Hello, Kitty!

By Mary Anna Violi | @MaryAnnaVioli

I have always liked black cats. They are like a big ball of dark yarn. tangledpasta.net
I have always liked black cats. They are like a big ball of dark yarn.

Several weeks ago, my daughter forwarded me an e-flyer from our local Humane Society. The erstwhile animal shelter was holding a one-day cat adoption from 12:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. Since over 120+ cats were overflowing the facility, with another 300+ awaiting space in the new building, the 120+ strong could be adopted with the usual fees waivered, and taken home the same day if the application passed muster. If a person did not bring a cat carrier to the Humane Society, a cat transport could be purchased on site. If one adopts a cat or dog from the Humane Society, one must sign off that the animal will be taken to a veterinarian within seven days of the adoption. This equates to paying the veterinarian, and paying for any subsequent whatever the “vet” may find, for example, gingivitis, fleas, a heart condition, or nothing.

I admit that I miss my thirteen-year-old Maine Coon cat, Fellini. He was euthanized at a reputable animal clinic in May 2015 due to an aneurysm that had left his hind feet and lower extremities paralyzed. He was my feline writing muse and I loved him dearly. At age three, I selected my first kitten from my Uncle Ed’s. His cat had given birth to a litter of three kittens. My parents thought it would be fine for me to have a pet. My mother was cat fancier, and she had converted my father into a fondness for felines. I have had one to two cats ever since. For people who have never known the joys of a pet, and who constantly say, “I don’t like animals,” I say, those individuals are missing out on some of Nature’s greatest happiness. Studies have now shown that a pet cat or dog comforts college students suffering from anxiety and stress, soothes assisted living and nursing home residents, and provide companionship for the elderly and the not so elderly. At the end of my workday, no matter how good or dismal it has been, my pet cat has been there to greet me, exuding cat happiness by purring.

This fellow is worn out after a vigorous game of plush stick toy! - tangledpasta.net
This fellow is worn out after a vigorous game of plush stick toy! – tangledpasta.net

Not expecting to find another Fellini, for he was unique unto himself, off I trekked that sunny Saturday afternoon with a friend to look over the feline landscape at the Humane Society. I didn’t even take a cat carrier with me because I felt ambivalent about encountering a cat. After all, Coco Chanel is now our solo house cat in residence. I had decided to go to the cat event because the suspicion that a large number of “leftover” cats might be euthanized to make way for those on the cat waitlist. If a cat happened to connect with me, then I could fulfill my humanitarian role of saving a rescue cat. If not, I would make a nice donation to the shelter. As it happened, I donated a large, unopened bag of Iams Senior Cat Food that day since Fellini never had a chance to eat it.

Suffice to say, the newly christened Valentino chose me. He is a most happy addition to our family. I highly recommend adopting a rescue cat or dog.

Ciao for now.



Tybee Island – tangledpasta.net

Travel is in my blood.  Travel permeates the fiber of my being like a siren song demanding to be heard.  Exotic locales at home and abroad eternally beckon me like an insatiable lover, seducing me time and time again.  An inveterate traveler, it did not occur to me that my footloose and fancy-free nature could ever be curbed.  Blindsided I was, however, by the emergence of a condition that irrevocably rocked my travel world.

Throughout my halcyon youth, I studied in college and worked steadily in order to pay for my next Italian or Greek or French voyage. Yet travel steadily began to take on a different complexion:  Somewhere along the line, I developed claustrophobia, a thoroughly most sensation when flying thousands of feet in the air.  Medication has provided some relief from the panic attacks that would overtake me during take-off, the flight itself, and when landing.  Until I sought medical help, I am quite certain I struck panic too in those unfortunate enough to have been seated next to me.

Route 66
Route 66 (Photo credit: eGuide Travel)

My conundrum was that taking prescription medication in order to fly on a plane offended me even though I felt certain others do this, or assuage their fears in alcohol.  Consequently, I have turned more frequently to drive vacations.  When I mention how much I enjoyed travel by car, people fired back that “more people die in car accidents than in plane crashes.”  It perplexed me that some see this as some sort of competition.  These days, I simply want to get my kicks on Route 66.

Now, where did I put that atlas?

Ciao for now.