth as well as the cool marble window sill she lays upon.

Photo two – Jazmine

Yup! This is it!!! My all time favorite of favorite images! She’s got me now (and had me at the first meow). One simple look, a slight tilt of the head and I’ve melted. I caught this image of her while I was working at my computer and she jumped up on the table and just sat patiently waiting for me to acknowledge her. (Deb used this image on the back cover of her most recent book, Makin’ Biscuits).

Photo one – Harley

One of our “Angel Cats”… I took this playful image of Harley when I first began experimenting with digital photography.

Photo two – Harley

Another favorite image of Harley. It’s such a reflection of the personality she had and the trust and love she had for those around her. We miss our “Butterball.”

Photo one – Mr. Jazz

Another of our “Angel Cats” and the cat that inspired Deb’s recent book, Purr Prints of the Heart. This is our Mr. Jazz a few years before he crossed the Rainbow Bridge. He so enjoyed being out in our backyard in our Tiki Hut during supervised “outside time” days.

Photo two – Mr. Jazz

I love this image of Mr. Jazz because to me, it’s as though he’s looking back at us before he crosses the bridge telling us that everything will be okay. He and I had a very special relationship. He is forever immortalized in Purr Prints of the Heart.

Mia snuggling into her Daddy, Zee. Mia absolutely loves and adores her father and likely spends 80% of her time with Zee.

Peanut, Zee, Zoey, and Rolz

Winter time in South Florida means temperatures in the 70’s and the windows of our house are all open to allow in the cool breezes and fresh air. There are always cats in our window sills. Now if I could just get a shot of all of them in a window at once, and have enough patience to wait for all of them to look into the camera at the same time!

A favorite image of Mia and her brother Rolz. Feel the love!

The beginning of the love story… Classic Zee & Zoey!

The Many Shades of Mother’s Day for a Cat Mom

Proud cat mom to Zee, Zoey, Mia, Peanut, Rolz, Kizmet, and Jazmine!

It’s no secret I’m all about my cats. I’ve had cats my whole life, so I’ve been a cat mom to not only my wonderful gang of Zee, Zoey, Mia, Peanut, Rolz, Kizmet, and Jazmine, but to many angel cats too, like my precious Jazz and Harley. I know lots of you are cat mom’s too, so to all of you, I wish you a Happy Cat Mom’s Day! Read more

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National Pet Week – the bond with a pet is a life-long commitment of love and responsibility.

May 7 -13 is National Pet Week and while it’s fun to reflect on all the joy our pets bring into our lives and we would all agree that every week should be pet week, it’s also a time to reflect on the seriousness of responsibility we have to our pets. It’s a lifetime commitment – from the happy to the sad, to the easy to the hard. National Pet week was created 35 years ago by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) to help pet guardians manage that responsibility and this year they are highlighting a specific need each day of the week to remind us what every pet owner should consider to ensure that their pet lives the longest, healthiest life possible. Read more

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All creatures great and small make up our earth. Treat all with respect and the world will be a healthier and more compassionate place.

Many years ago when I was a child I lived a very difficult life. Money was tight for our family (consisting of my mom, my step-dad, my brother and sister, and assorted step-family members who stayed with us on unpredictable, varying days). We lived in a very rural area – miles away from the small town’s main street that boasted of an ice cream shop and a tiny movie theater – and relied completely on farming, gardening, hunting, and fishing to sustain ourselves. Clothes were homemade and food was made from scratch – it was a physically demanding life and I was always jealous of my friends who lived in town, buying their food and conveniences in the supermarket and whatnot. Read more

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Little miss Jazmine as our Easter card for this year!

From all of us at Zee and Zoey’s we wish you a Happy Easter and blessings for a beautiful day. We are grateful we will be spending the day with family, enjoying the simple moments life gives us by them being a part of it. Happy Sunday and wishes for a great upcoming week as well.