All posts tagged pets

The Most Beautiful Cat in the World

Published March 4, 2019 by Maryanne

DSCF2770Our Bennie cat, a feral we took in last summer. We had to put him down two weeks ago. He had a brain tumor. 

Our pets love us through life and communicate to us through death. About a week after we put Bennie down, I started reading “Strays” by Britt Collins. It’s a book about how a homeless man named Michael found a lost cat, named her Tabor and took care of her.
Just yesterday I was singing the old Charlie Rich song, “The Most Beautiful Girl” and changed the words to “The Most Beautiful Cat” (about Bennie.)
So, last night I was reading “Strays” and, without giving a spoiler, I’ll just say, Michael heard “The Most Beautiful Girl” (and of course was relating it to his cat, Tabor.
Coincidence? No, they love us through life and death. It was Bennie’s way of contacting me. He’ll never leave my heart. ❤
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “Love Cats” available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback editions:
Contact Maryanne to have “Love Cats” in your book club! ( 

Rest in Peace, Dear Bennie Cat

Published February 15, 2019 by Maryanne

BennieBennie Grover Hemmingway

Earlier today we had to put down our sweet Bennie cat.

He was a feral who started showing up at our doorstep last August. My husband and I fed him. He was enticed by the food, but more so, the pets we’d give him. It seemed he was more starved for love than for food! He’d take a few bites, but then put his head up to be pet. Of course we fell in love.

One day he wasn’t around. I called, “Bennie!” He knew his name and ran through the grass like a gazelle! He had such a personality.

Before we took him in, we got him checked out by a vet and learned he had FIV, a feline auto-immune disorder. We wanted him anyway. We knew with FIV, he’d come with health problems, but we didn’t realize it would be so soon. He was only 3-years-old.

When he was officially inside, he loved it! He did this cute thing we called “Happy Paws.” He’d purr very loud and wiggle his paws. Sometimes he’d lie on his back with his happy paws up in the air. And he was so cute when he cocked his head to the side, like a puppy would do!

Bennie was a lazy cat. He loved to lay around and be pet constantly. He really liked butt rubs. And he loved music. I’m not a singer, but I’d sing to him and he’d stand up and look right at me, as if he was giving me a standing ovation! Even if I had a punk rock band, like The Dickies on the CD player, he’d sit right in front of the speaker and listen.

We only had him five months. He had brain cancer. And he was a little fighter too. He was determined to make a go of it, but unfortunately worse came to worse and the sad day had come. I collapsed in my husband’s arms. We were both devastated.

Our vet said Bennie knew he was sick and he came to us to give him a good home  before he passed. I know we did! And I’ll miss those purrs and that beautiful face.

Godspeed Bennie.

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” –Anatole France

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The Love of an Animal

Published October 28, 2017 by Maryanne

True LoveNicholas Gray and Maryanne

“Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” — Anatole France. 


Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “Love Cats” available on Amazon in paperback and kindle editions:

Meet Nicholas Gray!

Published June 15, 2016 by Maryanne

DSC_0137Nicholas Gray

Yesterday my husband and I got word that our new rescue cat has a perfect bill of health.

He’s about 3-years-old and a friendly little bugger. He loves to cuddle, but really loves to play. He’s also a big guy; at 11 pounds, he’s heavy!

It’s been so long that we had a cat so close to kitten-hood. My last two lived to 19. The oldest, Billy Cat, passed in 2013 and Derick, just a little over a month ago.

Derick wasn’t even gone a week and friends started asking if we wanted a cat. We weren’t ready. We mourned a long time and even after getting Nicholas, things about him reminded us about our others that made us sad.

That’s the thing, you never forget your old cats. But a new one can bring so much joy. Since my other two lived so long, I forgot what it was like to have a cat that loved toys and jumped around a lot and scattered through the house. It’s just so much fun!

Like the other two, Nicholas has some “dog-like” qualities. He loves people. He runs to the door when we come home. And he’s very affectionate, purring up a storm when we hold him.

Just like love for a human being, it’s always when you least expect it that you’ll fall in love with a new pet. When the right one comes along to adopt, you just KNOW it.

We love our new baby and are very happy with him.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “Love Cats” available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions:

Being Strong for My Cat

Published April 27, 2016 by Maryanne

SAM_9982With my kitty Derick, age 19

Visiting time with Derick at the vet. On the outside, being strong for my baby, on the inside heart is breaking.


It’s his kidneys and he’ll be staying at the vet for the second night tonight. Doesn’t look too good; but I always believe in miracles and he’s in very good hands.

Coming home to a house without a pet is the saddest thing. My other cat, Billy, lived to 19 too and died in 2013.  After tonight Derick will be spending one more night at the vet. If there is no improvement, we’ll be taking him home to live out his final days. He’s not in pain, the vet says, his body is just weakening with age.

We just want him to be as comfortable as possible during his last days, like we did with Billy. With the guidance of the vet we are making the best decisions.

Happy National Cat Day!

Published October 29, 2015 by Maryanne

Derick and SparkyDerick and Sparky

Happy National Cat Day!

For the record, I love all animals, which is why I started my non-profit organization, ROAR (Respect Our Animals’ Rights) — you can “like” us on Facebook:

But let’s be honest, cats have that extra something special. Most people think that cats are independent, but get to know a cat — I mean REALLY know a cat — and you’ll learn it’s just the opposite.

I’ve owned two cats in my life, Billy and Derick. Billy Cat died in 2013 at the age of 19. He was the biggest snuggle bunny you’d ever want to meet. Derick is now 19 and he can’t get enough attention, especially when company comes. He’s a very diplomatic cat who will go from one lap to the next and then cry when company leaves.

They are smart as whips and grow with you as the years go on. Which is why I just had to include a cat theme for my second book “Love Cats” (available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback versions:

I wrote “Love Cats” after Billy Cat died. I was going through such a hard time, writing a book with a cat theme helped tremendously.

“Love Cats” is a book about a rich, selfish, 20-something girl named Janey Peyton. It’s not cars and money this rich bitch wants, it’s love. And she goes about it all the wrong way, via sex, using people (and being used). She also hates cats. (Can you imagine?!)

But it’s two cats, Morticia and Pumpkin, who bring sweetness to Janey’s crass story. ❤ (And my Derick got to model with me for my author photo!)

Love Cats front and back cover

For Mom, The Best Life Lessons You Taught Me!

Published May 9, 2015 by Maryanne

vintage-mothers-day-01Happy Mother’s Day!

Dear Mom,

It means the world to me that you follow my blog! So I’d like to take this opportunity to share with you, and my fellow bloggers and readers, the top three things you taught me in life. These lessons are incredibly wise and made me who I am today. And to think, you were a very young mother when you led by example, which is incredibly impressive. I highly doubt I could have done what you did!

You’ve told me before that you’re not a “huggy/kissy” mom, but this Mother’s Day weekend is to honor you — and you’ll just have to accept this “huggy/kissy” tribute to YOU!

Lesson #1

You told me this when I was a little girl. “If someone has something you want, don’t be jealous of them, be happy for them.” That is the greatest thing any mom can embed in the brain of a child. Because it worked! In a stressful world, I can say it’s a big relief that “jealousy” isn’t one of my problems. I’m always happy for people who have nice things, whether they achieved them through hard work or were simply blessed. Being happy for others is good karma that always comes back to me. Life can be hard sometimes, but I feel very fortunate with all I have. Plus, it’s just not cool to begrudge.

Thank you for setting a very important ground rule for me early on; it gets me through the tough times.

Lesson #2

“Wait until your 30s or 40s to get married and you’ll have a marriage that lasts forever.” You told me this when I was a teenager crying over some stupid guy. Ever since then I never wasted much time on someone who wasn’t worth it. Though it seemed to others (even Grandma) that I was being “too picky” I’m glad I waited so long for the right one to come along. Dennis is more than a dream, he’s my heart and soulmate. And he loves having you as a mother-in-law!

Lesson #3

ANIMALS! Thanks for being the kind of mom that always had animals in the house! From what I can remember, the kind, loving German Shepherd, Misty, was the first dog I knew. She was a very patient dog with me. I’ll never forget her big brown marble eyes. I was so fascinated with those eyes I liked to poke at them. Then you taught me, “Don’t do that to Misty, you’ll blind her.” This is when I learned animals are not toys and you should be gentle with them.

We also had Peanuts, a pretty cat who once had three kittens. At a young age I was able to see the miracle of a mother cat tending to her young. I still remember the one white kitten that I favored and how sad I was when the last person came and took her away. A very good lesson for a child — that you can’t always get what you want. But hey, I know both of us would keep all the animals in the world if we could, right?!

Being brought up with animals taught me that animals are a lot more than just “pets.” They are FAMILY. I’ve experienced this first hand with my Billy Cat and Derick. It blows peoples’ minds when I tell them that Billy lived to 19. And now, at 19 Derick is still going strong, bless his little heart and soul!

Other than Dennis, you are definitely my “go to” person when I want to talk about a cute animal show or movie. Or share something funny that Derick did, that many others just won’t “get.”

Animal lovers have that special bond that no one else does!

I LOVE you Mom, Happy Mother’s Day!

Much love,


P.S. (Don’t roll your eyes over all this MUSH, I’m still your little pain-in-the-ass! SMOOCH!) xox

DonkeyMe and Mommy