Head of State
Giacinta Frisillo grew up living with cats, and she couldn’t wait to one day adopt one of her own. So as soon as she was ready, Frisillo headed to our Adoption Center, where she met lots of cats, but one stood out: a kitty with seemingly odd proportions.
“She wasn’t as filled out then as she is now,” Frisillo says. “I asked, ‘Why is that one’s head so big?’ Her head looked way too big for a cat. Then I put my hand up to her, and she licked me.”
Frisillo was smitten, and it seems the cat, then named Arden, was, too; when volunteers put a cat carrier on the floor of the area Arden shared with several other cats, she jumped right in, as if to say she was ready to go.
As the new kitty settled in to her new Lower East Side apartment, Frisillo started considering names. She wanted to give her furry pal “a funny famous-person name,” and as she had a trip to China coming up, “Chairman Miao” seemed an obvious choice. (In China, Frisillo was surprised to learn that “mao” means cat in Mandarin.)
Four years later, the chairman goes by Mao, Mitten, Mittens or even Little Mitten Mao. The completely spoiled kitty loves licking wet cat food off a spoon, being Frisillo’s alarm clock, and taking trips to Utica, New York, to visit Frisillo’s parents, where she acts as benevolent dictator to a pair of Chihuahuas.
“She’s my best friend,” says Frisillo. “At the risk of sounding crazy, she really is. She keeps me happy when I’m down, she’s always somebody to cuddle with on cold nights, and without her I don’t know even know what I’d do.”
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