A Touching and Memorable Story about an Unexpected, Deep Friendship between a Pooch named Gigi and a Feral Cat named Mimi and her Legacy of Love
“Animals have come to mean so much in our lives. We live in a fragmented and disconnected culture. Politics are ugly, religion is struggling, technology is stressful, and the economy is unfortunate. What’s one thing that we have in our lives that we can depend on? A dog or a cat loving us unconditionally, every day, very faithfully.” Jon Katz, American Journalist
Mr. Katz speaks the truth. POOCH ‘N’ KITTIES: WHEN GIGI MET MIMI is about my poodle pooch Gigi and her endearing friendship with a feral kitten named Mimi. Gigi was quite a playful, energetic pooch with me; however, she did not share that playful spirit with other dogs initially. One early morning, a cute feral kitten was looking through the glass of our French doors. Gigi saw this and immediately wanted to play with this kitten. This was so unusual because it usually took some time for Gigi to warm up to anyone new or unfamiliar. There was a genuine fondness of each other. Their playtimes became routine play dates in the morning before I went to work and then in the evening. What was so awe inspiring about this budding friendship was that there was no feeding involved. Mimi would come over like clockwork just to be with Gigi. Gigi looked forward to their time together. She would often just wait at the French doors in anticipation of Mimi’s arrival. In the interest of cultivating this friendship and protecting both, I adopted Mimi. But the story did not end there. It had just begun.
As an observer to this story, my belief that we only have one life to live has deepened. Tomorrow is not a guarantee. So, cherish each day, each memory, and each feeling. Honor, memorialize, and give thanks to those with whom you wish to share those feelings, while they are still on this earth with us. Life is too short just to end up regretting that some things that I should have done, could have done or would have done, have not been done. As such, this is my special thanks to my dog and kittens, Gigi, Mimi, Papi, Sophie and Glinda. They have added so much color to my life journey with their love and companionship. With a fusion of the written word, art and photography, this colorful book explores the joys of new friendship, the loss of a loved one, and the celebration of the circle of life – a perfect way to bring the family together to enjoy together.
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Tito Abeleda, with degrees in music, dance, and law, has a very eclectic background. Tito has spent over 10 years as an attorney in child welfare advocating for children’s well-being, helping reunite families, strengthening family bonds and finding new homes for children without parents through adoption. As a witness to the unconditional love that pets give, he wants to share that same joy with children and families through Pooch ‘n’ Kitties.
Prior to his law career in child welfare, Tito, was first a director and choreographer of a multitude of live shows across the U.S. and abroad for many years, In 1990 Tito then enjoyed a long 10-year chapter performing on Broadway, making his debut in a musical recreation of James Clavell’s novel Shogun: The Musical. Without pause he joined the cast of Miss Saigon in 1991 having performed with Jonathan Pryce and Lea Salonga. He left Miss Saigon when offered the role of King Simon of Legree in Jerome Robbins’ “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” ballet, in the 1996 Broadway Revival of The King and I with Lou Diamond Philips, Donna Murphy, Faith Prince, and Marie Osmond. After its closure in 1998, Tito returned to Miss Saigon, this time on its National Tour as its swing and dance captain until its closure in 2000. Two weeks later, Tito began his studies in law.
Feeling disconnected from life and searching for balance, Tito reconnected with the arts – this time with a focus in songwriting and producing. In 2017, Tito launched his independent record label Visionary Quest Records, creating and producing its own brand of music. Although initially classified within the dance genres, Tito’s music catalog’s growth has expanded its reach into cinematic, modern classical, orchestral, and new age genres. Its expanding musical diversity is defined by one mantra. “There is a story in every song, but the music holding this story is not complete until it finds its significant other, the listener who will cherish its message.” He believes that this is true for all artists’ creative works.
Tito’s published works reflect his diverse background. His published works include a law review article Digital Compensation: Recording Artists’ Collective Fight for Just Compensation 31. SW. U. L. REV. 701 (2002) that was published in 2002 by Southwestern University Law School’s Entertainment Law Review Journal in Los Angeles, California. Feeling the need to reconnect with the arts and creativity, Tito wrote and designed the graphic art and photo eBook Creating Yourself to Be the Man that You Desire with Courage, Motivation, and Inspiration published in 2016. It depicts his thoughts, poetry, and process of self-healing after leaving the adversarial driven nature of being a trial lawyer. He also wrote and designed the graphic arts and photo eBook: Thinking of You: For Your Man, Your Boo, or Simply Just You also published in 2016 as a tribute to love. In March and April of 2017, in honor of his Father and Mother, Tito composed and produced original orchestral works to pave the way for his upcoming orchestral album Tears from My Eyes: Song from Soul released in March of 2017. These original musical works have been published with their full score and instrumental parts on Sheet Music Plus and Score Exchange. They can be found under the following titles: 1) Tears from My Eyes: Remember Your Feelings (For Orchestra); 2) Tears from My Eyes: Reflection and Contemplation (For Flute Choir); and 3) Tears from My Eyes: Mourning in the Rain (For Clarinet Choir). Lastly, in April 2019, Calvendo published the calendar version of Pooch ‘n’ Kitties.
Whether Tito is creating through choreography, composing music, art, or writing, Tito finds that his inspiration to create comes from his passions and life circumstances, sometimes at a moment’s notice or after a period of deep gestation.