cats

All posts tagged cats

Bloganuary Challenge – Day 17 – What Superpower Would You Like to Have?

Published January 17, 2022 by Maryanne
Derick, The ‘Invisible’ Cat

This question is irrelevant for me. I went through all the super powers I could think of and none of them appealed to me.

I don’t want to fly. My head is always in the clouds. What I need is to be grounded.

I don’t want x-ray vision. I want to make people happy, not embarrassed.

And I certainly don’t want to be invisible. I worked hard my whole life to be seen and heard.

But speaking of invisible, I once had a cat who sometimes thought he was. Derick was the first cat I owned when I was single and living alone. Since kittenhood he was extremely attached to me. He’d follow me from room to room. He’d sit on my lap almost the entire day as I worked. He’d be at my side while I relaxed. And God forbid I left the house. He’d sit on the window sill, awaiting my return. If I sat in my backyard, he’d be in the window mewing, demanding that I come back in the house.

I had another cat, Billy Cat. Billy was more shy. He hid often. But in his later years, he competed with Derick for my attention. However, Derick wouldn’t have it. There would be friction between them whenever Derick saw Billy near me or on my lap.

Sometimes, randomly, Derick would take a swat at Billy. Billy would meow so loud, it was like the scream of death. Then they’d get into a rumble. My husband and I often caught Derick just in time. His paw would rise up to swipe Billy, and both of us would say, “No….” in unison, dragging out the “o” to show we meant business without getting loud or yelling. Derick would immediately freeze and his paw was comically suspended in mid-air. Then he would put his head down, and walk away ashamed.

However, Derick was relentless and not one to give up. His future attacks on Billy wouldn’t be so obvious. He would creep slowly into the room, then hunch his body down low as he inched towards Billy, sneaking up on him. My husband caught him, just in time, and said, “Hey! You’re not invisible!”

We laughed so hard over our “invisible” cat.

But I will say, the two did have their loving moments. They slept together, groomed each other, and had many peaceful moments. When Billy got older and had trouble walking, due to arthritis, and later cancer, Derick was a concerned little cat brother and doted over Billy until his death at age 19. Two years later, Derick died. He was also 19.

Does your cat have a super power? I’d love to hear about it!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: https://eroticbooknetwork.com/product/love-cats/

Bloganuary Challenge – Day 16 – What is a Cause You Are Passionate About and Why?

Published January 16, 2022 by Maryanne
Photo by Mauro Sbicego

Well, what a coincidence to see this question come up for today. A cause I am passionate about and why? Do not read unless you are ready for a mouthful in defense of a cat because I am LIVID!

My cause is CATS! They are mystical, beautiful, loving (YES LOVING) creatures who are misunderstood. I’d had cats (and other pets – guinea pigs, snakes, hamsters, turtles, and dogs) all my life and never had a bad one. Why? Because I KNOW how to treat animals. You do not tease/taunt them. You respect, and train, a pet and the pet will be your friend forever. YES, even CATS (and lions/tigers too; do the research on how loving they are! Even PIGS are loving!)

The thing with cats is, you have to win them over. Once you do, they will love you like a dog does. I had a few cats that ran to the door when I came home, slept near the door when I was on a business trip, and instinctively knew when I was very sad.

So, animal lover that I am, I follow animal pages, on WordPress and Facebook. But after yesterday I will no longer support Facebook because of what I saw and all the hate this video provoked.

Have you ever heard of The Dodo? They make “inspiring” videos about animals. They start out with a tragic sad story, but it ends up happy. Usually I skip the sad part and go straight to the happy ending. However, this disgusting story they posted on Facebook yesterday made me ill. An aspiring You Tube influencer, who, I guess sees herself as a model, made a video taunting her gorgeous cat to give the impression, “I love my cat, but my cat hates me.”

This woman is unstable and knows nothing about cats. Or children. She teased the cat, then put her children in harms way, where the cat reached out and almost clawed them. The cat hissed at everyone. “Influencer” said, “The cat hates happiness. He is a grumpy cat.”

Ginger cats are the most docile cats. I never saw a ginger hiss like that. This woman was dangling her fingers in the cat’s face, putting clothes on him that he didn’t want to wear, and exposing the cat to a noisy household with children who teased the cat.

I wrote to The DODO and said, “I’m sorry Dodo, I love your channel but this is a fail. That cat doesn’t “hate happiness” as the owner says. The cat is obviously stressed for some reason. This family needs to hire a feline behaviorist to get to the bottom of it. I’ve taken in ferals who hissed at first and then became loving cats. You need to work with them, and try to understand them.”

I received over FOUR THOUSAND LIKES! (Damn, maybe I should have promoted my latest book on that thread too?!) HOWEVER, I also met the nastiest people ever on the internet, which solidified my decision to go off Facebook permanently. First, I shared the post in my private animal group. I was disappointed that friends saw the post and it didn’t seem to phase them. Then I read the hundreds of comments from people hating me for defending the cat.

Some of them went like this:

“Who are you, the cat whisperer?” — Yes, bitch, I am. I am a certified feline behaviorist.

“Put that cat in a burlap sack and drown it.” — Wow, what a nice, loving guy! I wonder what your mom thinks of you?

“Treat it like a puppy and smack it in the nose.” — Pure evil. Never smack an animal. But I’ve seen it. I used to work in a dog grooming facility, and dogs would always get smacked. I had to quit. I couldn’t take seeing that abuse on a regular basis. It was a long time ago, but I should have reported the bitch who ran the grooming salon.

“That cat has to be put down.” — WRONG. That cat was a perfect good cat who was ruined. The influencer had the cat since she was a kitten–I saw the pictures on her Instagram page. However, this “influencer” seemed to be too busy modeling for animal crackers instead of training her kitten — and her children. Can we say SELF ABSORBED?! YES WE CAN!

People who mistreat and hate animals, I’m sorry, they are the scum of the earth. Our cats are gentle, loving creatures, who are part of the family. They want to be in the same room as us, no matter what room we’re in, they follow us. Even the shy feral who rarely lets us pet him. He still shows us his belly to say, “I like you.” (Cat lovers understand this).

If your cat is hissing or clawing at people, it’s your responsibility to figure out what is wrong! It’s not a bad cat. YOU are the bad owner. Just like parents. If the kid is bad news, it’s not the child’s fault.

Taking in a pet is a huge responsibility that can last up to two decades, maybe even three (some cats lived until their 30s! Lucky owners!) If you can’t be responsible, DO NOT GET A CAT.

And all this to jack up likes on Instagram, which THE DODO promoted for this crazy woman!

SHAME ON THE DODO. I will NEVER watch their happy ending animal videos again, because this cat did not have one. I hope someone in authority sees the video and takes the cat away from her. There needs to be more strict laws on animal abuse.

I’d love to hear from other animal lovers, and on this issue, I’m sorry I’m not going to agree to disagree. I stand strong on my beliefs.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: https://eroticbooknetwork.com/product/love-cats/

And Just Like That… Nicholas Was Gone

Published December 20, 2021 by Maryanne
Nicholas Gray, the beautiful, magical cat

Recently, “And Just Like That” — the “Sex and the City” reboot — debuted. So many viewers were upset over the death of the character Mr. Big. (The actor Chris Noth is still alive and well, it was the character that was killed off).

Mr. Big died suddenly of a heart attack. Many of us who watch the show are in our 50s and know how precious life can change in an instant. During the pandemic, I’ve lost quite a few friends to death, but only one to Covid. My best male friend had a heart attack and died instantly just like Mr. Big. Life is so precious and we realize this more and more as we grow older. It’s wise to not take anything — ANYTHING — for granted because in a heartbeat it can all change.

For example, my happy little life with my husband. We are childless by choice, but have three beautiful cats. One of our favorite things to do is to just chill, listening to records in the living room surrounded by our kitties, who we call our “babies).

Saturday morning my husband, Dennis, woke me up saying, “I can’t find Nicholas.” Every day the three of them greet us. We feed them, then spend quality time with them before going about our day.

I said, “Maybe he doesn’t feel well and is hiding.” Cats do that. I had Happy Jack as a teenager. He was missing . My grandmother thought he got out and was lost in a snowstorm. We were terrified, but two days later, I found him hiding in a closet. He was A-OK. I also had a ferret who was gone for a day or so. I was worried sick. I thought she got out too, but she was just hiding.

But as time went on, we realized the devastating truth, he’s not in the house. How could this happen? He never wanted to go out before. The few times before that he got out (running past one of us when we opened the door) it was just to sniff the flowers, then he’d let us pick him up and take him back in. He had no interest in being outside. He loved us. Whenever we went away, he’d turn his back on us as we left the house with our travel gear. He always wanted to be groomed, pet, and snuggled. He was a big ‘ol mush. And we called him The Magic Cat because he was so smart. He did back flips in the air when we looped his fish toy. When Chewy packages came, he knew they were for him. He was much more appreciate of toys than the other two. So why would he sneak past us when we opened the door? It didn’t make sense. The only thing we could think of, there was a female cat lurking around our house. Even though Nicholas is fixed, he is still fascinated by other cats. When they are out there, he runs from window to window, even though he has two other kitty playmates in the house. That’s his nature.

Still – how could this happen to us? We tried not to beat ourselves up. It was an accident. Dennis looked at me and said, “And Just Like That…Nicholas was gone.” For the next day and a half, there were many tears.

I tried to give Nicholas a happy ending. I said, “He’s a smart cat. He’s just going on to his next adventure. He’s like Street Cat Bob. We had our time with him. Now he is moving on to something different.”

But Dennis thought the worst. That he got killed by a car or a coyote.

Not knowing was killing us. And we were thinking about cancelling Christmas. How could we celebrate? Losing a pet is tragic. Our hearts were broken to pieces.

Saturday I had quite a bit going on. I had my art class in the morning and later that afternoon I played a mom in a rap music video. My mind was elsewhere though, and two very creative, rewarding experiences are now just a cloudy memory. My mind was on Nicholas, as I just went through the motions. We looked all over the house and even drove around the neighborhood. Nothing. We called the cops. We called the local animal hospital. Nothing.

We had a sleepless night. The next morning I said, “I remember hearing that if you put a piece of clothing outside, the cat will smell your scent and come back.” We did that immediately. Then my husband spent three hours out in the cold searching for Nicholas. I posted his photos on a Facebook page that helps people find lost pets.

When my husband came back the second time, he just happened to look at the window and he screamed, “That’s him!! I just saw Nicholas!” He ran out the door. I saw him by the window motioning me to come out. “Put your jacket on and come outside!!”

I grabbed my jacket and slipped on my boots without even zippering them. I dashed out the door. Nicholas had run into a shed near our house. We got into the shed and there he was, peering out from us, hiding behind a box and mewing.

I went back to the house and got treats to entice him. The poor little thing was frightened. Dennis reached out to him and Nicholas snuggled his little head against my husband’s hand. “Come on, baby” we both said, gently. “Nicholas, it’s Mommy and Daddy.” And, “Nicholas is a good boy.” And, “Nicholas is beautiful. Nicholas is so handsome.” All the positive things we’ve always said to him, so the familiarity would comfort him. Sure enough it did. Dennis was able to grab him and bring him back home!

WELCOME HOME NICHOLAS!

When we got him in, he seemed confused. We gave him so much love and attention, within minutes he was purring loudly and was soon back to his happy little dumpling self, prancing around the house, tail up!

Our conclusion was, he got out Friday night while my husband took the garbage out. Perhaps something spooked him and he got lost and had a hard time finding his way back. Once we put the jacket outside, he found his way to the shed.

We got our baby back, and Christmas is on! In a matter of days, we’ve experienced The Nightmare Before Christmas and A Christmas Miracle.

Hug your pets today, and don’t ever take them for granted! Life can change in a split second.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: Love Cats

My Story Featured in an Upcoming Queen Book

Published October 21, 2021 by Maryanne
The above will be featured in an upcoming book by Richard Houghton

I told the story so many times about reaching out to Jim Hutton–and that he wrote back to me. I’m excited to have this story in an upcoming book so the rest of the world can know what a great guy he was. I highly recommend “Mercury and Me” for a true perspective of the relationship between Jim Hutton and Freddie Mercury. It’s poignant and at times hilarious.

After all these years, I still cherish the card. Now you can too, this is it! The kitten’s name was Minky.

Jim Hutton’s kitten, Minky, from a Christmas card he sent me in 1996.

National Inner Beauty Day

Published October 7, 2021 by Maryanne
Pets are the masters of inner beauty

Since we were young, we were taught it’s what’s on the inside that counts. How quickly that grows old once we get in school and the pettiness and cattiness begins. That can make anyone grow ugly right before our eyes.

In school I was bullied. The bullies, both male and female, never looked good to me. The ugliness that was on the inside found its way to the outside. Why were these kids so ugly? Perhaps their parents didn’t drill it into their head, the most important thing in life is being kind to others.

When we get older and get into the work force, it doesn’t end. Even if you’re self-employed it doesn’t end either. There’s always an ugly person out there trying to make someone else’s life miserable because they are miserable.

The thing is, if we are bullied, we have to realize it’s not us, it’s them. People bully for three reasons: 1. They are jealous of you. 2. They want to be like you. 3. They don’t like themselves.

It makes total sense. Why would a happy, secure person want to hurt someone? They wouldn’t. Only angry people with issues do. And it’s THEIR responsibility to make right with themselves, not yours. You can never make someone like this happy, so don’t exhaust yourself trying to get them to like you. It’s not in their heart. They are broken.

Three years ago I made the following video, “How do you want to be remembered when you die?” I share my reaction to hearing about an adult bully dying. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbSuOdgsNm0

It seems so morbid, but it’s honest. I’ve spoken to others who have had the same reaction when they heard nasty people passed. Perhaps it’s a relief, especially in this day and age when people spread rumors quickly on the internet.

While we shouldn’t be worried about what people think of us, it’s important how we treat others, whether they like us or not. It’s perfectly okay to put a person in his/her place if they make cruel comments to you. And it’s perfectly okay to vent to a friend about someone who is not so nice. But don’t let someone’s bad attitude steal your own inner beauty. Those of us who are caring and empathic can easily fall into a sad spiral if we’re the target of someone else’s negative attitude. Try to brush it off, and not think about it. Know that it’s not your fault. There are just some very unhappy people in this world. Don’t let that stop you from being your kind-hearted, awesome self.

You can read more about this topic in my book, “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” (https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261)

I also touch on bullying in my book, “Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” (https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227)

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, editing, and writing. She is also available for book signings and speaking engagements. She is now coaching aspiring writers via ZOOM.

Maryanne is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: Love Cats

From Vegetarian To Paleo To Vegan — And It Feels Like HOME!

Published October 1, 2021 by Maryanne
Eat your veggies! (Photo by Jeff Danze)

I just got off the phone with a new vegan friend. We shared our stories of how we became vegan. I went first and told her mine was long-winded. It was refreshing to share my on-again/off-again journey with someone so sweet and unjudgmental.

As a child, I did not like meat. I’d hide it in my napkin or feed it to the dog. When I was 22, I decided to no longer eat meat. This was in the 1980s and back then if you were a vegetarian, you were looked at as if you had two heads. People thought it was weird that I wasn’t eating pizza. And if I was stressed and had some vegan candy, I’d hear rude comments, “What do you do when you really go off the deep end? Eat meat?”

But I put up with it. For 28 years. (And the comments were worse when I was a raw foodist for a few years, but that’s another story). During these 28 years of being vegetarian, I dabbled in veganism on and off.

Then I hit my 50th birthday and menopause was upon me. I began having dizzy spells and getting kind of sluggish. Three male nutritionists said I’d be better off with some meat. Against my better judgement, I said a prayer to the animals and began to consume grass-fed beef. But I continued to stay away from pork, lamb, and veal. For some time I followed the paleo diet and I did feel better.

Last year during the pandemic, something happened. I changed. For the better. I wasn’t sad or stressed about anything. My husband and I continued to thrive in our careers during the pandemic. However, I did feel a sense of loss because one of my best friends died, not of Covid, but a heart attack. The best thing I could do for dealing with it was look inward.

I used to meditate in the 1980s. I somehow came across the work of Dr. Joe Dispenza and started doing his meditations, and other ones–twice a day. What came out of it was not only being incredibly at peace, but having greater compassion for both people and animals. My husband and I had just took in a feral kitten that was abandoned. My bond grew so strong with the kitten and it led me to study feline behavior.

When I got my certificate, I was looking for a shelter to volunteer at. None of them got back to me. Perhaps because we’re still in a pandemic? I don’t know.

I started following more animal groups on Facebook, to continue learning about cats and other animals.

Pigs were always my favorite farm animal. Protecting them was my biggest concern during my original run with vegetarianism. I never paid much attention to cows. Then watching what loving creatures cows are, on Dodo videos and videos on vegan pages, it inspired me give up meat again.

Then a few months later, while on one of our vacations, my husband and I were in a sea aquarium. A stingray kept going over to him. It seemed they made a connection. Then I saw a beautiful octopus. He winked at me! I can’t eat octopus anymore, I thought to myself. I just can’t.

I’ve been to aquariums before, but this time, due to all the meditation I was doing, I was moved like never before. These are living beings and we are one with them. With that in my head, I decided to stop eating fish. Might as well give up rennetless cheese too. And a vegan was born. Cold turkey. It wasn’t a hard decision to make. All the time I was on the paleo diet, I never stopped buying cruelty free/vegan make-up products. I never stopped going to cruelty free/vegan hair salons. And I never drank alcohol that wasn’t vegan. Absolute Vodka and White Claw were always my go-to drinks.

My husband asked me if I was sure eating vegan was what I wanted to do. He pointed out that I was feeling great, that the dizzy spells stopped, and I was sleeping good. That was all true, so I decided to hire a vegan health coach to make sure I was doing it right this time. I now knew too much, and experienced too much to go back. For months I was following vegan pages on Facebook, educating myself. I saw vegans of all ages thriving on the diet. I knew if I tried one more time I would thrive too. And I wouldn’t go back.

With the health coach, I learned which supplements you needed, and was inspired to experiment with different colored vegetables. I also learned of a service called Imperfect Foods, where you can get cheaper organic produce because it may be bruised or look weird (like a carrot with two legs!)

Now, three months later, I am feeling fantastic and I even lost a few pounds–at age 58! My husband has been eating more vegan meals, and so are my friends when they are around me. I recently signed up as a volunteer for vegan group to help animals.

I’m so happy and at peace with myself. Each day has so much meaning. It’s another day to save animals.

Sometimes I beat myself up and wish I never listened to the nutritionists who told me that I’d benefit from eating some meat. I was a meat eater for almost six years. But I did learn from the experience. The most important lesson is that everyone is on their own journey. People eat meat for their own reasons. Who are we to judge? The best I can do as a vegan, is to humble myself and lead by example. I will never tell a meat eater he or she is a “murderer.” It’s not right. It’s not my business.

But I will go to restaurants and suggest vegan options. I will continue to support vegan companies. I will continue to talk about the fun vegan food I get to eat on weekends (because during the week, I’m a more serious vegan, natural as possible).

It feels good to enjoy oatmeal again, after shunning it for years. And making scrambled tofu brought me back to a beautiful place. It was one of my first favorite vegetarian dishes back in the 1980s.

My husband and I drove past a farm a few weeks ago. He said to the cows, “She’s saving your lives.”

It was a beautiful thing to hear. Yes, I am saving lives. And it feels like home.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, editing, and writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements (via ZOOM during covid). She is now coaching aspiring writers via ZOOM.

Maryanne is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: Love Cats

My Weekend With The Amazing Kreskin

Published July 10, 2021 by Maryanne
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta with The Amazing Kreskin!

Last weekend, I had the honor to work as celebrity handler to The Amazing Kreskin! (http://www.amazingkreskin.com/)

Some of my older readers may remember him from The Johnny Carson Show. Kreskin is a mentalist who became popular as a guest on talk shows in the 1970s.

For four days, I was hired to serve as his assistant. I drove him from his home in New Jersey, where he lives with four beautiful cats, up to NE ComicCon (https://necomiccons.com/), at the Regency Hotel in Boxoboro, Massachusetts.

Thursday, July 1, we drove up to Massachusetts during a blinding rain storm. It was an adventure I’ll never forget. It took seven hours to make a 4.5 hour trip.

The next day, Kreskin signed autographs and sold plenty of merch. Saturday afternoon, he did a Q&A segment (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7seM7iODYE), followed by an evening performance, which truly was AMAZING! And now, I can tell you firsthand, his act is not rigged in any way, shape or form. He is the real deal!

Other notables at NE ComicCon were Tim Rice, who designed the puppets in Fraggle Rock and Dark Crystal; Butch Patrick, actor best known for playing Eddie Munster on The Munsters television show; (https://www.instagram.com/the_real_butch_patrick_/?hl=en) and actor John Capodice.

Of all the cool things I’ve done in my career, this is truly one for the books. In addition to helping out Kreskin, I’ve made some great friends; and I am also now helping out booking Kreskin for gigs!

If you are interested in having Kreskin perform at your event, contact me directly at: maryannechristiano@maryannemistretta

Tim Rice and The Amazing Kreskin

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta and John Capodice
The Amazing Kreskin at home with one of his four kitties.

The Best(?) of 2020

Published December 11, 2020 by Maryanne
Photo by Kelly Sikkema

If we made it through 2020 without getting covid, and worse, without dying, we are fortunate. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s to live life to the fullest every day because you really don’t know what is around the corner. It was a crazy up and down year. Surprisingly, there were many outstanding moments for me, but also the most painful news–a very good friend dying on of a heart attack at the age of 56.

Pausing for a moment thinking of my dear friend Vinnie who died last April…

Yeah, 2020 definitely sucked on so many levels, but the eternal optimist in me will keep saying, this is the year to truly count our blessings.

2020 Year In Review

January – The year started off really cool. I actually saw a copy of my book, “Be (Extra)Ordinary” in Barnes & Noble bookstore! (https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/) I was ecstatic! I remember commenting that if I died at that moment, I lived the life I wanted. Little did I know, in just a few weeks I’d hear about so many dying of Covid. Just goes to show how crazy life is.

February – I was going crazy trying to score a deal on Billie Eilish tickets–and trying to decide whether to see her in NYC on a Sunday night; or New Jersey on a Monday night. Oh, the innocence of decision making prior to what was ahead. The decision was made for me…all her 2020 concerts were canceled.

March – Covid was in full force in the USA. It was weird. It was scary. But honestly, my husband and I were loving the lockdown. We took it as a time to be creative. We appreciated staying home with the kitties. We were cooperating with the law; and had a good time doing so. I thought during this time I’d write a new book; instead I focused on my singing. My husband and I made a video of us performing together, he on guitar and we on vocals and sent it to all our friends. As our friends were also sending us videos. We all did our best.

In March my clients, Domenic Lombardi passed away. I helped him and his wife write their memories: “200 Letters, 62 Years, and a War” (https://www.amazon.com/200-Letters-62-Years-War/dp/1949798453). What a loss, he was a very cool guy. Domenic and his wife Antoinette were my favorite clients ever!

In April, my book “Love Cats” which became out of print early 2020 was picked up for a second printing by Pink Flamingo Media! For the first time I used a pen name, Krystianna Mercury. Check it out: https://www.pinkflamingo.com/Love-Cats-PF3089.htm

But then, I learned that my very good friend Vinnie Bordogna died earlier that month. My heart is torn into pieces. He was truly one of my best friends. Christmas will not be the same without Vin at our party this year.

In June, there was another loss, Bob Cat. A 15-year-old ginger cat who was the star of the book, “A Street Cat Named Bob” by James Bowen. I read the book back in 2018. The book was out way before that, but it was an upbeat book that helped me get over the loss of my own ginger cat, Bennie, who had to be put down early 2018. Now to hear Bob was gone too … it was just too much. Many tears. Too many tears.

That summer, life picked up. Social distancing outdoor concerts were all the rage. Groups of friends sat on the grass in a white painted square. They were done so well and people had a great time! Drinks, food, sitting on the grass watching live music and the sun go down. Can’t beat that. It was a glimmer of hope in the midst of the madness. In addition to Covid, we had the George Floyd murder and so many terrible things going on in the news. Music kept us sane that summer, definitely.

In August, I hosted my very first ZOOM lecture for “Healthy Pasta Alternatives.” We had a blast! I had other ZOOM classes for anti-bullying, and “How to Meet Your Soul Mate.” Earlier in the year when all my live lectures were canceled, one by one, it was the biggest let down. But ZOOM saved the day with some of them, so it wasn’t a total loss.

September was a miracle! My husband and I took in a feral kitten who was abandoned by his mama and papa cats. We named him Happy Lightfoot Ferrell. Three months later, he’s adjusting beautifully! He’s my little shadow who follows me all over the house. And what a sweet cat he’s turning out to be. No more shy and hiding. Taking in a little life, giving him not only a home but a HAPPY home is the best accomplishment! I love our little new family member. He gets along so good with the other two cats, Nicholas Gray and Sammy Keane Clemmens. Happy Lightfoot Ferrell was the icing on the top of a year of madness.

I wish everyone a better 2021; we can do it!

BEST OF MUSIC 2020

Since there wasn’t nearly as much going out as usual, the list will be light this year. My husband saw about five or six outdoor social distancing concerts over the summer. Due to Covid, I think they all did an amazing job for us and unlike other years, this year I’m choosing not to pick a “best” for live music.

Favorite new songs/videos for 2020!

  1. Miley Cyrus “Midnight Sky” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aS1no1myeTM
  2. Sierra Ferrell “Jingle Bell Rock” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mWKuQDBkls
  3. Billie Eilish “Therefore I Am” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUQl6YcMalg

Since there was plenty of dining, I’ve added restaurants this year!

Best restaurants of 2020

  1. Greentruth Organic: https://www.greentruthorganic.com/
  2. Cave Bistro: https://www.cavebistro.com/
  3. Clean Plate: https://www.cleanplateclinton.com/

And since retail shopping was non-existent, I’m linking to the last post I wrote, Clothes Shopping During Covid, mentioning the top three clothing subscription box companies: https://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2020/11/30/clothes-shopping-during-covid/

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements (via ZOOM during covid). She is now coaching aspiring writers via ZOOM.

Maryanne is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: Love Cats

Happy Puts His Best Foot Forward

Published September 6, 2020 by Maryanne

Welcome to the family, Happy Lightfoot Ferrell, age 6 months.

Right before Covid19 hit, my husband and I noticed a pregnant Tabby cat. She came around often and we fed her. We named her Sweet Sue. There was also a beautiful black male with bright green eyes that hung around with her. We named him Jeremiah.

Sweet Sue had her kittens near our home and only one survived. We named him Happy. We fed the family of three morning and evening throughout the spring and summer. Happy was adorable — and appropriately named. He’d get excited when he saw us, show his belly, and play “hide and seek” with us, peering at us from under a car, then coming out, then hiding.

When Sweet Sue and Jeremiah abandoned Happy, we decided to take him in. At first he was shy and scared, but purred and ate. Now two weeks later, he’s the belle of the ball! He gets along wonderfully with our other two cats, Nicholas Gray and Sammy Keane Clemens.

We’re honored to give this little soul a happy life! He has the run of the house, and his own little “palace” — a room all to himself!

Do you have a cat or kitten? Show me his/her photo!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. In addition to Love Cats, she is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: Love Cats

Visit Maryanne’s You Tube Channel here: Be YOUnique

Happy National Nude Day!

Published July 14, 2020 by Maryanne

Love Cats 2020Love Cats by Krystianna Mercury

Today is National Nude Day! But you don’t have to take your clothes off to have a good time. You can live vicariously through my characters in my fictitious, erotic book, Love Cats. The second edition was recently published by Pink Flamingo Media. Just click here to order: Love Cats

Love Cats is the story of Janey Peyton, a spoiled rich girl who meets Beck, a working class guy. It’s the 1980s and they connect mainly on music, but there’s also a strong sexual chemistry. Beck works hard to make a life for himself, and Janey mistakes his hard work for neglect. She goes out on a sexual rampage with both men and women. Broken hearted Beck could only take so much and finally dumps her.

While they are broken up, a kitten shows up on Janey’s doorstep. Learn how a kitten helps Janey change her evil ways, and learn that what she had with Beck was real.

Do you plan on celebrating National Nude Day?! Do tell!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. In addition to Love Cats, she is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: Love Cats