Saturday, February 25, 2017

What's Better Than One Mudpie? Two! #CaturdayArt

Meows from Mudpie!

Anyone know what's up with Mother Nature?

Last week at this time there was nearly two feet of snow in my backyard. Now after days of way above average temps and rain it's nearly all gone. Mud season has come to Vermont very early this year.

I wanted my Caturday Art project to look very wet (seriously, the puddles are so big I would drown if I stepped outside). I went to LunaPic and applied both the Reflecting Water (hence the promised double helping of Mudpie) and Waves effects.

I think I look sufficiently soggy, don't you?

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

Friday, February 24, 2017

Funny Photo Friday

Meows from Mudpie!

It was a short week (for some) but it's been a long week nonetheless and I bet you're looking for something to put a smile on your face. Well, you've come to the right place!

Earlier this week we reviewed some Tiki Cat food for Chewy and this picture was one of the outtakes. It's so cute we were tempted to use it anyways, but we figured the nice Tiki Cat people wouldn't appreciate seeing me giving their food the raspberry! (My facial expression is in no way representative of how I feel about the food, honest!)

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

Mommy's answers:

1. I wish VCRs would come back in style. Never gonna happen, but I still prefer "taping" things to watch later versus shelling out extra money for a DVR. (Thank Cod for On Demand.)

2. I always have Excedrin in my purse. I get a headache if I blink wrong so I'm never without it.

Mudpie's answers:

3. I think that I am the cutest tortie in the world.

4. The lack of winter sun puddles is a pet peeve of mine.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Baby Diddles Finds Her Place in the World

As a cat blogger the majority of my online reading and social media feeds are animal-related, and many days it seems like everything I read is trying to break my heart little by little. Whenever I'm in need of an uplifting rescue story to restore my faith in humanity I know I can always turn to the pet lifestyle website, PawCulture™. PawCulture's goal is to inform, inspire and entertain devoted pet parents with helpful advice, useful tips, and superior storytelling.

This post is sponsored by PawCulture™ and the BlogPaws® Pet Influencer Network™. I am being compensated to help share PawCulture but we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers. PawCulture is not responsible for the content of this article.

Nothing warms my heart more than reading about a special needs, seemingly unwanted cat finding a forever home where they will be cherished as the little treasures that they are. One morning while scrolling through my Facebook feed I stumbled upon a book titled Baby Diddles: How the Three-Legged, One-Eared Cat Learned to Do It All. Not surprisingly, the tortie on the cover is what grabbed my attention, and I immediately downloaded the book. Baby Diddles just melted my heart, and after reading her story I reached out to her wonderful human Amber Lane, who like all great cat moms was delighted to tell me more about her precious fur baby.

Amazingly enough, Baby Diddles' story begins in 2013 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, which is not exactly the kindest place in the world for a tiny, injured cat to live on the streets. Exactly what happened to her is unknown but the founder of a local rescue group called Wags and Purrs found her on the side of the road with a mangled ear and dragging a stump of a leg. She was brought to the vet where they removed her leg (leaving her hip joint for better balance) and part of her infected ear.

Following her recovery Wags and Purrs put Warda (Baby Diddles' original name, which means "rose" in Arabic) up for adoption and heartache struck this brave kitty once again: no one stepped up to give her the forever home she longed for. Week after week she was featured online, only to have cruel people leave comments that she was "ugly".

Baby Diddles' official adoption photos

Thankfully Amber saw her picture and immediately fell in love. On August 16, 2013 she went to Amber's home in Dubai as a trial to see how things would go with the three resident cats, and she immediately found her place in Amber's feline family. Baby Diddles was home.

Life has changed a lot for Baby Diddles since the day Amber realized she couldn't live without her. Now living in the United States their little family has grown to six cats, many of which also have special needs. Amber finds herself inspired by these forgotten kitties who have so much love to give, and only ask for that love to be returned by a family to call their own. According to Amber, "Life is so hard for all of us anyway without having a disability, to see animals get right back up with a smile on their face despite everything that has happened to them inspires me each day. Animals don't know to feel sorry for themselves. They only know to keep trying and to stay alive. Feeling sorry for ourselves is a human trait. She helps me to realize that it could always be worse and why not put a smile on my face and make the most of every situation."

Just a few months after adopting Baby Diddles, Amber decided to write a children's book about her to teach readers that just because someone looks different, or has a disability, that person or cat can do anything they set their mind to. "There's no doubting herself and her limitations," Amber told me. "Yes, she falls occasionally or needs help getting up on things, but it doesn't stop her from trying the next time." Nothing slows Baby Diddles down. She's able to run, climb, jump and play just like all her sisters.

Most importantly, she's able to love with her whole heart...just like every other cat.

Did Baby Diddles' story inspire you to seek out more feel-good rescue stories? If so, there's no better place to look than PawCulture. One of our favorite articles there is the story of BenBen, a stray deemed "the saddest cat on the internet" after being found with multiple puncture wounds, a crushed spine and cauliflower ear. Adopted by an employee of  the emergency vet clinic where BenBen was treated, his family now uses his social media stardom to help other stray cats in need of immediate medical attention through his very own GoFundMe page.

Celebrate the unbreakable bond between pets and their people by visiting the PawCulture website for information, inspiration, entertainment, helpful tips, and advice about loving your pet.

Their pawsome articles for pet lovers include:
  • Heartwarming Pet Rescue Stories
  • Pet Recipes
  • Pet DIY Projects
  • Pets of Celebrities
  • Pet Travel and Adventure
  • Cat Clubhouse with exclusive cat content and feline features!

Ready to learn more about PawCulture? Follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of PawCulture. The opinions and text are all mine.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Luau with Tiki Cat...Vermont Style #ChewyInfluencer

Meows from Mudpie!

Often when I get my monthly Chewy Influencer email and see a food I'd like to try I end up having a hard time choosing a flavor. Then when I do make my selection I second guess myself.  Seriously, is there anything worse than getting an entire case of food that you don't like??? Why can't cat food companies understand that kitties are fussy and want a variety of tasty morsels?

(FYI: Luaus in Vermont take place in the snow.)

Tiki Cat made life a lot easier for cats and cat moms everywhere with their King Kamehameha Luau Variety Pack, containing twelve 2.8-oz cans of the following formulas: (2) Hawaiian Grill, (2) Lanai Luau, (2) Tahitian Grill, (1) Molokai Luau, (1) Honolulu Luau, (1) Waimea Luau, (1) Waikiki Luau, (1) Makaha Luau and (1) Bora Bora Luau.

Of course Mommy oohed and aahed over how adorable the packaging is. She's so silly. It's what's *inside* that matters, Mommy!!!

The moment you open a can it's obvious these are human-grade ingredients. The meaty chunks look like something that could be spread on a fancy cracker! And in the case of the sardines, they look a little *too* authentic, if you catch my drift. I haven't tried every flavor yet, but so far the Ahi tuna is my favorite. Why dirty a dish when you can eat right outta the can?

This food is currently on sale at for $11.77, and for kitties who enjoy chicken the Queen Emma Luau Variety Pack is also available. 

Tell the nice Chewy peeps that Mudpie sent you!

Disclaimer: A case of food was sent to us for free by as part of their Blogger Outreach Program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are our own and we never recommend a product we don’t fully believe in.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Tortie Shorties on Mystery Monday

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

We hope you enjoy our choices.

Twelve Angry Librarians (Cat in the Stacks Mystery) by Miranda James

From the publisher: Charlie is stressed out. The Southern Academic Libraries Association is holding this year’s annual meeting at Athena College. Since Charlie is the interim library director, he must deliver the welcome speech to all the visiting librarians. And as if that weren’t bad enough, the keynote address will be delivered by Charlie’s old nemesis from library school.

It’s been thirty years since Charlie has seen Gavin Fong, and he’s still an insufferable know-it-all capable of getting under everyone’s skin. In his keynote, Gavin puts forth a most unpopular opinion: that degreed librarians will be obsolete in the academic libraries of the future. So when Gavin drops dead, no one seems too upset...

But Charlie, who was seen having a heated argument with Gavin the day before, has jumped to the top of the suspect list. Now Charlie and Diesel must check out every clue to refine their search for the real killer among them before the next book Charlie reads comes from a prison library...

Tortie Shorties Review:  I don't read a lot of books where a man is the protagonist, but Charlie Harris of Miranda James' Cat in the Stacks Mystery series is something special. Over the course of this series I've watched Charlie grow from a lonely librarian to a beloved member of the genteel town of Athena, surrounded by family and friends - and a very special cat, Diesel.

In this 7th book in the series, Charlie isn't looking forward to delivering the welcome speech at the Southern Academic Libraries Association's annual conference, and when he discovers that Gavin Fong, an unwelcome ghost from his past is also attending, he finds reason to dread it even more. It doesn't take long for the two men to be at each other's throats once again, but Charlie soon learns his feelings towards Gavin are felt by many. The next morning Gavin steps up to the podium to make his speech and drops dead moments after taking a drink from his water bottle. Gavin had hosted a party for the librarians in his room the night before, the most likely time for the water to be poisoned, meaning there's a killer loose among the conference attendees. While investigating the crime Charlie also has a lot of change going on in his personal life to complicate matters further for the sleuthing librarian.  The mystery is very fast paced and the resolution turned out to be a big surprise.

Unlike many cat cozies, Charlie and Diesel aren't a crime-solving team. Diesel has no special powers that enable him to help solve the mystery. He's simply Charlie's best friend and companion with kitty quirks that we all witness in our own beloved pets...and that's exactly what makes their relationship (and this series) so special.

For Whom the Bread Rolls: A Pancake House Mystery by Sarah Fox

From the publisher: Tourist season’s in full swing in the small seaside town of Wildwood Cove, and Marley McKinney couldn’t be happier. Since taking over the Flip Side restaurant, she’s made a few close friends, adopted a cat named Flapjack, and started dating her childhood crush. The only cloud on the horizon is local nuisance Ida Winkler, who blames Marley for landing her nephew in prison. Trying to get a rise out of Marley, Ida’s been making crank calls and even vandalizing the pancake house.

The police can’t do much about the pranks, so Marley sets out to bury the hatchet once and for all. But someone’s beat her to it—in the most shocking way possible. After stumbling across Ida’s dead body, Marley’s suddenly the number-one suspect in her murder. Clearing her good name is going to be a tall order, but Marley’s not about to let Ida keep ruining her life—especially from beyond the grave.

Tortie Shorties Review: The summer tourist season sees business booming at The Flip Side pancake house. As Marley continues to settle into Wildwood Cove life is pretty much perfect except for the ongoing acts of vandalism and crank calls made by cranky Ida Winkler. When Marley has finally had enough of the harassment she pays Ida a visit, only to find her dead in the garden shed, whacked over the head with the base of an antique lamp that Ida stole from Marley's front porch. Before long Marley starts to worry that business is going to suffer if she doesn't clear her name of suspicion, and she ends up discovering that many people in town had reason to hold a grudge against Ida. From blackmail to illegal dumping at the river to a local meth lab, there's a lot of illegal activity going on around Wildwood Cove, and Marley takes it upon herself to tie up the details.

Great characters, a picturesque setting, yummy food descriptions, and an adorable cat...what more does a cozy mystery need?

Sunday, February 19, 2017

2nd Annual Mudpie 500 Zoomies Event

WOOHOO today I'm taking my Sunday Selfie
from behind the wheel of a moving race car!!!

(And the 2014 Sprint Cup Champion's car at that...just sayin'.)

It's no secret that Mommy is serious about her NASCAR. The Daytona 500 is next Sunday and she is ecstatic.

Since she always calls my zoomies the "running of the Mudpie 500" I decided to start hosting an annual giveaway to celebrate this national holiday in our house!

This year Mommy and I each chose a couple items for our prize package: a feather mousie and package of Nip Nibblers for the kitties, and a wooden "Best Cat Ever" box sign and Lake Champlain chocolate bar for the cat moms.

For a chance to win, simply leave a comment predicting the winning driver by midnight eastern on Sunday, February 26th. Don't forget to leave your email address too! (Due to shipping costs this is open to US residents only, however everyone is invited to enter. Winners residing outside the US may gift or donate their prize to a friend or shelter.)

In the event that more than one of you pick the winning driver, we will draw a name from a hat. If no one picks the winning driver, we will move on to second place, etc., until a winner is chosen. Last year no one chose the winner Denny Hamlin, but my friend Cathy Keisha chose "the guy from NJ" (Martin Truex Jr.) who finished second, so she won the prize!

Here are your driver choices:

Here's the thing about the Daytona 500: it's a total crap shoot so you don't need to know a thing about racing in order to predict a winner. It's known as a "restrictor plate race" which limits speed and increases safety, to provide an equal level of competition. The cars all run in crazy scary packs and winning is more a matter of luck than anything.

Back in 2007 our driver Kevin Harvick won the race. My grandpa's boss at the time stood to win $1,000 if Mark Martin won, and Martin was leading until the last turn of the last lap when Kevin came from 7th place to win by fractions of a second. It was a thrilling finish, but grandpa never told his boss that Kevin was our driver! Check it out:

Good luck, have fun, and may the best man Kevin Harvick win!!!