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Read an Excerpt
The Romantic Cat Lady
By Christine A. Grabar
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2015 Christine A. Grabar
All rights reserved.
Christa has decided the present time would be an ideal time to relocate to Coastal North Carolina with her two wonderful cats to have a fresh, new start! In fact, Christa had experienced living in Coastal South Carolina for a few years when she was younger and loved it because it felt like she was on vacation all year long! Christa knows her male cat, Mars, and female cat, Venus, will be fine with the relocation as long as they have trees with plenty of birds in them to watch from safely inside of their new home. In fact, Christa said to Mars and Venus, "We will be making this long, but good journey to our new home as a family." Christa became more excited about her upcoming move as she discussed the moving plans with both Mars and Venus. "Mars, Venus, we are going to be living in a nice, spacious townhouse which means you will have even more space to explore! Also, our new community is located near a pretty lake area with a park which means I can take you both for occasional walks outside on your harnesses if you sweeties would like to safely experience the great outdoors. I can also finally buy you both that cat tree I have been promising to get you for the last few months. In fact, I can shop for your new kitty tower as soon as we get settled into our great new home, said Christa!" Plus, she told them there would be more trees on the grounds of their new community which would mean more birds for Mars and Venus to watch. Also, Christa told both Mars and Venus there would be plenty of people-watching opportunities too. This had really excited the kitties! Both Mars and Venus started purring up a storm at the thought of new scenery and more bird watching in their futures! These Arizona kitties will enjoy experiencing a new life in North Carolina with their mom! Their mom is especially looking forward to a fresh, new start where she believes everything will fall into place once they relocate and settle into their new home! Plus, she is looking forward to taking occasional day trips back down to the Charleston, South Carolina area where she had once resided many years ago.
Christa has enjoyed working as an Administrative Assistant for a local city office; however, she was looking forward to making some changes in her life. The managers and employees in Christa's office have been like a close-knit family to her for the last few years which has made going into work very pleasant for Christa. She will miss working with them and hopes the next group of people at the city office she will be working for back east will be this great to work with. At the same time, Christa felt excited about her choice to relocate while she was removing her few personal items from her desk on that last day of work. At lunchtime, Christa's coworkers and managers surprised her with lunch and cake in the conference room. Of course, Christa was delighted and grateful they all gave her such a nice sendoff! "Thank you all for this nice lunch and everything else you have done for me. You all have been extremely generous with me the entire time I have worked back in this department which I really appreciate, said Christa!" Christa gave her contact information to her manager and told her that she and anyone else from this department are welcome to come and visit her if they should ever come to the Wilmington, North Carolina area on vacation. Later that afternoon, Christa hugged everyone goodbye and headed home to get ready for the big moving day. "Mars, Venus, we need to turn in early tonight since we have a big day ahead of us tomorrow, said Christa!"
The moving truck had arrived early on Friday morning to pack and load up everything. Christa had already packed her luggage and all of the cats' stuff in the car. Mars and Venus were already in their carriers and ready to head out. Once the movers had finished loading everything onto the truck Christa had done a quick walk through with the apartment manager. The apartment manager said everything looked good and clean; therefore, she told Christa to expect a full refund on her deposit which would be mailed to her new address within a week. Christa took both kitties to the car and headed east on the interstate. She wanted to head out early and make good time. In fact, Christa and the cats woke up very early each morning so they could get on the road early after having breakfast. Christa became more excited each morning because she knew they were making great time and would be home really soon! "Mars, Venus, we just have to drive across North Carolina today and we will be home by this afternoon! Are you both getting more excited too, asked Christa?" Naturally, Mars and Venus just looked at Christa and purred with contentment. They actually felt safe with their mom and did not mind the long journey to their new home by car.
Christa, Mars, and Venus had a good journey over to North Carolina and arrived at their new home on Sunday afternoon. "Mars, Venus, we are now home where we belong. Look at this beautiful, spacious townhome we will be living in for a while, said Christa!" The moving truck had also just arrived with all of the furniture and boxes. Once all of the furniture was unloaded and placed into the house, Christa was able to allow Mars and Venus to come out of their carriers and start exploring their new surroundings. As Christa had unpacked each box, Mars and Venus naturally had to check it out. Christa had finished unpacking by the late afternoon and had everything in place – including all of the cats' stuff. Plus, Christa decided to get all of the pictures hung up since she was on a roll with getting their new home setup. "There we go, babies, now it looks totally like home with all of our stuff in place and every single picture hung up! Now, I just need to buy your kitty tower and my recliner to match the couch. Then our living room will be all complete, said Christa!" She was looking forward to shopping for this fun stuff for a change. Plus, furniture is manufactured in North Carolina which means most furniture stores across the state usually have great sales. Christa was also looking forward to finding just the right kitty tower for her awesome cats!
Christa's next-door neighbor had noticed she and the cats just moved in; therefore, she came over to introduce herself and welcome them to the community. Shelly has lived in this community for a few years and told Christa it was a great, close-knit community! Also, Shelly is a cat person and has two precious cats of her own. In fact, Mars and Venus both came right over to Shelly to greet her and felt her good vibe! Shelly had said, "Mars and Venus, it is nice to meet you both. Maybe you can both meet my cats sometime. I really think both of you sweeties and your mom are really going to enjoy living here in our great community!" Shelly also told Christa about the nearby lake and park that was in walking distance of their community. Christa was looking forward to walking around and exploring her new neighborhood within the next few days. "I actually saw the lake and park when I made a trip here two months ago to go for a second interview in person and look at housing. In fact, I am looking forward to walking over to the pretty lake area on nice, mild days, said Christa."
The leasing office told Christa about upcoming gatherings for the residents. In fact, they are hosting a cookout by the pool on Saturday night. Christa thought this would be the perfect opportunity to meet some of the other neighbors within her new community. Shelly also went to the cookout and started introducing Christa to some of the other neighbors. She met some other single, career-oriented people, some couples, and a few families. Everyone at the gathering seemed to be nice. Once Christa started mingling with some of the neighbors, she had told them about how wonderful Mars and Venus are! Some of the other neighbors – besides Shelly – are also cat parents! Yes, Christa definitely chose the ideal townhome community for Mars, Venus, and herself to reside in! Christa felt it was very refreshing to live among other cat lovers!
Christa decided to drive around the area during the next morning to see what stores were nearby. Also, Christa discovered there were some good restaurants and a shopping mall nearby. In addition, Christa found a Super Wal-Mart and PetSmart within a 5-mile radius of her new home – two of her favorite stores! Christa knew it would be ideal to have a PetSmart store nearby because she wanted to continue taking Mars and Venus to a Banfield Veterinary Clinic (inside of PetSmart) because of their great reputation for taking excellent care of animals. Christa also discovered that Downtown Wilmington was also a short drive from her new home. Plus, Wrightsville Beach is only five miles away. Her townhome community was very convenient to many places!
Christa decided to take advantage of this free time during the week prior to starting her new position to get her North Carolina driver's license and plates. Then, she went to the nearest Allstate office to switch both her auto and renter's insurance from Arizona over to North Carolina. Plus, she called AAA to switch over to AAA Carolinas. Once Christa had taken care of those tasks, she headed to a nearby grocery store to stock up on groceries. Christa then headed back out to a nearby furniture store to look at recliners. Fortunately, Christa found a recliner that was almost an exact match of her green couch which has palm tree printed throw pillows on it. Fortunately, the store had these recliners in stock and was able to deliver it later that afternoon. After the recliner was delivered, Christa went back out to shop for a kitty tower for Mars and Venus. Christa discovered there is a Pet Super Store – like the one she went to in North Charleston, South Carolina back in the early 1990s – right up the road from her new home! This store had a larger selection of kitty towers than Petco and PetSmart at great prices! Christa found an all-carpeted kitty tower with a few different levels that she knew Mars and Venus would really like. Fortunately, this store offered to deliver the kitty tower for an additional charge since it was too big to fit into Christa's car. Christa had the delivery driver bring the kitty tower right into an open space she had reserved in the living room. Of course, Mars and Venus came running up to the kitty tower all excited! Naturally, they both started to jump and climb on the tower like excited children! "Enjoy your well-deserved kitty tower, said Christa." This way, Christa would not have to worry about rushing around after work to do these things next week. She could just start working and come home to have dinner with Mars and Venus each night. She was looking forward to meeting new people and then coming home to her nice, new townhome each night! Christa has also noticed that Mars and Venus are really enjoying exploring their new home. In fact, they are having a field day running up and down the stairs like excited children. After apartment living for the last few years with their mom, having an entire second floor to explore was very exciting for Mars and Venus. They are not used to having this much space to run around in. Plus, Mars and Venus really enjoyed getting to look out the second floor windows and watch people below. They also enjoyed getting to see birds right outside of the windows in some nearby large trees. "I knew you sweeties would really enjoy living here, said Christa!"
During the next weekend, Shelly invited Christa to join her on a shopping outing at a nearby mall. Christa was happy to have a new friend in her community to go out with on occasion. This mall had a Belk Department Store which was one of Christa's favorite stores she used to shop at in Coastal South Carolina in the past. Also, there was a Bath and Body Works which was another one of Christa's favorite stores. Naturally, Shelly and Christa both had to stop in at Bath and Body Works to take advantage of the great sales they were having that day. Then, they headed over to the food court for a lunch break. After lunch, Shelly took Christa to a specialty pet boutique in the mall which had toys, treats, and even some cute clothes for pets. Christa and Shelly each decided to buy their cats some treats. Christa also bought each Mars and Venus a new toy since they were exceptionally good during the trip to their new home! "Mars and Venus were both very good in the car; therefore, they deserve some extra treats today, said Christa." The ladies both headed home after their fun shopping trip at the mall. They stopped at Shelly's house so Christa could meet her cats who came right up to her to sniff her over. "They both really seem to like you and have a good vibe, said Shelly." Christa was pleased that Shelly's cats felt comfortable enough to come right up to her. "Hello Jupiter and Saturn. It is a pleasure to meet both of you sweeties, said Christa." Shelly's male cat is named Jupiter and her female cat is named Saturn. "That is quite a coincidence that your cats are named after planets too, said Christa!" Christa was then wondering if some of the other neighbors also had unique names for their pets. Christa felt it was true about great minds thinking alike! After visiting with Shelly and her cats, Christa headed over to her house to give Mars and Venus their well-deserved treats! Mars and Venus enjoyed their new catnip toys. Also, Christa gave them each a few of their new treats for being extremely good with the recent relocation. "You were both such troopers during the long ride over here and have adjusted to our great, new home quickly, said Christa!"
Later that night, Shelly and a few other neighbors decided to head over to a nearby Applebee's to have some appetizers during happy hour. Christa fed Mars and Venus their dinner, put a light on for them, and headed out to join her neighbors for happy hour. It has been a while since Christa had an opportunity to get out with people; therefore, she was enjoying these outings with her new neighbors. Some of the other neighbors that Christa has been getting acquainted with are also pet parents! Christa is also discovering that some of the neighbors also share her same interests, such as, going to the local beaches, taking in occasional Broadway musicals, going to museums and planetariums, dining out on occasion, shopping, and spending quality time with their pets! She is finding it very refreshing to be with people who she can really relate to. Plus, some of Christa's neighbors are also alumni members of University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Some of these same neighbors are also Phi Theta Kappa alumni members like Christa. Like Christa, some of her new friends also went back to school to pursue higher degrees after working for many years and were initiated into Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society of the Two-Year College. They all had agreed that getting initiated into an honor society was one of the best things to happen to them over the last few years. "Getting initiated into an honor society only a year after going back to school was a very rewarding experience for me, said Christa." She was really starting to feel a connection with her new friends.CHAPTER 2
Christa still has a few more days to explore the new area now that she has taken care of important business before starting her new Administrative position with a local, city office. She recently visited University of North Carolina at Wilmington and fell in love with the campus immediately! Christa immediately enrolled into the part-time, evening Business Administration program to start pursuing her Master's Degree. Once the fall semester began, Christa started to meet other students from different walks of life. Some of them were just interested in advancing within their current fields and others were looking to make a career change. Also, the professors were very courteous and professional at all times. Plus, they also took the time to meet with students after class for brief discussions sometimes.
During the first semester, Christa began to meet other non-traditional, working students like her. The school has occasional get-togethers specifically for non-traditional, evening students to allow them an opportunity to mingle with one another outside of classes. So far, Christa is having a great experience with the graduate part of her education! A few other students are also pet parents who happen to be passionate about higher education. Christa has really been enjoying getting to know some of these fellow classmates better at cookouts and games.
Excerpted from The Romantic Cat Lady by Christine A. Grabar. Copyright © 2015 Christine A. Grabar. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
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Table of Contents
ContentsChapter 1 Relocation, 1,
Chapter 2 University Experience, 19,
Chapter 3 Career Change, 29,
Chapter 4 Courtship, 39,
Chapter 5 Engagement, 51,
Chapter 6 Wedding, 57,
Chapter 7 Honeymoon, 69,
Chapter 8 New Home, 79,
Chapter 9 Holiday Magic, 85,
Chapter 10 Happily Ever After, 97,