Happy Thanksgiving 2023 From Zee & Zoey’s Cat Chronicles

The model for our Thanksgiving card is the lovely Jazmine.

From all of us at Zee & Zoey’s Cat Chronicles, we wish you and yours a safe, peaceful, loving, and wonderful Thanksgiving. And, as always, we share these tips to keep our kitties safe and sound with all the treats that abound!

Dear Senior Cat – a Poem by Deborah Barnes

November is Adopt a Senior Pet month and with 5 of our 7 cats officially seniors, it’s hard not to dwell on their age. According to International Cat Care, “Feline ages and life stages have been redefined. Cats are elderly once they reach 11 years with senior cats defined as those aged between 11 – 14 and geriatric cats 15 years and upwards.”

That means my Zoey, who was just a tiny kitten a mere fraction of a minute ago in my mind, is now geriatric at 15 years of age. It’s truly hard to wrap my head around the notion, as she looks and acts as young as ever. Clearly, age is but a number to her. Her most recent checkup came back with great results and she’s as spry, alert, and overly vocal as ever. The only thing the vet recommended was some B-12 to help support her metabolic processes, and thankfully she happily eats her Cobalequin chewable tablets with no fuss. Her eyes remain bright and clear and her fur is as soft as silk too, with no grooming issues. Read more

Sharing the Love for National Black Cat Day!

Today is National Black Cat Day and in honor of these glorious creatures, I thought I’d share a bit about the black cats who have been a part of my life. First was Tosha. Tosha was found on the side of the road one evening, on a very dark and cold night in Upstate New York. It was 1981 and it was on the way home from an evening out with my then-husband, Bill, when we spotted her.

We barely saw her, so it must have been the glare of her eyes that caught our attention. She was tiny, shivering, covered in mud, and riddled with fleas. Naturally, we brought her home. We gave her a bath, fed her, and the rest was history. She became part of our family which at the time included an Old English Sheepdog, Murphy, and three cats: Friday, Scrubby, and Meagan.

Tosha’s first picture!

Playing with a ring from a milk jug.

Wow, I’m really dating myself! Look at this ancient TV!

Christmas, 1981. Tosha had only been with us a short while, and I’d already subjected her to wearing a bow!

Tosha was incredibly sweet. She got along with the other cats and her favorite thing was to lie on top of my back when I was stretched out on the couch. Back then, we didn’t snap zillions of photos like we do today so the images I have of her are limited. Social media didn’t exist, blogs didn’t exist, and the quality of photos certainly didn’t exist as you witness in the scanned photos I’ve shared.

Lying on the couch with Tosha on my back!

1984 prior to giving birth to my first son…the calm before the storm!

The majority of her photos were taken prior to 1984. 1984 was the year my first son, Chris, was born, and 1989 was the year my second son, Joe, was born. Photos shifted to primarily being about them. Back then, it was customary to take lots of photos of your kids, have the film developed, make extra copies, and mail pictures of your kids to your relatives. Not like today where at the touch of your phone or computer photos are instantly sent to those you love, including those of your cats, who are family members, too!

1989. Lying on the couch with my son, Chris. I was pregnant at the time with who would be my second son, Joe. Tosha is on top of me, as usual!

1994. The last photo I have of Tosha. You can tell we lived in Florida based on the tropical furniture.

Tosha went through several moves in New York with us, and then ultimately to Florida in 1994 where I live now. She passed peacefully in 1996 and I was without a black cat from then, until the early morning of Friday, November 8, 2019, the morning I discovered a black kitten outside my garage door. We had seven cats at the time and despite how cute this kitten was, it was not my intention to add to our feline family.

A little visitor outside our garage!

I did everything I could to find his owner and I also tried (very unsuccessfully) not to bond with him, because, as I said, it was not my intention to add to our feline family. But the thing is, as time began to tell, it was evident this little guy had probably been abused and deliberately abandoned by whatever human family he had been living with. He had significant trust issues and was prone to biting and scratching my fiancé, Dan, and me whenever we tried to pet him.

Me “not bonding” with our newly found kitten.

I knew in my heart, however, that his best chance for survival and a happy life was with us. Black cats are often the least adopted in shelters, sometimes for ridiculous and erroneous reasons stemming from bad luck and superstitions, with many of them tragically euthanized because they cannot find a forever home. And by this time, I had already named him Shadow, and he was slowly becoming acclimated to the house. Nearly 4 years later, he is absolutely thriving and living the life of a pampered king. He basks in daily naps in the sun and he looks forward to treasured routines such as treats and brushing.

Shadow knows he’s living the good life and it shows in his content face.

He is not a lap cat and he doesn’t snuggle on the couch with the other cats, but that is primarily because our ginger, Jazmine (also a rescue herself) has made it abundantly clear she is still not on board with his presence. Regardless, he’s as happy as can be and we love him dearly. I’m not good at it, and black cats are notoriously hard to photograph, but I have managed to have some fun with my iPhone, capturing a few of those happy moments over the past several years.

Hope you enjoy them! And you if have a black cat (past or present), please share your black cat stories in the comments, I’d love to hear them. Or share pictures of them on social media: today is a great day to spread the word about just how wonderful black cats are!

This is what you get when you sprinkle cat nip on a scratching board!

A very regal moment in our tiki, one of Shadow’s favorite hang-out spots.

Just helpin’ you clean the floor, Mom!

All that’s missing is a cape! Shadow looks like a superhero in this photo!

Occasionally Jazmine and Shadow will be next to one another, forgetting that they don’t get along!

Egyptian cat.

That’s all, folks! Fangs for the memories!


If you’re interested in tips for taking photos of black cats with your Smartphone that look professionally done, please visit here:

Smartphone Photography and Marketing Tips from the Pros for National Black Cat Day to Increase Adoptions and Black Cat Awareness!

If you’d like to read Shadow’s rescue story, please visit here:

Me and My Shadow – An Unexpected Black Cat Rescue Story


Happy 10th Birthday to Jazmine!

Happy 10th birthday to our gorgeous, amazing, Jazmine.

Dan took this photo of Jazmine a few days ago, so it’s current to what she looks like as she celebrates her 10th birthday! She looks very wise for her years and decided to go with a serious pose, rather than her typically sweet, silly, and goofy self!

Meeting Jazmine at Global Pet Expo, 2014. It was meant to be.

We love her so much and are so blessed to have her fated to us back in 2014 when we met her at Global Pet Expo, up for adoption. We were not looking for a new kitten in our lives, but one look at her told us otherwise. Happy birthday sweet girl and wishes for many, many more.

Also fitting, today is Remember Me Thursday®, a day created in 2013 by Helen Woodward Animal Center to inspire the entire world to share the importance of pet adoption and shine a light on all orphan pets waiting in shelters and rescues. Since its inception, Remember Me Thursday® has made more than 2 billion impressions on social media and we are proud to be a part of this incredible effort. Jazmine is a shining example of the joy of pet adoption and we encourage everyone to visit the site at Remember Me Thursday® to share inspirational stories of pet rescue and to light a candle.

Jazmine is a shining example of the joy of pet rescue.

Thanks, and Winners of Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day Personalized Pet Portraits

My beautiful Jazz. R.I.P. sweet boy.

On behalf of Mr. Jazz, my beloved angel cat who inspired Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day, I just want to take a moment to thank everyone who participated in the day this past August 28. It’s always bittersweet, as we wish we never had to say goodbye to any of our pets. But I’m always amazed and inspired by the overflowing of love and compassion shown on this day. My heart swells with gratitude for all the lovely memories we have of those pets we have loved and lost. Read more