Author, Linda A. Mohr
Q: Why did you write Tatianna — Tales and Teachings of My Feline Friend?
A: I wrote Tatianna in response to a higher force compelling me to do so. Tatianna passed away on a Saturday, the day before Easter. On Easter afternoon, I sat in my favorite rocking chair in front of the living-room picture window and simply began writing. This was a spot where Tatianna and I had spent many hours over the years. I just let the pen fly across the page, not really knowing why. It was only in late spring, after I had finished writing the entire manuscript, that I realized the importance of bringing Tatianna’s message to the world.
Q: What do you hope to communicate with the world through your book?
A: There are several key points I would like to convey about animals and our relationships with them: Animals are a sacred gift and they deserve love and respect. A kind word, a caress, a scrumptious meal, and proper medical care are just as needed and appreciated by animals as they are by humans. They are interconnected to us, and the bonds between owner and pet can be deepened during periods of extended or terminal illnesses. If kidney failure—one of the leading causes of death in cats—strikes, it is possible to provide an environment for your pet to live her or his last months or years in a high-quality way.
Q: What is the most important lesson Tatianna taught you?
A: Miracles can be accomplished simply by love and an enduring belief in God.
Q: How do you think Tatianna would feel about her book?
A: Tatianna would be overcome with gratitude that so many people are going to meet her—but not before asking for a few extra treats!
Q: How do the bonds we have with animals compare with the bonds we have with other humans in our lives?
A: My animal bonds have always been as deep and intense as my human bonds. So saying farewell to my pets when they pass is always excruciating.
Q: For what purpose(s) do you believe particular animals are brought into our lives?
A: They find us or are brought to us to help with whatever we need in our lives at that moment. Tatianna entered my life on the brink of Noelle’s passing. Her first lesson was to teach me that it is possible to make room in my heart for another animal and that the sorrow would be gently eased.
Q: What is your favorite memory of Tatianna?
A: Without a doubt her eyes—those eyes that snapped and sparkled!
Q: How can we know when it is time to let go after trying to sustain an animal’s life through traditional and/or alternative medicine?
A: I think it is important to communicate with your pet and ask him or her to give you a sign when it is time for him or her to go. It is also our responsibility to watch for that sign and accept it when it happens. I have found that you just intuitively know when the time comes.
Q: What advice do you have for people who are attempting to deal emotionally with the imminent passing of a beloved pet?
A: Appreciate and celebrate each moment, live in the present, and avoid fast-forwarding your thoughts to the pain that is coming. There will be plenty of time for that later. Make sure to tell your pets how much you love them and what they have meant to you. Assure them you will be okay. Allow yourself to feel the range of emotions that will overtake you (sometimes by great surprise). Know that it is okay to be sad and to cry. Also, accept that not everyone will understand your state of mind.
Q: How did Katarina manifest her own grieving process after Tatianna passed away?
A: Katarina would not let me out of her sight. She cried a lot at night. She spent hours on my lap or lying next to me on the couch. In the very beginning, she spent hours looking for Tatianna in closets, under beds, behind furniture, and under pillows.
Q: Are there still times when you sense Tatianna around you?
A: Tatianna travels with me in spirit on all my plane and long car journeys. Many times I have asked her to keep me safe. On Sepember 11, 2001, I was stranded in Michigan and had to rent a car and drive alone to Florida. Tattie rode on my shoulder, helping me to navigate. I have sensed her on my bed and walking on my creaky hardwood floors in the middle of the night. Her spirit spurred me on to finish the myriad of details in publishing our book. I have conversations with her and light candles on the anniversary of her passing and other significant times.
Q: Tell us about Lexie Lee, your latest feline companion.
A: Lexie Lee is another God-given blessing in my life. She appeared in my backyard in the fall of 2004 following Hurricanes Francis and Jeanne. No one in the neighborhood knew anything about her. Sometimes, weeks or months would pass and I would see very little of her. In January of 2005, I lost my beloved Katarina. Lexie Lee continued to hang around sporadically. In late summer, I think we both made the decision to adopt each other. She just knew I was ready for another cat in my life.
It has been a fascinating experience for me to develop a bond with an outdoor cat, slowly and methodically. Today she spends all her time inside except for a couple of hours each day. She is smart and jumps up and bats a bell on the back door to let me know she wants to come back in. She comes when she is called. She is a beautiful Norwegian Forest cat.
We play this cute little game each evening when I return home. She immediately starts meowing when I enter the downstairs level. She meets me at the kitchen door. I start yelling out, “Huckie, Huckie” (a nickname). I run to the living room and flop down on the couch. Lexie Lee flies onto the coffee table and jumps onto my chest. It is a welcome-home ritual I look forward to every day!
Q: Do you believe animals have souls?
A: I do believe they have souls. The quote that begins chapter three actually best expresses why I believe this. My God who flings stars in the sky—well, why would he not bless animals with souls?
Q: How do you imagine the animal afterlife to be?
A: It is filled with love and warmth. Animals are never hungry, cold, or abused.
Q: What is the first thing you will say to Tatianna when you are reunited with her on the other side?
A: I love you Tatianna, always and forever. I promised I’d see you on Rainbow Bridge for a glorious reunion, and this moment has surpassed my wildest imagination.