By Mike Scott
When Kahoka native Linda Mohr’s beloved cat, Tatianna, died of feline kidney disease on the Saturday before Easter in 2001, Mohr was devastated. The following day, she picked up a pen and paper, and began writing about the life of her dear friend.
“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,” Mohr said.
Mohr’s first book, Tatianna—Tales and Teachings of My Feline Friend, demonstrates the powerful bond between people and the the pets. In it, she studies the relationships between animal and their owners.
“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,” Mohr said.
That connection is especially important today.
“We live in a high tech, low touch society. We need that kind of connection,” added Mohr.
The connection with our pets is especially tested when our animal is nearing the end of its life, whether through age or disease.
“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,” Mohr said. “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.”
One of the things that has surprised Mohr the most is the feedback from her readers.
“I have received such beautiful feedback about the book. This is the part that is the most fun--connecting with the readers and hearing their stories. Both the female and male populations have been reacted very positively to the book,” she said
Mohr is a marketing and management professor at Northwood University in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Over her 20 years at the university she has received the Outstanding Faculty Award five times and was honored in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers in 2002 and 2003. Mohr formerly owned Pet Apothecary, a one-stop shopping source for medical, boarding, supply and grooming services. While running the business, she often witnessed how an owner’s love and devotion can help a precious animal overcome seemingly insurmountable medical odds. This knowledge later helped her persevere through Tatianna’s treatment and inspired her to share Tatianna’s story with other pet owners.
Mohr is a 1968 graduate of Clark County R-1 High School. Her mother, Rosemary, was a longtime school teacher, and her brothers Larry and Steve still live in Kahoka. Mohr’s sister, Donna, lives in Iowa.
Mohr will speak to CCR-1 on students Friday morning, and then will have a book signing at Dollar General on Friday afternoon, March 7. She will be at the Sever Memorial Library on Saturday, March 8, from 9AM until 1PM.
Mohr currently lives in West Palm Beach, Florida, with her latest feline friend, Lexie Lee.