Meet Zee & Zoey
How old are Zee & Zoey?
Zee just turned 7 on September 7th and Zoey turned 4 on April 9th.
How did they come into your life?
I got Zee as a kitten for my fiancé, Dan, in 2005 when he moved in with me as a “Welcome to your new life” gift and Zoey came to us after the passing of my 18 year old cat, Kit. I had always wanted a Bengal, but did not want to get one while Kit was ailing because they are a very active breed and I did not want to cause undue stress on Kit. After she passed, Zee became very depressed and needed a playmate, so we decided it was the perfect time to get this incredible breed of cat that I had always wanted – they bonded instantly and it was love at first sight.
Which one is Zee and which one is Zoey?
Zee is our Maine Coon and Zoey is our leopard inspired Bengal.
Why did you decide to write a book about them?
I had always wanted to write a book, but like so many others with dreams, I put it off thinking, “Yeah, maybe one day I’ll get to it,” without actually believing it. Well, completely unexpected, one day did come in the form of two major events – Zee and Zoey had an unplanned litter of kittens together before I could get them spayed and neutered. The other event – I was abruptly laid off and had a lot more free time on my hands.
Prior to the layoff, I had been emailing various family members, co-workers, and friends documenting the growth process of Zee and Zoey’s kittens with a humorous narrative that was complimented by photographs taken by my fiancé, Dan, who was also laid off on the same day from the same company. These emails were sent out religiously every Friday morning and soon became a sensation, with people clamoring for a book about my feline family. At this time, the economy was in its beginning stages of the economic crisis that we are currently facing and most people were in a fragile, weak, and vulnerable frame of mind. It seemed my emails were giving them a much needed smile and laugh in light of the very serious and bleak times and I was enjoying the opportunity to share my writing skills.
Without warning, during this timeframe, I was laid off and it resulted in a deep and dark period for me as I quickly realized I had no real value in an economy that was not looking to hire a woman in her late forties and I was in no frame of mind to write the book that I now had all the time in the world to think about. As is with life, often those events that we least expect or least understand, turn out to be a path for something far greater. Those kittens that were unplanned, actually became such wise teachers to me and after a long personal struggle, because of them I literally had my epiphany moment and found the strength, passion, and courage to follow my dream to write a book and that is how and why The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey – A Journey of the Extraordinarily Ordinary, my first published book began. I wanted to share my positive message about how special cats are and the book became my tribute to them and how they made me a better person.
To make the book an extraordinary journey as the title suggests, not only is it a humorous, warm, and heartfelt story, but each and every page is filled with stunning photographs and custom artwork.
Where can people find the book?
It is available through my website at www.zeezoey.com or online through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Is there any chance of a book tour and getting the book pawtographed?
I did a book blog tour last year, but as far as a traveling tour, that is something I cannot afford at the moment. I am a self-published author who has to work a full time job to pay the bills! All books ordered directly through my website can be autographed and come with a custom bookmark and leopard print tissue wrap that makes a gorgeous gift.
Were you always an cat lover?
I cannot remember a single moment in my life that I have not been consumed with my love for cats.
How have Zee & Zoey changed your life?
They have changed my life in ways so profound that I cannot possibly express the scope with enough justice in mere words. While I originally thought writing a book meant you wrote the book, and then sold the book, I soon came to the realization that it was actually a springboard for something far greater as my world began to expand through social networking avenues. I have become a strong voice in the world of cat advocacy to help educate on cat responsibly, spaying and neutering, dispelling the misconceptions of feral cats, and so much more. Due to my conviction, I just wrapped up my first fundraising event called “Zee & Zoey’s Cat Ruler of the World Contest and Campaign for a Cause” where I raised close to $9000 in prizes and donations for six shelters that popular cats of the blogosphere were campaigning for.
Do you support any charities/shelters/rescues/organizations? If so which?
I am currently the secretary of a newly formed non-profit called Pawsitively Humane, based out of Miami, Florida that was created to help decrease dogs and cats found on the streets and increase shelter adoptions. I support organizations such as Amazon Cares, Riverfront Cats, Abandoned Pet Rescue and too many more to name.
Is there anything else you would like to add about Zee & Zoey or yourself?
What I want people to take away from myself and Zee and Zoey is that we all have the ability and power to make a difference to make the world a better place for our feline friends. Whether it is donating financially, spreading the word through writing and blogging about issues such as spaying and neutering and TNR programs, donating supplies, volunteering your time, fostering, or anything else you can think of – it all adds up. The worst thing we can do is think that because we are only one person that we cannot make a difference and should not bother trying..