Monday, July 6, 2015

Purr Prints OF THE HEART, A Cat's Tale of Life, Death and Beyond, as told to author Deborah Barnes by Mr.Jazz the Cat

It is with great love that I  to present to you today the latest book by author Deborah Barnes, Purr Prints OF THE HEART, A Cat's Tale of Life, Death and Beyond, as told by Mr.Jazz the Cat.
Cover Photo Courtesy of Deborah Barnes


Back in 2011 I had the enormous honor of having a cover quote appear on Deb's, first book: The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey.   

I am even more honored to have been one of a lucky few who were sent the manuscript to Deb's latest book, and this time, my "mini review" is located smack dab on the first page of the Purrs of Praise section!

MY QUOTE READS AS FOLLOWS:Deborah Barnes exhibits her writing prowess as she bears her soul in the poignant memoir, Purr Prints of the Heart, brilliantly narrated by the book's muse, "Mr. Jazz." Reader's emotions will be stirred to their core as Barnes magnificently climbs into the mind, heart and soul of not only Mr.Jazz, but cats as a whole and the humans who devote their lives to them. Purr Prints takes the reader on a journey that is like a salve in book form that offers comfort to all who have had to deal with (or will have to deal with), the inevitable loss of a beloved pet. Written with eloquence, grace, humor and a love that transcends the pages, I defy any pet lover not to see themselves depicted in this literary treasure.


When setting my review date it didn't dawn on me until I was writing the review, that  Deb's book is being featured the week that marks the eighth anniversary, (and what would have been his 26th birthday),  of my Angel Bobo's passing. Divine intervention?  In life there are no coincidences. When I opened the book to re-read parts of it (I had read the manuscript MONTHS ago), and saw what Deb had lovingly penned, I knew, that indeed it WAS divine intervention that I feature Deb's book so close to Bobo's anniversary.

"Caren, in loving tribute to your precious Bobo-may his memories always carry purr prints in your heart..."

The next page of the book:

In loving memory of those cherished pets we have lost but not forgotten...

Divine intervention, INDEED.

Reading Purr Prints took me back to happy times spent with Bobo, as well as the years we spent after finding out he had heart issues trying our best to give him the best quality of life and giving him all of the love that we could, before the inevitable. Had I had Purr Prints at the time Bobo passed, it would have afforded me much needed comfort.


Purr Prints of the Heart, will take you on a journey full of love. It will be a journey that you will be able to relate to in reference to your own babies that you have loved, still love, and lost.One that you will not soon forget.

"Deb and Cats" Photo Courtesy of Deborah Barnes


Dictated by Deb's beloved cat "Mr.Jazz",  you will follow Deb and Jazz's personal  journey, some of which includes,  milestone moments such as, the first moment the pet joins the family,  to all of the changes that happen to both the humans and cats in the course of the years they spend together.

Part of life is death, in Purr Prints you will tear up as Mr.Jazz shares the inevitable beginning of the end when a pet becomes ill, through HIS eyes,  and what we all go through as pet parents from trying everything imaginable to heal them, to delaying the inevitable, the inevitable completion of the "Circle of Life", You will laugh at the way that Mr.Jazz interprets much of Deb's behavior and his perception of the happenings around him. You will cry, nod your head in recognition and allow yourself to be swept away by the memories of your OWN pets that will come raging to the surface.

I know what you are thinking. You are afraid to read this book because you don't want to be sad. YES you will cry, but you will NOT be sad. Your heart will fill with love and you will find COMFORT. You will find comfort because you will be reading the words of love and gratitude from Mr.Jazz, as lovingly written by Deborah Barnes, a cat who could easily be YOUR cat. Deborah, an author of a book that could in many ways be a tribute to your own pet(s).

Mr.Jazz in Healthier Days
Photo Courtesy of Deobrah Barnes


From the Prologue:

MY NAME IS MR. JAZZ. I'm a Ragdoll cat and on August 28, 2013 after 15 years of life, I asked my beloved humans for the most difficult gift of all-to help me cross the Rainbow Bridge.

I was always a humble cat with simple desires-quiet naps on the couch, the love of my family, and a full belly were all I really cared about...I never aspired toward fame, and writing my story wasn't part of my master plan.

But the truth is my death deeply touched the hearts of a wide audience and I couldn't ignore that there appeared to be a greater purpose to it all-my death brought with it lessons learned that need to be told from my point of view so anyone who has ever loved and had to say goodbye to a cherished pet can understand from a pet's perspective that when it's our time to go, we want you to let us, no matter how difficult that might be for you. We want you to understand when that moment happens and we are gone from your life in the physical sense, we remain in your hearts and souls forevermore and the intense pain you feel as you grieve will eventually soften, to be replaced with the memories of happier days shared with us.


"With Kit.Shami.Whitney.Tosha"
Photo Courtesy of Deborah Barnes

Located  in the back of the book, is a Guide to Coping With Pet Loss,  something I wish I had had access to when my beloved Bobo passed. Deb mentions how each situation is "personally unique", she discusses the various cycles of grieving and what you can expect, to allow yourself the necessary time to grieve and to remember that you are NOT ALONE.


"Last Photo" Courtesy of Deborah Barnes


I urge you to read Purr Prints. You wouldn't be reading this blog (or this review), if you were not a pet lover.  When the book arrives, light some candles, sit someplace comfy and quiet and allow yourself to become as engrossed as I was, I could NOT put this most touching tribute down and I am certain that you will not be able to either.

The memories and paw prints of a beloved pet
 remain in our heart and soul forever.


"A Tribute to Mr.Jazz"
Photo Courtesy of Deborah Barnes



TO PURCHASE: all options for purchase are available - from electronic, to Amazon,  by clicking HERE.  If you choose you may order directly from Deb. Purr Prints retails for $15.95 soft copy, and $4.99 electronic.

Those who want to order directly from Deb, her email is info@zzppublishing.com  If you order directly from Deb you will receive a book that is beautifully presented, and it will include,  an autograph from Deb, book mark (that is a photo of the book cover), and it is beautifully wrapped in tissue.




WHERE TO FIND DEB BARNES:

WEBSITE
"Helping Mom Write"
Photo Courtesy of Deborah Barnes


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Deborah Barnes resides in the tropical paradise of South Florida with her fiancé and feline family of seven. She is the author of the 5-star rated books, The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey – A Journey of theExtraordinarily Ordinary and Purr Prints of the Heart – A Cat’s Taleof Life, Death, and Beyond as well as the award winning blog, Zee& Zoey’s Cat Chronicles that continues to cover the everyday journey she shares with her cats along with topics from the humorous behaviors of cats to very serious subjects on pet responsibility.  Deborah was awarded 2013 “Writer of the Year” by Friskies Purina on behalf of the Cat Writers’ Association and she is also the Secretary of the nonprofit, Pawsitively Humane, Inc. of Miami, Florida, whose mission is to create public awareness and reduce the numbers of animals on the streets and in shelters through an extensive educational campaign.


In full disclosure: I was not compensated for this review. Yes, I know and am friends with Deb Barnes, but our friendship in no way influenced my opinion of Purr Prints, a book that I am sure I will re-visit again and again. Yes, throughout this review I referred  to Deborah Barnes as "Deb", because knowing her and valuing her friendship as I do, "Deb" just flows from my lips and fingers more naturally than "Deborah" does!

89 comments:

  1. What a great review of an awesome book!

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    1. I agree, Summer!! And it was wonderful getting to do a Purr Prints book signing with your human for her Rescued signing at BlogPaws! Plus, I got to me you!!!

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  2. Wonderful review, Caren!
    I absolutely loved this book. I didn't know Deb well before I read this book. I reached out to her to request a copy for review and was really touched by her message to me as well as how beautifully she wrapped the book. When I read the prologue and discovered that Mr. Jazz had gone to the Rainbow Bridge exactly one year before Jewel, I was certain we would have a connection for life. I am so blessed to be able to call Deb a friend now! Like you, I will revisit this book over and over, and it provided me with a lot of comfort. I would highly suggest anyone who has loved and lost a furry friend read this. It is such a beautiful and loving tribute.

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    1. Thank you so much Fur Everywhere - we definitely have a connection and I am really enjoying our friendship. I somehow believe that Mr. Jazz and Jewel knew we needed to find one another to help mend our broken hearts. I am so glad this book was able to bring you some comfort and I really appreciate your kindness and support.

      xoxo - Deb Barnes

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    2. Thank you so much!! I ADORED this book as well! OMG, I KNOW about how beautifully it was wrapped....it was simply gorgeous...(Deb's first book was too!) Thank you for your comment and I couldn't agree more!

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  3. That is a book to chesrish as well as the cats and any pets that we have put deep into the depths of our hearts forever.

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    1. Thank you MeezerMews&FrecklesWoofs!

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  4. Great review and it looks like a wonderful book.

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie

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    1. It was a great review - glad you liked it, Marie Symeou!

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    2. Thank you Marie and it IS a wonderful book, it is SUPERB!

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  5. Oh what a wonderfully touching review..........if anyone knows cats it would be Deb with her house full of beautiful cats. It sounds like the kind of book that we all need to read - living with these magnificent and dear creatures, going through the ups and down and having to say the final goodbye......we all will and have done it but being reminded of all the love that we get along the way - even in the end - is always good to read from someone else's perspective. It helps.

    Hugs, Pam

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    1. Aww... thank you Pam. Yeah, after having cats in my life for over 50 years, I often feel like I am a cat myself and I think that is why I was able to capture the inner voice of Mr. Jazz so well. I hope you will be able to read the book one day - I think you will appreciate it.

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    2. Thank you so much Pam! I sooo agree that "if anyone knows cats it would be Deb" sooo true! (((hugs))) back

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  6. What a wonderful review. We haven't read this yet but are looking forward to getting a pawtographed copy soon.

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    1. Thank you for the possibility of getting a pawtographed copy, Sometimes, Cats Herd You. I think you will really like the book.

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    2. Thank you so much!!!! OMG wait til you see the GORGEOUS presentation when your book arrives. Deb is one of the few authors who really takes presentation into consideration for the copies of the books that she signs. It was just beautiful when it arrived. My photo above doesn't do it justice, there was even more tissue. It makes you just want to "Oooooh and ahhhhh" when it arrives, and if you are like me, I so relish the joy of holding a book in my hands that Deb's presentation made me just want to stroke the cover and make sure that the environment surrounding my reading experience was just as special as her book. Reading Purr Prints is an "experience"....the book just draws you in. You will LOVE it!

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  7. It sounds like a good book and you have a beautiful writing style in your review.

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    1. Caren is so talented and her book reviews are the best. I am so blessed to have her as a friend!

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    2. Oh my Chuck and Deb, THANK YOU!!!!!! Your comments have meant the world to me. Thank you!!! xoxo

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  8. That sounds like a really lovely book.

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    1. It's a special book, That's Purrfect. When I wrote it, it was very hard in the beginning. But then, after a while, a wonderful peace and calm came over me, as I knew Jazz would always be in my heart.

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  9. What a wonderful review of a very special book. Hugs to you as you remember your Bobo.

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    1. I loved this review, Ingrid. I am also blessed to have you as part of this Purr Prints journey too. Thank you for that!

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  10. Gosh, this sounds like a truly remarkable and special book. I will absolutely check it out.

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    1. I am so glad you like the premise of the book, The Daily Pip and I appreciate you checking it out.

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  11. Caren - Over the years, we have found that our lives have parallel connections, so it comes to me as no surprise that your review came on the anniversary week of your Angel Bobo’s passing. I am honored to be a part of his dear memory and your review has touched my heart in more ways than you could ever know.

    I especially appreciate that you get the true essence of the book – yes, some of it is sad. But, as you said, with life, comes death and that is a fact. Much as we don’t want to let our cherished pets go, they are only with us for borrowed time and we must live to celebrate the moments we have with them.

    And the truth is – would we rather not have had the pet in our life to avoid the inevitable pain of letting them go? I think not . For however long or short the time a pet is with us, their memory always stays in our heart and to me, that time and the joy they bring us is always worth it.

    At its core, Purr Prints is a story about a cat and the family that loved him – a story any pet lover can relate to. Thank you again for such a beautiful review. I love you my dear friend. And a special purr from Mr. Jazz above…

    xoxo - Deb Barnes (and yes, I like Deb better too... Deborah is so formal!!)

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    1. Deb thank you!! I don't have the words because I have tears in my eyes from reading your beautiful comment.
      There was so much more I could have written, I pray I did the book justice. Of course, after I wrote it, I DID go back and add something...then I thought some more and realized I could add even more, but didn't.
      I wish I had.
      It is a special thing for a reader to read a book that touches them deep within their soul, and your book did that with me.
      It is a book that I will cherish and one that will be referred to again and again........it is comforting and beautiful.
      I cherish our friendship, always have, always will..........your friendship has remained one of the only "constants" in this wacky blogging world we are both a part of.
      You are special, you have a heart of gold and are one talented lady.......I am honored to be your friend.
      Much love,
      Caren

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  12. Thank you for a great review. Pet loss is such a hard thing to go through. It is always good to know you are not alone in your grief!

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    1. Sabina - The main reason I wrote this book was because of all the people that reached out to me after I shared the experience I went through after Jazz passed. I knew that people needed an outlet to express their own grief, and that is how and why this book was born.

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  13. I was suprised to find that mythe spirit of my cat Bella stuck around (after her death) for awhile. One day, out of the corner of my eye, I saw her walk by me in my kitchen.

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  14. yuk- I had a typo and ran it together too!

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  15. Norma - having a cat visit in the afterlife is such a privilege. It happened to me with Jazz and I share it in great detail in the book. I have had cats for over 50 years in my life and Jazz is the only one I know of that came back to me. I am happy Bella came to see you.

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  16. I hate it that they stay with us physically for so short a time, but they live in our hearts forever.

    Have a terrific day honey. Tons of scritches to Cody. ♥♥♥

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    1. It is a shame that they are with us for such a short amount of time in the scheme of our own lives, Sandee. But wow, the joy, unconditional love, friendship, and smiles that they bring us is something that can never be forgotten!!

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    2. I agree Sandee but also agree with what Deb's response was. You have a terrific day too and Cody sends you kitty kisses!

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  17. Caren, you write the most beautiful book reviews. This book was so deeply therapeutic for me...truly exquisite.

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    1. She does write the most wonderful book reviews, Melissa! And I am so happy to hear the book helped you - that is why I wrote it. I truly wanted pet guardians to be able to use the book as a therapeutic resource for grieving so that they would know they were not alone with the feelings they were experiencing. I remember the photo tribute you did for your beloved Angel Tara after reading Purr Prints. It was so touching and beautiful that it made me cry. But it was a good cry - a cry born of remembering happier times...

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    2. Melissa and Deb THANK YOU!!!
      Melissa, you are no slouch yourself!!!!!! I agree with you about it being "exquisite" (PURRFECT word...wish I had used it! lol!!) and "therapeutic"............sooooooo true!

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  18. That was such a great review Caren. Deb 's heart is very special and Jazz touched all of our hearts in a very profound way.

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    1. Oh Brian. You write with such sweet simplicity. My goodness - one little sentence and you have me in tears. You are very special as well and your human has a heart of gold. xoxo

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    2. Brian THANK YOU and I second what Deb said AND what YOU said about Deb!!!! xoxo

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  19. this tugs at my heart - what a lovely book.

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    1. Thank you Kathe - what a nice way to put your feelings!

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  20. What a great review Caren! This book sound awesome and I'll put it on my wishlist (even though I am sure I will cry a lot).

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    1. Thank you Rosa!!! Oh I hope you do! No worries about crying, it isn't a bad kind of crying, they will be warm, loving tears. I cry a lot too but this is not a depressing book at all.

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    2. Thank you for putting Purr Prints on your wish list, Rosa. The thing with this book is to pace yourself. We all need to handle grief in our own way and timeframe. Because this book is timeless in nature, it will always be there when you are ready for it. And, as Caren said, while you will cry, it is meant to be a cry of love and tribute to your pet.

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  21. Wow, CAren that was one fantastic review. Sounds like a good book. Take care.

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    1. Thank you so much Marg! OMG it is! (the book being marvelous!) xoxo

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    2. It sure was a fantastic review, Marg!

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  22. Mum is hoping to find a copy of the book this week.
    Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

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    1. Aww... that is sweet Hannah and Lucy. Tell your Mom I appreciate it!

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  23. Made me tear up just reading this and seeing the pictures. Intense grief is certainly the word and no, they are not ever leaving us. They are sealed in our hearts forever. xxoo

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    1. Katie Isabella - yes, grief can absolutely be intense and I, like many of us, have lived through my share of it. But, the amazing part with a pet, is that when we make the decision to adopt one, we do it knowing full well that one day we will have to say goodbye. But somehow, the love and joy they bring us, far outweighs any of the pain we experience.

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  24. We connected very personally with the book because of the loss of our beloved Abby and Gracie. Our losses were similar to Mr Jazz and Harley for Deb Barnes. There are always things that are closely tied to losses and then things that are intimately unique to each loss. I hope that everyone will take the time to find a copy and read PURR PRINTS it will definitely touch your heart.

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    1. I will never forget when Abby, then Gracie crossed the Bridge. Our connection to one another is very strong and I am so very glad to know that in some small way, Purr Prints helped to comfort you. You were one of the many people that came to comment on my blog after I lost Jazz and your kind and heartfelt words meant the world to me. It was because of that, I wanted to write a book to offer comfort to others.

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  25. I am so delighted to see this post for one of my all time favorite bloggers, Deb Barnes. I have my autographed copy and am ready to read it...I am one of the many devoted followers of Mr. Jazz you speak of in this post, and Deb can attest to that. He was, and still is a very special spirit. Jumps through his photo and right into the heart. I know that I need to have a lot of kleenex nearby; not solely based on the sorrow of his passing but also because it's going to open floodgates for me in dealing with loss across the board. Hoping that everyone who reads your blog will read Deb's too (if they don't already). Looks like many commenting here are aware of Deb's work. Thank you!!! Purrs, Z-Girl from Squeedunk

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    1. Oh boy... I was doing so good today, but Z-Girl, you just pushed me over the edge!! Cry fest going on right now!! Thank you so much for your kind words - your support and friendship over the past few years have helped me out during many a precarious moment and I know that Purr Prints will profoundly affect you. It will dredge up old memories that you thought you have long since buried, but ultimately, the cry and reflection will be therapeutic and good for your soul. xoxoxo

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  26. Caren, as you know I've been offline mourning and doing 24/7 kitty care but so happy to see your stellar review of a very special book. Sending you a big hug as you remember your beloved Bobo.

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    1. Layla ((((hugs))) thank you! Wish I lived near you to spend time with you and help.

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    2. Layla - my heart reaches out to you, as I know right where you are at the moment and it is an emotional roller coaster. Merlin is an amazing cat - resilient, tenacious, and just about everything in-between. Give the dear boy a hug from me. And RIP to Radish - his time ended far too soon, but I am so grateful he had you in his last days.

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  27. A stirring review for an amazing book about the love connection between humans and the pets that capture our hearts. Wishing much success to Deb and her new release. A big hug for you Caren remembering Bobo. :)

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    1. Mason thank you so much!! I agree that it is a most amazing book! Also thank you about Bobo (((hugs)))

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    2. Thank you so much Mason - I look forward to sharing a bit of Purr Prints with your readers and I appreciate your wishes for success. And yes, hugs to Bobo too!

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  28. What a great review ! We read several reviews about that book, and they all sounds good ; we were hesitating : to buy, or not to buy ? Your review made the difference ! We're going to get it ! Purrs

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  30. Swiss Cats - thank you so much for deciding to purchase Purr Prints. Caren does an amazing job of doing book reviews and in the case of Purr Prints, she captured the very essence of the whole book and why it is so special. Heck - I wrote the book, but based on her review, I want to read it!!

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    1. Oh my Deb!!! "I'm not worthy!!" lol!!!! I wish all authors felt as you do, I can't begin to thank you enough! Your book made it easy to write about it because I felt your book in my heart and soul. Thank you!

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  31. That is a wonderful review Caren. I have been thinking of getting Deb's book but have not been sure I am ready or able to read it, even after all this time. After reading your review I feel I need to read it and I am sure I will soon be ordering it.

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    1. Flynn thank you! I just read Deb's response to you below and I couldn't agree with her more. I happened to read it in one sitting (because I loved it so much), but not everyone would do that for a myriad of reasons. I like when Deb suggested just a chapter or two at a time. Deb is right, you will NOT feel alone after reading it (or during). We all know the pain, our situations are all different, but we have all lost beloved pets. I love Deb's idea of reading it the day a cat passed as a tribute. It's a personal decision but I am certain you won't regret it. (((hugs))) and love.

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  32. Flynn - when Eric passed, I think the whole Cat Blogosphere felt the loss and mourned with you. All I can suggest is that you get the book - but don't rush it. Take your time and when you are more ready, open it up. Some people have gotten it, purposely to read it on the day a particular cat has passed in tribute, some read the book in one sitting, and for some, it takes a while - perhaps a chapter or two at a time. Ultimately, the book is meant to offer comfort and you will not feel alone after reading it. The cat loving community has such a bond that we all relate to what you are going through.

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  33. Looks like something I'd want to keep in my shelf to read over and over again.

    Emma and Buster

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    1. Thank you Emma and Buster - the book is timeless and certainly one worth reading again and again!

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  34. This soundd like a wonderful book! Mommy is going to order directly from Miss Deb.

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    1. Thank you Lola - that is so kind and I look forward to hearing from your Mommy.

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  35. What a wonderful review, Caren. I haven't read the book yet, and honestly, I was a little reluctant to do so only because I didn't want to cry and be sad (sorry, Deb!) but after reading your review, I know I want to read the book now.

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    1. Thank you so much Sue! I really love Deb's advice to Flynn above....you could take it a chapter at a time (read Deb's reply to Flynn above) and you will see what I mean. I don't think you will regret it. Yes, I cried, I won't lie...but it helped me to know that when I helped Bobo cross the bridge I did the right thing. It helped me to see things from his point of view and it helped me to read what Deb went through with Mr.Jazz (and some of her other pets). We all "get" it..........(((hugs)))

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    2. I understand how you feel Island Cats - don't feel bad. It was sad for me writing it too. But honestly, in the long run, it actually helped me. I am at peace with it. And all of the people that I have met along the way that have reached out to me, to let me know I have helped them with Purr Prints has been worth it. I vowed to Jazz I would do something in his honor and I hope you will find the strength to read it one day.

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  36. Gweat posty and weview/ Sounds like a pawsum book. Mommy hopes and purrays she has da courage to do da wight fing when and ifin da time comes. And in da meantime, mommy sez sis Lexi and me awe gunna luve furever. Have a wuneewful day.

    Luv ya'

    Dezi and Lexi

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    1. Thank you!!! Helping Bobo cross the bridge was probably the hardest thing I have done in my life and the pain was unreal. If I allow myself, I can cry as hard now as I did then. But it had to be done. He let me know it was time on his own (as Mr.Jazz did with Deb). I always used to tell Bobo he had to live "til he was 24" He did his best, he made it to age 18. I tell Cody he has to live til he is 24, none of us knows what life will bring. (((hugs)))

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    2. Awww... I love you Dezi and Lexi. I hope you do live furever. It not in the physical sense, you will always live on in your Mommy's heart. xoxox

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  37. Wonderful review Caren! I'm one of the ones who's afraid to read it for fear of being sad and crying. Your review even made me cry! I saw the book at BlogPaws and it's beautiful and it sounds like it's just as beautiful inside the covers. We'll see if I can handle reading it. ~Sharla

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    1. Thank you!!! Being candid, I was afraid to read it too :) I can't begin to tell you enough how happy I am that I DID read it (and I read parts of it twice), and will read it again for sure. It is GORGEOUS and if you read Deb's reply to Finn above, I think it will help. Thank you Sharla!

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  38. Sounds like a wonderful book. TW knows how you feel about Bobo since she still tears up at the mention of Nicky’s name 10 years later. TW knows she’ll be a wreck reading this book.

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    1. TW - I do understand your apprehension - I hope you will read my comment to Caren and BeadedTail - it might help you feel better.

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  39. Sharla and Caren - truth be told, I went through the same thing with someone else - Ingrid King and her book, Buckley's Story. I knew from the beginning how the book would end and I when I received it, it stayed on the kitchen counter for a couple weeks before I could even pick it up. My cat, Kit, had died a few years prior and I was afraid of opening up old wounds. Eventually I decided to try it out and I cried like a baby reading it. I cried and cried and cried. But then, a miraculous thing happened. It was almost like I felt Buckley (her cat) on my shoulders - he came to me like a guardian angel and I wasn't in pain anymore. Instead of being overwhelmed by sadness, I began to remember all the happy times I had shared with Kit. The process was extremely cathartic and I do believe that the wise and gentle voice of Mr. Jazz through Purr Prints will do the same for others as Buckley did for me. You just have to ease into it and be willing to open your heart to find the peace and dignity in letting them go...

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    1. Perfect analogy Deb, I couldn't agree more!

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