Annie’s Christmas Prayer

Annie’s Message

Annie Under Christmas Tree

Just a few short months ago, I was waiting for my forever home  in a cage with Eddie at the Grayson County Humane Society.  Donna and her team took really great care of us. They made sure we were loved, received snuggles and attention so we would be socialized and ready for adoption.  The Grayson team makes sure they  capture the best photo of all cats and dogs at the shelter so that when the photos are shared, people from all over will see their faces with the hope that someone will fall in love and adopt them.

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Vote For Gracey’s Conservation Cub Club for Best Blog Post

2013 Gracey and her Pettie Award


Thank you so much!

You did it! The Tiniest Tiger’s Conservation Cub Club is a finalist for Best Blog Post in the 2013 Petties.  We are proud to be a finalist for our blog post Since You’ve Been Gone  Our Message to Gracey.  This post is very important to me as we work through our grief from losing Gracey.

We have been honored  for the past four years, since the Petties began.  We were thrilled to win the Pettie for Best Blog Post in 2012 for our Cat Obituary, Farewell Eastern Cougar,   I wanted the post to be a voice for the big cats and the trouble they are having surviving in human dominated landscapes. Winning the Pettie helped amplify that voice.

In 2010 we were a finalist for Best Cause Related Blog,  in 2011 for Best Cat blog, in 2012 we won for best blog post and in 2013 we are a finalist for best blog post.

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Who Will Provide a Home for your Cat? Do You Have a Plan?

Who Will Provide a Home for your Cat?

Maggie in sun room

Marie’s Maggie in the sun room

Do you have a plan in place in case something happens and you are no longer able to provide for your cats?  We became Maggie’s godparents for Marie and we took that promise to heart.  Even though we had hoped Maggie and Marie would live many more years together it was not to be.  We had just adopted Annie and Eddie so adding Maggie presented a slight challenge but one that we were prepared to meet.

Years ago we also welcomed Hazel into our home when Ed was no longer able to stay in his home due to illness.  Hazel and Gracey never became best friends but they lived peacefully together until Hazel crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  Currently we are godparents to Hobbes part of my sister Barbara’s family and  of course our Mercy, who is adored  by Paul’s mom.

One of the biggest worries I had was what would happen to Gracey if something happened to both Paul and I.  Gracey was a special needs cat requiring ProZinc injections twice daily, glucometer readings, and a special diet.  Paul and I didn’t even take trips together because one of us needed to stay close by home for Gracey.  This didn’t feel or seem like a burden to us because we loved her, but asking someone else to look after her seemed a burdensome thing to ask.  If something would have happened to us, Barbara would have taken care of Gracey.

Do You Have a Plan?

As we were moving Maggie into our home, I began to think once again about the importance of making a contingency plan for your family members.  I remember our friend Ingrid writing a post about this topic on her site  The Conscious Cat.   Ingrid details steps that you should take to plan for your cat just in case.  She points out that nobody wants to think about becoming ill, or dying but we owe it to our little loved ones to plan for their care just in case we can no longer remain in our homes.  Ingrid reminds us to  find one or two responsible  friends or relatives that you trust will keep their promise and legalize the arrangement.

There are a few other things you can do to ensure continued care for your cats in the event that something happens to you:

Carry a wallet alert card with contact information for your emergency care givers.
Make sure that emergency care givers know how to contact each other.
Post emergency contact notices inside your front door. Include favorite hiding places for your cats on this listing – depending on your cat’s temperament, he may be scared when a stranger enters your house.

You can find Ingrid’s post here: Who will care for your cat if you can’t?

You will have peace of mind knowing that you made arrangements for your loved ones.

Thank you for caring for all cats big and small.

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Since You’ve Been Gone. Our Message to Gracey

This entry is part 2 of 16 in the series Messages to Gracey







Gracey on Imperial Cat Chair and Ottoman

Gracey on her own little chair and ottoman.

Our Message to Gracey

Since you’ve been gone we are doing our best to pick up and carry on but to be honest it hasn’t been easy. Coming back to our home without you was one of the hardest things I ever had to do.   Putting the key into the door and not seeing your happy face running towards me made my heart sink and tears stream down my face.

Stepping inside, I saw your water fountain unplugged and stagnant.  I made it to the kitchen, put down my bags and stood still. Not hearing your voice telling me about your day, not being able to scoop you up and bury my face in your neck and not being able to carry you out into the sun room to look out over the yard, was more than I could take. Lazy Leopard looks so lonely.  I sat down and had a good cry.  The kind of cry where you can’t breathe for a few moments and you think you can’t go on.  But we do go on, just on a different journey.

I thought I would fill the bird feeders and take Bossy Back Yard Blue Jay his peanuts.  I procrastinated coming home, stopping by the store to load up on food for your friends.  I made it to the garage and lifted the hatch on the Jeep but that was as far as I made it that day. I felt so weak and vulnerable.  I thought I couldn’t fill the feeders without being able to see your face supervising my every move from your windows in the sun room.  I wouldn’t be able to touch your pink nose  through the glass  on my way back inside.

I cleaned out the refrigerator of all the different types of food we had for you.  Each lid turned with the hope that you would  eat.  We didn’t know you were so sick Gracey or we wouldn’t have tried so hard to make you eat. You were such a good girl and so patient with us. I washed up your bowls and syringes and packed up your little tiger rug.

I tried to be strong when your dad came home because I know how much he is hurting too.  But when I saw his face, I fell apart instead.  He wrapped his arms around me and said, “Let’s go for a ride.  That’s what the old folks do.” And this made me laugh.  We went for that ride  to postpone being alone in the house without you. Our home feels so empty.  Your parents are lost without you.

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Heartbroken and Healing

This entry is part 1 of 16 in the series Messages to Gracey








Heartbroken and Healing

We lost our little Gracey yesterday morning.  She passed peacefully in my arms.



Gracey was in multiple organ failure from complications of diabetes and pancreatitis that she had been living with for a little over 4 years.  We were able to mange her diabetes with two injections of ProZinc per day and she was happy and healthy until this past week.  Her doctors are wonderful and worked super hard doing everything possible to see if we could get her strength up and she could recover but it was not to be.

Paul and I needed yesterday to grieve and to gather the strength to begin the process of celebrating her wonderful life with us.  We are so grateful that Gracey chose to share her life with us and she will live on in our efforts here on her The Tiniest Tiger’s Conservation Cub Club.

When Gracey won the Bissell MVP Contest in 2010 we were thrilled to donate the $10,000 to PurrEver Ranch Sanctuary.  Rita works so hard to rescue older cats and cats with special needs, just like our Gracey.  When I told Rita about Gracey she said:

PurrEver Ranch Sanctuary’s cat flap remains open. Our doors would have closed and the purrs would have ended without Gracey. That pretty little girl’s heart is responsible for so many homeless unwanted cats who’s hearts would have stopped beating without her help. Life simply is better because of Gracey. We live because she did. Thank you our darling Guardian Angel. We always knew she had wings.
The world didn’t get darker when she passed for her little bright light shines in all of us. I love you. And I love Gracey.


Gracey was an amazing little cat. From the time we rescued her from the dog pound she showed her sweet and mischievous personality. She was the inspiration for the book The Tiniest Tiger and for us taking the journey to complete a Master of Zoology to learn more about how we could help all cats big and small. Her community has grown to over 50,000 members and she would want us to continue helping her cousins in need.

We are heartbroken.  Gracey was with us every moment of our days in our home.  Paul designed the sun room windows to be the perfect height for her to look out over the back yard where she spent her days visiting with Bossy Backyard Blue Jay in the company of Lazy Leopard.  When I was in the office, she was with me keeping me company and inspiring me.

We know that Gracey would not want us to stop the work she inspired us to begin. Leaving the hospital, a local rescue group was in the lobby talking about how they hoped their fundraiser would make enough money to buy food for the cats in their care over the weekend. As it turned out, my Jeep was full of cat food, toys and other items that I was planning to take to a shelter but hadn’t made it yet.  We like to think Gracey was working her magic by us being in the right place at the right time.

When I came home and was washing up a few dishes, Bossy Backyard Blue Jay came and sat on the perch outside the kitchen window.  He had not done this before.  I chatted with him and he tilted his head and looked at me as if he understood.  Then he flew around the yard and settled in the apple tree.

There is so much we would like to say, but the sadness is too much for us right now. Gracey was and is the light of our lives. Thank you for being a part of The Tiniest Tiger community and for loving our little girl too. I hope you will join us in celebrating Gracey’s life and continue on the journey to care for all cats big and small.

Joanne and Paul



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You Had Me at Meow! Art by Dogs for the Paws Giveaway

Love at First Purr!

You Had Me At Meow! by our good friend and artist Missy Johnson caught my eye and it was love at first purr.  Missy is  the creative force behind Dogs for the Paws; art making a difference for animals. Even though the name is Dogs for the Paws, Missy cares deeply for cats too.  In fact, just like us, she loves all animals.   When I saw her You Had Me at Meow! I  became super excited because I thought you would love it too!

Meow Valentine

Meow Valentine by Dogs for the Paws

Missy Johnson, Artist and Creator of Dogs for the Paws

The Tiniest Tiger Giveaway Winner ImageCongratulations and Supper Hurrah to our winners!!!!  We chose using because all the stories are so heartfelt and touching.  Thank you for loving all cats, big and small.

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The Tiniest Tiger’s Snow Adventure

Tiger cubs romping in the snow are super cute. And these Amur tiger cubs living at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium are no exception. The cubs are six months old and weigh about ninety pounds and as you can see in the zoo’s video, they are happy as can be frolicking together around their habitat.

Amur Tiger Cubs  Snow  Adventure  at  the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium

Watching my young big cat cousins inspired me. While in my heated thinking circle today, I thought perhaps I should feed my inner Amur tiger and venture out to frolic in the snow. After all, it is winter here in Ohio and my backyard is completely covered in white fluffy snow. The neighbor children are all suited up and sledding down the hills and they seem to be enjoying themselves. So I thought, why not brave the cold and pounce around a bit in the snow. So I left the comfort and warmth of my heated thinking circle and I went into the wild.

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Check Get Notifications to See Facebook Updates in News Feed

Check Get Notifications for The Tiniest Tiger Updates in your News Feed.

screen shot The Tiniest Tiger fb

The Tiniest Tiger Facebook Page

Friends have been sending me messages telling me they are not seeing my updates from The Tiniest Tiger’s Facebook page in their News Feed.  You might not know that  Facebook has a new feature for members of our community to opt in to receive notifications every time a post is made on The Tiniest Tiger page. And this is not just for The Tiniest Tiger page of course, but for all the pages that you want to stay in touch with to make sure you are up to date with tall the latest news.

Here’s How to Check Get Notifications

1) Get Notifications is off by default, so you will need to go to The Tiniest Tiger page.

2) Hover your mouse over the Liked button

3) Then click on the Get Notifications.  Just like in the image below:

get notification page

Notification Image from via Brittany Darwell

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Dr. Raasch Answers Questions and Iams Giveaway

Dr. Raasch from Iams Answers our Readers Questions.

Some of you asked questions about cat food ingredients, proteins and other concerns you might have about your cat’s nutritional requirements in our post Which Protein is Best for your Cat. Dr. Raasch from Iams  answered your questions  in a personalized video.  Our Friends Jayme and Maya’s questions are addressed in the first video.

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Sturdi Product’s Star Style Red Carpet Cat Giveaway!

The Tiniest Tiger Giveaway Winner ImageSuper Hurrah and Congratulations to Raine!

Sturdi Products Have Star Quality Style!

SturdiBag and Gracey

Now you can travel in style too!  The terrific folks at Sturdi Products are giving one lucky member of The Tiniest Tiger community a Sturdi Pop-Up Shelter from their Wild Side Collection!  And in Tiger Print! I know you have to be super excited now.

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