Thought Wheel

From the mind of Ann Chiappetta

Kitten Training 101

| Filed under Relationships

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Noodle the kitten is developing into a well socialized domesticated feline. April, our daughter, took the time finding just the right kitten. He is mellow, confident, and is advancing in his training. The photos show Noodle in a harness and leash and sitting in a grocery cart. Before anyone cries out that this is not a service animal, allow me to say it was a quick and necessary exposure for him and he passed with flying colors, taking it all in and staying in place.

Noodle rides in the car in his harness, walks willingly into a cat carrier, (most of the time, lol) and has no fear of our dogs. Why is Noodle being trained like this? Our goal is to provide him with experiences so if one day he accompanies April on a plane or train, or when she moves or Noodle has to stay with us for some reason, Noodle will be calm and unstressed. He even is being trained to play fetch and is walking on his leash. Let’s say he is the kind of cat who might believe he belongs with dogs.

May dog is his cuddle buddy and Bailey has learned to tolerate Noodle and not play bow and bark at him. As for Papa, he is still giving the kitten the feline stink eye but lets the kitten eat from his bowl and get close without becoming evil kitty. The difference between Noodle and Papa is that Papa was traumatized as a kitten and Noodle wasn’t. This allows him to be more open to new and unusual experiences.
What’s the saying? Cats rule and dogs drool?
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Stories From the Heart

| Filed under Fiction Relationships writing

Stories From The Heart – Tonight, July 8, 2020

Join us for an on-the-air book launch with authors Alvin Billings, Ann Chiappetta and Robert McNally.

http://betweenthecoverstv.com or http://facebook.com/betweenthecoverstv

Alvin Billings, launching his new release “Bronx Brat” – This is the story of Bernie, a Brat born and raised in the Bronx His story unfolds in the Bronx of the 1940s and 50s—a colorful mosaic of Italian, Irish and Jewish families. Local parks (especially the Bronx Zoo and Botanical Garden) were peaceful oases from crowded Bronx apartment houses. Bernie was highly intelligent and sought adult-level knowledge in local libraries. Bernie’s escapades were in the tradition of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. He showed both bravery and bravado by saving his Dad’s life at age ten. That same year, he joined a secret American branch of the Haganah to send guns, disguised as toys, to Israel. They were packed with greeting cards to Israeli children. Finally, a shocking family tragedy confronted Bernie as he reached adulthood and entered the working world, never to live as a Bronx Brat again.

Ann Chiappetta, author of “A String of Stories: From the Heart to the Future” – A demon deer and a ghost cat. Sibling rivalry and sexual awakening. Self-image and self-confidence. The chance for an offworlder to breathe free at last on a new planet. Those are just some of the diverse themes of these remarkable stories. Some endings are happy, some are sad, and some are intriguingly open-ended. But once you step inside the author’s world, you cannot emerge unmoved. This collection includes general fiction, science fiction, suspense, and paranormal pieces.

Home Page

Robert McNally, author of “I Had Jelly on My Nose and A Hole in My Breeches: The Memory of A Boy on his Dangerous Journey” – This is the memoir of a modern-day Huckleberry Finn who delighted in youthful romances and wild adventures. The author has many interesting stories about the 1930’s and 40’s. For instance, one evening in 1945 he and his friends built a fire in a parking lot. The next day they returned to the area only to discover something terrible and startling in the burned-out fire. The adventures are exciting, humorous, and well worth reading. You’ll have the feeling you are right there with him. Let the author take you on his dangerous journey.
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Bubble Wrap from May the Dog Diaries

| Filed under Relationships Writing Life

close up of May dog

May dog face close-up

My office opens into the living room. I hear much of what happens from my position, including when things are not what they seem. Today, unbeknownst to me, may decided to investigate the empty box on the couch. I was oblivious, typing away at some project or another. I heard bubble wrap popping sounds, then May hauling ass into the metal crate. Hmm, I thought, I wonder what mischief she’s gotten into now? I got up and grabbed the I.D. cane and used it to sweep around and found the errant bubble wrap. When I picked it up it was wet with dog slobber and had holes in it. I started laughing, picturing May trying to chew it and getting quite a surprise, hence the popping sounds and her jumping into the crate like she got a bit of a shock. Silly dog!

Catnip Anyone?

| Filed under Guide dogs Poem Relationships

Our daughter, April, moved out six months ago. We are now empty nesters, at least most of the time. Wouldn’t you know it, April and her partner, Danny, decided to practice parenting by adopting a kitten. His name is Noodle because he loves to eat ramen noodles.

He’s now about eight weeks old and is black with a little white patch on his chest. He’s at that funny stage where he runs sideways and gets scared after he gets up on something, cries until he’s rescued. Adorable.

Right now, as I write this, he is stalking us around the Livingroom, shooting out from under the furniture and popping at our ankles or doggy noses, no claws, thank goodness. Papa is not sold on the little black demon, mewing his distress. He is getting used to Noodle, though, coming up and sniffing him. May wants to mother the kitten, sometimes a little too much and Bailey is just a huge doofus who doesn’t know his own strength of curiosity. We caught him trying to nibble a tiny paw, so he is on the watch list.

Noodle loves boxes and the laser pointer is the only way to get him out from under the bed when we want to catch him. We are careful with it, as the dogs also love the laser pointer.

I think with time Papa and Noodle will get along. We are not forcing interactions and taking it slowly. He’s a lucky little kitty and he is already well socialized, likes to ride in cars, goes willingly into a carrier, and has come to trust our dogs.
Play
By Ann Chiappetta

Ebony kitten stalks its prey
Amid discovery of
each day. Fearless hunter dives
tags the target, then
hides to find another.

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Noodle in a box looking up at the camera.

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 2

Home is Where the Bark is

| Filed under Guide dogs Relationships

Sometimes one of the dogs does something that is funny and openly undignified., at least that is how we humans view it. We love them for living in the moment and finding opportunity to fulfill their doggy drive for affection, comfort, and sustenance. Below is a photo of yellow lab Bailey foregoing his training, and his timing is perfect.
PD: Bailey sitting on the bed behind Annie, who is also sitting on the bed eating a yogurt. Bailey’s head is on her shoulder, staring fixedly at the yogurt.
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Adventures of May Dog

| Filed under Relationships

“I’m missing a lollipop,” says Jerry.
“Look in May’s crate for it,”
A minute later, Jerry returns with the as yet uneaten candy, still in the wrapper.
“She hid it under the towel in her crate,”
Saving it for later, I guess.

close up of May dog

May dog face close-up

Tears for a Warrior

| Filed under Poem Relationships writing

Tears for a Warrior
By Ann Chiappetta

I am thinking of my friend today
Caught in the viral war,
Being forced to use the last vestiges of strength
To find safe haven in this epidemic.
Where no safety is found.

This person, this friend, this man
With AIDS, who has defied all expectations during
Another epidemic
has survived
And I wonder, with sorrowful thoughts
If he will defy Corona like He did HIV.

This man, this person, this patient
Is surviving with minimal care,
Enforced clinical Neglect cut off
from us, suffering
Wracked with fever, lumbar pain, and mobility loss
Brought upon by quarantine.

Twenty-five years ago, he faced death and came back
I will find him in the places between dreams,
Make conversation on the astral plain
This is all I can do, dream and hope
my friend Will hear me.

March 30, 2020

Dogs Help with Social Distancing

| Filed under blindness Guide dogs Relationships writing

The past two weeks has provoked many powerful and uncomfortable feelings for our Nation, our community, and our families. We are being globally challenged by what some say has been a biblical portent, aka, the “plague”.

Being a skeptical person, I am not yet ready to agree, however, I know the world has changed already, evident by, well, by how we are acting, reacting, responding, and feeling.

I was just sharing playtime with my three dogs, enjoying the calm petting session with my elderly black lab. I watched my other two dogs play, and as they tugged and wrestled, was struck by an intense feeling of relaxation and peace. I thought, that if I must distance myself from other humans to protect myself the hidden gem in this is having more time to spend with my dogs and husband.

On that note, today I received a call from a staff person named Kate from Newsreel Newsreel magazine magazine. She said she was “just checking in with my New Rochelle people,”. Now, that was very kind and equally unexpected. Thanks, Kate!

This time of crisis should bring us together in gratitude and kindness, not isolate us. A phone call or email could bring a bit of relief to a neighbor or relative.

For example, the Next-door app has had folks volunteering to help with shopping for individuals who are quarantined here in New Rochelle. Folks are helping out with dog walking and other tasks.
In the wise words of a writing friend, Carol Farnsworth, Carol Farnsworth wrote on her blog, https://blindontheliteside.com/ ,
We as a nation, are only as strong as our marginal members. We will be judged not by what we have but how we care.

Thanks, Carol. Agreed.