Friday, June 23, 2017

Unboxing June's Meowloha CatLadyBox


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

Featured Cat Lady Artist Eve Furchgott: The artist lives in Hawaii, and this particular print is titled "Ti Party" because the plant behind the cats is a ti plant, which is used to make tiki skirts (among other things!)


Hula Cats Beach Roundie (CatLadyBox exclusive): I'm not a beach person (at all) and I had no idea what a "roundie" was before this box. Turns out it can be used as a beach blanket, swim suit cover-up, a tablecloth. We'll most likely be using it as a throw blanket on the bed come fall! The "Tahiti Kitties" artwork by Denise Avery is just purrfection. For an item I knew absolutely nothing about, this has become one of my favorite things ever!


Cat Silicone Ice Tray: Because who doesn't need cat-shaped ice cubes in their life??? Mudpie is asking for a tray of tunasicles too ;) 

Meowloha Surf Tank Top (CatLadyBox exclusive): Sun, surf, and cats...what else? Love the vintage look to this tank top.



Hula Girl and Pineapple Catnip Toys (CatLadyBox exclusives): Is it just me or are the cardboard tags attached to the cat toys getting to be just as cute as the toys themselves? I cut them off and use them as bookmarks! The pineapple is Mudpie's new favorite thing...she bops it around on a daily basis. She's just crazy about toys that are stuffed, round and feathered.


Not a subscriber yet? Visit CatLadyBox today!

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

Disclosure: I receive a small 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.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Rescued Interviews: For the Love of Pounce

Meows from Mudpie!

As you all know, I've been interviewing the kitties featured in Rescued Volume 2, the second anthology of rescue cat stories compiled by Janiss Garza (of Sparkle Cat blog fame). June's spotlight is on Pounce, a clever little guy who sought out helpful humans when he found himself in need. Sadly, Pounce was called to the Bridge shortly after the book was released.

Since Mommy knows how therapeutic it can be to write about a beloved pet after their passing, we decided to ask his wonderful human if he'd like to share some favorite memories of Pounce. And since a portion of the book's proceeds this month are going to Pounce's designated rescue, Chicago's Felines and Canines, we can't think of a better time to buy a copy in his memory!


Guest Post by Pounce's human, Marshall Bowden

Writing about my friend Pounce is really difficult right now, but it is something I want to do because he was such an extraordinary cat, and because telling his story in the anthology Rescued 2 was incredibly important to him, and to me.

Sadly, Pounce passed away quite suddenly on April 26, 2017, just a little more than a month after Rescued 2 was published. He had cancer somewhere that had quietly, without drama, metastasized throughout his chest. He kept it a secret, just as he had his dietary indiscretion before being rescued. The first sign was that day, when I noticed his respiration was rapid and shallow. The cancer was widespread. There was nothing left to do but say goodbye.

What I want to tell you about, though, is what a thoroughly happy cat Pounce was and how he brought me happiness every day that we spent together. He was truly indefatigable, there was no "off" switch to Pounce. He devoured his life, eating it up and pulling others into his orbit. When I sat on the couch, he would run up my legs and launch himself onto my chest, his face right in front of mine. He might greet me with his familiar war-cry, or he would sit in silence as I began to rub his head, and then he would begin purring.


Inevitably, he would fixate on my reading glasses, often left on or pushed up onto my head as I dozed over some magazine or my phone. My greatest sensory perception of Pounce, that no amount of time will ever erase, was of his hot breath against my temple as he came in to gently grasp the frame of my glasses in his teeth and pull them off. If I successfully thwarted that effort, he would simply start reaching up with his paws, trying to grab them. When I close my eyes and sit quietly, I can still feel that breath on my skin. Those moments now seem like the greatest gift that he left me.

Pounce had a kind of slippery walk. His back end didn't always do what he wanted it to when he turned a corner or landed from a jump. His back legs weren't weak, but they weren't quite right, either. X-rays of his hips and legs all looked pretty normal. The theory was that he had sustained some mild neurological damage from absorbing minerals from the phone wire he had eaten. It was never really a problem for him, his back end would just occasionally shimmy out of control a tad. I said that he had 4-way hips, after the Tom Tom Club song "The Man with the Four Way Hips."

Pounce loved to spend time at the window of my apartment. My kitchen window looks out on a city playlot. Besides the various equipment for children to play on, it has grass and trees around it, and it attracts a lot of birds and squirrels, and once even a possum. Pounce didn't really care about the kids or the dogs that people brought to run and play there, or the birds. These were all pleasant diversions, but they didn't merit his full attention. The two things that Pounce cared about out there were squirrels and leaves.


The squirrels were his obsession. As soon as he latched onto one, his eyes would follow it all over. No matter where the squirrel went, Pounce would watch. He could sit, motionless, watching for more than an hour if the squirrel didn't leave. Sometimes there were multiple squirrels, and that really put him into overdrive. He incited another of my cats, Scout, to become interested in the squirrels also, though it was not nearly as serious an endeavor for him. But there they were, a couple of rescue cats sitting in the window and sharing an interest, growing older together. It made me very happy.

The leaves were another thing altogether. When the leaves turned autumn colors and began to fall from the trees in earnest, swirled by the wind into a chaotic twister, Pounce would fairly dance back and forth along the windowsill, calling loudly as if announcing, "It's fall! It's fall! Look at the leaves falling!" He poked a little hole in the screen trying to get to leaves that had fallen onto the outer window ledge. I pulled a couple of leaves inside for him to smell and investigate. He dutifully sniffed them and played with them a little, but of course there was no wind and so they held no real interest.

Pounce was just too big a soul to contain. He was friendly towards every cat that came through my home over the years, and if they weren't friendly back, he gave them their space. On the day I brought him home from the shelter I dutifully set up my bathroom for him to stay in during his acclimation period. He periodically scratched at the door and called out all day, wanting to come and join the party. When it was time for bed, he was merciless in his assualt on the door as well as my sanity. Finally, I let him out, crawled into bed and shut off the light. All was quiet.


When I awoke the next morning, everything was fine and Pounce was one of the cats. That was Pounce. No acclimation necessary, thank you.

I know that Pounce is out there in the universe now, and I will think of him when I see squirrels running next door or when I imagine that I feel that hot breath on my face as I doze off, but especially when I see the leaves dancing around, falling from the trees in the autumn.

Don't be afraid, he would say. Don't be defeated. The seasons change but life continues, ceaselessly, and it cannot be contained. And I know he's right and I'm glad he's out there, a part of all of consciousness.

But right now, I still really miss my friend.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

When Good Girls Get Grumpy

Mudpie is the sweetest cat you will ever meet, but she has her grumpy days just like the rest of us do, and the #1 thing that puts her in a bad mood is the summer heat (just like her Mommy). 

She's a chatty tortie anyways, but when she's overheated she could give Grumpy Cat a run for her money. The least little touch, even when I simply walk by her, I get griped at. 

Don't believe me? Don't say I didn't warn you...



Happy Summer Solstice!

NOT.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Tortie Shorties on Tuesday


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

We hope you enjoy our choices.



From the publisher: Vintage cookware and cookbook collector Jaymie Leighton has agreed to help her sister clear out the house of a deceased older neighbor, and she’s thrilled at the prospect of discovering antique kitchenware and other treasures—until she opens a vintage trunk in the cellar and finds the remains of a teenage girl with a cleaver buried in her skull. When the body of a second girl is found just days later in a nearby river, the clues all indicate that the crimes are connected—and that the culprit’s motives are hidden in the past.

Jaymie just wants to cut and run, but the victims were both high school classmates of her sister when they disappeared, and that makes Jaymie the perfect person to help the local police investigate the killings. As she dredges up old memories and even older rivalries and jealousies, her list of suspects grows. But Jaymie knows she’ll have to whittle it down to just one, and fast, because someone has decided to cut their ties to Jaymie—in the most fatal of ways . . .

Tortie Shorties Review: This has been a favorite series of mine from the very beginning, and I was heartbroken to learn it was one of the victims of it's publishing company's recent purge of cozy mysteries. I couldn't have been more delighted when the author announced that she'd be continuing the series on her own. It's been an agonizing wait for Leave It to Cleaver, but a wait that was well worth it because this is my favorite in the series so far!

I always love with a mystery delves into the past, and the fact that this one took me back to my childhood years of the 1980's made it even more special. The back and forth from modern-day to decades ago is seamless and the story flows at a fast pace. I found myself completely engrossed in the characters' lives, both those I've come to know and love over the course of the series and the new ones we're introduced to, especially the tragic teenage victims. I had my suspicions about the killer before Jaymie did and enjoyed watching the clues stack up that proved I was right.

The other central theme of Leave It to Cleaver is sisters Jaymie and Becca's double wedding which leaves the series wide open to new adventures. I'm not usually a fan of weddings taking place in cozy mysteries but this was different because it was the central characters getting married. It brought happiness and hope to a story of lives taken too soon and so much lost promise. In short, one of the best cozies of 2017.



From the publisher: Ten-month-old Keiki thrives on each test of her growing abilities, but strange new yearnings mystify and distract her. What's a good-dog to do? She doesn't want to let the girl down.

Lia Corazon has only three days left to prepare Keiki for the police dog test. There's more than the dog's future at stake. Success will save Lia's dream of rebuilding her North Texas dog kennel. Failure means a lifetime of living her grandparents' dreams.

When a training exercise takes a deadly turn, Lia sends Keiki to protect a young girl, but who will protect Lia? There's a killer on the loose and he'll burn anybody who gets in his way.

Tortie Shorties Review: This is the second prequel to the popular Lei Crime Series focusing on Rottweiler pup Keiki's training for her future as a police dog. In this installment Keiki stumbles upon a dead body during a training exercise. A young witness runs off in fear when the police are called and Lia gives Keiki the command to go find and protect her. Then a fire breaks out and puts all their lives in danger while a killer still runs loose.

This is a novella but it's more action-packed than some full-length books I've read! Told alternately from Keiki and Lia's points of view, I enjoyed a glimpse inside the mind of a puppy during training. Lei, the star of the Lei Crime series, makes a brief appearance, and the revelation of a connection between Lia and Lei was a twist I look forward to seeing play out in the next novella. A short, suspenseful story perfect for summer!



Disclaimer: 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! I received review copies of both of these books from the authors in exchange for my fair and honest opinion.

Monday, June 19, 2017

A Box With A Story

Meows from Mudpie on one of the happiest days of the year for us kitties...International Box Day!!!


My very first review as a professional kitty blogger came just a couple weeks after I moved into my forever home when I received a Purr Packs box in the mail. (I'm so sad that the subscription service has been discontinued because it was a totally pawsome box!) In it contained my all-time favorite animal print mousie who I lovingly refer to as my Baby, and at the bottom of the box was a horizontal cardboard scratcher that I've done my nails on every single day since it arrived.

Geez, was I ever that tiny???

Needless to say, after nearly two years it's been pretty much falling apart at the seams (and leaving miniscule cardboard crumbles all over the living room floor), so a couple weeks ago Mommy finally found a replacement insert to fit the outer box decorated with cute kitty faces.


I was ecstatic! I was going to have the best looking claws in the neighborhood! I couldn't wait to hop in and start scratching!

Then less than a week later I lost my breakfast on it.

Luckily my puke was thick (is that TMI?) and Mommy was able to scoop it right up with a paper towel, and then she removed the insert and put it in the bathroom window to dry and remove any lingering odors.

What was I doing while she was busy cleaning up my mess? I took a nap in the empty box!


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Deep In Thought #SundaySelfie

Meows from Mudpie!

It sure has been a sad week to watch the news, hasn't it? On Tuesday night we went to bed after watching breaking news about the horrific tower fire in London, only to wake up on Wednesday to learn about the assassination attempt on a group of Republican congressmen.

Sure makes me happy to be a kitty and not a person harboring so much hate in their heart.


Speaking of the London fire, have you heard about Pancho, the sweet kitty who was rescued from the building and is now providing comfort to other victims in a nearby church? I'm purring like crazy that his humans are found unharmed so they can be reunited quickly. It's devastating to think about how many animals were probably left behind in the chaos and lost their lives that night. Of course our hearts hurt for the human victims too, but it's the animals who are always forgotten.


We also want to wish all the wonderful cat daddies out there a very happy Father's Day! Last year Mommy wrote a post about my grandpa titled The Making of a Cat Guy. I think it's a pretty sweet story that you would enjoy reading if you missed it the first time (or would like to read it again!)


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

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Caturday Art

Meows from Mudpie!

It seems like whenever Mommy takes a new favorite picture of me, I like to gussy it up for my Caturday Art project. I'm not sure why...it's not like you can improve on purrfection ;)  

This week I applied the "Floating" effect in LunaPic, then transferred it to PicMonkey where I played with the exposure and added a frame. It turned my autumnal tortie colors into a summery, pastel work of art!


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


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

1. I challenge everyone to do something for an animal in need this week.

2. I regret disposing of um...not a whole lot! A trait I inherited from my mom is the inability to throw stuff away, but that's all changing! Last week I filled two big garbage bags with clothes I hadn't worn in years and brought them to Goodwill. Now I look forward to going through the rest of the house and gradually clearing out all the clutter. I've been inspired!

3. I have a difficult time admitting when I've made a mistake or could have done something better. I have a tendency to get defensive even by well-meaning, constructive criticism. Definitely something I need to work on.

4. If I were given a psychic power, I would like it to be the ability to communicate with spirits. My favorite paranormal show is The Dead Files.