Cat & Special Events

Where Will You be During the August 21 Solar Eclipse?

very nice black cat with yellow eyes

There are certain “where were you” moments in life, such as when I was a very young girl – where was I when I heard John F. Kennedy was shot, or when I was in my late 20’s – where was I when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded, or when I was in my early 40’s – where was I when the 9/11 terrorist attacks occurred. While today’s solar eclipse is not an event mired in tragedy, it is triggering nationwide attention and is something I know I will remember in my mind for years to come.

For me, the solar eclipse is scheduled to peak at 2:57:40 pm EDT, when the moon obscures 79.9% of the sun. I will be with my co-workers and I’ll probably be watching it live streaming on the Total Solar Eclipse 2017 App I downloaded for my iPhone.

I don’t have safety glasses and I don’t plan on risking my eyesight to look at this phenomenon. My cats will be home, safe and sound, most likely napping through the entire eclipse without even a momentary thought that something different was going on in their day. Now, if the eclipse was later in the day, say around an hour before dinner time, that would be an entirely different story, as that’s the time they begin early pacing to eat.

Rolz speaks on behalf of all the cats in my house…

So, where will you be during the eclipse and how do you plan on looking at it? If you’d like to find out what time the eclipse will peak in your area and the obscurity percentage, please visit this link – all you do is plug in your zip code and it figures it out for you! If you will be outside, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE be safe and make sure you are wearing the properly  endorsed eye wear from The American Astronomical Society – there’s a lot of unscrupulous scammers out there trying to make a quick buck and you can never be too careful. For more information of what glasses are safe and instructions on how to view the eclipse, please visit their official site here.

Preparing for Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day 2017

Macro of rainbow rose heart flower and multi colored petals

As some of you may be aware, I founded Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day (RBRD) in 2015 as a special day for pet guardians to honor the memory of those beloved pets in their life they have loved and lost, but never forgotten – whether fur, fin, feathers, scales or something else. It’s held every year on August 28, in honor of the day I had to say goodbye to my precious Ragdoll cat, Mr. Jazz, the meow author of Purr Prints of the Heart – A Cat’s Tale of Life, Death, and Beyond.

I’m mentioning it early for those of you who might want to participate in some manner. For those that plan on doing a special blog post, I will be hosting a RBRD blog hop. The post will go live at 12:00 a.m, EST, on August 28 with the code and linking information available at that time. I have also created a Facebook event page for those who want to post a picture, write a poem, share a favorite memory, upload a video, or share a blog post link. This is the event link http://bit.ly/2h0NXUU – please feel free to invite others you think might want to be a part of the day. And as with every year, there is no pressure to participate and I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable. I know it’s a sad day. But it’s also a beautiful day. The outpouring of love I see is so touching, as people share in the love they had (and still have) for their pet(s) and it’s a time when we can all take a moment to collectively come together and comfort one another.

I’ve created a new logo for the event and if anyone would like to use it, please email me at info@zeezoey.com and I’ll forward it to you, as I’d prefer not to post it on my blog at the moment. I will also be doing something special this year with several companies that specialize in products for pet loss and grieving. If you’ll be sharing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other social venues, there is a hashtag #rainbowbridgeremembranceday that was trending last year if you care to use it, and if you’re crediting me for founding the day in any of your posts, please reference me as Deb Barnes of Zee and Zoey’s Cat Chronicles, author of Purr Prints of the Heart and founder of Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day

Thank you in advance and have a wonderful Sunday!

hearts

It’s a Blog Hop!

Happy 5th Birthday Kizmet, and Happy Birthday America!

Happy Birthday to our 4th of July baby!

Today is a very special day. Not only is it America’s birthday, it’s also our Kizmet’s 5th birthday! I came upon Kizmet when he was about 5 months old in 2012. I saw him in an adoption cage at Pet Supermarket and it was love at first sight – I knew he belonged in our family, Dan wholeheartedly agreed, and the rest is history. From nearly the moment he came into our lives, he had the wise and kind temperament of an old soul. He’s also an odd duck and absolutely beats to the march of his own drum. Read more

Tips to Manage 4th of July Stress With Your Cat

We have a lot of people in our neighborhood who let off noisy fireworks – Zoey feels safest under a blanket during all the commotion.

4th of July is a time of celebration – America’s birthday, our freedoms acknowledged and appreciated, cookouts with friends and family, time off from work, great shopping deals and more. But for our cats who are reactive to the slightest of change in their environment, a day and night like the 4th of July – something out of their typical norm can be especially stressful, traumatic and dangerous to them. We can’t stop fireworks and celebrating from happening, but with some planning and basic understanding of cat behavior, we can make the holiday more manageable for them. Read more

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!

hearts

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!