(Image: Hallmark Channel)
When a handsome fireman adopts a stray cat at Christmastime, he changes his confirmed bachelor ways and finally opens his heart to the love of a beautiful veterinary student in “The Nine Lives of Christmas,” a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere Saturday, November 8 (8 p.m. ET/PT, 7C). Brandon Routh (“Superman Returns”) and Kimberley Sustad (“A Bride For Christmas”) star with Stephanie Bennett (“Signed, Sealed, Delivered”), Chelsea Hobbs (“Make It or Break It”) and Gregory Harrison (“One Tree Hill”) in this heartwarming, holiday drama. “The Nine Lives of Christmas” is part of Hallmark Channel’s annual COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS, the #1 most treasured holiday destination by television viewers.
“‘The Nine Lives of Christmas’ is a perfect fit for Hallmark Channel as it not only brings our viewers a special holiday story but also embraces pet adoption, the foundation of the network’s corporate initiative, Pet Project,” said Michelle Vicary, Executive Vice President of Programming, Crown Media Family Networks. “As millions have fallen in love with Sheila Roberts’ novel The Nine Lives of Christmas, we couldn’t be happier to partner with her to bring to life her beloved holiday book into a film that will resonate with our viewers.”
Fireman Zachary Stone (Routh) is a confirmed bachelor who doesn’t believe in love or commitment. When a stray, tabby cat named Ambrose shows up at his door, Zachary takes him in and slowly starts to see that a little companionship might not be so bad after all. Zachary’s commitment to solitude is further challenged when he meets Marilee (Sustad), an animal lover and veterinary student who teaches Zachary how to care for his new feline roommate. Chemistry immediately develops between the two, but Marilee has vowed not to date until she graduates and Zachary is not ready to jeopardize his independence, though he senses Marilee is special.
With Christmas rapidly approaching, Marilee’s sister Jaclyn (Bennett) convinces her to add romance to her nose-to-the-grindstone life of work and school, while fire chief Sam (Harrison) encourages Zachary to understand the importance of love, marriage and having someone special with whom to share the holidays. When Zachary’s model girlfriend Blair (Hobbs) pressures him to get rid of Ambrose and has Marilee fired from her job at a pet supply store that her father owns, Zachary sees the light, realizing he is in love with Marilee and that life is better if shared with someone special.
About the book: Two people are about to discover that when it comes to finding love, sometimes Christmas magic isn’t enough…sometimes it takes a pesky orange cat named Ambrose.
When a guy is in trouble, he starts making deals with his Creator…and Ambrose the cat is no exception. In danger of losing his ninth and final life, Ambrose makes a desperate plea to the universe. He’ll do anything—anything!—if he can just survive and enjoy a nice long, final life. His prayer is answered when a stranger comes along and saves him—and now it looks like he has to hold up his end of the bargain.
The stranger turns out to be a firefighter named Zach, who’s in need of some serious romantic help. If Ambrose can just bring Zach together with Merilee, the nice lady who works at Pet Palace, it’s bound to earn him a healthy ninth life. Unfortunately for Ambrose, his mission is a lot harder than he ever thought. Merriliee is way too shy to make the first move on a ladies man like Zach, and Zach thinks he’s all wrong for a nice girl like Merrilee. Now it’s going to take all of Ambrose’s feline wiles—and maybe even a good old fashioned Christmas miracle—to make them both realize that what they’re looking for is right in front of their eyes.
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