Monday, July 13, 2015

Pixel Reviews "Purr Prints of the Heart" by Deborah Barnes - A Special Book with a Special Message

"We are hardwired from birth to know our time on earth with you is fleeting and borrowed in the scheme of your life span, and we instinctively know to live in the joy of the present moment as a result of that." ~ Mr. Jazz, "Purr Prints of the Heart"

Pixel Blue Eyes holding an open book with her paws and smiling.
The written word can be a very powerful thing. It has the power to capture you and the power to set you free. When done well, the written word has the ability to make you laugh, thrill you, bring you to tears and either, open, change or melt your heart. It is a most valuable teacher and a wonderful way for people to share stories and bond with each other.







I was reminded of just how joyful and powerful good writing is, for I've just recently read a very special book called "Purr Prints of the Heart: A Cat's Tale of Life, Death and Beyond." It was beautifully written and was penned by my dear friend Deborah Barnes, a talented, award winning writer who is the heart and creative genius behind "Zee and Zoey's Cat Chronicles" blog. Before I share the book, I'll give you a little background on how our friendship started. It was "chance" meeting that instead was meant to be, and it linked us together in regards to dear Mr. Jazz. This moment in time also gives you a peek into the genuine heart of this writer, even before you read any of her work...


Pixel Blue Eyes being held by Mom Jenny Lewis and hugged by Deborah Barnes at BlogPaws 2013
Mommy and I met Deb Barnes in May, 2013 at the BlogPaws Pet Blogging and Social Media Conference in Washington DC, when both Mommy and Deb had something weighing on their hearts. Mommy had a very important luncheon with Petfinders in the afternoon, in a small restaurant next to the conference in which dogs were not allowed. Mommy could not find any alternative for my care given my special needs. She was worried sick about it and was about to decline attending. She happened upon meeting Deb, a warm, kindhearted cat blogger whom we'd admired for quite a while. The three of us felt a natural rapport right away and talked for a while. Upon finding out the situation, and sensing our need, Deb offered to watch me so Mommy would not have to miss the lunch. Deep down in her heart, Mommy felt good about it and trusted Deb. Little did we know that Deb was filled with despair. Her precious cat Mr. Jazz was very ill, he wasn't eating, and Deb was afraid she was going to lose him. He was in excellent hands at home, but she was still distraught. Yet in spite of that, she reached out and unselfishly did for someone else. Although I'm often shy around strangers, I felt safe with Deb, and we had a great time for those two hours. I helped her eat her lunch, lots of people took photos of "Pixel Blue Eyes with Deb the cat lady", and she told us later that I was able to take her mind off of her beloved Mr. Jazz for at least a little while. We've been friends ever since...

Deborah Barnes' book "Purr Prints of the Heart: A Cat's Tale of Life, Death and Beyond" is a beautiful story and journey as told through the eyes, and heart, of Mr. Jazz. Mr. Jazz is an old soul. His cat mother told him so, and his human mom knew it from the very beginning. Now, don't let the title make you think that this book is a sad lament full of only loss and sorrow. Oh no friends, it is so much more than that! The very first chapter had me barking out loud with laughter and Mommy giggling at Jazz's 10 week old kitten "reality check" of how his amazing new "furever home" would be (as told to him by his beautiful and wise Ragdoll kitty Mom) as opposed to the first place that his human Mom took him to before bringing him home. Yes, you guessed it...the veterinarian's office. He had visions of "sunbeams, treats and toys" everywhere, not a needle filled, temperature taking torture hall. "Lies, lies and more lies," he announces in great angst. Poor little Jazz...I understood exactly how he felt! Of course, once he really gets to his new home, all his fears are abated and he discovers he was just being well cared for to ensure he will be healthy. And he DOES see his "sunbeams, treats and toys."



Pixel Blue Eyes reading the pages of Purr Prints of the Heart by Deb Barnes
Mr. Jazz walks you through his early life, and introduces you to his family members, including his human family, and his cat and dog siblings. He loves his Mom Deb very much, and feels especially close to Kit, his female tabby sister cat who was rescued off the streets of New York years earlier by Mom Deborah.









Mr. Jazz (center) sharing a moment with his siblings Zee & Zoey.
Mr. Jazz learns a great deal from Kit, who explains all kinds of things to him. He learns about his Mom Deb, about some of her history and how she rescues and cares for animals in need. He learns about the other animals whom she's loved before. And he learns about the Rainbow Bridge. How perfectly fitting for Jazz to first hear about the Rainbow Bridge from a fellow animal, from his wise and loving big sister Kit.



I was enthralled by every detail he shared. I loved the way Deb captured Jazz's story so eloquently from so early on. I actually felt like he was in the room with me, telling me each story, sharing each anecdote, revealing each important moment in his life. Deb has a gift for channeling Jazz's heartfelt love, feelings and emotions. Whether we were enjoying a sweet moment in the story, sharing in a tough time that Mr. Jazz and his family endured during his life (do it yourself home improvement can a nightmare for ANY pet to endure), or crying during the struggles of his illness and ultimate loss, Mommy and I, paw in hand, snuggled together, enjoyed each moment we spent reading it together.

That's right, we read this book together. After all, Mr. Jazz, a Ragdoll cat, is the narrator of the story. Deborah Barnes' book is a tremendous way for you to bond with your pet. This is not "a cat lovers only" book, because love knows no species. This is for anyone who has ever loved an animal. This is for anyone who might be considering getting a pet for the very first time. It's a gift for all ages. It's a heartwarming look at pet life and love from birth, all the way through death, and truly, beyond, to the very best of our understanding. It is about pet loss from the pet's perspective, at least through the eyes of handsome and beguiling Mr. Jazz. Purr Prints of the Heart shows us that love knows no bounds, it has no limitation of species, and loves continues far beyond this earth. This beautiful true story illustrated to us all that it's okay to share in another's loss. It's okay to learn from another's experiences. It's okay to cry from another's tears. And it's okay to let go of those you love the most when it is time, find peace in your heart, and still celebrate the time you had with them.

Guide to Coping with Loss
Deborah Barnes didn't want to just share Mr. Jazz's story, she also wants to help others who have ever coped, are currently coping, or one day might have to deal with the loss of a companion animal. The feelings of loss and despair over the death of an animal can take many forms, and every person is different. Loss is real. It does not matter whether you knew the animal 20 years or 20 days. It doesn't matter whether they died peacefully in their sleep or died a horrible death, it is all devastating. In the back of the book, Deborah included a guide to coping with pet loss. She and Mr. Jazz wanted to help others begin to deal with the complex grieving process that comes with loss. I think that Mr. Jazz must be looking down from heaven with pride in his heart for his Mom who is seeking to help others cope with grief and loss.

Every pet seeks to teach their beloved human about life, love, acceptance, giving, enjoying the moment, and when the time is right, letting go. That last one can be the hardest lesson of all. I have yet to teach Mommy that lesson, but we learn to let go of little things in life to make our days less stressful. ~ Pixel Blue Eyes

In the end, Mr. Jazz's "old soul" wisdom is undeniable, so I leave you with his sage advice that I hope all humans will understand and follow...
"All I ask of those of you reading my story is that you try to remember that life is finite. Love, treasure and appreciate what you have in your lives as if it might be your last day, because it very well might be. And when you lose a beloved pet like me, don't be closed minded, afraid to feel love again - open your hearts and homes when the time is right to another pet who needs a furever home because there are so many animals...who deserve a chance for a happy life. I promise it will not dilute the love you had for us....it will fill our hearts with joy knowing you have given another creature a chance to love you the same way we did." ~ Purr Prints of the Heart






To purchase "Purr Prints of the Heart", visit the following link, which has all the information you need: 


Deborah Barnes writing with her "assistants".
Deborah Barnes resides in the tropical paradise of South Florida with her fiancĂ© and feline family of seven. She is the author of the 5-star rated books, The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey – A Journey of the Extraordinarily Ordinary and Purr Prints of the Heart – A Cat’s Tale of 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.
dbarnes@zeezoey.com
http://www.zeezoey.com (Website)

Friends, I hope you'll go visit Deborah Barnes on some of her social media sites.
Make sure to tell her I sent you!
http://www.zeezoey.com  (Website)
http://zeezoey.com/blog/  (Blog)
http://www.zazzle.com/zeezoeyboutique  (Zazzle)
http://www.facebook.com/zeezoey  (Zee and Zoey - Facebook)
http://www.facebook.com/purrprintsoftheheart  (Purr Prints on Facebook)
http://www.pawsitivelyhumane.org  (Pawsitively Humane, Inc.)

All quotes from the book "Purr Prints of the Heart" are copyrighted and reprinted with permission by Deborah Barnes.

Do you have a special story to share about pet loss or something associated with this story? I'd be honored to have you share it in a comment...

17 comments:

  1. Oh Pixel and Mommy Jenny -

    You are both so very dear to me. Thank you for sharing the story of Mr. Jazz for me. I miss him every single day, but it does my heart good to know that in some way, with his wise and gentle words, that he can help others that have had to let go of a beloved pet. Your review was so poignant, sweet, and charming. I really loved that you enjoyed meeting all of Jazz's fur family members and that the book gave you moments to laugh, cry, and cause to reflect. I am also overjoyed that you saw the deeper meaning of the story and recognized that it is not just a cat book - it is a book for anyone that has loved and lost a pet.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.


    Forever and special friends always...

    Love from Deb and the distinguished Mr. Jazz

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    1. You are very dear to Mommy & me too Deb. We were so happy get to share Mr. Jazz's story and your beautifully written book with our readers. Your book deserved this review. It was a joy to read! I do hope that everyone who sees your book will read it, and everyone who reads your book will also understand the depth of love that each pet has for their humans. Each pet has valuable lessons to pass on to share with their humans...and you conveyed that message so eloquently.
      With love, your friends always,
      Pixel & Jenny

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  2. Deborah's writing assistants are just gorgeous and the book sounds thoughtful and inspiring. Thanks for sharing the review.

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    1. Thank you Chasing Dog Tales - I sure am blessed to have such beautiful assistants!

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    2. Her writing assistants are indeed gorgeous, aren't they Chasing Dog Tales! Inspiring and thoughtful are the perfect words for Purr Prints of the Heart, too! Thank you for your comments and for coming to visit and read the review my friend!

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  3. I just love your smile! Sounds like a great read too.

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    1. Pixel has the greatest smile ever, Talent Hounds!! I'm glad you enjoyed the review.

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    2. Awe, thank you so much Talent Hounds! It really is a wonderful read. You are going to love it!

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  4. A beautiful review about a book I would probably never put down. Nicely done!

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    1. Thank you Groovy Goldendoodles - I hope one day you are able to read the book - I am sure it would find a special spot in your heart!

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    2. What a wonderful thing to say Groovy Goldendoodles! Thank you so much for saying that about the review and Deb Barnes' book. You would NOT want to put her book down...Mommy and I sure didn't. It was wonderful.

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  5. We were able to hear Deb speak at BlogPaws and want to check her book out. Thanks for the information about her book. She has helped so many people get through a very challenging time in their lives.

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    1. I hope you enjoyed my panel discussion, MyDogLikes! I was a nervous wreck speaking, but one thing is for sure, all that I said came from my heart! Thank you for your kind comments as well.

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    2. Hi MyDog Likes! How wonderful that you were able to take part in her discussion panel. She's truly helped so many people and animals with her rescue work and with this book in helping others seek healing from loss. Deb has such a caring, loving heart. You've GOT to get her book my friend! I promise you'll enjoy it.
      Love, Pixel

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  6. This sounds like a great book, Pixel! I hope to read it one of these days!!

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    1. Mitzi frank - I do hope you will be able to read it one day as I really think you will appreciate it!

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    2. Oh Mitzi, I knew you'd want to read this book. You are truly going to love it. Your tender, caring heart for the animals will be kindred spirits I think with Deb and her writing. Definitely, get this book when you get the chance. Well worth it!
      Love, Pixel

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