Monday, June 25, 2018

Book Review: Claws of Death (A Cat Lady Mystery) by Linda Reilly


Whisker Jog, New Hampshire, is a long way from Hollywood, but it’s the place legendary actress Deanna Daltry wants to call home. Taking up residence in a stone mansion off Cemetery Hill, the retired, yet still glamorous, septuagenarian has adopted two kittens from Lara Caphart’s High Cliff Shelter for Cats. With help from her Aunt Fran, Lara makes sure the kitties settle in safely with their new celebrity mom.

But not everyone in town is a fan of the fading star. Deanna was in Whisker Jog when she was younger, earning a reputation for pussyfooting around, and someone is using that knowledge against her. After being frightened by some nasty pranks, Deanna finds herself the prime murder suspect when the body of a local teacher is found on her property. Now, it’s up to Lara, Aunt Fran, and the blue-eyed Ragdoll mystery cat Lara recently encountered to collar a killer before another victim is pounced upon . . .


You have to love it when the character list in the beginning of a book is all the feline characters, not the human ones! In Claws of Death Lara and her Aunt Fran have officially opened the High Cliff Shelter for Cats out of their cozy home in Whisker Jog, New Hampshire. It's pretty exciting when legendary actress Deanna Daltry moves to town and adopts a pair of Lara and Fran's kittens. The only concern is Deanna's housekeeper Nancy's apparent dislike for the precious babies, and when Lara visits one day to check on the kittens she's horrified to find a dead body in the private cemetery behind Deanna's home. The victim is Donald Waitt, a face from Deanna's past who she recently had a very public altercation with. Lara likes Deanna very much and can't help but get involved to prove her innocence. 

In between investigating, Lara keeps busy breaking in a new shelter employee who seems too good to be true, and matchmaking cats and humans leading to very sweet scenes, especially when kids are involved. Just as in the first book, the star of the show is Blue, a ghostly Ragdoll cat only Lara can see who protects her and gives a paws up or down to potential forever homes for the shelter's charges. This series is a dream come true for cat-loving mystery readers, and I hope it enjoys a long and happy nine lives!



Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book 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, June 24, 2018

Cat World Domination Day #SundaySelfie

Meows from Mudpie!

Did you know that today is a very special day? It's Cat World Domination Day, a day for us kitties to celebrate our world domination!


Don't forget to visit Summer's blog today to join in all the fun and festivities. I understand there's going to be a pawsome giveaway!


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

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Caturday Art


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 Four-Legged Furballs!

1. My favorite scent is lilacs.

2. I hope to visit an A&W restaurant this weekend. I have to go to a memorial service out of town on Sunday, and this town has the only A&W in Vermont. It's only open during the summer months and I've never had the chance to go so I'm looking forward to grabbing some dinner there. What should I get?

3. The sound of a purr or meow is music to my ears.

4. Home is where Mudpie is.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Unboxing June's CatLadyBox

The theme of June's CatLadyBox was "Summer of Meow"...here's what was inside!


Featured Cat Lady Artist: Shannon Spencer's "Mouse Dreams"

Summer of Meow T-shirt: Is it possible to have too many cat t-shirts? We think not.


Cat Lady License Plate Frame: This license plate frame is too cute for words. I haven't put it on my Jeep yet, though. It's standing up on the bureau in my bedroom!


Bright Cats Insulated Tumbler: It's so important to stay hydrated, especially during the summer, and with a tumbler this cute there's no excuse for ever being without a cold beverage!


Catnip Convertible & Fishy Fishies Catnip Toys: Mudpie thinks fishy is purrfect for tossing in the air, and the way we love race cars at our house, you just know the convertible was a huge hit!

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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.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Pom Pom Pawty Time!!!

Meows from Mudpie!

Are you all ready to *squeee*??? Today we're sharing Mommy's favorite video that she's ever taken of me.

To set the scene, I love playing with pom poms more than just about anything else, and Mommy has the coolest pom poms *ever* hanging from her pink kitty bathrobe! I wish she's just clip them off for me, but since she won't I take every chance I can to bat them around when she's wearing the robe. On this particular night she leaned over me on the couch and I started whapping away at them. For once the iPawd was within reach. She loves how the video captures my playful personality and over-the-top adorableness just purrfectly.

Enjoy the short film!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Purrfect 10: Fascinating Facts About Cat Noses

We love reading and researching anything and everything about cats, and wanted to find a fun and unique way to share the interesting facts we learn with you! Since top 10 lists are very popular in the blogosphere, we created The Purrfect 10 as a way to present 10 educational or fascinating tidbits about a wide variety of cat-related topics, everything from health issues to cat breeds to famous felines.


A human’s sense of smell is arguably the one we take most for granted, but try to imagine how dull life would be without the pleasure of smelling that first cup of coffee in the morning, the flowers blooming in spring or your favorite cake or cookie baking in the oven. Our nose even has the power to save our lives, warning us of the dangers of smoke, toxic gases and spoiled food.

While we find our feline friends’ little noses irresistible to “boop” with affection, their nose could actually be considered their most important organ. Here’s why!

1) A cat’s sense of smell is nearly 14 times greater than a human's, checking in with 200 million scent receptors in their nasal cavity versus our measly 5 million. That’s even more than many breeds of dogs! A cat’s entire olfactory system extends through nearly their entire head.

2) Although cats are largely olfactory hunters, a cat uses their nose for much more than sniffing out food. Since outdoor cats establish territorial lines with their urine and pheromones from glands in their face and feet, other cats passing through can either decide to respect another’s territory and move on or stage a coup and deposit their own scent markings. The pheromones they leave behind are like their calling card! During mating season, female cats in heat release powerful chemical signals that a male’s nose can detect from miles away. A cat’s nose is also able to alert her to dangerous situations such as nearby predators.


3) As powerful as a cat’s sense of smell is, their taste receptors are lacking. (We have approximately 9,000 taste buds, they have less than 500.) How something smells triggers their hunger reflex more than how it tastes. This is why older cats or those with respiratory infections end up not eating. They can’t smell their food so they lose interest in eating. Warming food up to simulate the temperature of freshly killed prey can help to release the food's natural aromas.

4) When introducing a new cat to the resident feline, it’s best to do so gradually by smell. Rub a towel or washcloth over the new cat, and vice versa, allowing each to get used to the scent of the other before meeting face to face. And when you’re meeting a new cat yourself, extend your hand and let her smell you first. You’ll be fast friends in no time!

5) A kitten’s sense of smell is present at birth and fully developed by four weeks of age. Many kittens claim a certain nipple for their very own and can find it with ease, most likely because they smell their own pheromones deposited while nursing.

6) A cat’s nose has a powerful accessory called the Jacobsen organ (also called the vomeronasal organ). It’s a second scenting mechanism of sorts and is located behind the front teeth, connecting to the nasal cavity. According to cathealth.com, “Odors are inhaled to the tongue, the lip is slightly curled, and the tongue is rubbed on the roof of the mouth. Then the mouth, nose, and Jacobson’s organ in some way allow the animal to sense the essence of the flavor and scent in a way that we do not have the capacity to experience.” Have you ever seen a cat sneer? That funny little lip curl is triggered by their “flehmen response”. All cats use this process to analyze pheromones, but males grimace more often than females, always in tune with the opposite sex…even if they’ve been neutered!


7) There are certain scents cats can’t stand: many perfumes and air fresheners, citrus, bananas, plant smells, spicy scents such as cayenne pepper and cloves, eucalyptus oil, and oil of wintergreen can be overwhelming to a cat’s sensitive nose. Even fragrances that have been added to kitty litter have been put there for our benefit, not theirs. Do you let your nose tell you when it’s time to clean the litter box? Your cat will be offended by the odor long before you will. Many problems with inappropriate elimination occur simply because they’re trying to tell you the smells coming from their litter pan are simply intolerable!

8) When a cat head butts or cheek rubs their favorite human, they’re claiming that person as their own. It’s a sign of affection. They will also mark fellow felines in this way, engaging in a scent exchange so their colony has one familiar scent. Even when a cat is scratching your favorite piece of furniture or “making biscuits” on your lap they’re marking their territory through the scent glands in their paw pads too!

9) There is a direct correlation between the color of a cat's coat and the color of their nose. A black cat will have a black nose, white cats have pink noses, orange cats have orange noses, etc. Multi-colored cats will most likely have a multi-colored nose (Mudpie does!) Some cats have cute little nose freckles too.


10) A cat's "nose print" is as unique as a human's fingerprint, containing its own pattern of bumps and ridges. The print could be used as a form of kitty ID if they would allow you to ink their nose and stamp it on paper!

So the next time you’re admiring that adorable little nugget of a nose sitting in the middle of your cat’s face, take a moment to marvel at all that organ actually does. And then give it a boop...all cat lovers know it’s impossible to resist!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Book Review: Bono: The Amazing Story of a Rescue Cat Who Inspired a Community by Helen Brown


From New York Times bestselling author Helen Brown comes a funny and moving account of her life-changing month as a foster mother—to a homeless cat named Bono.

When Helen Brown arrived in New York for a much-anticipated visit, a fellow animal lover talked her into fostering a shelter cat. Helen visualized a sweet-natured cuddler who blinked and dozed a lot. What she got at Manhattan’s Bideawee shelter was a wide-eyed and unpredictable Persian with a punked-out haircut and a feisty attitude.

Bono had become homeless during Hurricane Sandy, had survived a serious infection, and needed daily medications. As a “special needs” cat, he was an unlikely candidate for adoption. But as affection between them grew, Helen resolved to see that Bono found his forever home. She didn’t know that he would change her life in ways she never dreamed possible and teach her lessons she would cherish ever after. Just as this sweet, beleaguered, and hopeful guy deserved a fresh start, Helen too was ready for new beginnings. And so began a heartwarming, uplifting, lasting kind of love . . .


This is not only a book about a very special cat, but also one about a woman in search of what to do with the second chance at life she's been given following a battle with breast cancer. Helen Brown is facing a "two-thirds-life crisis" and bored with her daily life in Australia, jumps at the chance to spend time promoting her new book Cats and Daughters with her daughter in New York City. While she's planning on a carefree jaunt in the Big Apple, her publishing company suggests that she foster a shelter cat during her time there and writing a blog for the Huffington Post about the experience. A portion of what Helen is trying to escape is life with a difficult cat back home, but her daughter jumps at the idea and before long they're left in charge of a Persian with chronic kidney disease who seems unadoptable in so many ways.

It takes Helen and Bono a good deal of time to build a relationship, with both of them none too impressed by the other. But as Helen watches Bono live his life without fear of what's to come, just enjoying each day he's given, she begins to see how much they have in common and that she can learn a lot from this spunky little cat with a very uncertain future...
Next morning we woke to see a small black shape dancing across the floor, at war with one of Lydia's socks. Shaking it by the toe and tossing it in the air, Bono was so deeply engaged in battle, he didn't notice out interest. The previous day's trauma had melted away for him, and now he was delighting in the simple act of fighting a sock. Bono was unwanted and terminally ill, yet he was relishing the fact he was alive right now with a sock for a playmate. I wished I could be such a master at embracing the moment. It would take decades of therapy and spiritual practice for me to reach that level. If only I could be more like Bono and stop fretting over things beyond my control. 
The lion cat greeted the morning sun with curiosity each day. Every moment was brimming with adventure for him. Whether it was a cockroach or a fluffy toy cat, he was not disappointed. To Bono every day was a good one, simply because he was in it. ... He knew life is precious because we are all fragile, and out presence on Earth fleeting. He was too engaged with living to worry about dying. 
Before long Helen realizes she can't go back home again until she finds a forever home for this cat that comes to mean so much to her. It's an unforgettable journey for them both and a story that touches the heart of everyone they come into contact with. People think of New York City as a place people go to disappear, but this book shows how one tiny cat brought a community together while changing many lives in the process.



Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book 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!