Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Chronicles Of Zee & Zoey by Deborah Barnes

Our pets, for the most part, live a carefree life embracing the challengesLowRes of whatever comes their way.

We, their human caregivers, could learn a great deal from this philosophy of life if we’d just pay attention. Our stressful, busy lives makes it hard to see how extraordinary everything can be.

Author Deborah Barnes was among those loving their pets, but not fully understanding all they could teach until an unthinkable event occurred. Through the subsequent awaking and chain of events, Barnes came to understand ordinary can become extraordinary. From the lessons she learned, she fulfilled a dream of writing with the recent release of THE CHRONICLES OF ZEE & ZOEY: A JOURNEY OF THE EXTRAORDINARILY ORDINARY.

Living in Florida, Barnes and her fiancé, Don Power, shared their home and lives with a number of pets including Zee, a male Maine Coon cat, and Zoey, a female Bengal cat. Planning to have Zoey spayed, Barnes missed the chance to do so due to a busy holiday schedule. Before long the family was joined by 4 kittens, Mia, Rotz, Peanut and Zeuss.

Barnes began sending weekly e-mails to family and friends updating them on the kittens progress including photos. Then the unthinkable happened. On the same day, she and her fiancé both lost their jobs. Over the course of the coming weeks Barnes struggled to remain positive in the face of a bleak economy.

Watching The Ellen DeGeneres Show daily for a boost of positive energy, Barnes was joined on the sofa by the kittens. She began to see how the kittens took an ordinary day and made it extraordinary. During one of the shows, Barnes had an epiphany that resulted in THE CHRONICLES OF ZEE & ZOEY.

Taking the kittens’ daily journey and combining it with what she had learned from them, Barnes has created a wonderful look at the life of a cat and a cat lover. Written in a free-flowing conversational tone, Barnes points out how the cats can teach many things including responsibility, love and respect, and results from hard work. They also teach how simple things such as a cardboard box can, with imagination, become extraordinary. In addition, she includes 16 cat rules in the book that will delight any cat lover.

THE CHRONICLES OF ZEE & ZOEY is an amazing collection of fascinating photographs (taken by Power), custom illustrations and beautiful artwork arranged around Barnes’ well-written story. The glossy, thick pages of the book give it a special look and feel. The story following the love affair of Zee and Zoey is heart-warming and inspirational. It will bring you to tears and then replace them with smiles and laughter.

THE CHRONICLES OF ZEE & ZOEY is a great addition to any cat lovers’ library, but even a non-pet person will find this an inspiring read. The magic of cats can teach us much if we take the time to enjoy and learn. This is one of those books you really have to read yourself to fully appreciate its content.

Author Deborah Barnes’ website is http://www.zeezoey.com/ and she blogs at http://zeezoey.com/blog/ where you can also see beautiful photos of the cats.

The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey: A Journey of the Extraordinarily Ordinary by Deborah Barnes, ZZP Publishing, @2011, ISBN: 9780983440802, Paperback,  175 pages

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the author in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. 

What have you learned from your pet today? Thanks so much for stopping by.


  1. Mason - Thanks for this review, as always. It sounds as though Barnes does a good job of reminding us that simple things can really end up being so meaningful. And pets can sure teach us that!

  2. I was one of a select few who was afforded the opportunity of reading this gem before it was released (I will be reviewing in a few weeks)

    Your review was one of the best I have read! It was comprehensive, accurate, spot on and fabulous!

    I adored the book and loved this review!

  3. We reviewed and did a giveaway last week but your review added a greater depth for this remarkable book.

    What have we learned from our pets today? Our cats teach me every day that love heals and opens hearts.

  4. Margot, you are so right. Pets can teach us to enjoy simple things. Deb's book is a good reminder of this.

  5. Caren, thank you so much for the kind words. I love the quote from you that appears on the back of the book. I look forward to your review on this wonderful book.

  6. Layla, thank you for your kind words too. I enjoyed your review and thought it gave good insight into the book. I love what you said about cats teaching you that love heals and opens hearts...so very true.

  7. I've always believed cat come into our lives to teach us. First and foremost, they teach us about unconditional love, but they also teach us to stretch and grow, and, as Deborah's book shows, to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.

    The biggest lesson all my cats, but especially Buckley, my feline master teacher, taught me, and continue to tach me every day, is to open my heart to the world.

  8. Thank you for this very thoughtful review Mason - you really captured the essence of so many aspects of the book and I am thrilled that the lesson of making our ordinary lives "extraordinary" stood out so strongly with you.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.