#1 Amazon best seller in Love & Romance, March 2015 and April 2014
#1 Amazon best seller in Cats, August 2017, July 2017, May 2017, November 2016, March 2015, and November 2014
#1 Amazon best seller in Educator Biographies, April 2014
#1 Amazon best seller in Love and Loss, December 2013
"It is seldom that a true life story really fills me with admiration for the person. This book is the exception. A 7* read if I could do that." - Wanda Hartzenberg, Wanda's Amazing Amazon Reviewers
"This story will touch you, and you'll be telling your friends about it long after you've finished....Please buy this book and absorb it into your own life's experience. It will make you a stronger person." - T.R Harris, bestselling author of THE HUMAN CHRONICLES SAGA.
"It is one of the most moving books I've ever read. I cried very hard in the early part and rejoiced with the author through the rest." - Nick Russell, bestselling author of the BIG LAKE series
"Sometimes after finishing a book, I will feel something like emotional awe. It is a rare thing, but The Three Kitties gave me that feeling."
"Mike Meyer pens a tender tale of love, loss, and renewal. The depth of emotion is palpable...The Three Kitties will tug at readers' heartstrings, as they ride through the emotional highs and lows of Mike Meyer's remarkable story." - InD'tale Magazine
"It's so remarkably well written that I just couldn't put it down. It was one of those tear jerking, heart stopping, soul stealing, and mind blowing stories that had me up for several hours into the night. I actually read straight through, that is how intense and addicting this story was."
"This book starts as a story of loss and hopelessness and ends as a story of love and hope. I highly recommend it as a quick feel good read." - Teresa Kander
"And it was so wonderfully written that at times I felt like I was a fly on the wall watching what was going on!!!"
From the Author
The first was Coco, a blue-eyed flame point Siamese cat who loves to chase him around the house and play.
The second was Katherine, a Minnesota native with a passion for reading and a "big, beautiful smile."
The third was Pom-Pom, a flame-point Siamese rescued during an adoption event who loves to cuddle.
These three kitties - Katherine is called Kitty by her friends and family - helped Temecula author Michael Meyer, a longtime instructor at Riverside City College, recover from the death of his wife Ciba from leukemia in 2005.
They also inspired an ebook that has become a viral hit on Amazon.com's publishing platform, a slim novel that could end up being his biggest seller.
The kitties, with their playful energy and collective zest for life, allowed Meyer to avoid the pitfalls of grief, he said during an interview at his home. They brought him back from the brink when he was broken.
"I was a basket case," he said, recounting the dark days after the death of his wife of almost 20 years. "I forced myself to leave the house every day."
Meyer turned this story into a memoir titled "The Three Kitties That Saved My Life" and uploaded it to Amazon.com early this year. And he waited, unsure how it would be received by the world.
The book was crafted as an ode to Katherine, the woman he married in 2008 after a meet-cute moment during a hiking trip with a singles group. If "Kitties" existed as only that, the Meyers would have been happy.
"He said it was a love letter to me," she said, her eyes welling as she recalled reading it the first time.
But "Kitties" has since turned into something much bigger, a crossover success on the massive book publishing platform. It has landed on multiple ebook best seller lists.
The website has best seller lists that are broken down by ebook versions and print versions and diced up further based on genres.
Meyer, 66, a former chairman of the English Department at RCC, started publishing on Amazon in 2009 after he bought Kitty a Kindle for Christmas. In the early years, he had some success with his thrillers and humorous books that spotlighted the eccentrics and absurdities of academia. The memoir could end up eclipsing them all.
On April 3, Meyer watched as the book, which has been nominated for an award by an indie and small publishing industry group, climbed the Love and Romance ebook best seller list. It started out the day at No. 24. By 9 p.m. it was No. 2. At 10 p.m., No. 1.
The book has charted well on other lists - last week it was No. 3 on Biographies and Memoirs of Educators - but this was something special.
For ebooks published on Amazon that are priced at $2.99 and up, authors get a 70 percent royalty. For books priced less than that, the author's share dips to 35 percent. But Amazon runs specials that allow writers to price their books below $2.99 and still receive the 70 percent cut.
Meyer took advantage of a special to price the book at 99 cents and goose its sales.
Another factor in its success is reader reaction, he said.
Initially, Meyer thought "Kitties" would help others overcome grief, a feline version of "Marley and Me." But readers have told him it's heartwarming and inspiring. They cry while reading it and have passed along their thanks and praise in the review section.
Meyer reads each review and he and Kitty have been overwhelmed.
"It's been really rewarding," he said. "It's touched so many people."
Meyer is a member of a Facebook writers group that offers support and advice and allows members to vent about bad reviews. Members are saying "Kitties" could end up being picked up a publisher - Riverside attorney Teresa Rhyne turned a blog into the published novel, "The Dog Lived (and So Will I)," which landed on the New York Times bestseller list - or get adapted into a movie.
The author, who speaks with the booming voice and enthusiasm of a longtime teacher, said he'd love to see his work become a movie but won't lose any sleep if it doesn't.
He has more ideas for ebooks and he and Kitty have trips planned, including a week in Italy.
Other authors in his group are interested in writing for money, working the genre angles to hit "Fifty Shades of Grey" or "Hunger Games" jackpots. Meyer, who enjoys a comfortable retirement after decades in the classroom, doesn't need to do that. He's more interested in connecting with people and spending time with the three loves of his life.
"I write what I know and what I like," he said. "I write what I want to read."
The Three Kitties
Michael Meyer went to an Orange County barber shop for a haircut and spotted the kitten shivering under a car. He took the cat back to Temecula and cleaned him up. The veterinarian found a hernia when Meyer took him in to be neutered.
"His life started with a cone over his head for six weeks," he said.
Coco is a playful cat who loves to be chased. He's also the center of attention. When Kitty and Michael got married at their Temecula home, Coco led the bride down the staircase, walking right in front of her father.
A native of southern Minnesota, she moved to Temecula to be near family after her divorce. The former elementary school teacher met Meyer in the Temecula Valley Singles Group. They were the first in the group to get married and are celebrated as the First Couple.
Meyer said he proposed seven days after meeting her for the first time, enchanted by her smile.
"It was eight days, Mike, don't exaggerate," she said with a grin.
A flame-point Siamese like Coco, he was picked up during an adoption event because the Meyers thought the rambunctious Coco needed a friend.
They look almost exactly alike, as if they were from the same litter. But Pom-Pom had a leg removed because of sarcoma and is skittish around strangers. He loves a good massage from the Meyers.
"They have completely different personalities," Michael Meyer said.