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National Library Week is April 13-19. This year’s theme is Lives Change @ Your Library. I grew up in a small town and going to the local library after school or on Saturday was a treat. Today it still is! I am fortunate to have a wonderful library within two minutes of my house. Please enjoy this creative story The Library Cat written several years ago about Lexie Lee.

Lexie Lee is excited today as I have just told her we are going on a jaunt to the Village of North Palm Beach Public Library. While I attend the Friends of the Library annual awesome book sale in the Thelma Obert Room in the lower level of the library, Lexie Lee gets to explore the upper level stacks. She loves to go there since she does not get out of the house anymore except to go to the library or to the veterinarian. She much prefers the library!

Lexie Lee wants to read Cleveland Amory’s book, The Cat Who Came at Christmas. She thinks it sounds like a great book since she is the cat who came to my Florida home after Hurricanes Jeanne and Frances in 2004. She wants to compare her outdoor adventures with Polar Bear’s. I wish she could record her journey to me. When this beautiful Maine Coon cat appeared on my patio after the storms, I could only imagine what she had endured.

After Lexie Lee purrs over Polar Bear’s extraordinary story, she turns her attention to another book, Tatianna—Tales and Teachings of My Feline Friend. Lexie Lee is quite familiar with this book as she spent a multitude of hours on my lap while I finished writing this tale. She loves to prance around the library telling everyone on my behalf that they just have to read about Tatianna and her buddies including Noelle, Taittinger, Marnie, and Katarina.

Lexie Lee settled into domestic living quite naturally after being blown into my yard from somewhere. She loves warm fuzzy blankets and voluminous feather beds. She likes to gaze outside from high vantage points of our tri-level house. Lexie Lee is a window sill and sun seeking cat, so after her library adventure, she is ready to crawl into a sunlit soft chair to catch some sunbeams. What would be even better is if she can crawl into my lap and rest her head and front paws on my chest! But for now, I am busy carrying boxes of treasured reading to my car.

Later, when I come to find Lexie Lee, she runs to me the minute she sees me. I reach down and gather her up in my arms and tell her about all the special books I just found at the library sale. She has always loved her new name, and I show her a hardcover book by Nicholas Sparks, True Believer.

“Look Lexie Lee, I found another book for you to read. You are named after the leading lady, Lexie, who by the way is a librarian!”

I muse on the significance of the True Believer title and the relationship Lexie Lee and I share. As I rub her on the top of her head, my precious hurricane kitty purrs.

I softly whisper, “Linda loves Lexie Lee. Let’s go home my love.”

Bountiful Blessings!

Lexie Lee

Lexie Lee

Mom Linda has been real sneaky this week. Monday morning I just did not want that icky old red medicine squirted in my mouth. So after a tussle, I won. But then I was put in my carrier and off we went for chemo week 2. Little did I know the red medicine bottle was traveling with us. Later a nurse at the clinic gave me the medicine. In the evening “never seen before” yummy chicken treats showed up in my bowl. Now things were looking up I thought. The next morning the treats were my appetizer to breakfast. I loved this new menu.

After breakfast my bird watching was interrupted by Mom Linda. She scooped me up, put a towel over my head and lowered me into my carrier. Again? We just did this. But she promised the drive would be short, and we would be back home soon. She was right. She took me to Dr. Scorteanu’s office for help in giving me a big chemo pill just like the one I had the day before.

The chicken treats continued to show up. But on Wednesday morning there was a shocking new development. I bit into the treat instead of swallowing whole. And let me tell you, this was a disguised treat. Some obnoxious white thing was in the middle of the treat. I cleverly ate the soft chicken treat. When I finished a lone white pill was exposed in the bowl. Mom Linda tried to coax me to eat it. I was done playing “Pill Pocket Caper”. Doesn’t she know there is a good reason why I ate around it? She tried again Wednesday night. But I am very strong-willed and very smart I might add. However, on Thursday I found myself on a little table and Mom Linda poked a pill down me. She danced around the kitchen chanting success, success! Could it be that she outsmarted me? Well, at least it wasn’t that red stuff!

Lexie Lee

Lexie Lee

Bravery…Mom Linda once said in an interview that she learned to be brave from me. A long time ago before I was adopted I clung to a big tree during a hurricane. I had to be brave when I lived outside without a home. One night I fell into Mom Linda’s swimming pool. I got out on my own. But she scooped me up in a big towel, took me inside and I never went outside again. I think that’s why I like those soft towels at the vet’s office. I guess that’s a good thing, because I am going to be spending lots of time wrapped up in a towel. I have cancer.

There are big words for what I have like soft tissue lymphoma. That word again! My large cell lymphoma is in the stomach of the gastrointestinal area. I have to be extra brave because my cancer is large cell not small cell. That means it is more aggressive.

I had my first chemo treatment this week. I got to see Dr. Lechner again. Most of the time the nurses Cami and Elaina tended to me. I did not have to be sedated even though I had a drip line in my right back leg. Mom Linda stayed at the clinic until I could go home in the early afternoon. We were really tired when we got home after being gone for six hours. Grace and Chauncey were so glad to see me. All four of us went straight to bed for a long afternoon nap. It felt so good to curl up next to all my buddies.

Mom Linda had a page of discharge instructions. She checked my leg several times to make sure it was not swollen or red and that I was not licking it. I have to take medicine twice a day. I spit most of it out if given a chance. But I just get another dose. Mom Linda wonders what red medicine will do for the tile floor. I get to eat as often as I want. This is the part I love! I have had a good week without any reactions.

Mom Linda had to be careful cleaning the litter box for the first 48 hours after chemo. She wore gloves and kept Grace and Chauncey isolated from me at night time. They did not like that and scratched and pawed at the bedroom door. I had the run of the house except for their room. But I liked it better to be together because it’s easier to be brave.

Lexie Lee

Lexie Lee

My purrfect life turned icky recently. I have always been a healthy fur baby and only get carted off to this vet once or twice a year. But I have been in three different clinics the past few weeks. First I got sick one weekend and Mom Linda had to take me to an emergency clinic. After lots of tests and strange people hovering around me, I got to go home a few hours later. Then last week I had to go to my regular vet to see how I was doing. I thought I was doing ok except for not liking my food a couple days before the appointment. Turns out Dr. Scorteanu felt something in my tummy that should not be there. I don’t know how it got there and Mom Linda cried when she heard this. Next I had to go to a specialist. I figured out what day I was to be placed in that dreadful carrier and I hid under the bed after breakfast. Mom Linda tried to coax me out with food but I did not fall for that old trick. While hiding under the middle of the king size bed (just out of arm’s reach!), the specialist’s office called to cancel. Mom Linda told me that it was not meant to be today and I was off the hook. The vet was sick.

The next two days were purrfect with hanging out next to Mom Linda and her computer and taking naps on the windowsill that was designed just for me. I should have known paradise would not last forever. I was fooled on Monday afternoon and found myself back in the carrier and seat belted in the car before I could meow in protest. Mom Linda was calm and talked to me. She told me we had a longer drive today. She asked for Tatianna fur baby and the angels to surround us and protect us as we drove on a busy highway in the rain. Once she said that it had stopped raining and traffic was light. She said we had to focus on every little blessing. I tried to throw up and made three loud hacking sounds. That’s been happening recently. It is awful, and I know it scares Mom Linda. It scares me too. My tummy feels funny, and I just can’t help it.

We got lost for a few minutes. I was left in the car while Mom Linda went in a building that had the address she was looking for. I did not like being alone. But she returned to me with another blessing and said a very nice woman gave her the directions. It used to be the vet clinic but had moved down the road. We found the right place and Mom Linda carried me and all my recent records and X-rays inside. She had her hands full even though I have lost weight. We were greeted and soon taken into a small room. It was just the two of us. I moved to the back of the carrier, just in case anyone had any ideas about pulling me out. But Mom Linda did not, and she just kept talking softly to me. “We are here to get you help Lexie Lee. Everything will be fine. I won’t let anyone hurt you.” Usually I shake real bad when I am at the vet’s office, but today I did not.

A nice girl named Laura came in and asked lots of questions. “You are going to love Dr. Lechner,” she said. After she left, Mom Linda walked around the room and looked at pictures of animals. “Oh my gosh! The vet graduated from the University of Missouri vet school. Lexie, that is where I went to school. The appointment last week was with a different vet who got sick. That’s why! We are meant to see Dr. Lechner!”

Well, bring her in. I am tired of this carrier. A breath of fresh air breezes into the room in the form of my specialist vet of internal medicine. Dr. Lechner makes over me and who wouldn’t! I am still beautiful even if I am sick. She asks Mom Linda more questions. She had already looked at the records before coming in. I hear the word lymphoma that I heard Dr. Scorteanu use last week. I don’t like the sounds of it. I think that is what is in my tummy. I am going to have an ultrasound. I’ve never had that before. Before they take me to another room Mom Linda looks in the carrier at me and says words I love to hear: “Linda loves Lexie Lee.” I am going to try real hard to focus on that blessing and be a good kitty today.

And it all worked out. About an hour later I am reunited with Mom Linda. On the way home she tells me all the wonderful things Dr. Lechner said about me. I was so good that I did not have to sleep during the ultrasound. I was awake the whole time wrapped in a snuggly blanket and held by two girls. I liked the dark room. A funny noise ran over my tummy and later I found out I have less hair to groom. I even had a needle stuck inside me once, but it was out fast. Mom Linda told me the needle may tell us what is in my tummy. But we won’t know for a few days. For now, the blessing is that I am back home on the windowsill.

Dawnie

Dawnie

 

This Catnip Connection is a tribute to Dawnie who passed over to Rainbow Bridge on January 29, 2013. I got acquainted with Dawnie in the award-winning Catsong book written by my friend T. J. Banks. Dawnie and T. J.’s lives mirrored one another as conveyed in this passage: “We’ve both experienced motherhood, love and loss and struggled our way through that last one. When she comes to me now and walks over my work, demanding a head-scritch, or snuggles under the blankets next to me, purring, I can’t help smiling to myself, no matter what kind of day it has been.”

My experience is some animal bonds are formed deep and strong and touch each other’s soul. T. J. echoes this feeling in Catsong: “Chemistry–kindred spirits, soul mates, call it what you will–is a funny thing. There’s no dictating it. Somehow two souls knit together and stay knitted together, no matter what. Even death cannot undo those ethereal skeins.” I believe she developed such a bond with Dawnie. I love how she recently described their relationship as “titanium steel strong”.

 

Tribute to Dawnie
By Linda A. Mohr

You were my heart
A titanium steel strong soul connection.
You were my Dawnreader, my Dawnstar
My beautiful red Abyssinian.

Twelve and a half years
You graced the circle of my life.
Four thousand five hundred sixty-two days
Blessed scritch and snuggle time.

You taught me about heart matters,
How to take heart and
How to endure my heart
Being broken wide open.

You taught me to trust in time
Good things can root in a broken heart
Like hope, faith and joy.
Especially joy.

My dear Dawnreader
Forever in my heart
Forever my joyful connection
Forever more, my Dawnstar.

 

Credits
Dawnie’s portrait by artist Sally Logue
Catsong by T. J. Banks, stanzas three and four adaptation

Warm Purrs!

Creative and humorous are two words that came to mind each time I watch the two minute video of Henri 2, Paw de Deux. This black and white film capturing the existential angst of a cat was the winner in the inagural Internet Cat Video Film Festival held on August 30 in Minneapolis, MN. The funniest frame is what Henri, the black and white puss thinks of the white supporting catress. My favorite line is “I’m surrounded by morons”. The three lessons that Henri learns are important to pass along to other felines!

Over 10,000 videos were submitted worldwide in the categories of comedy, drama, foreign, animated, musical, documentary, art house, and lifetime achievement. Seventy films were shown at the outdoor festival held at the Walker Art Center. Over 10,000 people attended the event. Henri was awarded the Golden Kitty Award by online voters.

What is your favorite or funniest part?

Warm Purrs!

Dara Viane and Linda Mohr

The Boca Raton Branch, National League of American Pen Women were represented on an author book panel on Saturday, March 24 at the Delray Beach Public Library. I was in great company with other Pen Women including Dara Viane, author of No Greater Love; Bunny Shulman, author of Step by Step; and Barbara Bixon, author of If You Really Loved Me, You’d Take Out the Garbage.

I enjoyed keeping the spirit of Tatianna alive and meeting other book lovers. We had an interested audience with lots of questions. Many thanks to the library staff for including us in their Meet the Authors Series 2012.

A few excerpts from my introduction:
When I was sixteen, I wrote an essay and won a trip to Washington D.C. Shortly, after that I announced to my mother I would write a book someday.

I started my career as a college professor and developed an outline for a clothing and textiles book and even corresponded with a publisher. But I moved to Florida and started a one stop pet care business and the outline went into a box.

Next I wrote a column for a local newspaper with the hopes of getting the Bobbin’ Along sewing column syndicated. But women were going into the workplace by the thousands and sewing became obsolete. Two years of columns went into a box.

Then I taught cooking classes during the introduction of microwave ovens. I assembled my favorite recipes in hopes of publishing them. Eventually they went into my manuscript box.

However, I still believed I was destined to write and publish a book.

I did not set out to write a cat book. Here is how it happened……………….

Warm Purrs!

A Helping Paw

When I arrived at the family farm I covered the dining room table with unwrapped gifts, paper, ribbon, and package decorations. Within minutes, the resident kitties came to investigate this exciting change of events. As you can see, Bootsie was my Christmas helper. His mom, Rose supervised to make sure we got the ribbon just right. What fun we had!!

Warm Purrs!

Today I pay tribute to a couple of Tatianna Team members who help to spread the word about the powerful effect of the human-animal bond.

A special thank you to friend and former colleague, Sami Cone for my guest appearance on her blog this week. Her mission is fostering growth, enhancing life and teaching freedom. Please spend some time exploring all that she has to offer at Sami Cone. I think you will be impressed.

If you would like an opportunity to win an autographed copy of Tatianna—Tales and Teachings of My Feline Friend, please visit Sami Cone Giveaway. Take a moment to enter a comment on Sami’s blog about why the book intrigues you or share an animal tale of your own by midnight, February 13. You may be the lucky recipient!

Another special thank you goes to Gloria Rejune Adams. She is the director at Cornell Museum of Art & American Culture located at 51 N. Swinton in Delray Beach, Florida. I am pleased to report that the Tatianna book is now available at the museum. If you are ever in this part of Florida, don’t miss touring the beautiful historic area and visiting with Gloria.

I am blessed to have each of you in my circle of life. One of the epigraphs in the Tatianna book is from Thomas Wolfe: “I am a part of all that I have touched and that has touched me.” Working together, we have the opportunity to make a heartfelt difference in the lives of people and pets around the world.

Tatianna appreciates everyone’s ongoing efforts, and new members are always welcome!

  • Meowleaders who cheer us on with support
  • Chatty Cats who talk about us any chance they get
  • Feisty Felines who promote us with spirited courage

Warm Purrs!

Library Cat by Rosetta

The Cornell Museum of Art & American Culture at Old School Square in Delray Beach is featuring the purrfect exhibit from my purrspective! The Cat’s Meow: A Purrrfect Celebration of Cats…from Mild to Wild runs through February 27, 2011. This South Florida exhibit includes fine art, photography, paintings, drawings and sculpture. Florida artists include Donna Fuller, Deb LaFogg-Docherty, Nancy Colby, Camile Schneebeli and Joann Biondi. National artists represented are Ron Burns, Andrea Steiner, Pat Weaver and Rosetta.

A unique part of the exhibit is photos and stories from community cat owners. Student cat portraits from six area elementary and high schools round out the show. One clever quote by student Marybeth Hietapelto caught my attention: If you don’t talk to your cat about catnip, who will?

I visited the museum recently and had the pleasure of meeting director Gloria Rejune Adams. A couple years ago she presented a dog exhibit that was a huge success. Cat lovers began asking about their turn! I had many favorites, but one in particular was Rosetta’s bronze sculpture of Library Cat. I also enjoyed seeing Lorenzo, the cat who poses in clothing for artist Joann Biondi. Three Kittens Playing by Dutch artist Henriette Ronner-Knip, 1821-1909, was paws for reflection!

If you live in the area or are visiting this month, I highly recommend The Cat’s Meow exhibit. For further information see Old School Square.

Warm Purrs!

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