Rainbow Bridge & Grief

It’s Not You, Zee, Not This Time, But I Wish It Was

Our precious Maine Coon, Zee, has been gone nearly two months, yet somehow the world did not stop. Not for my pain, nor for his significance. There was no parade. No national holiday created. No indication from passersby I’d come upon in stores, restaurants, or wherever,  who cared to wonder how I was, or how I was coping, as surely they could see my heart had nearly stopped beating from a mile away, the pain of loss so deeply embedded in me. But no, none of that happened. Notwithstanding the kindness of friends, family, and my beloved cat community who have supported me with cards, gifts, comments, and more, life moves on without the courtesy of stopping, thus requiring me to manage my pain and emptiness within the frame of daily existence as I mourn an extraordinary cat.

Zee’s urn is front and center and one day will have his picture on it, too.

I’m still in a fog of denial. We have his wooden urn sitting on the shelf of our armoire, residing among our other angels – Bailey, Kit, Bandit, Jazz, and Harley. There is a lovely card from the vet’s office – Zee’s beautiful paw print emblazoned on it, with touching and heartfelt signed messages from the office staff. After all, Zee had become like family to them, too. One day I will get a frame for it – something appropriately kitty-related so as to acknowledge the beauty, and one day I will put a picture of Zee on his resting container like I did for Jazz and Harley. Read more

Saying Goodbyes to Zee – The Legacy of an Extraordinary Cat

When Zee first arrived at our house on November 12, 2005, he was a tiny, fuzzy brown tabby 9-week-old Maine Coon kitten that I gave Dan as a housewarming gift when he moved in with me. He joined then furmates, Bandit (a dog), and cats Kit, Jazz, and Harley, all long since angels. How he would change our lives could not have been predicted at the time, but he quickly stole our hearts and it was evident early on he was a very special cat. Read more

Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day 2021 – Purr Prints of the Heart Blog Hop

Today is Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day and as the founder of the day, I’d like to invite a frank discussion. I founded the day on August 28, 2015, in honor of my angel cat Jazz, in large part because of the outpouring of comments and personal messages from friends, strangers, bloggers, writers, and everything in between who voiced their desire to have a place to share their feelings about pet loss after I shared Jazz’s end-of-life journey when he passed on August 28, 2013, and subsequently wrote his memoir Purr Prints of the Heart – A Cat’s Tale of Life, Death, and Beyond. The day was created with love, with all the best intentions and I didn’t think it would go too far, other than within my cat blogging/writing circle of friends.
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Deb Barnes Interviewed on CFA’s Meowy Hour – All Things Cat Chat!

I’ve met so many cool people (and cats) since becoming a blogger and writer in 2010, one of them being Arden Moore, America’s Pet Health and Safety Coach and Pet Safety Cat Casey. I actually met Casey – a handsome and dapper ginger cat at the Cat Writers’ Association (CWA) 25th-anniversary conference in St. Louis in May 2019. Yes, imagine that. Mere years ago, in a life where we once got on a plane, traveled, met people (and cats) in person, did not wear a mask, and we could stand closer to one another than 6 feet (or paws).

A little kiss from Casey. On the left is Arden Moore and on the right, Amy Shojai, CWA founder.

Arden was hosting our communications contest banquet and assisting her was Casey. I was president of the CWA then, so I also had a lot of podium time, including sharing the spotlight with Casey and a special kiss from him! So, when Arden asked if I’d like to join her, Kathy Black, approved judge for the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA), Casey, and Casey’s “brother” Rusty to be their featured guest for the CFA’s weekly online Meow Hour, I jumped at the chance. Not a literal jump – I’m getting up in age – this September will have me at 427 cat years, so I’m not quite the jumper I used to be.

If you missed it, or care to take a listen, let’s see… Maine Coon cats, Bengal cats Ragdoll cats, black cats, rescue cats, Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day, book giveaways, the Cat Writers’ Association, how many times I’ve moved, Makin’ Biscuits, Purr Prints of the Heart, Orange Crush Ginger Cat Love, Pawsitively Humane, Zee & Zoey’s Cat Chronicles, Cat Fancy, t-shirts, a drink that will give you the zoomies, and yes, even dogs! I guess it’s more like what didn’t we talk about!

All I know is I had a blast and I hope you enjoy it, too!

Saying Goodbye – A Story of a Mother, Her Son, and His Cat

When you’re a parent you never want to see your child suffering. From infancy when you hear a cry in the middle of the night, coming from the room where your child is sleeping, causing you to bolt from bed to care for someone who is utterly reliant on you for their very survival, to a toddler with a scraped knee that you kiss to make them feel better, to those first break-ups or awful moments of peer pressure that most teenagers have to deal with, that you try ever so gently to reassure them are not the end of the world, even though it seems so to them. Even when they become adults, the instinct to protect and shield them from suffering doesn’t end. Read more