Friday, July 31, 2015

Purr Prints of the Heart Book Review and a Special Fundraiser for Cat Care Society

Photo courtesy of Deborah Barnes.

As many of you know, I've had a very difficult time coping with my grief over losing Jewel.  Earlier this year, I began seeing reviews for Purr Prints of the Heart - A Cat's Tale of Life, Death, and Beyond by Deborah Barnes, and I thought it sounded like an amazing book.  So I was thrilled when Deb gave me the opportunity to review the book here on Fur Everywhere!

Purr Prints of the Heart is a beautiful and heartwarming story told from Mr. Jazz's perspective (with typing help from his human).  It chronicles his life from the time he was a kitten through adulthood to his afterlife at the Rainbow Bridge.  Mr. Jazz shares memorable moments from his life that cat lovers everywhere are able to relate to from adjusting to his new loving multi-pet home to his final months where his health began to fail, leading him to deal with resentment issues, frequent vet visits, being medicated, and finally accepting that he was dying.  His honest, straightforward storytelling provides cat lovers a unique perspective into a cat's journey through life.

Photo courtesy of Deborah Barnes.

When I read the prologue of Purr Prints of the Heart, I was shocked to learn that Mr. Jazz had passed away exactly one year before my sweet Jewel on August 28, 2013.  I didn't know Deb well before I began reading this book, but when I discovered the connection between our kitties' passing date, I immediately felt a connection to her and knew this book would have a great impact on me.

As I read Mr. Jazz's story, I marveled at how loving his (cat) mother was, what a curious kitten he was, the great conversations he had with his "big sister" Kit, and the wisdom he displayed as he grew older.  I smiled reading about Zee, Zoey, and Jazmine joining the home and grieved when others passed away.  Deb's love for all of the cats and dogs living in the home is obvious throughout, and it warmed my heart knowing that Mr. Jazz felt that everyday.

Photo courtesy of Deborah Barnes.

Purr Prints of the Heart definitely brought up memories of Jewel for me.  For instance, when Mr. Jazz talks about how he became frustrated with being medicated and force fed toward the end of his life, I was brought back to the way we had to struggle with Jewel several times a day to medicate her with various pills in the last months of her life.  When Jewel stopped eating on her own, I wanted to continue to syringe feed her to keep her with us longer.  In the end, though, I came to accept that Jewel was telling me it was her time to go.  It was an incredibly painful message for me to receive, but I respected Jewel's decision.

When Mr. Jazz wrote about his final few days on Earth, his passing, and his arrival at the Rainbow Bridge, I cried - a lot.  Yes, it was sad to read, but more than that, it was beautiful.  The love he was surrounded with in his final hours and the sights he saw as he arrived at the Rainbow Bridge brought me a lot of comfort.  I felt a real sense of peace from Mr. Jazz's eloquent description of the Rainbow Bridge as well as from his experiences in the afterlife.  If you read this book, you will likely cry as well, but I assure you that it will be a good, healing kind of cry.

Photo courtesy of Deborah Barnes.

I highly recommend that every cat owner read Purr Prints of the Heart.  As pet parents, we inevitably have to face the loss of our beloved companions.  I believe this book will bring you comfort and peace the way it has for me.

Through reading this book, I also received the incredible blessing of Deb's friendship.  I have enjoyed talking with her about her book and sharing stories of our beloved kitties.  I feel I've made a lifelong friend, and I feel blessed to have her in my life.

A Special Fundraiser

In honor of Jewel and Mr. Jazz, Deb is generously donating 10% of book proceeds from Purr Prints of the Heart to Cat Care Society for the entire month of August!

Photo courtesy of Deborah Barnes.

You can purchase a print or Kindle edition of Purr Prints of the Heart on Amazon.  If you'd like an autographed copy of the book, you can order one directly from Deb by emailing her at: info@zzppublishing.com.  Each book ordered directly from Deb also includes a beautiful keepsake bookmark and tissue paper wrapping.

About Cat Care Society: Cat Care Society was founded in 1981 by Linda East, DVM and Lynn Rowe to provide a loving temporary home for homeless, injured, and abused cats in the Denver metropolitan area.  The cage-free shelter provides cats with veterinary care, a premium diet, and loving human interaction while they wait for their forever homes.  You can learn more about Cat Care Society by visiting their website.


Photo courtesy of Deborah Barnes.

Author Bio: Deborah Barnes resides in the tropical paradise of South Florida with her fianc√© 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.

Please follow Deborah Barnes on social media.  You can find Deb by visiting her blog, website, Zazzle store, Zee & Zoey's Facebook page, and the Purr Prints of the Heart Facebook page.


FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of Purr Prints of the Heart - A Cat's Tale of Life, Death, and Beyond free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  Receiving the free book did not influence my opinion in any way.  Additionally, while a wonderful and unexpected blessing, my new friendship with Deb did not influence my opinion about her book.  All opinions expressed on Fur Everywhere are my own.  

63 comments:

  1. Sierra – Thank you so much for this beautiful and heartfelt review of Purr Prints. I do believe Mr. Jazz and Jewel are happy to know that you and I have formed a friendship and it is one I treasure deeply.

    As you and I share similar connections with our Jazz and Jewel, even the same day of having to let them go, I knew this book would have a huge impact on you. I am sorry it made you cry at times, but as you well know, with life, comes death and no matter how many wishes upon a star that we didn’t have to let our pets go, I can’t change the fact that one day they will inevitably leave us.

    I am just reassured that the book brought you a familiar comfort and peace – that’s truly what the story is about. We all feel sad when we have to say goodbye, but Purr Prints gives a lovely tribute to that sadness, like a warm hug from a dear friend.

    Thank you again for this poignant review – it means everything to me to know the book holds a special spot in your heart. I do hope in memory of Mr. Jazz, Jewel, and all the kitties everywhere that hold purr prints in our heart, that we are able to raise funding to help the sweet kitties at CSS – thank you for giving me the opportunity to help them out.

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  2. I love this book, too! What a wonderful review, I'm so glad you found Deb's book.

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    1. Thank you Amy - and I am eternally grateful for the wonderful endorsement you provided for the back cover of the book - it means the world to me to have your support.

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  3. Sounds like a great book. It is very sad when we lose our fur friends.

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    1. It truly is so sad, Marg. The sadness we share is something in our blogging community that all of us can understand.

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  4. Deb is such a special person and everything she does is first class all the way, especially her love of kitties.

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    1. Thank you Brian - you are always such a gentleman with your kind words!

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  5. Awesome review Sierra. Both you and Deb are treasures.

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    1. Thank you Layla - I agree - Sierra is a treasure and she has such a kind heart. Thank you as well for your part in the book - I truly appreciate your testimonial and know it is a book you can relate to.

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  6. Great review ! We got the book, and it made Mum cry as well. It's a beautiful book ! Purrs

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    1. Thank you Swiss Cats - it was so nice of you to order an autographed book, considering you are living in Switzerland! I appreciate your support and am so glad you found the book to be beautiful!

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  7. Wonderful review! We'll have to bug our mom to pick this one up for us. We love it when she reads to us, especially when the subject is cats!

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    1. I do hope you will be able to pick up a copy, Colehaus Cats. Not only do I think you will appreciate it, but I'm thrilled to be able to help out Cat Care Society with a percentage of the sales proceeds.

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  8. Sierra I recently read Purr Prints too, and I had much the same reaction you did. You see I lost my beloved Abby on August 12, 2013. I was so deep into my Grief that August that I'm not sure I even knew Deb lost Mr Jazz as it was only two weeks later. So in reading the book I was so struck by so much that was familiar and I too felt an instant connection. I also lost Gracie 6 months after Abby totally unexpectedly like Deb lost Harley. I too cried a lot. A lot. A LOT. Abby is still so precious to my heart and my Grief Journey with her is ongoing. It changes and evolves but it still all there right below the surface. This was a superb review and I hope that there is more interest in Deb's book it is really very heartwarming.

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    1. Angel Abbygrace - I will never forget the loss of both your Abby and Gracie. You touched the core of my heart deeply as you shared your pain and grief through your blog and it means everything to me to know that you support this book and find it to be a special and heartwarming story. One day at a time is how it goes...

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  9. Jazz's human is so special and talented - and such a nice person! We love this book.

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    1. Thank you so much Summer. We know your human had to say goodbye to her beloved Sparkle, so she understands why Purr Prints is such a special book. But Mr. Jazz would be grateful to know your human was able to open her heart and home to love another - that was an important message he told readers in Purr Prints. You are a special kitty, Summer and it is an honor to call you and your human my friends!

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  10. TW doesn’t like sad books but this one sounds like it’s worth the tears. She wishes had had bought one at Blogpaws.

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    1. Hi TW – First off, I want you to know I totally understand 100% why you might be apprehensive reading Purr Prints. 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.
      All I can suggest is that you get the book - but don't rush it. Take your time and when you are 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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  11. guys...total lee... total lee...total lee awesum ree view yur mom did.....

    we had de food gurl reed Purr Prints to uz & we laffed...cried two...N we were all sew like....Jazmine...noe way..... !!

    we gived dood Jazz's book 984 paws UP & recommend it two all pet parents; coz all pet parents can ree late in sum fashion....

    we noe dood Jazz wood give YUR ree view oh his book ...984 paws UP az well.....

    we all sew bet Jazz & Jewel iz both meowin rite now, how kewl ther momz iz, & all wayz will be ~ ♥♥♥♥♥

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    1. Oh tabbies! How I love you all. Not everyone knows this, but the tabbies played a huge part in giving me the strength to write the book... for which I will forever be grateful for...

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  12. What a wonderful review, Sierra. It sounds like a beautiful book and one that I want to check out for sure. Thank you for sharing about it with us. And how awesome that 10% of the proceeds will be donated to Cat Care Society!

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    1. Thank you Kitty Cat Chronicles - I really hope Purr Prints can raise some funding for Cat Care Society - that would be so pawsome!

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  13. This is an incredibly beautiful book and you have written an exquisite review. Purr Prints touched my heart deeply as Mr. Jazz's story reminded me so much of Tara's passing...now I'm planning to re-read it (when I'm ready) because Deb's beloved Harley's death was as sudden as Truffles'. When I initially read the book I couldn't identify with the feelings of shock that a sudden loss brings, but now I certainly can.

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    1. Oh Melissa - please consider this a hug coming from my computer to yours. I am so, so sorry that you are able to relate to the pain I felt (still feel) after losing my beloved Harley in such a tragic and unexpected manner. I wish with all my heart that it didn't have to be so. I think of you often - and yes - when you are ready, Purr Prints and Mr. Jazz will be there to give you the peace and comfort you need. Only this time, when you are reading the story, Truffles will be an Angel, sitting on your shoulder along with Mr. Jazz and Tara too... xoxox

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  14. Sierra, this is a beautiful and heartfelt review. When I read a previous review, I think it was Caren's, I felt this was a book I should read. Now I know it is and will be ordering it.

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    1. Hi Flynn - yes, it probably was Cat Chat with Caren and Cody. Like Sierra, she wrote such a touching review and I am so grateful to both Caren and Sierra for being so supportive. I think this book will be helpful for you - I am certain you still miss Eric dearly and this book might help bring your relationship to a new level.

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  15. Deb is such a wonderful person. I've had the opportunity to meet her briefly at BlogPaws. This does sound like a great book -especially for those who are having to come to terms with a terminal illness in their cat or with the death of the cat. I'm sorry that acceptance of Jewel's death has been so hard. It's never easy, but sometimes it is easier. It's very hard to be so crushed and watch other people go on with their lives like nothing ever happened.

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    1. Thank you Robin - it was lovely to meet you as well and you bring up a good point about those having to come to terms with a terminal illness. The book does have a section on coping with pet loss and in it, I share information on the Quality of Life Scale that Dr. Alice Villalobos developed (and that Sierra did a great post about the subject a few days ago). This book is meant to help in that aspect as well.

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  16. Thank you for your wonderful review of this amazing book, Sierra. We are so thankful for our friendships with both you and Deb. Heartfelt thanks to you both for your love of, and advocacy for, kitties everywhere.

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    1. Thank you meowmeowmans - the feeling is mutual and the world is a far better place with you in it. Thank you for all you do as well to help kitties!

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  17. I recently got my copy of this book and have started reading it. I love Mr. Jazz's personality and his descriptions of his life. A friend recently lost her beloved cat and I had a copy sent to her. She told me it will definitely help her in the healing process.
    ~Dawn~

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    1. I'm glad you are enjoying the book so far and Mr. Jazz's personality. He has a wonderful combination of being wise, kind, and humorous, but also a bit ornery at times. I often fancied him as being like Sean Connery - very distinguished!

      I wanted to thank you also for buying a copy of Purr Prints for your friend who recently lost her cat - that was so kind of you and I do hope it will bring her some comfort when she is ready to read it.

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  18. This is such a beautiful book, and Deb is a very special person. I'm glad the book brought some comfort to you, and that you and Deb became friends.

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    1. Thank you so much Ingrid - you have always been part of my book writing journey, as your dearly departed Buckley was my guardian angel at one point. Thank you for your friendship and for providing testimonial for the book as well.

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  19. Sierra this was an incredible review about an incredible book! I love how so much of YOU is in your review and how deeply Deb's book touched you.

    Like you, I cried and was able to draw parallels in reference to Jazz and my Bobo.

    I am so happy that it touched you as deeply as it touched me. The tears we shed weren't all "sad" tears, but tears of understanding and remembering and tears of love.

    Purr Prints is a book that I will cherish forever.

    Deb is an incredibly special woman, one that I am deeply honored to call my friend.

    Sending much love!

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    1. Oh my gosh Caren... I am so humbled by your comment and you know I adore you to the ends of the earth and back. Having you provide testimonial for Purr Prints meant the world to me - you really "get" this book and I appreciate your friendship and support so, so much. xoxox

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  20. How wonderful for Deb Barnes to work with you on such a special cause. We know that both of you have a very special place in your hearts for the fur children who have left for the bridge.

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    1. Thank you Sweet Purrfections - the cat loving community is such a special group of people. I remember when you shared the loss of your beloved Praline - your post was so heartfelt and it was my first experience in the blogging world, reading about such a personal loss.

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  21. What a wonderful review - we haven't yet had the opportunity to read Deb's book, but we'd love to!

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    1. Thank you Pawesome Cats - I do hope you will get a chance to read the book and that it will hold a special spot in your heart.

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  22. What a beautifully written and heartfelt review, Sierra. This is just so special. Ive not yet read Purr Prints, but I plan to very soon. Deb has a very special way of illustrating what the heart feels with her words.
    xo

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    1. Thank you Glogirly - I really appreciate your comment and I do believe Purr Prints will move you quite deeply.

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  23. What a wonderful review, and as someone whose also struggled with the loss of a pet it's something I'm going to check out. It's so important to know in such situations that we're not alone, though it can really feel that way.

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    1. Jen – Even though I wrote Purr Prints, sometimes I too feel alone. Grieving a pet is a process that ebbs and flows with time, but I do think that having blogs and social media to help share our pain can help. Purr Prints was born from that shared sense of community – after I lost Jazz, so many people wrote to me in my own blog, thanking me for sharing my experience, that I knew a book was in order.

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  24. That is wonderfully kind and generous of Deb!!! YAY!!!

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    1. Thanks Maxwell - I do hope people will take advantage of the offer so we can raise some much needed funding for CCS!

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  25. we have not had a chance to read this book yet, but from your review it sounds wonderful - sammy, miles, nicky and billy

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    1. MeezerMom - Sierra did a great review - I agree with you!

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  26. That is sooo great!
    We love helping hands working together...

    Noodle and crew

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    1. Couldn't have said it better, Noodle and crew!

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  27. This book sounds lovely, I'm so glad it gave you some peace to read it. I lost my beautiful kitty Maggie in 2013 as well. We all miss her, especially my Husky who loved her to pieces since she was a puppy.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

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    1. Cathy - I am so happy to have been able to give some peace to Sierra as well. My condolences at the loss of your precious Maggie.

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  28. So very sorry about the passing of your beautiful Jewel. This books sounds very heartfelt and amazing and so happy it can help bring peace. Thank you for sharing this with us.

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    1. Thank you so much for the kind comment about my book, Five Sibes Mom

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  29. What a truly heartfelt and touching review of Deb's book! I was teary-eyed toward the end. They do tell us when it's time to go. And it's always too soon. I'm so glad this book brought you both peace after suffering your own loss, and a new friend. It doesn't get much better than that =)

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  30. Yes.... so true Mary... no matter how long they are with us, it is always too soon to say goodbye. But yes, it is a silver lining having Sierra as a friend!

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  31. This review had us all sad and choked up but it's also beautiful. We are going to share the book on ALL our SM channels, pepole NEED a copy!

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    1. Dash Kitten - that is so very kind of you to share on all your SM channels - thank you so much! xoxox

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  32. I put this on my wish list ! I like that she gives back from her book like I do <3 4 paws up ! Sending so much love and happy memories of Jewel <3

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    1. Thank you so much for putting the book on your wish list, Jodi - I appreciate it very much.

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  33. We have a kindle copy of this book and we asked Dad to move it up in the queue to the next book we listen to before bed. We have a few Angels of our own who were so very special and had wonderful relationships with both we cats and Dad as they lived, readied for passing from this life and now visit in our dreams and live in our hearts.
    Thanks for a great review and thank you Deb Barnes for all you have given to so many!
    Much love from all
    Timmy Dad and Family

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  34. Thank you Timmy Dad and Family - such a sweet and loving comment. I am glad to know Purr Prints holds a special spot in your heart.

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