Saturday, October 1, 2016

Halloween Tortie Ornament & Friendly Fill-Ins

Meows from Mudpie!

Mommy and I belong to several Facebook groups for tortie lovers, and last week we met a very talented artist named Breeanna Benton. Breeanna is owned by two tortie ladies, Voodoo and Jynx, who inspired her to paint a Halloween tortie ornament. When she offered personalized ornaments for sale we couldn't contact her fast enough.

There was an audible gasp when Mommy opened the package...isn't it just the cutest???

The ornament won't be put away after Halloween is over, that's for sure! Breeanna told us she's planning a Christmas tortie too and our order is already placed!

Interested in a personalized ornament of your own cat? Breeanna doesn't just paint torties, and she does a lot of custom work. Contact her via her Facebook page for more information. Her prices are super reasonable too!

We're entering our Halloween tortie ornament in Athena's Caturday Art blog hop.


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

Mommy's answers:

1. Hug a cat every day.

2. My favorite magazine is Catster. I enjoyed Cat Fancy but I adore Catster. It's the only magazine I have a print edition subscription for; everything else I get digitally now.

Mudpie's answers:

3. Recently, I stumbled upon the Cat's Meow toy that Mommy had bought for Truffles for Christmas one year and she never liked it. OMC it's SO much fun!!! I played with it for two solid hours on Thursday night and was devastated when Mommy picked it up fearing I'd turn it on in the middle of the night!

4. Even though I demand to be an only cat, I sometimes think it might be fun to have a playmate.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Unboxing September's Fall Back CatLadyBox

The theme of September's CatLadyBox was "Fall Back"...this is what was inside!

Featured Cat Lady Artist Evgenia of Goosi Studio: What can I say, each art card is more amazing than the last. Every single one is worthy of being framed and hung on the wall.

Cat Wall Clock (CatLadyBox Exclusive): Sleek, shiny, and oh so modern. This clock went up in my bedroom the day it arrived!

Photo: CatLadyBox

"Purr" Gold Layered Necklace (CatLadyBox Exclusive): I never should've taken this necklace off the card before taking a picture of it because it was impossible to get it back on properly, but I couldn't help myself. I had to try it on immediately! It is such an elegant piece of jewelry and I can't wait to pair it with a black turtleneck this winter for maximum impact. 

Cat Lady Bandages (CatLadyBox Exclusive): How clever is this? The theme of September's box is "fall back" and it includes band aids for when you actually take a tumble! Only trouble is they're too cute too bleed on! The adorable tin can be repurposed to hold other goodies too.

And for Miss Mudpie...

Fluffy Feather Boa Teaser Wand (CatLadyBox Exclusive): Mudpie is a total goner when it comes to feathers. This one is super soft, furry, PURPLE, and her new favorite wand toy.

World's Cutest Cat Catnip Gold Medal (CatLadyBox Exclusive): Surprise, surprise...Mudpie won the gold medal for Cutest Cat Alive! 


Not a subscriber yet? Visit CatLadyBox today!

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

Disclosure: I'm not being compensated in any way for this review. I am a proud CatLadyBox subscriber!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Coffee Junkies Rejoice!

With regards to the name of our blog, we've often heard that we cover the meows and the mysteries, but where do the mochas come in? I guess I never really intended to write about coffee, I just wanted to choose a name that reflected some of my favorite things. Pure bliss to me is being curled up with a book, a cat, and a hot beverage. If not for wanting to use alliteration with the "M" in my name (this was pre-Mudpie) I could've used the name Coffee, Cats and Cozies!

Yes, I am a total coffee junkie; I only wish there was a way to pipe it through my veins intravenously. And mochas are my favorite because of the added chocolate factor!

Today is National Coffee Day, and many coffee chains are planning special freebies and deals to celebrate. Here's a list of some we've been able to find:

Dunkin’ Donuts: Medium hot coffees are 66 cents to commemorate Dunkin' Donuts' 66th anniversary plus 66 Dunkin's Donuts' Twitter followers will be surprised with a Dunkin' Donuts card good for a year's worth of free coffee.

Krispy Kreme: Free coffee and a free glazed donut!

Cumberland Farms: Text “FREECOFFEE” to 64827 to redeem a coupon for a free hot or iced coffee.

Peet’s Coffee & Tea: Get a free medium coffee when you purchase a select food item.

Caribou Coffee: Caribou Coffee will donate a free cup of coffee to caregivers at health facilities and hospitals across the country, when people purchases a cup of Amy's Blend coffee on National Coffee Day. Amy's Blend Coffee and merchandise sales support CancerCare.

Chick-fil-A: Giving away a Free small Iced Coffee with any purchase. One per person.

Wawa: Get a free coffee of any size all day. The offer is valid at all 730 of their locations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Florida.

Stewart's Shops: All upstate New York locations will be offering free hot and iced coffee from noon to close on Sept. 29. Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 2, Keurig will offer deals on several coffee drinks. Customers will get 20% off Green Mountain Coffee K-Cup pods and 15% off other beverages like Green Mountain Coffee and the Original Donut Shop with the code GREENSAVINGS at checkout.

Starbucks is donating a coffee tree on behalf of each customer who purchases a brewed Mexico Chiapas coffee.

If you've heard of any others, please let us know! Remember that all of these offers are valid at participating locations.

Now everyone go forth and get caffeinated today!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Saving Raggedy Ann, Part 2: The Recovery

Yesterday we introduced you to the amazing Raggedy Ann, an innocent victim of animal hoarding. From the comments we received it's obvious she continues to touch hearts everywhere.

As promised, today we present part 2 of Mudpie's exclusive interview with Ann as she tells us about how life has changed since being rescued, her ongoing recovery, and her hopes for the future. (If you missed part one yesterday, you can read it here.)

Mudpie: What's life like for you today?

Raggedy Ann: My life is very different now. I have a clean home that isn’t overcrowded with other pets and doesn’t smell like pee or poop. My litter box gets cleaned twice a day, or more if it is needed. I really appreciate that cause let’s be honest, who wants to step in a dirty litter box. I have food brought to me multiple times a day, sometimes even while I’m still in bed. Oh did I mention, I have a heated bed. My foster mom keeps calling me “The Princess and the Pea”, whatever that means. I just know that it’s really soft and comfy, especially since my fur had to be shaved because I was so badly matted. I tried really hard to clean myself, but could never get ahead. Now I have no problems grooming myself. I actually find it really peaceful and relaxing.

What struggles are you still facing?

Right now I am still fighting an infection in my mouth from my rotting teeth. They soon will be coming out so that should clear up soon. The biggest challenge I’ve faced is the result of the tremendous malnutrition that clearly went on for a long time. I am extremely anemic. Doc says my levels were so bad, I should have had a blood transfusion. Thankfully the rescue that took me in, Saving One Life, told my mommy to start giving me chicken liver to help me gain more iron in my blood. So far it is working. I’m not where a normal kitty should be yet but am on my way.

Now that I am gaining weight back at a healthy rate, I am feeling better and getting up more and exploring my room more. My foster mom opens the window for me every day so I can sit in the windowsill and watch the birdies or lizards run by. The more I get up and explore, they say the more muscle I will build.

What are your hopes for the future? Do you think you'll be able to live in a forever home one day?

I hope that my original mommy gets the help that she needs, so no other kitties have to suffer like I did. I’m so happy that Saving One Life took me in and never gave up on me. I’m thankful for my foster mom, even when she has to give me yucky medicine, because she has always made sure I’ve had food to eat and a warm bed to snuggle up in.

Wouldn’t it be purrfect to find a furrever home. My foster mom tells me about it every day. That I will never know what it is like to go hungry again, that I will always have a warm bed of my own and that I will always know love. Which to her means, kisses. I’m still not 100% sure of them, but they are starting to grow on me.

What do you want people to learn from your story?

I want people to learn the signs of animal hoarding, so they can report someone if they think they need help. Even if it is a family member, you are our voice. We need you to speak up for us. I’m thankful to whomever called the police. We weren’t safe anymore and without them stepping up, I wouldn’t be here today. According to the ASPCA these are the signs to watch out for:

· They have numerous animals and may not know the total number of animals in their care.
· Their home is deteriorated (i.e., dirty windows, broken furniture, holes in wall and floor, extreme clutter).
· There is a strong smell of ammonia, and floors may be covered with dried feces, urine, vomit, etc.
· Animals are emaciated, lethargic and not well socialized.
· Fleas and vermin are present.
· Individual is isolated from community and appears to be in neglect himself.
· Individual insists all animals are happy and healthy—even when there are clear signs of distress and illness.

Also, I hope that I can inspire people to foster other animals in need. I hear that there are between 900-2,000 cases of animal hoarding reported every year. We would all want to be loved and cared for. Even if we only stay with you for a short time, you can show us to trust again. Please consider opening your home and your heart to animals in need.

How can we all help with your recovery?

Well, my foster mom has been sharing with me all the nice letters and cards people have been sending. I love how many people all over the world are rooting for me. I just got a beautiful blanket and I hear a sweater is on its way to me, too. My recovery isn't over yet but all the support and love has made a huge difference. Something that would help is remembering I am not the only one who has had such a bad experience. Saving One Life just took another six sweet kitties from the same shelter who were in another hoarding situation. You can learn more about them by visiting their Facebook page Six Sweet Souls Saved

Lastly, I want everyone to know that I appreciate all the support. As much as my foster mom and rescue love me, saving a kitty like me isn't cheap. Saving One Life has given me world class care and the financial support from our many followers has made that easier for sure.

Thank you, Raggedy Ann, for sharing your story with us over the past couple days. Your incredible courage and beautiful heart are an inspiration to everyone, and we wish you nothing but happiness and love from here on out.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Saving Raggedy Ann, Part 1: The Rescue

Every cat has a story. For some it's happy, for others it's tragic. For many it's unknown.

Over the past several weeks Mudpie and I have been following the story of a cat named Raggedy Ann who was rescued from a horrific hoarding situation in Yuma, AZ. Our hearts were touched by her sweet face, her adorable name, and her incredible spirit, and we've been thrilled to see how she's thrived under the care of her amazing foster family.

When Mudpie reached out to Raggedy Ann with the request for an interview she readily agreed to take time from her rehabilitation to answer our questions, and she left us in awe once again when we discovered she holds no ill will in her heart towards the person who mistreated her. She only wants her original mom to get the help she needs and to shine a light on the mental health issue of animal hoarding. If only humans had such a forgiving heart.

Raggedy Ann's "tail" can't be told in just one day, so we've broken down the interview into two parts. Today's installment covers the horror Ann was rescued from. I hope everyone reading this is as inspired by Raggedy Ann's story as we are.


Welcome, Raggedy Ann! Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me today. Could you start by telling us a little about yourself and how you came to live in your wonderful foster home?

Thank you Mudpie for wanting to tell my story. My name is Raggedy Ann, they guess that I am around 14 years old, but I only have four teeth so it is hard to really tell how old I am. I was rescued from what is known as a hoarding situation. I wasn’t safe there and the police were called. Animal Control also came out and they took my friends and me to the local shelter. That’s where I met my first human friend, Karen from Azure Sky Imagery who does volunteer photography for the shelter. She took a liking to me and posted a picture of me asking for help. That’s when my foster mom saw me for the first time. She said her heart broke and she had to do something. Luckily, she fosters for Saving One Life and they also thought the same thing. So, Saving One Life and my foster mom decided to take me in.

What conditions were you forced to live in and how were you treated?

When the police and animal control came to inspect where I was living before, I was found living in really bad conditions. I had 40 other kitty friends that lived with me and as well as two dogs. We all shared a double wide trailer our mom was renting. The house was so filthy and full that our mom was living outside in her driveway. Some of my friends had passed away before being rescued. It was so sad and it could have easily been me. They were great kitties, that just didn’t have enough to eat and a chance to see a vet when they got sick.

How long did this go on and how were you finally rescued?

My rescuers aren’t quite sure and to be honest it was such a blur. I just remember being really hungry and my teeth hurting. It must have been a while though, because I lost most of my teeth and according to my foster mom I looked like a walking skeleton.

What makes people hoard animals?

My foster mom tells me that it wasn’t my mommy's fault. That animal hoarding is part of a disease and that without treatment, can just get worse. Many people who hoard animals, do in fact love their animals, they just become overwhelmed. They also are in denial that they are overwhelmed so they continue to take in animals and that what results in starvation and deaths. When my foster mom picked me up from the local shelter that took me in, I weighed only three pounds and fifteen ounces. My foster mom says that’s the same weight as a four month old kitten. I am missing most of my teeth, due to not having enough good healthy food to eat. I have four remaining ones that are rotting and keeping me sick. My vet says I should be healthy enough to get them removed next month and that it will make it so I don’t have an infection anymore.

What's going to happen to those who hurt you?

I’m not sure what is going to happen to my original mom. She has a court hearing coming up and my foster mom is going to attend and speak on my behalf. She wants to be able to remind the court that my mom needs help. She is suffering from a mental health disease and needs treatment, otherwise she will just continue to collect animals because she thinks she is helping them.

How did you get your adorable name?

I love my new name, my foster mom just calls me Ann for short. Since I’m not so Raggedy anymore. She picked that name because of the way I looked when she first picked me up.


A new name. A new life. 

Please join us tomorrow for part 2 of Raggedy Ann's story: The Recovery. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Tortie Shorties on Mystery Monday (w/Giveaway!)

Meows from Mudpie!

We have 3 book reviews for you again this week...with a twist! We're excited to be able to give away a set of all 3 books to one lucky winner in the US. To enter simply fill out the Rafflecopter below!

We hope you enjoy our choices.

By Familiar Means (A Witch's Cat Mystery) by Delia James

From the publisher: After discovering her mystical heritage—and being adopted by furry feline familiar Alistair—artist Annabelle Britton has decided to make picturesque Portsmouth, New Hampshire, her new home. Now, she can take the time to figure out her new abilities and welcome her grandmother, who is visiting Portsmouth, and her old coven, for the first time in thirty years. 

But being a witch doesn’t magically put money in the bank. When she’s hired to paint the murals for a new coffee house, it seems like a wish come true. But then a series of spooky sounds and strange happenings convince the owners that their new shop is haunted. They want Anna and her coven to evict the restless spirit before the grand opening.

Annabelle is certain the haunted happenings at the shop are just hocus pocus. But when her search reveals hidden smugglers’ tunnels beneath the shop—and a dead body—Annabelle, Alastair, and the coven suddenly find themselves in a cat and mouse game with a killer...

Tortie Shorties Review: The first book in the Witch's Cat mystery series was one of my favorites of 2015 so I've been on pins and needles waiting for By Familiar Means! Annabelle needs to start bringing in money so she takes a job painting a mural for the new coffee house owned by her friends Jake and Miranda. The couple fears the shop is haunted so they ask Anna to use her witchy powers to investigate. What she finds is the dead body of a nearby hotel's sous chef in the secret tunnels below the shop. Anna suspects the various members of the family that own the hotel, and the identity of the killer is a perplexing mystery until the very end.

The scene stealer here (besides the furry familiars) is Anna's Grandma B.B. who's visiting Portsmouth to help Anna learn more about her heritage, while also renewing her quarrel with Anna's mentor Julia. Of course Alistair the magical cat is always there when Anna needs him (when he's not otherwise occupied by catnip trips and Miss Boots the hotel cat) and leads her to the necessary clues.

Be prepared to be entranced by a world of fun, fantasy and four-legged familiars!

From the publisher: Cassie Miller returned to her sleepy hometown in the Berkshires to start over as the new postmistress. But she soon finds that dead letters are nothing compared to murder victims...

With a massive storm about to hit North Ashcot, Massachusetts, threatening floods and widespread wind damage, Cassie is forced to close up the post office along with the rest of the local business owners and residents, who are battening down the hatches and bracing themselves for the worst.

Although the storm proves not to be as bad as predicted, fabric shop owner Daisy Harmon is found dead, seemingly killed by a fallen branch. But the police quickly determine that her death had nothing to do with foul weather and everything to do with foul play. After Daisy’s widowed husband approaches her to help solve his wife’s murder, Cassie vows to find the killer before another innocent victim is taken by storm.

Tortie Shorties Review: The life of a small town postmistress is such a fascinating premise for a cozy mystery series. In this second book a huge storm is making it's way towards North Ashcot and everyone is busy battening down the hatches. On Cassie's way home she sees Daisy Harmon of Daisy’s Fabrics closing up shop. Daisy ends up being the sole casualty of a storm that thankfully isn't as bad as predicted; she's found dead under a fallen tree limb. Who on earth could want an innocent fabric shop owner dead? Daisy's husband asks Cassie to find out, and she ends up uncovering a wealth of information thanks to all the local gossip at the post office. Even in gentile small town New England local politics is a nasty business!

From the publisher: The holidays are a busy time for scrapbook shop owner Carmela Bertrand—but not so hectic that she doesn’t have time to enjoy browsing the booths at the Winter Market with her best friend Ava. The last thing the ladies expect to see is a lurching man stabbed by a serving fork, dying in front of them.

The victim is loathed restaurant critic Martin Lash, who posted his scathing reviews on the Glutton for Punishment website. And the prime suspect is New Orleans restauranteur Quigg Brevard—who was seen giving the critic a tongue-lashing minutes before someone stuck a fork in him. An old flame of Carmela, Quigg asks for her help, which does not please her current beau, Detective Edgar Babcock, to say the least.

Before her relationship is the next victim, Carmela needs to find a murderer who had no reservations about punishing the culinary curmudgeon...

Tortie Shorties Review: Laura Childs' Scrapbooking mystery series has long been special to me because it's set in New Orleans, one of my favorite locales for a cozy. The vivid descriptions of the Big Easy in these books instantly makes me feel like I'm on Bourbon Street, eating a Muffuletta or beignet and sipping on a cafe au lait. The fact that Crepe Factor also takes place during the holiday season is just icing on the cake. The murder of a despised food writer at the Winter Market (a serving fork to the carotid artery!) plunges Carmela into her 14th adventure when she gets involved because an old flame is the prime suspect, much to the chagrin of her current love Detective Edgar Babcock. Carmela is forced to walk a fine line to catch a killer, protect her relationship, and survive to see Christmas!

Disclaimer: I received free copies of these books from the publisher in exchange for fair and honest reviews.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Counter Surfing #SundaySelfie

Meows from Mudpie!

This week I took my selfie while surfing across the kitchen counter. (It's okay...I'm allowed!)

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