Sunday, April 26, 2015

Join Us On Instagram #SundaySelfies

Hey everybody, it's Truffles! This week Mommy and I finally joined Instagram. Yes, it's one more social network to keep up with, but the way I see it, it's a whole new group of people yet to adore me!!!

If you'd like to follow us, we're @mochasmysteriesmeows

I promise we'll follow you back!

Check out more of my friends' Sunday Selfies at The Cat on My Head.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Caturday Art: National Telephone Day

Hey everybody, Truffles at the keyboard! Since today is National Telephone Day, I thought it might be fun to dig up a few interesting facts to honor what is most likely the greatest invention ever. (Although the only thing phones do for us kitties is provide our humans with a quick way to get in touch with the vet.)

* “Mr Watson–Come here–I want to see you” were the first words spoken into a telephone by Alexander Graham Bell, in 1876, to his assistant Thomas A. Watson.

* The Bell Telephone Company was created in 1877 and by 1886 there were more than 150,000 people in the United States that owned telephones.

* In January 1915 Bell made the first ceremonial transcontinental telephone call from the AT&T office in New York City to Thomas Watson in San Francisco.

Mommy took this picture of me last summer while my grandma was in the hospital recovering from a heart attack. I wanted to call her and let her know that I was missing her and purring for her.

For Athena's Caturday Art blog hop, we applied the Graphic Novel effect using PicMonkey, and then added some overlays from their Comic Heroes theme, bringing the picture to life. 

Why do you think I'm calling Mommy in such a panic?

Friday, April 24, 2015

Shopping with Truffles

Hey everybody, it's Truffles! Today we're joining Bacon the Pig and Fozziemum for their fun blog hop called “Shopping Around the World". Each month they post a list of 5 items to price in your area in order to find out what different things cost in various parts of the world. I'm going to turn things over to Mommy because there isn't much here for kitties...

Here are the 5 items for April, and what they cost here in Vermont:

1) Heating and/or air conditioning. I refilled my fuel oil tank in February and the price was $3/gallon. I had to fill the tank twice this winter because it was so bitterly cold. (I have my thermostat set at 65 degrees.) In the summer I have one large AC in the living room and it usually raises my electric bill by about $30/month.

2) Meat. I don't eat a lot of meat, but I always stock up on chicken breasts when they're on sale for $1.99/pound. This makes Truffles very happy too :)

3) Vegetable. As a kid I despised lima beans...not they're my favorite vegetable! I buy them frozen at $2.19 for a one pound bag.

4) Random item. Trader Joe's Reduced Guilt Chunky Guacamole...I am obsessed with this stuff!!! I just wish there was a way to keep it fresh longer. $3.79

5) Homemade dish. A tradition here in Vermont is the Charlie's Red Hot, which is sort of our version of the Michigan hot dog. I've tweaked the original to my taste, and it's one of my favorite treats.

All it involves is 1/4 pound of cooked hamburg (I always just save a little bit out whenever I make hamburgers), a chopped onion, 1 tablespoon of garlic powder, 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce, a beef bouillon cube, and a 1/2 cup of water. I combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan, heat it through and then let it simmer until the water is gone. Then just smother the top of your hot dog with the sauce.

Since this is made up of mostly odds and ends we already have in our kitchens, the most expensive thing here is the hot dogs ($3.99 for a 10 pack) and the hamburger buns (I always buy the seeded ones, $1.69 for 8).

It's REALLY good and makes your kitchen smell great too...but with the garlic and onions it's not for kitties!!!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Raving About Rejeneril

During the time of Tara's various health issues, I came to rely a great deal on supplements. In addition to traditional medicine and a great deal of TLC, I strongly believe that they helped us to have many more months together than her vets originally predicted.

Up until recently I hadn't given much thought to how supplements could benefit a young, healthy cat like Truffles, so when I was contacted by Rejeneril about doing a possible pet supplement review, I was intrigued. I would never give any pet of mine a supplement without doing my homework, so I read everything I could find on the company's website and the opinions of my fellow pet bloggers and in no time at all I felt comfortable giving it to Truffles.

Here's what I learned:

Rejeneril is a patented and veterinarian-recommended supplement designed to help your pets live a longer, happier, healthier life. You can use Rejeneril with any pet — your cat, your dog, your horse, or any other type of mammal — to help protect against the effects of aging. It is completely safe and non-toxic as a supplement. Young or old, healthy or sick, Rejeneril promises to help your pet build a strong immune system, recover quicker, maintain energy, and slow the negative effects associated with aging.

How does it work? 

Now I'm not a scientist by any stretch of the imagination, so to put it simply, it acts as a cellular regenerator to help your pet recover quicker, and allow for a healthier life on a daily basis. Rejeneril contains a proprietary blend of Palladium Lipoid Acid Complex, along with minerals, vitamins, and amino acids, all of which make it the most powerful cellular regenerating formulas ever created. In addition to Rejeneril donating electrons to cells — benefiting the normal, healthy cells that make up your pet’s body — it also helps bolster your pets immunity, in order to help fight against the early signs of cancer or other diseases.

What benefits can you expect from Rejeneril? 

*Improving health and longevity
*Help build a strong immune system
*Building a foundation for a disease-free life
* Reduce pain from arthritis and join pain
* Help extend your pet’s life

About 2 months ago I started adding one tiny drop to Truffles' food. (Easy-to-follow instructions are included in every box for the amount to add to your pet's food or water based on their size. I went on the low end because she is so small.) I wondered if she would notice the slight odor but her stinky goodness seems to cover it up completely!

Truffles is a healthy, happy, vivacious little tortie. Her fur is shiny and soft as silk, and her appetite and activity levels are great. I want to make sure that I do everything I can to make sure she continues to be the "little miss sassafras" that she is today for as long as possible. With Rejeneril as a part of her daily routine, I feel confident that I am doing something to help make sure that happens.

This is a product that I really wish I had known about when Tara was here. I think it would have been very beneficial to her.

Giveaway: Click on this link for details on how to win a free bottle of Rejeneril. The winner will be drawn on May 7th.

Disclaimer: We received one bottle of Rejeneril from Ultimate Pet in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. Mochas, Mysteries and Meows only shares products that we trust and feel our audience will benefit from learning more about. Rejeneril is not responsible for the contents of this post.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Tickle Pickle Fun

Hey everybody, it's Truffles! Mommy said it's time for us to announce the winners of our Second Chance Tickle Pickle giveaway, but first I thought you might like to see me enjoying my pickle!

The lucky winners chosen by are our friends at:

Hope you all love your Pickles as much as I love mine!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Truffles Interviews: The Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery Series Menagerie (w/Giveaway)

Hey everybody, it's Truffles! Today I'm interviewing the trio of pets who star in the Anastasia Pollack Crafting mystery series by Lois Winston: a Shakespeare-spouting parrot, a communist-owned French bulldog, and a haughty white Persian named Catherine the Great who is owned by a self-proclaimed descendant of Russian royalty. (They sure sound like a fun bunch, don't they???)

Truffles: Welcome, Catherine the Great, Manifesto, and Ralph! Thank you all so much for taking time to answer a few questions! Could you each tell us a little about yourselves and how you came to live with Anastasia?

Ralph: Thanks for inviting me, Truffles. As you can see, I’m an African Grey parrot, the most intelligent of the species. I’m also the only pet that truly belongs in the Pollack home. The other two are deadbeat interlopers. Anastasia’s Great-aunt Penelope Periwinkle, was my original owner. When she died two years ago, Anastasia inherited me.

Catherine the Great: I was here before you, Squawk Box. (turning to Truffles) Thank you for inviting me to spend some time with your readers today, Truffles. I’m a white Persian owned by Anastasia’s mother, Flora Sudberry Periwinkle Ramirez Scoffield Goldberg O’Keefe Tuttnauer. Flora descends from Russian nobility on her mother’s side and is a proud Daughter of the American Revolution.

Unfortunately, Flora has had some rather rotten luck when it comes to husbands. Her first husband, Anastasia’s father, drowned while scuba diving off the Yucatan on their twenty-fifth anniversary. Flora needs a man in her life, but her subsequent husbands have each met with untimely deaths shortly after the wedding. When Flora is between husbands, she and I settle in with Anastasia and her family. Life was a lot calmer, though, before Squawk Box and Mephisto the Devil Dog arrived.

Manifesto (growling): My name is Manifesto, not Mephisto! Why can’t any of you get that straight?

Ralph: Who names a French bulldog after a communist treatise?

Catherine the Great: Only a pinko Bolshevik.

Manifesto: It’s not like I had a choice of owners. I certainly don’t have any love for the crazy commie, but what choice do I have?

Catherine the Great: You could always bite her.

Manifesto: And risk getting put down for rabies?

Ralph: You have rabies!?!

Manifesto: Of course not! But I’d rather put up with Anastasia’s hellish mother-in-law than risk the alternatives. (turning to Truffles) Anyway, thank you for inviting me, Truffles.

My owner, Lucille Pollack, and I are stuck living with Anastasia because, quite frankly, Lucille is an idiot. Last year an SUV ran her down as she jaywalked across a busy intersection. While recovering in the hospital, her apartment building burnt to the ground. Since she doesn’t trust the government and by extension, the banking system, she kept her life savings in shoeboxes under her bed. After a stint in rehab, she moved in with Anastasia and her family to finish her recovery. Anastasia’s husband had promised to foot the bill for a new apartment for his mother, but then he dropped dead in Las Vegas when Anastasia thought he was at a sales meeting in Harrisburg, PA. And that wasn’t the worst of it. Seems Karl Marx Pollack had a hidden gambling problem that left Anastasia not only with debt equal to the GNP of Uzbekistan but also with Lucille and me. Trust me, I don’t want to be here any more than the rest of them want me here.

Truffles: What is a typical day like for each of you?

Ralph: Those two fight like cats and dogs. I usually sit atop the bookcase and offer play-by-play.

Truffles: Catherine the Great, why such a regal name?

Catherine the Great: What else would I be named, given my owner’s pedigree? I’m the namesake of the greatest empress the world has ever known. It’s most befitting. Flora couldn’t possibly have named me anything else.

Manifesto: How about Her Royal Hairball?

Truffles: Ralph, how did you learn Shakespeare?

Ralph: Anastasia’s great-aunt was a professor of Shakespearian literature, and I’d regularly accompany her to class. After decades of sitting in on her lectures, I became somewhat of a Bard scholar myself.

Catherine the Great: Big deal! If you were truly intelligent, you’d quote Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy, not a sham playwright who may or may not even have existed. Besides, as Truffles knows, cats are far superior to birds.

Truffles: Manifesto, why are you called a devil dog?

Manifesto (sighing a huge doggie sigh): Everyone hates me. I’m really not such a bad sort of bulldog once you get to know me. My growl is far worse than my bite. It’s taken some time, but by the end of Revenge of the Crafty Corpse, the third book in the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, Anastasia and I embark (no pun intended) on a d├ętente of sorts. But I won’t say more because I don’t believe in spoilers.

Truffles: Do any of you assist Anastasia in solving the mysteries that she finds herself mixed up in?

Manifesto: Like I said, I don’t believe in spoilers. However, I will say Anastasia definitely owes me—big time.

Truffles: What would you consider your craziest adventure and do you know what is coming up for you?

Catherine the Great: Well, there was that time the loan shark—

Manifesto: No spoilers!

Catherine the Great: But she asked!

Ralph: Tell her to read the books. Meanwhile, we never know what author Lois Winston will throw at us until she writes it. It’s not like she consults with us ahead of time. Of course, if she were smart, she would.


About the Author: USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and non-fiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry.

Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog:
Twitter @anasleuth.

The Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series overview: Anastasia Pollack’s comfortable middle-class life comes crashing down around her when her husband, Karl Marx Pollack, dies suddenly, and she discovers his well-hidden gambling addiction. Karl leaves her with two teenage sons, no savings, enormous debt, and Lucille, the communist mother-in-law from Hell. While attempting to dig her way out of debt, Anastasia keeps stumbling over dead bodies, forcing her to become a reluctant amateur sleuth. Each book also features craft projects that relate in some way to the plot. Titles to date include Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun, Death by Killer Mop Doll, Revenge of the Crafty Corpse, and Decoupage Can Be Deadly. In addition, there are three novelettes in the series—Crewel Intentions, Mosaic Mayhem, and Patchwork Peril—which are available individually or together in the Crafty Crimes anthology.

Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun
Book 1 in the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series

When Anastasia Pollack’s husband permanently cashes in his chips at a roulette table in Vegas, her comfortable middle-class life craps out. She’s left with two teenage sons, a mountain of debt, and her hateful, cane-wielding Communist mother-in-law. Not to mention stunned disbelief over her late husband’s secret gambling addiction, and the loan shark who’s demanding fifty thousand dollars.

Anastasia’s job as crafts editor at American Woman magazine proves no respite when she discovers a dead body glued to her desk chair. The victim, fashion editor Marlys Vandenburg, collected enemies and ex-lovers like Jimmy Choos on her ruthless climb to editor-in-chief. But when evidence surfaces of an illicit affair between Marlys and Anastasia’s husband, Anastasia becomes the prime suspect.

Buy Links
Google Play

Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Monday, April 27th for your chance to win an e-copy of any of the books in the series (with the exception of Revenge of the Crafty Corpse).

Monday, April 20, 2015

Disaster Preparedness for Your Pet #FoodShelterLove

This post is sponsored by Hill’s. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill’s® Science Diet® and Food, Shelter & Love® Program, 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.

I'm very fortunate to live in a part of the country that doesn't experience many natural disasters. Parts of my state were ravaged by Hurricane Irene back in 2011, but that was a very rare event. Still, I remember that it was an incredibly scary time and a good reminder that we never know what Mother Nature has in store for us, and disaster can strike on a moment's notice. The tornadoes that struck Illinois just days ago are proof of that. Not all disasters are natural either. I worry about things like fires and gas leaks in my neighborhood all the time.

FEMA's National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day is May 9th, and Hill's Pet Nutrition is recommending 7 ways pet owners can prepare themselves and their pets in case of an emergency:

1) Ensure your pet has either a microchip or collar ID tag with up-to-date information.

2) Prepare an "Emergency Grab & Go Kit" of pet supplies that is easily accessible in an emergency which includes: first aid supplies and guide book; a 3-day supply of pet food in a waterproof container and bottled water; a safety harness and leash; waste clean-up supplies; medications and medical records; a contact list of veterinarian and pet care organizations; information on your pet’s feeding routine and any behavioral issues; comfort toys; and a blanket.

3) Display a pet rescue decal on your front door or window to let first responders know there is a pet in your home, and make sure your vet's contact information is included.

4) Learn your pet's favorite hiding places so you can find them more quickly during an evacuation.

5) Identify a location to take your pet if you need to leave your immediate area. Unfortunately, not all disaster shelters welcome pets, so plan ahead by learning which nearby hotels are pet-friendly, or ask friends and relatives if they could house you and your pet.

6) Carry a picture of your pet in case you are separated.

7) Consider taking a pet carrier or crate for transport and safe-keeping if you need to evacuate.

When disaster does strike, the Hill's Disaster Relief Network is positioned to quickly respond with shipments of pet food to communities impacted by disaster. Hill's established the first-of-its-kind national network in 2013 as an extension of its Food, Shelter & Love® program that provides discounted Science Diet® pet food to more than 800 shelters. In its first year, the Hill's network has delivered free pet food to 50 shelters and veterinary clinics across the country in response to 11 major incidents.

The responsibility for animal shelters during a disaster stretches already overwhelmed staff and resources to the breaking point as they are not just caring for shelter animals, but also pets that have become separated from their owners. Hill’s Disaster Relief Network is poised and ready to help at a moment’s notice so that they can ensure that all of the animals though stressed and upset have proper nutrition, such as the Hill's® Science Diet® Adult Optimal Care® Original, to keep them healthy until they can be reunited with their owners.

I consider myself to be a very proactive cat mom, but even the most prepared owners can get separated from their pet in an emergency. I know that in such a situation, Truffles' health and safety would be my greatest priority, so while I have done some of the items on Hill's checklist, I definitely need to work on a few others.

Do you have an emergency plan in place for your pets in the event of a disaster?