Home » Musical fundraiser planned to help Hopewell resident rescue homeless cats from 9,000 miles away

Musical fundraiser planned to help Hopewell resident rescue homeless cats from 9,000 miles away

by Community Contributor

By the time Mary McIntyre learned that her first husband, Trenton native Mike Pizzullo, had died suddenly in the Philippines, Mike had been deceased almost four months. A former US Marine who’d done three tours of duty in the Middle East, Pizzullo had been living overseas for years. Mary knew Mike lived alone and his many cats were family to him. Upon hearing the news she asked, “Who is caring for his cats?”

The sad answer was, no one. Philippine authorities shipped Mike’s remains and possessions home to NJ, locked the door to his jungle abode, and left the cats to fend for themselves – even Kookynut, who was partially paralyzed. Mike’s New Jersey family was understandably overwhelmed by his unexpected death at age 52 and settling his affairs internationally.

“Mike and I were crazy cat people together,” reminisces Mary. “The idea of finding his cats from across the world, when all we had was a partial address in a remote area, was a long shot. But I had to try; it was the only thing I could do for Mike.”

McIntyre was soon dismayed to learn that animal rescues are pitifully few in the Philippines. Strays are numerous and spay/neuter programs almost non-existent. Luckily, she found a family-run home rescue called The Cat House. The family was moved by Mike’s story and drove 60 miles to Mike’s village in search of his cats. Miraculously, three of them were still alive and lingering near his home. They now live at The Cat House.

“The Cat House family are my heroes,” says McIntyre. “They rescue animals with horrific injuries. Recent rescues include a puppy left in an alley tied to a chair, and a cat stabbed with a screwdriver, walking around with it still embedded. I decided to give a concert at my church (Hopewell United Methodist) in hopes of raising funds for their work.”

A professional vocalist and former member of the nationally-touring Christmas show Wizards of Winter, Mary is performing “StoryTellers: The Music of Iconic Songwriters” on Saturday, April 13 7pm at HUMC (20 Blackwell Ave, Hopewell Borough). She’ll be joined by award-winning vocalist Lou Steele and guitar virtuoso Chris Turner, sharing hits by Simon & Garfunkel, Berry Gordy, Joni Mitchell, and others. More about the concert and Mike’s story, including photos of the cats on Rescue Day, can be found at MaryMcIntyreSound.com

Information and graphics supplied by Mary McIntyre

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