An Interview with Linda Mohr, Author of “Tatianna – Tales and Teachings of My Feline Friend” (Win an Autographed Copy of the Book!)

***Find out how to enter the drawing for an autographed copy of the book at the end of this post***

It is my pleasure today to introduce you to Linda Mohr, the author of “Tatianna – Tales and Teachings of My Feline Friend”.

 
tatianna

This is one of the most moving and heartfelt books about the bond between a cat and her person that I have read in a long time. The relationship between the author and Tatianna is one of those soulmate relationships with an animal that come once in a lifetime. Tatianna, through her joyful spirit and unwavering courage, teaches the author about love, devotion and spiritual expansion. In addition to sharing her journey with Tatianna, the author provides well-researched information on how to live with and care for a cat with kidney disease. The book is a triumph of the spirit, both feline and human, and a testament to the truth that we are all eternal beings.

 

Please join me in welcoming Linda Mohr to The Conscious Cat!

Linda, “Tatianna” is your first book.  How did you become a writer?

When I was in high school, I entered an essay contest sponsored by Rural Electric Area Cooperative. Winning writers won an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C.  I still have the essay and a photo album full of memories! In my mid-twenties, I worked on a college text on the psychology of clothing, but the publisher decided against it. I taught microwave cooking classes in Palm Beach County, and I have unpublished chapters of a microwave cookbook. I wrote Bobbin’ Along sewing column for a local newspaper during that decade as well.

 So I have dabbled in writing for a long time. My mother recalls me announcing when I was younger that someday I would write a book. Decades later, Tatianna was placed in my life to finally help me accomplish that goal. The best part is that my mother sat next to me at my book signings!

What was the process of writing about Tatianna like for you?

I did not make a conscious decision to write this book. A Higher Being decided for me. The day after Tatianna passed away I was compelled to sit down with a spiral notebook and write. The pen was flying across the pages. I did not know where the thoughts were coming from. But I stayed with it. A few days later I realized I had a message to get out to people and their pets. 

What do you hope your readers will take away from the book?

Animals are a sacred gift, and they deserve our love and respect. We are all connected. Miracles can be accomplished by love and an enduring belief in God. My hope is that the timing is right for this book and that it contains all the best ingredients for learning, laughing, grieving, and growing that makes us better people—to counteract animal cruelty and disregard for animal life that permeates part of our society. Ultimately, I want to make a difference in the lives of people and pets.

In your book, you share what it was like for you to live with and care for a cat with kidney disease.  What was most challenging for you during those years, and what was most rewarding?  Do you have any tips for others whose cats are dealing with this disease?

The most challenging aspect was dealing with a disease that does not have a cure. Managing the progression of the disease was tiring, and there were ups and downs, good days and bad days—for Tatianna and me. However, the most rewarding part was seeing the disease could be kept at bay for several years—if I was willing to make a commitment. For Tatianna, that commitment was daily fluid therapy, herbal therapy, customized meals, vet visits for periodic blood work, and acupuncture. But the payoff was immense because our bond deepened day by day.

The best tip I have is to catch the disease early. That is tricky since more than two-thirds of the kidney function can be destroyed before a cat shows physical symptoms. But if you have regular diagnostic work done starting when the animal is 6 or 7 years old, that will give you a baseline to compare from year to year. If you notice any changes such as drinking more water, losing weight, vomiting, or not eating, immediately go to the veterinarian. Sometimes, we think the cat will get back to normal in a few days and do nothing. But in a few days, the cat could be in a critical state.

Who or what inspires you?

Three things: My cats (past and present), my home office, and restaurants. Tatianna’s spiritual presence continues to inspire me along with the spirits of all her other fur buddies including Noelle, Taittinger, Marnie, and Katarina. My constant companion is Lexie Lee, a beautiful Norwegian Forest cat mix who blew into my yard after a hurricane. My special writing space is on the third story with tropical breezes blowing through light-spilling windows. I had extra wide window sills made for Lexie Lee, and she loves them! When she’s not on the window sill, she stretches out on the glass top desk, right up against my laptop. Every once in a while she hits a key! When I want a change of pace, I head off to Greek, French, or Italian restaurants all within five minutes of my house!

What is one of the most memorable experiences you’ve had at a book signing or event?

My eighth grade teacher, Mrs. Kice, came to my hometown book signing in Kahoka, Missouri. She had something for me and pulled a glass out of her handbag.

“You gave this to me for Christmas when you were an eighth grader. It’s been on my desk all these years! I think it’s time I returned it to you.”

 I was astounded she had saved the gift. I recognized it as one of my craft projects. The six inch clear goblet on a short footed pedestal was decorated with pink and white hearts around the rim along with three sets of pink and white cloverleaves above the pedestal.

One of my favorite teacher quotes is by Henry Brooks Adams–A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. It occurred to me when I saw Mrs.Kice that her effect on the world will continue to ripple with each person that reads the book.

Are you planning on writing another book?

That is a popular question! My focus right now is marketing and getting Tatianna’s message into as many paws as possible! I also write weekly Catnip Connection blogs for my Web site and Seattle Post-Intelligencer.com and enter little writing contests. So these activities keep me busy. Last summer my sister and I compiled a cookbook for our mother’s 90th birthday. I also was involved in another cookbook project this past year. My profile and a family recipe, Apple Crisp, appear in Literary Feast—The Famous Authors Cookbook that was just released this spring. It is a beautiful cookbook featuring 90 authors and stories about their recipes. Sales benefit the King County Library System in Washington.

I am interested in the topic of the loss of our fur friends and the grief process. So I could see doing a book like that in the future. I am also interested in writing shorter booklets on different cat topics. I would also love to see Tatianna in a children’s book!

What are you reading at the moment?

Middlemarch by George Eliot (807 pages!), Perfect Cupcakes (can’t wait to try Pineapple Upside-Down Cupcakes), Dog Years by Mark Doty (did I really say dog?—just have to keep the book hidden from Lexie Lee!). I just revisited Deepak Chopra’s The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success—I love that little gem.

Thank you so much for this opportunity, Linda!

Thank you for inviting me to The Conscious Cat, Ingrid. I appreciate the time with you. Warm Purrs!

linda_mohr_photoYou can learn more about Linda and her book on her website  and on her blog, The Catnip Connection.

***Linda has generously offered to give an autographed copy of her book to one lucky winner!  To enter the drawing, offer your comments and thoughts on this post.  All who participate will be automatically entered in the drawing.  The deadline to enter the drawing is June 9 at 11:59pm EDT.  The winner will be notified via e-mail.

12 Comments on An Interview with Linda Mohr, Author of “Tatianna – Tales and Teachings of My Feline Friend” (Win an Autographed Copy of the Book!)

  1. Linda Mohr
    June 19, 2009 at 7:56 pm (8 years ago)

    Five paws up to each of you–Tammy, Cheri, Vickie, Nance, Anlina, Ayleyaell and Renee–for taking the time to comment. I appreciate your interest and remarks and am honored to meet you. A special thank you to Ingrid for suggesting an interview. Through our love of books, we have formed a wonderful connection.

    Reply
  2. Ingrid
    June 14, 2009 at 10:08 am (8 years ago)

    Congratulations to Nance for winning an autographed copy of Linda’s book!

    Reply
  3. Renee
    June 7, 2009 at 10:00 pm (8 years ago)

    First Ingrid, I would like to thank you for this great interview. I always wonder at what inspires authors and how their lives have influenced their craft. For Linda; thank you for sharing some personal aspects of your world. I enjoyed relating to many things. I am a ‘skimmer’ on the web, but read through this piece twice!

    Books are a treasure, and from the time I was little I could see a certain one from across the store and just feel the promise and magic that it held inside. Books have an ‘essence’, for lack of a better word- I connect to them as I would people.

    I can see that this is a very special work. Thank you, Linda, for sharing the gift you had in Tatianna, and all of the lovely memories. This is a story, I know, that will warm hearts.

    Reply
  4. Ingrid
    June 7, 2009 at 7:22 am (8 years ago)

    Thanks for your comments, everyone!

    Cheri, I, too, have found that some of my most special lessons in life have come from the animals.

    Vickie, I hope you enjoy the book. Reading about animals is such a great way to learn more about them.

    Nance, the section of the book after Tatianna is diagnosed with kidney disease and how caring for her deepened the bond between her and the author was the most moving for me.

    Ayleyaell, isn’t Tatianna’s portrait amazing? Her eyes are mesmerizing.

    Anlina, thankfully, I think more authors (including me) are writing about animals as spiritual beings. Hopefully, at some point in the future, everyone will accept that animals have souls and perhaps are even more spiritually evolved than us humans!

    Reply
  5. Anlina Sheng
    June 7, 2009 at 3:29 am (8 years ago)

    This sounds like a beautiful story. I don’t know that many writers have addressed the spiritual bond between cats and their people, but it sounds like it should be a delightful and emotional read.

    Reply
  6. Ayleyaell Kinder
    June 7, 2009 at 3:18 am (8 years ago)

    I too have a cat who stretches out by my laptop and occasionally hits keys! I was very moved by your 8th grade teacher keeping your gift all those years, and I’d love to read Tatianna’s story – her portrait on the cover speaks so much of her personality!

    Reply
  7. Nance
    June 6, 2009 at 2:16 pm (8 years ago)

    The life and special bond between Tatianna and Linda (and the other kitties) sounds like a very special book that will touch the heart of every reader. I especially enjoyed the description of loving and caring for a cat with kidney disease and how that deepened the connection between Tatianna and her mommy.

    (And those pineapple upside down cupcakes sound delicious.)

    Reply
  8. Vickie Junger
    June 6, 2009 at 11:22 am (8 years ago)

    I’m not much of a reader, but on animals I am. I’ve learned so much reading about them, or read up on diease they get. This end me up in the job I have now. Can’t wait to read this one.

    Reply
  9. Cheri
    June 6, 2009 at 11:22 am (8 years ago)

    I love to hear such a wonderful story about cats. The cats I have had the privilege of caring for, have had special lessons to teach me. I can’t wait to order the book and read it.

    Reply
  10. Linda Mohr
    June 4, 2009 at 2:41 pm (8 years ago)

    Tammy,
    Thank you for taking the time to comment.

    Reply
  11. Tammy
    June 3, 2009 at 6:29 pm (8 years ago)

    This sounds like a wonderful book! I’m so glad you shared it here.

    Reply

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