Monday, September 25, 2017

Tortie Shorties on Mystery Monday


Welcome to this week's edition of Tortie Shorties on Mystery Monday!

We hope you enjoy our choices.


Dial Meow for Murder (Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery) by Bethany Blake

From the publisher: Even an experienced pet sitter like Daphne Templeton can be fooled by animal behavior: how can an adorably tiny fuzz ball named Tinkleston be capable of sudden flying leaps with cat claws bared? But human behavior remains even more mysterious, especially when Tinkleston’s owner is murdered on the night of a gala fundraiser for Fur-ever Friends Pet Rescue.

Accompanied by her unflappable basset hound, Socrates, Daphne plans to take charge of Tinks the Terror and leave the crime-solving to handsome detective Jonathan Black. But while luring the prickly Persian out of hiding, she uncovers clues that might take suspicion off her own mother. Maeve Templeton already has a reputation as a killer—in real estate. How far would she go to bag Sylvan Creek’s most coveted property, the Flynt Mansion?

To expose the truth, Daphne finds herself donning a deranged clown costume on an autumnal adventure that might just be crazy enough to work—if it doesn’t get her killed.

Tortie Shorties Review: I loved the debut book in this series earlier this year, but this one was even better. Halloween is right around the corner, and the town of Sylvan Creek has gathered for a fundraiser for Fur-ever Friends Pet Rescue at Flynt Mansion. Daphne's realtor mother is attempting to show the house in spite of the power going out and freaks when the owner's troublesome black Persian Tinkleston gets loose. While attempting to round Tinkleston up, Daphne finds homeowner/professional volunteer Lillian Flynt dead in her bathtub. Daphne gets involved in the case when the cat is left in her care, but her pet-setting career gets forced to the back burner when her mother faces suspicion in the murder. Several suspects come to light including the victim's estranged sister, owner of Whiskered Away Cat Shelter, but in the end the culprit (and motive) took me completely by surprise.

With Sylvan Creek being a very pet-focused town, I just couldn't get enough of the Halloween festivities taking place throughout the story. Daphne's romantic life takes a turn as she learns more about Detective Jonathan, and I loved her BFF Moxie's 1950s obsession which includes dressing as characters from Hitchcock movies. Admittedly Daphne is a bit ditzy but in a lovable way, and at the end she makes plans to take on a new business opportunity that I'm excited to see take shape. Four paws up!



From the publisher: Cotswolds inhabitants are used to inclement weather, but the night sky is especially foggy as Rory and Molly Devere, the new vicar and his wife, drive slowly home from a dinner party in their village of Sumpton Harcourt. They strain to see the road ahead—and then suddenly brake, screeching to a halt. Right in front of them, aglow in the headlights, a body hangs from a gnarled tree at the edge of town. Margaret Darby, an elderly spinster, has been murdered—and the villagers are bewildered as to who would commit such a crime.

Agatha Raisin rises to the occasion (a little glad for the excitement, to tell the truth, after a long run of lost cats and divorces on the books). But Sumpton Harcourt is a small and private village, she finds—a place that poses more questions than answers. And when two more murders follow the first, Agatha begins to fear for her reputation—and even her life. That the village has its own coven of witches certainly doesn't make her feel any better...

Tortie Shorties Review: I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Miss Raisin. Her adventures are pure British fluff, which can end up being both a good and bad thing. I haven't read every single book in the series so I'm not completely up to day with the various relationships between the characters, which is probably why I found myself a bit confused at times. Agatha is kind of "out there" - jumping from the frying pan into the fryer on more than one occasion - and while it can be quite fun it can also be really silly. From the cover and book description I was looking for a creepy traipse through the Cotswolds which I got thanks to more than one body found hanging from a tree with a mysterious past and a very odd coven of witches, but unfortunately some of the secondary story lines (including a rather disturbing one featuring the vicar's wife) took away from the effect.


Disclaimer: I received  free copies of these books from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. As members of the Amazon Associates affiliate program, if you click on our links and buy something Mudpie gets a little money for her piggy bank!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Early AM #SundaySelfie

Meows from Mudpie!

Mommy helped me snap my selfie the other morning right after I woke up in my top o' the bookcase kitty bed.

I bet you all wish you looked this amazing first thing in the morning!


We're joining our friends at The Cat On My Head for the Sunday Selfies blog hop!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Flower Tortie #CaturdayArt

Meows from Mudpie!

How amazing is this effect I found on Photo Lab??? I had planned to do something autumnal this week, but since Mother Nature seems to have forgotten to look at the calendar, I stuck with flowers!


Visit more artsy kitties at Athena's Caturday Art blog hop!


And now our weekly answers (answered by Mommy) for the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge, hosted by 15andmeowing and McGuffy's Reader!

1. I would never be friends with someone who could harm an animal. You aren't even human to me if you could do such a thing.

2. I will never refuse anything with hummus on it. A year ago I didn't even know what hummus was but I've become obsessed. (I'll probably end up making myself sick of it eventually.) As I type this I have a burrito with hummus on it sitting in the fridge and my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

3. I have never been to the beach, but I don't feel like I've missed out on a thing. Sand, water, hot sun...none of it appeals to me one bit.

4. When it comes to sewing, I am absolutely hopeless

Friday, September 22, 2017

5 Benefits of Adopting an Older Cat

Meows from Mudpie!

Are you looking to adopt a new cat? As tempting as adorable little kittens are, Mommy and I are huge advocates of bringing home adult kitties. Truffles and I were young adults of 2 when we were adopted, but before us, Sashi was 9, Tara was 7, and Sebastian was 12! They were all amazing pets that Mommy was blessed to have many years of happiness with.

Today we're happy to share a guest post featuring five benefits of adopting a senior cat over a kitten.


Guest post by Adam Snape on behalf of animalfriends.co.uk

As much as you may love the excitement of a kitten, you may not have realized the advantages that adopting an older cat can bring to your home.

Pet owners can experience a variety of benefits when adopting an older cat. Often, they’re more well-suited to senior owners or relaxed, family homes who have less time to wait hand and foot on a kitten. In this guide, we’ve shared five benefits of adopting a senior pet, along with how you can help them settle into your home:

1. They require less training.

The most obvious benefit of adopting an older cat is that they require less training than they would at a younger age. Chances are, they’re already house-trained and know how to do basic things such as use a litter tray.

Because they don’t need as much training, your senior cat will be much easier to handle than a younger one.

2. Their exercise requirements aren’t as demanding.

If you’ve got a kitten, you’re probably smitten with your little bundle of joy. But while they are cute balls of energy, bear in mind that you might have to spend a lot of time tending to their heightened activity levels.

Senior cats have a great attention span, so there’s no need to panic about teaching an old cat new tricks. It’s still possible to house-train a senior cat if they haven’t had any form of training before.


3. They’re great companions.

Another benefit of adopting an older cat is that they make perfect companions. Compared to their kitten stages, senior cats are less energetic and require less attention. They also tend to have a calmer temperament.

Because they don’t have a demanding exercise regime and would love to curl up on your lap, they’re true feline friends – particularly for elderly people.

4. Older cats are less destructive.

Unlike kittens, older cats don’t require as much attention and are usually content with lounging around the home. This means that they’re much less likely to cause damage to your home!

However, if you spot that your senior cat is causing problems and destroying your home, it might be a life-long behavior issue. In this event, extra time and patience will be required to train them to be less destructive.

5. You know what you’re getting!

Every home has specific requirements for a new pet, especially when it comes to the amount of space that they have. For this reason, adopting a senior cat may be more beneficial as you know what you’re getting – especially with regards to their final size!

By adopting a kitten, you can’t really predict how big the cat will grow, the temperament that they’ll have or how they will react to other day-to-day routines.

Adopting an older cat will combat these issues, especially if you visit the cat in their previous habitat before making the decision to bring them home.


As you can see, adopting a senior cat offers incredible benefits but of course there’s the obvious disadvantage of older pets being more prone to serious illness. For that reason, you should always have the best pet insurance policy for your older cat to ensure that they’re happy, healthy and content.

Have you ever adopted a senior kitty? 
Why did you choose them over a kitten?

FTC Disclosure: We are being compensated to feature this content, but regardless of payment received you will only see topics on this blog that we believe are of interest to our readers.

Photos:
flickr creative commons/Nate Steiner
flickr creative commons/Stephen Rahn
flickr creative commons/Kim Siever

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Rescued Interviews: Zorro


Meows from Mudpie!

Back in 2015 Angel Truffles started interviewing the cats featured in Rescued: The Stories of 12 Cats, Through Their Eyes, an anthology of rescue cat stories compiled by Janiss Garza, who writes the Sparkle Cat blog. She was unable to see it to completion but I was more than honored to continue the series once I settled into my forever home and took full reins of our blog. Now Rescued Volume 2 is on store shelves and it's my goal to interview as many of the kitties as possible once again! (If you missed our review, it can be found here.)

Each author featured in the book has nominated a cat rescue and was assigned a month to promote the book, with a third of the profits from that month going to their rescue. September's spotlight is Zorro, a cat who finds himself horribly betrayed and abandoned by his family, leaving him nearly feral in his fear and distrust of humans.


Welcome Zorro! Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today. Could you start by introducing yourself to us and telling us what made your story such a good fit for the Rescued anthology?

I'm a very handsome boy cat, probably about 5 years old or so, and we ::think:: I am a Ragdoll. I don't have the "papers" to prove it, but I really look like a Ragdoll, and I act like one, too! I love (actually crave) attention, am very talkative, love to follow my humans all over the house, and I love to flop and dance. My story is a great fit for the Rescued anthology since I was rescued by my human. At the time of my rescue, we were all in northern Minnesota, which has brutal winters! I'd been abandoned by some other humans in the dead of winter and I was not prepared to be outside or to survive. Fortunately, the place where I was abandoned was very close to my human's house. I took up residence in the garage. My story is about how I was rescued (trapped and tamed and incorporated in to my human's household with five other cats) and how my easy going Ragdoll nature eventually expressed itself again!

The title of your story in Rescued is "The Ragdoll's Dance". For those who aren't familiar with Ragdoll cats, can you introduce us to your beautiful breed and how you "dance"?

Like I said, we can't be sure I am a Ragdoll, but I have so many characteristics of this beautiful breed! I have the blue eyes, big paws, and stocky build. I have an easygoing and very sociable personality, and I love love love to use my body to express my joy and happiness. I'll stick my butt in the air if you scratch it; I'll flop on my side if you pet me. I LOVE being brushed! It is one of my favorite things. I have a jump like you wouldn't believe. I'm very talkative. I sprawl in the craziest positions. I just love to express myself through my body!

I have heard that some Ragdolls go limp when you pick them up (thus the description "floppy cat") but I get a little nervous about being held. I'm also nervous about having my paws handled but I think that's because my paws are always so busy and always pulsing with the power of my dance! I'm a very expressive kitty.

"Outside, pre-rescue. He would watch us through the window. He wanted to come in, but wasn't ready." --Catherine Holm, Zorro's human

Your story begins as you're flung from a car into the snow by some heartless humans. That must've been such a terribly frightening time for you. What do you remember about it?

I was completely frightened! I had never been outside before and all of a sudden I was hitting the ground and breathing the fumes as the car sped away! It was so cold! Instincts took over and I quickly took cover in the nearest garage (as it turned out, a garage that was part of my future human's home). Still, this happened in the country where things are pretty far apart. There weren't a whole lot of shelters around and I was fortunate to find that garage so quickly. I toughened up quickly but the garage provided good shelter. Believe it or not, I would go outside if there was no wind, and sit on the snow in the sun, even in sub zero temps! My bulk and my thick fur helped with this. The humans provided a shelter for me in the garage, food, water, and a litter box, and I was smart enough to not go outside when it was too cold or windy. But I was wary of the humans for the entire winter, and eventually had to be (humanely) trapped.

How did you manage to move beyond human betrayal and learn to dance again?

It was a long process! My human got me used to her voice. She would talk to me, all winter, in the garage, whenever she came out. I would show myself to her and her husband, but hid for anyone else. If you've ever seen a feral cat simply vanish into his surroundings, that is what I did. When spring came and the humans were getting ready for a cross country move, they captured me because they didn't want to leave me to just fend for myself. I had a long long car ride to a new place! When we arrived at the new place, the human isolated me in a room right away (I'd already been neutered and vaccinated when I was originally captured). She worked with me gradually over a few months and I eventually stopped hiding behind a wall and started coming out and getting comfortable with being touched. It was a touch and go process and new for us both.


What is life like for you today?

I love my life! I have a great house with a few stories and stairs to run up and down, and ceiling beams to run on, too. Sometimes we catch mice (they show up in the fall -- we are still in the country). There are lots of windows, comfortable cat beds, and I generally get along with the other five cats (except for Chester -- sometimes he and I get into it). I love love love to spring upon the laps of my humans and get the petting I crave. I dance at any opportunity possible.

What shelter have you chosen to receive your proceeds from the book this month and why?

Felines & Friends Foundation of Vermont (http://www.fffvt.org/) is the organization I have chosen to receive proceeds from the book this month. Why? Because they do terrific work in northern Vermont and surrounding areas, and they help and save free roaming cats. This is a very rural area and there are plenty of barn cats, for example. It's also an area where not everyone has the means to spay and neuter their animals, or get needed vet care. Felines & Friends works with farmers, townspeople, and cats, to address overpopulation issues of these free roaming cats. They trap, neuter/spay, and return feral cats to their original locations. And they re-home adoptable free-roaming cats. They work tirelessly to save cats and to educate area folks about these issues. Felines & Friends has made a HUGE dent in helping humans and feral cats in this area of the country! I was a feral cat once and I know first hand that Felines and Friends is preventing a lot of needless suffering; and making a big dent in feral cat overpopulation.


What do you hope people learn from your story and what would you like your lasting legacy to be?

I always hope that people will be kind to cats to the best of their ability. A warm shelter, a bit of food, seeking help if needed for your cats or the cats you are caring for, these are all good things. Mostly, I want people and cats to know that deep within us all is our true essence. If life can be made a little nicer for all of us, our true essence can shine through! I am able to be an easygoing, dancing cat now and I no longer have to worry about surviving in the cold, or where my next meal will come from. I am happy to be joyful and to dance!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Tuft + Paw Sustainable Cat Bed Design Contest

Calling all creative cat lovers!

Tuft + Paw is running a contest to find a beautiful, affordable, and sustainable cat bed design. Got an idea? Show them your best, and you could win $1,500! Your winning design will be produced in the U.S. and promoted as one of Tuft + Paw’s new flagship products. It will also be donated to shelters across the country.


Submissions deadline: 10-31-2017

Winner will be decided before 11-30-2017

For more information and design criteria, click here.

Unboxing August & September's CatLadyBox

Since we fell a bit behind in August, our CatLadyBox feature this month is a twofer!


From the Desk of the Cat Lady - August CatLadyBox

* Featured Cat Lady Artist: Ellie Szymanska lives with 3 Persians and a senior British Longhair. Most of her paintings feature cats as their main subject.

* "I Work Hard So My Cat Can Have a Better Life" t-shirt
* Cat Desktop Organizer (I use mine as a remote caddy!)
* Cat Magnets



* Crazy Catnip Pencil
* School Bus Catnip Toy


Purrfect Daily Essentials - September CatLadyBox

* Featured Cat Lady Artist: Kathryn Riley Parker This piece is titled "Happy Hour" and stars her 18 year old kitty Miranda who loves to drink from the bathroom sink...and she's a tortie!!!



* Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottle
* Cat Ear Headphones
* Kitty Cat Keychain


* Boinks Bamboozler (Mudpie is obsessed with this toy!!!)
* Winged Sneaker Catnip Toy


Not a subscriber yet? Visit CatLadyBox today!

Interested in purchasing individual items from past boxes? You can do that too!

Disclosure: I receive a discount on my CatLadyBox subscription as a thank you for my monthly review. Regardless of compensation received, we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers.