The Meowiest of Mother’s Day Wishes!

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One of my all-time favorite pictures that captures the loving bond between mother and child – Mama Zoey snuggling with her baby Rolz when he was about 4 weeks old.

I will be off-line most of the weekend celebrating Mother’s Day with my mom as well as my mother-in-law, so I wanted to make sure to wish all of you a Happy Mother’s Day in advance in case I miss you!

It’s kind of a bittersweet day because not everyone has a mom to celebrate with, or a mom that they have a perfect relationship with, so I kind of take it in stride and just celebrate it in the broadest sense possible because the act of mothering can imply so many things to so many of us. Read more

Kitten Season… A Time When We Hope for Low Ratings…

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When it comes to the new summer or fall season of television, I’m all over it with anticipation. With kitten season, not so much. And don’t get me wrong, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE kittens. They are literally one of my all-time favorite things in the entire world and if I could have a house full of them, I would. But kitten season is far more than the sweet images that pop into our heads of darling, fluffy balls of playful fun. For shelters, kitten season is the period when births peak and it can be the very worst time of the year.

According to PetSmart Charities program manager, Bryan Kortis, kitten season happens twice each year – once in the spring and once in the fall, with the more intense kitten season happening in the spring where there will be an estimated 20 million kittens born.

Much as they melt our hearts, there simply are not enough forever homes for them and they overwhelm shelters because resources quickly become maxed, forcing tough decisions to be made. Not to mention, caring for kittens is not an easy job. Neonate kittens — those who are about 2 to 3 weeks old — must be bottle-fed every few hours and shelters must place them with someone who is trained to care for neonates. If they don’t find those adopters or foster placements fast, the kittens are often euthanized. And even if they are adopted, it’s at a price – usually at the expense of the older, less adoptable cats, such as seniors, cats with disabilities, or black cats that are often euthanized to make room for the more adoptable kittens.

I know you’ve all heard this before and I know I’m preaching to the kitten loving choir. But the message really hit home for me this year that kitten season is not just a topic to blog about. It’s real. In the past week, I have reached out to several of my friends in regards to book reviews for Purr Prints of the Heart. Three of them replied back in general conversation that they were busier than usual because they were fostering litters of kittens they had either found, or a shelter had contacted them to help with. And I know if they are helping out, that is only scratching the surface and I can’t begin to image how many of my other friends and colleagues are doing the same.

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Photo courtesy of Bernadette Kazmarski of The Creative Cat who found this litter of 5 kittens a few days ago and is now fostering them.

Truly the only way to combat this epidemic is to continue our crusade to spread the news on the importance of spay/neuter to the mainstream public. Whether it is the message that kittens need to be fixed at a younger age, or the message that we must embrace aggressive Trap-Neuter-Return-Manage (TNRM) programs in our communities to help minimize the influx of kittens during kitten season.

As I said from the beginning, I love a great new season, but when it comes to kitten season, that is one season I prefer get canceled due to low ratings…

Have a great Wednesday all and to help spread the news about kitten season, please feel free to share the graphic I provided at the beginning of this post or share this FANTASTIC video “There are Kittens Everywhere – Get Ready for Kitten Season” created by my extremely talented friend, Alana Grelyak of Cat CATastrophes.

To read more about Bernadette and the litter of kittens she rescued, please click here.

To read the review that Bernadette provided for Purr Prints of the Heart, please click here. If you are anything like me, you will find the review to be so eloquent and heartfelt that it will move you to tears…

Coping With Pet Loss and Grief: Purr Prints of the Heart – A Cat’s Tale of Life, Death, and Beyond by Deborah Barnes

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A concept that began as a rough draft around October of 2013 officially becomes a book about a year and a half later…

In the roller coaster journey of writing Purr Prints of the Heart – A Cat’s Tale of Life, Death, and Beyond, a meow-memoir written in the voice of my dearly departed cat, Mr. Jazz, who I had to help cross over the Bridge on August 28, 2013, after 15 years of life, it turns out writing the book was the easy part. In the world of self-publishing where the landscape changes quicker than what is the most current iPhone available, it is a convoluted, painstakingly arduous ordeal that is not for the weak of heart. Read more

Zee and Zoey – A Purr-fectly Comfortable Love Story

With so much of my life focusing on writing and books lately, it is no wonder my mind wandered to Zee and Zoey’s relationship for today’s post, since they are the cat couple that started it all for me. The moment the two of them met in 2008 after the initial “who are you shock,” it was a love at first sight affair. As the years have gone by, much has changed – from being parents – to losing Jazz and Harley – to adoptions of Kizmet and Jazmine – they have been through it all and as time has moved on, their love remains tried and true. Much like a couple that has been together for decades, they have that same soft slipper/old shoe kind of comfort with one another. Sure, there is the occasional grumpy growl – primarily from Zee who does not want his nap to be interrupted by Zoey who wants to cuddle, but she ignores him and settles in despite his protests.

For today’s post I thought I would share a brief pictorial history of the steadfast love, ending with a picture that Dan was able to capture of the two of them just a couple of weeks ago. Enjoy the midweek break and for those of you that live in a multi-pet household, do you have any pets that have been best friends from the moment they met?

 

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This was literally the first moment Zee met Zoey. Despite that he towered over her, she was not intimated in the slightest!

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This was the lovebirds in the beginning of their relationship – they were absolutely inseparable and adored one another!

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The proud couple after becoming parents in 2009. They look so stoic and regal here – like a purr-fect King and Queen!

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The kittens are long grown up and Zee and Zoey remain happily in love.

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Present day Zee and Zoey – a love that withstands the test of time…

Purr Prints of the Heart – A Special Conversation Shared on PetRadioShow.com

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Once again, even though I am a writer at heart, I will be wearing headphones! This picture was of me in 2011 when I was conducting my first ever phone interview… with none other than Jackson Galaxy of My Cat From Hell. Was I nervous… you bet!!

Despite insisting I am not a good public speaker, Robert Hudson of PetRadioShow.com has invited me to co-host his show today… Bless him, some people are just gluttons for punishment! He has also been kind enough to let me spend some time talking about my new baby – my book Purr Prints of the Heart – A Cat’s Tale of Life, Death, and Beyond written in the voice of my beloved Mr. Jazz. If you would like to learn more about how the book evolved, or if you have general questions on the grieving process after losing a pet, please be sure to tune in.

Also appearing on the show will be a segment Robert taped earlier in the week with Richard Christianson, a man from Arizona who saved the life of a cat stuck on the center divide of a freeway. The show starts at 1:00 pm EST – to listen in, please click here.

Have a great weekend everyone!