Tuesday, September 23, 2014

3 Little Extras That Make Truffles Purr #GetHealthyHappy

While we understand that physical health depends on proper nutrition and regular medical care (whether you have two legs or four), how much time do you spend thinking about mental well-being? I know that for me personally, treating myself to a mocha at my local coffee shop or a blissful afternoon of reading while snuggling with Truffles is chicken soup for my soul.

Our pets' mental well-being is just as important! "Little extras" such as treats, toys, playtime, exercise and grooming all provide essential bonding moments with your pet, and give them the mental stimulation and fulfillment they need for a happy, healthy life.

Here are 3 "little extras" that make Truffles purr with happiness:

1) Toys & Playtime. When I adopted Truffles I went out and bought her a multitude of toys to choose from...interactive toys, catnip bags, feather toys, wand toys. I even put new batteries in an old laser light I had long ago put away in a drawer. Guess what happened? Nothing. She was not impressed with a single thing. In fact, with the exception of grabbing at a pen or stick under a paper bag, her play instinct was pretty much non-existent. I'll admit that I was slightly disappointed, but hoped that maybe in time she would come around. Then at Christmas she received a fabric-covered, plain blue ball and went absolutely crazy. Biting it, kicking it, tossing and chasing it around the house. I had never seen her experience such absolutely joy before and it brought tears to my eyes. My little girl was finally coming out of her shell!!!

What started out as a breakthrough moment has become a special moment that we now share every day. Each morning after breakfast Truffles immediately pulls out her beloved blue ball and starts playing. Those 15 to 20 minutes every morning spent with my special little girl before I leave for work are so, so special to me. It's "our time" together that I look forward to and it remains with me as I go about my day. Playtime gives pets physical and mental stimulation vital to health and happiness, but it's pretty darn therapeutic for me too!

Better still, that simple little ball has kicked her play drive into high gear and now she's more willing to try out new toys...although blue ball is always right there in the mix and still her "go to" toy each day. She loves balls with bells inside for extra stimulation, and she also enjoys batting around an empty toilet paper roll, proving once again that the simplest toys are usually the most fun.

Generally it is best to rotate toys so your can't doesn't get bored. Keep trying until you find what they have the most fun with! And when choosing a toy, be careful to avoid ones that are small enough for your cat to swallow or has pieces that could be chewed off and become a choking hazard. I recently had to throw away one of Truffles' favorite straw balls because it started to come apart.

2) Treats. Truffles is not a big eater at all, but she LIVES for her treats. I have several bags open at once and keep them in a basket in the living room. Whenever she wants a treat she sits in front of the basket and gives me "the look". At that point resistance is futile. It's important to me that her treats are as healthy as possible and that she's not snacking on the equivalent of potato chips all day, and thankfully Hill's has several treats that feature balanced nutrition that pet parents can feel confident in giving their dog or cat. You can read in interesting article on the ingredients that are in cat treats here.

3) Retail Therapy. I love shopping at pet stores for "little extras" to make Truffles happy. My favorite things to shop for are fun cat beds because she is a champion napper! She currently has a lounger that stays in the living room, and also a snuggler bed in my bedroom on top of a bookcase right beside my bed. It's in front of a window too, so she can relax and check out Bird TV at the same time! Fancy collars and cat towers are other great ways to pamper your pet with retail therapy.

If you have questions or need advice about any little extra that you’d like to give your pet, a perfect opportunity is at your pet’s annual checkup with your veterinarian.

To celebrate these little extras, Hill's is giving away bundles of goodies every pet parent can enjoy sharing with their dog or cat. The dog bundle includes a stainless steel dog bowl, a bag of Hill’s Science Diet Dental Chews, a bag of Hill’s Science Diet dog treats and a Healthier Pets, Happier Lives tote bag. The little extras bundle for cats includes a laser pointer toy, a stainless steel cat bowl, eight micro cans of Hill’s Science Diet Grain Free entrees, and a Healthier Pets, Happier Lives tote bag. I have two bundles to give away! (Open to the US only, but our International friends are more than welcome to enter and donate their winnings to a shelter in the US!)

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In addition to the little extras bundles, Hill’s Pet Nutrition is offering a $10 off promotion on select Hill’s Science Diet products. Check out www.ScienceDiet.com/GetHealthyHappy to download your rebate today and also to enter to win $100 toward your pet's next vet checkup!

Remember, don’t just get happy. #GetHealthyHappy with Hill’s ScienceDiet.

This post is sponsored by Hill’s. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill’s® Science Diet® Healthier Pets. Happier Lives.™, but Mochas, Mysteries and Meows only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Corpse Who Walked in the Door by Jackie King: Guest Author & Giveaway

In My Own Defense
by Trouble Cassidy

First of all, let me say that I was misnamed by my Person, Grace Cassidy. I’m anything but trouble. It’s Grace who is always in trouble. If I could rename myself, I would be Chalmers, which means, “lord of the household,” which I am. Sometimes Grace forgets how hard I work.

Don’t let my inert position fool you. I’m ready to spring to help Grace at any minute. Cats have huge responsibilities looking after their special Person. There’s this odious fellow who tries to lord it over my Grace, named Wilber Wimberly. He owns the place where we live and Grace has to do everything he orders her to do. He calls her, his inn-keeper. His? Who does this fellow think he is? Grace, as everyone knows, belongs to me. She has since that first day when we met. I was just a kitten then, and have a sort of blurred memory of this, but I’ll tell you what I can.

Grace was stumbling around in a rainstorm and almost stepped on me. I looked up at her and meowed as loud as I could. She muttered something I can’t remember, but she finally had the presence of mind to pick me up and tuck me inside her somewhat cluttered handbag. Immediately I knew we were supposed to be together and I settled down to take a catnap.

This part of my life is recorded in Jackie King’s book, THE INCONVENIENT CORPSE.

Jackie’s next book, THE CORPSE WHO WALKED IN THE DOOR, starts with an amusing little story about me. The evil Wilbur Wimberly chased me around the drawing room with a poker. All I had done was catch a mouse and showed it to him. Aren’t cats supposed to catch mice?

“It’s still alive!” he shouted, dancing about the room and screaming like a little girl.

Well, of course it was alive. I didn’t want to murder him, I just wanted to play for a spell. And I did have a good time, until Grace came in and took the poker away from him and picked me up. The mouse, alas, got away. But I’ll catch him again.

What I really wanted to do was give that Wilbur a good talking to. The man has no manners at all. And he’s even put me to work! Me! The reigning feline.

It seems that folks who come to this quaint old B&B miss their own tabbies left back home in Cincinnati or Wichita or Oklahoma City. The deal is, if I stay the night in their room, Wimberly bills them. Five dollars, it is. Does that sound as if I’m some kind of freeloader? Absolutely not! I’m a working cat. It wears a fellow out just going around looking adorable all day. But at least Grace gets part of the payoff. My Person is learning to stand up for herself. She wasn’t any good at this at all when we first met, but I’ve taught her a thing or two.

I’m also the cat who found the body in the bathtub! If you’re interested in knowing the scuttlebutt about this, you need to read Jackie King’s latest book, THE CORPSE WHO WALKED IN THE DOOR. Starring me, Trouble, AKA Chalmers, Lord of the Household.

Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Published by: Deadly Niche Press

Publication Date: June 2014

Number of Pages: 206

ISBN: 978-162016-112-8

Purchase Links:


Former society wife Grace Cassidy is learning to live on the minimum wage she earns as a bed & breakfast inn-sitter. Grace finds her cat’s bloody paw prints leading away from a bathtub and wants to run for her life. But she can’t. Her 19-year-old son is accused of pushing his pregnant girlfriend down a flight of concrete steps and she won’t abandon him.

Read an excerpt:

Blood colored paw prints trailed from the white tile bathroom onto the faux Oriental rug in the bedroom where Grace stood. The cat-feet marks immobilized Grace. She closed her eyes and prayed that she had been claimed by stress-induced insanity, that there were no dark-red blots before her eyes, but a hallucination. A nice long rest in a mental hospital didn’t sound too bad. Anything except another dead body in this inn where she worked.

Jackie King loves books, writing tall tales, and murdering the people she dislikes on paper. Her latest mystery The Corpse Who Walked in the Door is available in ebook format. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, Oklahoma Writers Federation, and Tulsa NightWriters.

Catch Up With Jackie:



Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday Smorgasbord

Since Sunday features a multitude of blog hops, instead of doing a single post for each one, Truffles and I have decided to merge them all into a Sunday Smorgasbord. Each week we will start with whichever hop Truffles is participating in (Sunday Selfies, Easy Sunday, B&W Sunday) followed by my customary weekly blog recap and what showed up in our mailbox this week.

Today we're joining the Sunday Selfies Blog Hop hosted by The Cat on My Head. This is Truffles' "Sideways Selfie". I know what you're thinking...how is it possible that she just gets cuter every week? I don't know...but she does.

* This week we got a Halloween makeover thanks to Glogirly Design. Doesn't it look great? If you're looking to spiffy up your online digs, you can't go wrong when you treat yourself to a Glogirly Design. More info can be found here as well.

* We haven't done this before, but Truffles asked if she could mention her favorite blog post of the week. Earlier this week she received some treats from Chewy.com to review, Primal Turkey Liver Munchies Freeze-Dried Dog & Cat Treats. Her review will be coming soon, but you absolutely have to check out Emma the GBGV's review of the same treats. How hard can it be to make your own freeze-dried turkey at home, anyways? You might be surprised!

Last week on Mochas, Mysteries and Meows:
Sunday Selfies: NASCAR Edition
Introducing Our PAWS Sponsor Kitties!!!
DIY Kitten Korner for #Paw2014
Gotcha Day Treats & #WholeBodyHealth Survey
Tea Time with Truffles: Blood of an Englishman by M.C. Beaton Review & Giveaway
Talk Like a Pirate Day
Caturday Art: Country Girls

The Christmas Cat Revenge of the Pieman final cover large 101 Easy Everyday Recipes Cookbook: Delicious dishes & desserts in under 30 minutes or with 5 ingredients or lessA Lady Never Trifles with Thieves

Feline Freebie:
Cat's Life!: The World's First Cat Dictionary!

Thank you, Kensington Books!
Chorus Lines, Caviar, and Corpses (A Happy Hoofers Mystery)


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Caturday Art: Country Girls

Could Truffles possibly look any cuter in her cowgirl hat? I created this with Pho.to.

Our friend CK at Stunning Keisha recently presented us with the Most Influential Blogger Award, and this version is asking us to share our favorite music. As a child country music was always playing in my home, and to this day, '70s and '80s country, the music I grew up with, is what my Pandora station is constantly tuned to. It was SO hard trying to nail down 5 favorites (what I limited myself to), but I can honestly say that these are 5 of my all-time favorite songs.

The King of country music:

The greatest country song ever written:

A couple songs I love for no particular reason (and yes, it seems that I have a thing for rodeo songs):

My favorite badass "ra ra" America song:

Check out more artsy kitties here. And I would love to hear about YOUR favorite music as well!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Talk Like a Pirate Day

Ahoy! It is Truffles, pillager of cat treats!

Shiver me timbers, fill up my pink treasure chest or I will slay you with cuteness!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tea Time with Truffles: Blood of an Englishman by M.C. Beaton Review & Giveaway

Hey everybody, it's Truffles! Mommy and I were invited to participate in the Tea, Scones, and Murder Blogger Party, hosted by Minotaur Books and Stash Tea, to celebrate the release of M.C. Beaton's 25th adventure in the Agatha Raisin series, Blood of an Englishman. We received an advance reading copy of the book, a couple boxes of delicious Stash Tea, and a recipe card for M.C.’s favorite teatime scones (purchased at the local bakery, of course!)

As part of this fun event we were asked to "host and post" a tea party, so after reading this delightful mystery I'm just taking a little nap before my guests arrive ;)

Would you care to join us?

"Fee, fie, fo, fum. I smell the blood of an Englishman..."

Even though Agatha Raisin loathes amateur dramatics, her friend Mrs. Bloxby, the vicar’s wife, has persuaded her to support the local pantomime. Stifling a yawn at the production of "Babes in the Woods," Agatha watches the baker playing an ogre strut and threaten on the stage, until a trapdoor opens and the Ogre disappears in an impressive puff of smoke. Only he doesn't re-appear at final curtain.

Surely this isn't the way the scene was rehearsed? When it turns out the popular baker has been murdered, Agatha puts her team of private detectives on the case. They soon discover more feuds and temperamental behavior in amateur theatrics than in a professional stage show—and face more and more danger as the team gets too close to the killer.The Blood of an Englishman is Agatha's 25th adventure, and you'd think she would have learned by now not to keep making the same mistakes. Alas, no—yet Agatha's flaws only make her more endearing.

Tortie Shorties
Book reviews that are short and sweet...just like Truffles!

After reading Blood of an Englishman, the 25th entry in M.C. Beaton's classic cozy series, I realized it had been way too long since since I enjoyed one of Agatha Raisin's madcap adventures. I have the entire series in my book collection, but with so many new mysteries being released each and every month I have fallen hopelessly behind in many of the longer running series. I really need to take the time to catch up, though. These aren't mysteries that you read for intricate plots and deep characters, they are simply pure, unadulterated fun.

In this book Agatha is drawn into the cutthroat world of amateur theater. She is as irreverent, cranky, and saucy as ever, and over the course of a fast-paced 300 pages she falls in love (or her version of love, anyways) and faces death more than once. She's also called upon to solve a number of murders, the last of which is gruesome yet deliciously wicked.

Visiting England, particularly the Cotswolds, is high up on my bucket list. Until the day comes that I can travel there in person, a visit to Agatha Raisin's Cotswolds is always a pure delight.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Gotcha Day Treats & #WholeBodyHealth Survey

Truffles and I would like to thank our friend Taylor from For Tails Only for the yummy treats that she sent for Truffles' Gotcha Day as part of their Pet Birthday Club. Truffles is a total treat junkie and I'm always on the lookout for healthy, grain free treats for her to enjoy. She inhaled these so fast that I couldn't even capture a treat in the photo, just Truffles washing the blanket clean!

Would you also mind taking a moment to fill out the brief 5 question survey below? I've been chosen to participate in a BlogPaws campaign for Natural Balance's line of Ultra Whole Body Health pet products. The results of the survey are going to be compiled into a really cool infographic that I will be sharing with you in October. Thank you in advance for your time!

Fill out my online form.