A Review of “Purr Prints of the Heart” by Author Deborah Barnes


PurrPrints-ePubDear Readers,

Alana here today. I’ve been meaning to discuss this book for awhile, and in this week that I’ve been writing about the loss of my friend Cotton, I thought it was an apt fit.

Sometimes people need help with the loss of their pets. It is a devastating thing to lose one’s best friend. I suspect that many of my readers already know this or, at least, have deep connections with a pet that they fear losing. Humans know that at some point, in most cases, they will lose their companion because of the huge difference in life spans between species. Fair? No. I don’t know anyone that thinks it’s fair, but alas, it’s true.

And so, most of us who have loved an animal will grieve.  We can look to our friends for support, or maybe to our families.  It’s hard to find support in someone who has never loved and lost because, despite their best intentions, they may never really understand what it feels like. Sometimes, it’s helpful to have an outside source to aid us in our understanding of the process. This book, Purr Prints of the Heart by author Deborah Barnes, is a creative and sensitive take on how to deal with the loss of your loved pet by looking at it from your pet’s perspective.

Purr Prints introduces us to the story of Mr. Jazz, a cat who came to live with Ms. Barnes an entire lifetime ago. It follows his story from kitten-hood, where he learns about death from his elder cats, all the way through to the end of his life and even a bit beyond, where Barnes gently gives us Mr. Jazz’s take on what he sees after his passing. Some adoption-sensitive readers may have pause at the start about Barnes’ purchasing of her pets, but she addresses this and details some of her own changes in attitude toward adoption and its importance in her present life. It’s a quick read and offers a lighter view of a very heavy topic and, I think, will offer people who are grieving, have grieved, or who expect to do so soon some ideas to consider during their own process of mourning.

The best part of the book, in my opinion, is the guide for coping with pet loss found at the end and written in Barnes’ own voice. Her smooth prose and wonderful writing really convey to the reader not only her empathy for what you are feeling but some very deeply considered ideas for how to handle those feelings. Reading it myself just the day after helping Cotton on his journey brought tears to my eyes and some understanding to my loss, and even to my loss of Rocky, which has already been over a year in the past. In all honesty, I don’t have the book in front of me presently because I passed it on to Cotton’s caretaker knowing that, when he’s ready to read it, it will help him, too.

Though I don’t look forward to having to recommend this book to anyone simply because I know what it means has happened, I would and do suggest it for the time when the inevitable losses occur.

You can read more of Barnes’ work at her blog The Chronicals of Zee & Zoey and, should you be so inclined, get a copy of Purr Prints of the Heart here.

With Love,

Alana and Crepes.


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 the Extraordinarily Ordinary andPurr 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.

FTC Disclosure: A copy of this book was provided to us for free for review. No further compensation was exchanged and CatInTheFridge.com does not receive any financial compensation for sales of the aforementioned book. 


  • Thanks for the review of Deb’s book. As you said, we will need it at sometime, and with Lily now being 16 years old, it could be sooner than we would wish. XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

  • My human loves Deb and thinks she is an incredible writer and human! And she must be because really exceptional kitties seem to always come into her life!

  • Alana

    This is an awesome review of Deb’s book and what an extremely nice gesture on your part, to give her book to cotton’s dad ~~~~~~ ♥♥♥

    I know he will take comfort in the fact that the feelings and emotions he is experiencing from cotton’s loss…are ones we’ve all felt, and that he is “not alone”…as Deb writes about.

    I hope he can smile, even if only for a moment; on thinking back on Cotton’s life and some of the silly things he’s done; just as Deb portrayed Jazz….Sir jazz…..dood jazz…and how he enjoyed his cat life to the fullest

    Hope all is well with you and the crew ♥♥♥

  • This is a book I could have used many times when a good friend passed on. It wasn’t until I spent so much time in blogs that I even learned of the Rainbow Bridge. The idea that the friends I’ve known are playing and waiting for me is an awesome thought and means my kitty buds are able to be with me one day.

    I am a person that ends up in tears just reading about the death of someone’s pet friend. I get so very close to my cats that they are equals in my mind. We do things together as much as possible.


  • Alana –

    Thank you for your kind review of Purr Prints of the Heart. It was a difficult book for me to write, as I was still grieving Jazz while I wrote it, but ultimately it gave me the therapeutic help I needed and provided me with a sense of peace and comfort – something I wanted to do for others. I really liked the guide at the end too and am glad to you found it helpful – the biggest compliment being that you gave the book to someone else to read to help them with their own grief.

    As far as purchasing pets, you bring up an interesting point. While I will never regret my decisions, as I love all of my pets regardless of how I got them, I must say that at that time in my life (I am from a much older generation than you) I did not know about the horrible plight of cat overpopulation or the significant need for spay/neuter.

    I have learned much in the past several years and have become a strong proponent in educating people about the need for spay/neuter and the importance of shelter adoptions (and recently adopting two rescue cats). And quite honestly, over the course of my lifetime, most of my pets have found me and I have adopted them that way!

    Thank you again for this touching review – I do hope it will bring comfort to others as it did for you with your Rocky.

    Deb Barnes

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