Sunday, January 21, 2018

What'chu Talkin' 'bout, Mommy? #SundaySelfie

Somekitty has been watching too many Diff'rent Strokes reruns with her Mommy...

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

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Flower Tortie #CaturdayArt

(Created with PhotoLab)

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...

Mommy's answers:

1. I have never been able to drive a stick shift. When I first got my permit my dad was determined I was going to learn to drive on his truck which had a standard transmission, and it so completely overwhelmed me that it ruined the whole learning to drive experience for me. Which is probably why I didn't get my license until I was 30.

2. I wish I could still roller skate. We used to have skating parties in elementary school and I was so clumsy on them I refused to leave the rug. LOL By the time I finally mastered the skates and felt super comfortable on the rink the parties stopped. Now I wonder if I would be able to pick it back up again.

Mudpie's answers:

3. Curled up on the couch with my blankies and Mommy is my ideal winter night.

4. Adopt a cat this winter and you'll always be warm and cozy.

Friday, January 19, 2018

The Purrfect 10: Meet Cattarina, Edgar Allan Poe's Feline Muse

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.

One of Edgar Allan Poe's most famous works is the short story The Black Cat, but in real life he was owned by a beautiful tortoiseshell cat named Cattarina. Unfortunately cats weren't celebrated two centuries ago as they are today so facts about her life are few, but when I found out that one of my all-time favorite authors was owned by a tortie I started doing some digging. Today is Edgar Allan Poe's birthday, but the subject of this month's edition of The Purrfect 10 is the one and only Cattarina...

1) Historians believe Cattarina became a part of the Poe family (Edgar, his wife Virginia, and her mother Maria Clemm) in late 1839/early 1840 while they were living on Coates Street in Philadelphia.

2) Nicknames were popular in their home - Edgar was simply Eddie, he called his wife Sissy, and his mother-in-law was referred to as Muddy. Cattarina herself was sometimes called Catters or Kate, and her name has been spelled both with one T or two.

Drawing by Chas. Sheldon, image courtesy Poe Museum.

3) Edgar and Cattarina formed a very close bond. She reportedly preferred to eat from his hand, was depressed when he traveled, and enjoyed perching on his shoulder while he wrote, "purring as if in complacent approval of the work proceeding under [her] supervision,” according to one observation. (Hopefully she took lots of cat naps while he was writing The Black Cat!)

4) Poe's wife suffered from tuberculosis for 5 years and during the winter of 1846, when Poe was destitute and Virginia was dying, Cattarina would curl up on the bed with her to provide much needed comfort. One visitor to their home during this time described how Virginia had no source of warmth other than her husband's coat and the cat. He wrote: "The wonderful cat seemed conscious of her great usefulness." Virginia passed away in January 1847 at only 24 years old.

5) In 1840 Poe write an essay titled Instinct vs. Reason - A Black Cat in which he writes, "The writer of this article is the owner of one of the most remarkable black cats in the world..." and proceeds to tell the story of how she (presumably Cattarina) had figured out how to open a latched door using a series of perfectly timed movements.

6) In 1844 the Poes traveled to New York City, leaving Muddy and Cattarina behind while Edgar chased success in the American literary world. They stayed at a boarding house in Greenwich Village where the landlady provided such an impressive feast that he wrote home, "I wish Kate could see it - she would faint. You can't imagine how much we both do miss you. Sissy had a hearty cry last night, because you and Cattarina weren't here." Within the week he wrote a piece for the New York Sun about a transatlantic trip in a gas balloon titled "The Balloon Hoax" that earned him enough money to send for Muddy and Cattarina.

7) Poe died at the age of 40 on October 7, 1849. Cattarina joined him in death within weeks, discovered by Muddy upon returning to the family cottage at Fordham for a last load of boxes. Her death is every bit as mysterious as that of her beloved owner.

8) Poe's cause of death continues to be debated to this day, with one theory being that he died of rabies. Since Cattarina passed so shortly after, some wonder if he could he have contracted it from her. It's worth noting that there was no available vaccine for pets at the time.

9) Cattarina is the star of her very own cozy mystery series by Monica Shaughnessy, and also the subject of a short biography, Poe's Uncanny House Cat by Ed Sams.

10) Cattarina's legacy lives on! In November 2012 a trio of kittens were found on the grounds of the Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia. Museum staff named them Edgar, Pluto (after the cat in The Black Cat), and Cattarina. Cattarina was adopted by a museum staffer, but Edgar and Pluto have become official mascots of the Poe Museum and can be visited there today. A fun interview with Edgar and Pluto can be found here.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

25 Amazing Facts About Mudpie

Meows from Mudpie!

Today I'm answering questions from the FB meme started over at Stunning Keisha that so many kitties in the cat blogosphere have taken part in. Not really sure these are amazing facts about me, but it has been a fun way to get to know my blogging friends a little better...

1. Where is your cell phone? Mommy
2. Your hair? Tortoiseshell
3. Your dad? Unknown. I have a pawsome Grandpa though!
4. Your mom? Mommy
5. Your favorite food? Pro Plan kibble
6. Your dream last night? Spending time with Mommy
7. Your favorite drink? Water
8. Fear? Being away from Mommy
9. Favorite shoes? Paws don't need shoes!
10. Favorite way to relax? Nap with Mommy
11. Your mood? Playful
12. Your home away from home? Home
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. Something that you aren't? Boring
15. Muffins? Paw biscuits
16. Wish list item? Catio
17. Where you grew up? Western NY...I think!
18. Last thing you did? Play
19. Favorite thing to do? Play and nap
20. Your TV? Always on
21. Your pets? No way!
22. Friends? Lots thanks to my blog
23. Your life? Happy
24. Missing someone? Mommy when she's at work
25. Something that you are? Deeply loved

Do any of my answers surprise you?
Is there anything else you'd like to know about me? 
My life is an open

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Rescued Interviews: Mr. Jazz

Meows from Mudpie!

Back in 2015 Angel Truffles started interviewing the cats featured in Rescued: The Stories of 12 Cats, Through Their Eyes, an anthology of rescue cat stories compiled by Janiss Garza, who writes the Sparkle Cat blog. She was unable to see it to completion but I was more than honored to continue the series once I settled into my forever home and took full reins of our blog. Now Rescued Volume 2 is on store shelves and it's my goal to interview as many of the kitties as possible once again! (If you missed our review, it can be found here.)

Each author featured in the book has nominated a cat rescue and was assigned a month to promote the book, with a third of the profits from that month going to their rescue. January's spotlight is Mr. Jazz who is telling the story of his sister Jazmine, a cat he led his humans to from his home at the Rainbow Bridge...

Welcome Mr. Jazz! Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today. Could you start by introducing yourself to us and telling us what made your story such a good fit for the Rescued anthology? 

Sure thing! I’m a handsome and distinguished bi-color Ragdoll cat, or I should say, I was a handsome and distinguished bi-color Ragdoll cat. Right now I’m an angel cat with the prestigious distinction of narrating the meow memoir, Purr Prints of the Heart – A Cat’s Tale of Life, Death, and Beyond. After the heartbreaking decision from my humans to help me, I went to the Rainbow Bridge at 15-years of age on August 28, 2013. That’s why my story for the Rescued anthology was such a good fit… I knew I had a unique story to tell by sharing the journey of how I, as an angel, came to guide my heartbroken humans to finding Jazmine – a sweet and sassy rescue kitten (and my namesake) they weren’t looking for that ended up rescuing them instead by bringing love and joy back into their lives.

For a while after you left for the Rainbow Bridge you "visited" your mom. Do you think that helped you both cope with your physical separation?

I visited my mom several times and when it first happened it was really weird and awkward. Being a spirit was new to me and I wasn’t sure if I was helping her, or scaring her. But ultimately, yes, once she got over the shock of it, I think my visitations brought her comfort and she looked forward to them. I had already made peace with my journey to the Bridge. I was very tired and sick before that and I wanted to go. I had lived a wonderful life with my mom and my coming back to her, especially by bringing her to ultimately finding Jazmine, was my way of letting her know I would always be a part of her heart and never far from her memory.

The story you wrote for Rescued 2 is actually the story of how your sister Jazmine came into your humans' lives, with your help. How did you know Jazmine was the kitty meant to fill the empty space in their hearts that you left behind?

Just like my mom, I’m a firm believer in things like fate, destiny, and kismet. I can’t say I immediately knew Jazmine was the key to filling the empty space in my humans’ hearts, but once the clues started to fall in place, I knew she was the one. It all started with me communicating with my mom during one of my spirit visits that she had to go to the Global Pet Expo, a trip she was planning on cancelling because she was still so depressed after losing me. I didn’t understand why it seemed so imperative she go, but my intuition was telling me it was and I pulled out all the stops to convince her, even making direct eye contact with her for the first time and gently letting her feel my presence on her lap. She and I always shared a special bond and it was like she understood I was leading her on a journey she had to fulfil.

My Mommy is convinced that Angel Truffles sent me to her as well. Has Jazmine proven herself to be the perfect fit for your family as you knew she would? 

Oh my gosh! If there was ever a cat meant to be with my family, it’s her! Honestly, it’s like she was custom-created from the heavens above with the pure objective of being put on this earth to make my humans happy! There is not a single day that goes by that she doesn’t do something to cause them to laugh or smile and it gives me tremendous joy to see how much she has enriched their lives. As a matter of fact, just this past week, my mom had a procedure for a serious eye injury. Just like I used to do, Jazmine is sticking to her like glue to help her get better. She’s got so much of me in her that sometimes my mom swears it’s me she’s seeing or hearing, and not Jazmine. Jazmine carries toys in her mouth to bring to mom, and with nearly the exact same meow I had, she drops them at her feet. Plus, even though she can kinda be a spoiled brat (it’s nearly impossible for the humans not to spoil her) all of the other cats in my family love her, too and it’s like she’s been a part of the family her whole life.

What's life like for all of you now, both at the Bridge and here on earth?

Well, for me, I’m quite content at the Bridge. Yes, there have been some sad moments. Like when my sister cat Harley had to come to the Rainbow Bridge at far too young an age. Or so many cats from the blogosphere that are so beloved that have also joined me over the years. But we make the best of it – we watch over our humans and it makes us happy when our humans can open their hearts to other rescues that need a good home. On earth, well, there seems to be so much strife lately and I know it’s a stressful time. I see so many kitties working overtime, trying to bring some calm, peace, and happiness into their human’s life. And honestly, why not? We kitties are great at that and it’s all the more reason every household should adopt a rescue cat or two, because we’re awesome, we deserve a good home, and we make incredible companions! Purr therapy does wonders for the heart and soul!

What shelter have you chosen to receive your proceeds from the book this month and why?

I chose Riverfront Cats Miami because they are near and dear to my mom’s heart. Riverfront Cats is a small, grass roots organization from Miami, Florida and is always in need of donations to help take care of local outdoor neighborhood cats and fostering efforts. With temperatures warm nearly year-round, kitten season rarely lets up, so there are always cats in need of help. Gorgeous lady and Founder of Riverfront Cats, Christine Michaels, devotes her time, heart, and pocketbook to helping the community cats in her area, especially the black cats that are most often abused or overlooked for adoptions. Between TNR, food, veterinary costs, and more, it’s an expensive endeavor and they really, really could use some help!

What do you hope people learn from your story and what would you like your lasting legacy to be?

I hope that people learn that sometimes you have to look beyond what you think you’re supposed to do. After my death, my mom wasn’t looking for another cat. Quite the contrary, she was certain she didn’t want another cat, but meeting Jazmine changed all that. Opening your heart and home to a rescue not only changes the life of the cat, it changes the life of the human. As far as my lasting legacy, it’s the one I share in Purr Prints and it’s the purr-fect sentiment for the Rescued series – for those that have loved and lost a cat, we know we will always be special in your hearts and you are not looking to replace us if you chose to adopt again. Quite the opposite – we take great pleasure in knowing another cat in this world will have a life filled with love, comfort, and happiness the way we did. Rescued is all about that and I am so honored to be a part of a book that shares that special message.

BIO: Deborah Barnes is the author of the award-winning book, Makin’ Biscuits – Weird Cat Habits and the Even Weirder Habits of the Humans Who Love Them; as well as Purr Prints of the Heart – A Cat’s Tale of Life, Death, and Beyond; The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey – A Journey of the Extraordinarily Ordinary; and contributor to Rescued Volume 2 – The Healing Stories of 12 Cats, Through Their Eyes. She is the publisher and editor of the award winning blog, Zee & Zoey’s Cat Chronicles and is the Vice-President of the Cat Writers’ Association. She was awarded 2013 “Writer of the Year” by Friskies Purina and is the Secretary of the nonprofit, Pawsitively Humane, Inc. of Miami, Florida. Her freelance work has been featured in Cat Fancy magazine, Kittens 101,,, and the American Association of Human-Animal Bond Veterinarians newsletter.

This post contains affiliate links. Photos used with permission: Deborah Barnes

Monday, January 15, 2018

Tortie Shorties on Mystery Monday: Christmas in January

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

We hope you enjoy our choices.

From the publisher: Sheriff Jeff McQuede finds pampered cat King Henry in the midst of a crime scene. The cat, who belongs to Sammy Ratone, is the only witness to a burglary. McQuede, unable to locate Sammy, takes King Henry home with him where the cat creates endless mischief.

Tortie Shorties Review: This is a series I wasn't familiar with and most likely not one I would gravitate towards if not for the cat on the cover and in the description. I found it to be a fun, short read and enjoyed the mystery as Sheriff McQuede attempts to solve a string of robberies at Christmastime, but the best part is when he takes home the big orange tabby belonging to one of the victims. King Henry is a hoot and the only witness to the crime...will he lead the sheriff to the culprit or just cause him more trouble?

From the publisher: When Holly White’s fiancĂ© cancels their Christmas Eve wedding with less than two weeks to go, Holly heads home with a broken heart. Lucky for her, home in historic Mistletoe, Maine is magical during Christmastime—exactly what the doctor prescribed. Except her plan to drown her troubles in peppermints and snickerdoodles is upended when local grouch and president of the Mistletoe Historical Society Margaret Fenwick is bludgeoned and left in the sleigh display at Reindeer Games, Holly’s family tree farm.

When the murder weapon is revealed as one of the wooden stakes used to identify trees on the farm, Sheriff Evan Grey turns to Holly’s father, Bud, and the Reindeer Games staff. And it doesn’t help that Bud and the reindeer keeper were each seen arguing with Margaret just before her death. But Holly knows her father, and is determined to exonerate him.The jingle bells are ringing, the clock is ticking, and if Holly doesn't watch out, she'll end up on Santa's naughty list in Twelve Slays of Christmas, Jacqueline Frost’s jolly series debut.

Tortie Shorties Review: For Christmas crazy people like me this series is a dream come true with a farm called Reindeer Games (with real reindeer) in the town of Mistletoe and a protagonist named Holly with her cat Cindy Lou Who. It's simply everything a Christmas cozy should be. As a matter of fact, I think you could read it on the 4th of July and instantly find yourself in the holiday spirit! The mystery of how the local historical society Scrooge is found dead, clobbered with a wooden stake from the tree farm and left in a sleigh on the grounds, is complex and suspenseful. The characters are well-developed and I especially enjoyed Holly's close knit family and the descriptions of the fun Christmas activities they've created for the tree farm. Could someone book me one-way ticket to Mistletoe, please?

I received a free copy of Twelve Slays of Christmas from the publisher for review. This post contains affiliate links.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Stuffie Snuggling Sunday Selfie

Meows from Mudpie!

You may be wondering why I'm looking quite sad today and why I'm snuggling with stuffies instead of Mommy. That's because she plans to leave me to go to a silly cat show this afternoon and she'll probably come home reeking of other cats!!! Do you think it's too cold to ask her to change her clothes out in the garage when she gets home?

Okay, I guess I'm being kind of dramatic, but she had better buy me something! In the meantime, anyone wanna come over to paw-ty?

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