pet lovers

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National Kitten Day!

Published July 10, 2020 by Maryanne

Pumpkin

#nationalkittenday #cats #kittens #fiction #authors #1980s

Happy Friday! It’s also National Kitten Day!

For cat and kitten lovers, you may want to check out my book, “Love Cats.” It’s a fiction story that takes place in the 1980s. A spoiled rich girl meets a working class guy and falls madly in love. However, due to her immaturity, and selfishness, she takes that love for granted and messes up — big time. During the break-up, a kitten shows up at her doorstep, and shows her what it’s like to love unconditionally. Check it out here: LOVE CATS

Has a kitten ever changed your life? Let me know in the comments below! (Or simply share a picture of your cat or kitten!)

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

My Cat’s Got Sunshine, On a Cloudy Day

Published November 19, 2014 by Maryanne

MareDerickMe and Derick, 2005

My husband swore to God this happened last night and wishes I was awake to see it.

Now, all pet owners know first hand how loving pets can be, to the point where they do the cutest, unbelievable things. My 18-year-old cat, Derick, has always been “Mommy’s Little Heart.” From day one, as a kitten, he rarely left my side. He follows me around the house like a shadow.

Last night my husband put on a movie about The Temptations. I love them, but I’m a bit run down and I fell asleep on the couch while the movie was on. Derick was lying next to me, facing the television.

My husband said that as soon as they started performing “My Girl,” Derick moved to face me and was staring at me during the entire song! You can’t make this stuff up! I guess I’m my cat’s sunshine on a cloudy day! (And of course Derick is right on my lap as I type this blog!)

SAM_6304October 2014, still together

Our song 🙂

Goodnight, Beautiful Angel

Published September 3, 2013 by Maryanne

billy-halloween

Billy, as we knew and loved him, a wise old sage.

After a long summer of struggling to keep our 19-year-old baby, Billy Cat, comfortable, we had to make the decision to put him down.

He was our joy, our laughter, our love and our life. Billy was the best cat a person could ever have.

I remember when I got Billy. I was single and living alone. It was 1994 and I named him after Billy Corgan from Smashing Pumpkins because I  loved the band at the time. Billy was from the litter of a shop cat. My uncle told me the colors of the kittens and I said I wanted a gray one. I met my uncle at his shop and he was waiting for me, with Billy, in a box.

Before I took Billy home, I took him to meet my beloved Grandmother. She was the first person to say how cute he was and ever since then everyone was falling in love with Billy. He was a special cat.

When I brought him home as a kitten, he was scared. He cried and hid a lot. It took him a long time to come out of his shell. Two years later, I got Derick as a kitten and the two were comical together. The moved with me when I left one apartment for another. At the second apartment I sneaked them both in because I was only allowed to have ONE cat. What could I do? They were family!

After a year of dating my husband, I moved in with him. Of course Billy and Derick came along. My husband is a wonderful cat dad. He adored my babies to pieces. When we all settled in, it was just adorable how we were all one big family.

Billy did so many cute things over the years but two of them will stand out in my mind forever.

1. The time my husband was playing The Monkees and the song “Papa Gene’s Blues” came on. There’s a lyric that goes, “I love you and I know you love me.” During that part Billy came running down the stairs. It was the sweetest, cutest thing. So from that moment on, we said that was “Billy’s song.” Billy always loved music anyway. He used to sit right by one of the stereo speakers. We said he was like the RCA dog who sat by the old Victrola. Billy would always looked so deep in thought.

RCAReminds us of Billy!

2. I’ll never forget the Christmas my husband surprised me by getting cute collars for the cats. Derick got holly and Billy got a bow tie (see first photo!) My husband planned that both cats were going to come down the stairs together to surprise me. He even rehearsed with them. But Christmas day, Billy was so excited he ran down the stairs ahead of Derick. I wish you could have seen the look on my face when I saw my Billy parading around with his bow tie, looking all proud and cute.

These are just two stories that capture Billy’s personality. He was just a big, old, innocent cat. He never caused me any problems. My cats never destroyed speakers, curtains or anything in the home. They never chewed on wires. The worst they ever did was fight with each other and even that was comical.

Everyone who met Billy fell in love with him. We always heard how beautiful he was, what a pretty cat he was and how good he was. I had Billy for 19 years, and my husband had him for the seven that we’ve all been together — the package deal. There was never a dull moment, but one thing Billy knew how to do was give a lot of love. He was just this big ‘ol stuffed animal.

I would love to share many more pictures, but since Billy was an indoor cat, most photos were taken in our home and we like our privacy.

Earlier this summer we noticed Billy had some problems with his hind legs and lost some weight. We just chalked it up to old age. Until he stopped climbing the stairs to use the litter box. We immediately took him to the vet and turned out he had thyroid issues. We were treating him by going to a regular vet and then a holistic vet, giving him acupuncture (which I blogged about earlier this summer).

Regular treatments kept him going for awhile. Then he took a turn for the worse. Most recent x-rays showed he had bone cancer. He was down to just four pounds and had a body temperature of 93 which meant he was deteriorating. Our mutual decision was to put him out of his suffering. And the last two days, that cat did suffer. You never heard a peep out of him, but he was meowing out of desperation.

Today we, along with my brother-in-law Joe, said our last good-byes to Billy.

Beautiful angel, I’ll never forget you. And I’m positive, neither will a lot of other people.

BillyBilly, our beautiful angel

It Was a Dancing With the Cats Kinda Night

Published July 6, 2013 by Maryanne

cats_dancing_vintage_poster-r4ed85993faa44c90b0876dfa37e23507_xg7cb_8byvr_324I’m up at the crack of dawn and I can’t sleep.

I had so much excess energy last night, it was one of those nights I call “Maryanne Nights” that I haven’t had in a long time. A night where I go to the bedroom and play the most happiest, exciting fun songs, sing at the top of my lungs, dance and jump on the bed for a few hours!

Why?

Because, it doesn’t happen too often, but it happens to all of us. And yesterday it happened to me. A rare moment in life where everything is absolutely perfect.

Because I found a new eye doctor I adore, who has the greatest personality, and I got a perfect eye report! (Just because I’m very near-sighted doesn’t mean I can’t have healthy eyes — and my eyes are very healthy!)

Because all my relationships are excellent! I have the best husband, the best family, the best in-laws, and the best friends!

Because out of the blue two people I highly admire and respect their work contacted me about creative projects!

Because my career (writing and managing musicians) is at a perfect pace and I’m not stressed out.

And most of all, because my Billy Cat — who couldn’t walk a week ago — is walking again thanks to pet acupuncture and laser treatment!

Mind you, he’s not walking perfectly — yet — but he’s trying like all hell. His little paws that were ice cold for days on end are now circulating and they are warm like a kitty’s paws should be.

=^..^= =^..^= =^..^= =^..^= =^..^= =^..^= =^..^= =^..^= =^..^=

So, after spinning a few good songs, my husband came up and joined the party with me, along with our kitty Derick. And Billy too. Billy who hasn’t been upstairs in weeks because his little back legs are too weak to climb the stairs.

And the party continued, with lots of smiles, and laughter and happy fun songs! (And cute cats!)

Fifth Dimension “Time and Love”

Lou Christie “I’m Gonna Make You Mine”

Petula Clark “My Love”

But did I REALLY dance with the cats? Well, Billy, who was always my favorite cat to dance with (because he’s such a mush you can do anything with him) is not quite ready to cat dance yet. He’s getting there though. And I look forward to dancing with Billy on his 20th birthday next year!

And Derick, he don’t dance. He just sings!

SAM_1361Cat acupuncture works!

SAM_1220Billy!

DerickDerick don’t dance, he just sings!

The Cure “Love Cats”

EVERYBODY WANTS TO BE A CAT

dancing with cats 2

dancing with cats

Billy Cat Update

Published June 24, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_1220Billy Cat, 19, had his first acupuncture treatment on Thursday.

The pet acupuncturist said he has a lot of life in him and thinks he can get better within three treatments.

Friday he was doing better, but Saturday he took a turn for the worse. He’ll have another treatment this week in addition to yet another trip to the regular vet.

We are doing everything we can to get this cat walking again. His poor thyroid is depleting the vitamins and not allowing him to keep weight on (he’s eating A LOT of healthy stuff!) so it’s affecting his back legs and now it seems his front legs too. As for now, he can’t walk at all and goes to the bathroom on himself. Dennis gives him a sponge bath twice a day and we massage him too. He is bright-eyed, alert and purring like crazy. So it breaks my heart when people tell me to put the cat down, which is mean and ridiculous as he is NOT in pain! No cries, no yelps, just purrs whenever we are near him. Hasn’t stopped purring at all. He’s alert and his eyes follow us everywhere.

Every night, we lay with our baby on the living room floor since he can’t climb the stairs to sleep with us anymore. I fall asleep as Billy holds me with his paw.

This is breaking my heart. This is a good cat that I’ve had since he was a kitten. He wouldn’t have lived so long if I wasn’t a good cat Mommy.

I’ve been crying for two days straight now. We had a wonderful weekend at the concerts, but by Sunday I was simply exhausted holding in my feelings about my kitty. I could barely move to do anything and we got to the church picnic very late and by then everyone was packing up, so we basically missed it.

My stomach was burning this morning, I couldn’t eat breakfast.

I don’t know what the fate is for this cat. The pet acupuncturist has high hopes. I hope she is correct. There is nothing wrong with this cat except he can’t walk. I’ve seen pets that got by beautifully that had no legs. (Not saying he’s going to be amputated, just saying that his health is not bad and I’m so mad at anyone who suggests putting him down!).

I’m sad and mad and miserable. It was fine being distracted with my work today. Now it is night. Another night to cry and hold my beautiful cat.

 

Happy Father’s Day … From the Cats

Published June 15, 2013 by Maryanne

DerickDERICK

SAM_1220BILLY

Daddy’s here, Daddy’s here,
We’re all happy when Daddy’s here
Here comes Derick with his little ears,
He heard Daddy and ran down the stairs

Daddy’s here, Daddy’s here,
We’re all happy when Daddy’s here
Billy woke from his sleepy bliss
Daddy gave Mommy a great big kiss.

Daddy’s here, Daddy’s here,
We’re all happy when Daddy’s here
Let’s give Daddy a great big cheer,
Even Daddy’s happy when Daddy’s here!

My Dinner with Jimi, My Bedtime with Derick (for cat lovers only!)

Published January 13, 2013 by Maryanne

Scene from film "My Dinner with Jimi" undated publicity photographStill from “My Dinner with Jimi”

Only those who love cats will get this story, so be forewarned!

My older cat, Billy, is a cat. No ifs ands or buts about it, Billy is a cat.

He does cat things like eating  finicky, sleeping all day and hiding from company.

My other cat, Derick, on the other hand, is a little man trapped in a cat’s body. He’s very vocal and will try to communicate with you via a series of mews, with a sound effect for every action. He’ll also try to manipulate you until he gets his way.

Derick will also watch entire television shows and movies with us. Derick’s all time favorite movie is “My Dinner with Jimi,” an autobiography about the career of The Turtles in their early years from 1966 to 1967 including their encounters with Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles and Jim Morrison.

The very first time my husband and I watched “My Dinner with Jimi,” as soon as the first Turtles song came on, Derick jumped on the bed and watched the entire movie with us. The movie was so good and we all enjoyed it, we put in on again the next night. Again, Derick jumped on the bed, settled in and watched the whole movie.

The following night we put a different movie on. Derick was antsy, walking all over the bed and meowing. He wouldn’t sit still.

“Maybe he wants the Turtles movie?”

We took off what we were watching and put “My Dinner with Jimi on.” Derick settled down immediately and watched the movie.

That was the running joke in our home for a long time. If we couldn’t find Derick, we’d put “My Dinner with Jimi” on and he was soon on the bed. If it was bedtime and Derick wouldn’t calm down, we’d put “My Dinner with Jimi” on.

“My Dinner with Jimi” was the cat’s baby sitter until we finally got tired of watching the movie (we love The Turtles just as much as Derick does, but we were getting a little bit burnt on the repetition).

So my husband would say, “No, Derick, no Turtles tonight. We’re not watching the Turtles movie again.”

“Erewp,” Derick would chirp. He was so disappointed, you could just tell.

Last night, after a few years of not watching “My Dinner with Jimi” my husband put it on again.

We started to watch the movie and I said, jokingly, “We have Derick’s favorite movie on. Where is he?”

And right on cue, Derick jumped on the bed and said, “Er-mew!”

Then he sat with us and watched the movie.

Derick“I heard my Turtles. I go to sleep now, Mommy!”

It’s the Perfect Time to Adopt a Pet in New Jersey/New York

Published November 19, 2012 by Maryanne

Photo from Google Search (no credit available)

Last night I was in Pet Smart with my husband because we needed kitty litter liners.

A girl was in the shop with a beautiful chihuahua that was a rescue from the Sandy Hurricane. She said she was temporarily fostering the dog until it had a permanent home. Believe me, if I didn’t have two elderly cats, I would have taken that dog in a heartbeat. The dog was beautiful, lovable, well trained and well-behaved. The story was the dog was found without a collar or a microchip so it was impossible to find the owner.

My heart goes out to all the poor animals that lost their homes and families due to the storm. My two kitties don’t know how lucky they are to be safe with us.

There is no better time than now to adopt a pet or foster one if you can.

You can always call your local pet shelter or pet store. Currently the North Shore Animal League has over 300 animals that were displaced when their owners had to evacuate their homes during Hurricane Sandy.

Believe me, I’ve had all kinds of animals my whole life — dogs, cats, turtles, ferret, snake, turtles, hamsters, guinea pigs — and they bring you nothing but joy and happiness.  By adopting a pet, you may be saving a little soul’s life, but the pet will give back to you tenfold — unconditional love throughout his/her lifespan!

Just Like the White Winged Dove

Published November 14, 2012 by Maryanne

CAUTION: THIS WILL NOT INTEREST YOU UNLESS YOU ARE A CAT LOVER!

Like many cats, my Derick is a talker, and what a vocabulary this little guy has!

He has a different “mew” for all his kitty needs, including some unique ones when he really wants to get our attention. My all-time favorite is: “Muh-RAOW!”

Years ago, when I was still dating my husband and first moved in with him (and brought the cats too, of course) I was fascinated by the coo of the morning doves outside our home. And so was Derick.

Within a few weeks Derick started mimicking the coo.  And then he started making up his own tunes. “Ooo, ooo.”

One day I heard Stevie Nicks singing “Edge of Seventeen” on the radio and realized the “ooo, baby, ooo” sounded just like my Derick mimicking the morning dove. So that became one of Derick’s songs.

Edge of Seventeen

Shortly after making this discovery, I made another one. While playing with Derick, I noticed that if I squeezed his lower backside, he would make the dove sound. “Ooo.”

Damn! I was so proud, my genius cat  could “ooo”‘ not only on cue, but in key!

So then I got this brilliant idea, that perhaps I could do a duet with my cat. If I could get Derick to “ooo” on cue maybe we can go on a show like Pet Star and “sing” together and maybe score a few thousand bucks! I could finally get my cats that kitty condo, thanks to Derick’s fine talent  and my kitties would be officially earning their keep!

I started to practice singing with him. And our practice sessions went something like this …

Me: “Just like the white winged dove. Sings a song, sounds like it’s Derick.”

[Press Derick’s backside]

Derick: “ooo”

Me: “Baby”

[Press Derick’s backside]

Derick: “ooo”

Me: “Said”

[Press Derick’s backside]

SILENCE!!!

WHAT?

TRY AGAIN.

SILENCE AGAIN!

No matter how many times we practiced, Derick would never do the third “ooo!”

Did Derick not want to go on Pet Star and be famous?

Did Derick not want to earn the kitty condo so he and his adopted brother Billy could play?

Did Derick not want to up his game and earn his keep?

As we all know, the moral of this story is, the alpha cat rules the household. And we are merely put on this planet to serve as our cat’s bitch.