All posts tagged pets

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:

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:

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!


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:

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

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.

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” (

I also touch on bullying in my book, “Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” (

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at:

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

Single Women Less Likely to Date Men with Cats? WHAT?!?!?!?!?!

Published June 27, 2020 by Maryanne

kurt-cobain-with-catKurt Cobain loving his cat

Not once, but TWICE on television news this week, I heard about the study. And it’s a study that, for the life of me, I don’t get. But, yeah, I heard right, “Single women are less likely to date men with cats.” Don’t believe it? I wouldn’t have either, but I heard it with my own ears, and read it with my own eyes on many news sites. Here is just one: Women Are Less Likely to Date Men with Cats

In this study, men who had dating profiles with cats in the photo were viewed as less masculine and more neurotic.

I disagree. Men who love cats, or animals in general, are strong, good providers, fun to be around, intelligent, and sensitive. And I’m not only speaking about my husband, but the husbands/long term partners of my dearest friends. (And a few single men I’m friends with who love cats!)

When I was single, my cats were a great measure in choosing who was good for me. The great guys were the ones who bonded with my cats. Even if someone was not quite a match for me, I’ll still remember him as a good catch (for someone else) because of how he interacted with my cats. The losers…urgh, I’d like to forget them but who can forget when your cat pisses on the jacket of an asshole. Pretty funny! A very good cat who never misbehaved did that. He was letting me know in a subtle way, “beware” and he was right.

It wasn’t too long ago we were reading cool articles like this, Cats & Women: Why the Connection

So why, now, the disconnect? What made women turn on cats, or more specifically, men with cats? I can understand if a woman had a bad experience with a cat. In fact, I imagined such a thing in my fictitious erotic novel, Love Cats — where a young woman hates cats because of a bad experience, which we don’t find out until later. She ends up dating a few cat guys and eventually gives cats a chance.

Any random girl can dislike cats for whatever reason. But an entire study of females being “anti-cat” is something I just can not understand.

Back in my day, girls met potential dates in bars/clubs. I caught the tail end of online dating, so I don’t have much experience there. Like other women, I did have my laundry list. But it never occurred to me to put an animal on the deal breaker list. My deal breakers included: no smoking, no one obsessed with sports, no mama’s boys, no one who is verbally/physically abusive.

But “no cats”? Why would that be in a dating profile?

Perhaps a woman would be jealous of a man’s relationship with a cat? (I actually addressed that issue in Love Cats!) It’s not that far-fetched. Women can be catty (pun intended!). This can actually be a red flag for a guy! If a woman is jealous of your pet, would she also be jealous of your future son or daughter? Hmmm…..

But, let’s get back to why guys who love cats are AWESOME. You see, the bottom line is, cats are not instant-lovers like dogs. You need to nourish them and spend time with them in order to get them to come out of their shell. And if a man can take an independent cat and turn him/her into a playful, needy, snuggly bunny who runs to the door like a dog when he comes home, that man is a keeper! I should know, I married a man bonds with cats like that! And though we don’t have kids, I can only imagine what a good father my husband would be. In many families, pets are the stepping stones to children! (But let’s not count the idiots who give up their pets when they have kids!) Good pet parents equal good parents, period! It simply makes sense.

Perhaps single ladies need to re-think their views on men with cats. They may be missing out on a great one — and staying single a lot longer than they want to.

Maryanne Christiano Mistretta is the loving cat mom to Nicholas Gray and Sammy “Whammy” Keane Clemens. Her book Love Cats is written under the pen name Krystianna Mercury and available from Flamingo Media

Rover’s Relief CBD Salve for Pets

Published October 18, 2019 by Maryanne

Rover's Relief

Earlier this week I helped out at a pet expo for two reasons: 1. To network with those who were possibly interested in my professional blogging services or having me ghost write their books (after all, anyone who is self-employed should have a book no matter what line of work they are in); 2. I LOVE ANIMALS! And nothing beats a good score of new products for my kitties. They truly deserve the best.

When you’re a person like myself, either on the go (driving long distances) or at home plugging away on the computer (writing assignments or my next book!), no matter how much you love your life and what you do, you are bound to get a little stressed and achy.

A few weeks ago I noticed a pinch in my shoulder area. I was right on it with acupuncture and chiropractic treatments. Not quite yet healed, I was starting to feel a little achy in the shoulder area again.

Around this time I met RaChelle Lobre, of Rover’s Pet ( I’m always ready to share the story of how CBD oil made my cat Bennie more comfortable during his final days here on earth. Then I got to talking about my achy shoulder. RaChelle suggested taking a big glob of Rover’s Relief CBD salve and putting it on my shoulder.

I did as she suggested and within minutes, my shoulder pain stopped. This salve helped me more than any of the acupuncture or chiropractic treatments did! I was now able to dress and undress without being in pain.

That night I slept like a baby. I woke up the next day feeling like a brand new person, ready to face the world! Hell, if it’s good enough for Rover, it’s good enough for me!

This premium hemp salve contains 500mg CBD oil, and no THC. It’s easy to use and smells pleasant. I recommend using before bedtime because it truly relaxes you.

If Rover’s Pet worked that good for me, imagine what it could do for a dog?

Our babies count on us to give them nothing but the best. If your pet can use a little relief, this is a product I trust and recommend.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at:

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. 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:

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

And check out her anti-bullying You Tube channel, Be YOUnique


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

SAM_3260 (1)SAM_13251

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.