Friday, August 18, 2017

Fun Feline Finds: Cat Lady Old Maid

One of my favorite card games growing up was Old Maid, probably most memorable to me because of the cute graphics on the deck of cards we had at home. I haven't played the game in years and I've pretty much forgotten the rules, but I'm going to have to relearn them because of this...


Cat Lady Old Maid is much like the original version of the card game, but instead of losing when you get the Old Maid card, you WIN when you get the Cat Lady card!


The illustrations on the cards are by amazing artist (and proud cat lady) Megan Lynn Kott. With names like Fluffer Nutter, Sad Jack Silver, and Colonel Snuggle Bottoms, it's going to be hard not to get distracted from the game by gazing at the adorable kitties!


You KNOW you need this...buy it here!



Disclosure: We received a free deck of cards from Chronicle Books, and the Amazon link is an affiliate link.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

5 Ways to Celebrate Black Cat Appreciation Day

Today is Black Cat Appreciation Day, a day to celebrate house panthers everywhere and help raise awareness about the hardships they still face. It's time for those silly superstitions dating back to the Middle Ages to be put to rest once and for all!


1) Adopt one! It's no secret that black cats (and dogs) are the last to get adopted and the first to be euthanized in most shelters across the US. If you have room in your heart and home for a new pet, please consider adopting a black cat (or dog) from your local shelter. You will be saving a life.

2) Already live with a black cat? Spoil them even more than you ordinarily do today! Give them an extra hug or kiss, a few more minutes of play or cuddle time, extra treats wouldn't hurt either. Post your favorite pictures of your precious pet on social media to show the world that black cats make purrfect companions too!

3) Find some adoptable black cats on PetFinder and share them online. The Internet has revolutionized the way animal lovers and shelters are able to get the plight of homeless animals to the masses. Every day lives are saved because of people blogging, Facebooking, and tweeting about waifs in need of their forever home.


4) Decorate your home in black cat decor! Christmas is my favorite time of year but Halloween comes a very close second, simply because of the influx of black cat merchandise on store shelves! Yes, I've already been scouring local stores to add to my collection and no, I'm not one of those people disgusted by seeing Halloween even before school starts. I'm over summer...bring it on! Some of the pieces I've bought don't even get put away at the end of the spooky season! Any visitor to my home knows that I love cats of ALL colors.

5) Read a book that celebrates black cats. We got a sneak peek of Black Cats Tell All, the brand new release by Layla Morgan Wilde, cat expert and founder of Cat Wisdom 101. It's a must have for every cat lover's home library, loaded with pawsome stories and stunning full color photos of both famous Internet black cats and the mini panther next door. Three personal favorites are "The Adventures of Willow, the Little Black Cat from Down Under" about an adventure cat who travels Australia with her human in a VW van, "From Frostbite to Warm Love" by blogger Kristin Avery, and "The Legend of Black Lightning, the Crime-Fighting Cat", a hysterical mystery/time travel story by Shalom, one of the mascots of Crazy Cat Lady Ceramics based right here in my home state of Vermont!

At last, a celebration of all that is pawsitively black cat to reverse negative stereotypes. This myth-busting collection narrated by cats will move and amuse you with their tell all stories, fun purrsonality profiles and stunning photos. This full color anthology features over 100 black cats from all over the world including YouTube and Instagram. For black cat lovers, it’s a must-have. It’s the gift which gives twice: pleasure for the reader and helps shelter cats with a portion of the proceeds of this book. 
From famous celebrity cats like Cole of Cole and Marmalade to the cat next door; see them lounging, working, enjoying outdoor adventures, strutting their model poses, playing and celebrating holidays–showcasing the full spectrum of their fascinating lives through four seasons. This book, the first of its kind to change negative black cat superstitions, is a welcome gift for cat lovers everywhere.
Tell us about the special black cat(s) in your life and how you're planning on celebrating today!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Handy Household Helper

Meows from Mudpie!

Last week I was helping Mommy sort through crap stuff in the office when she emptied this cool box. I hopped right in even though it was a vertical box and I had absolutely no room to turn around or lie down. That didn't stop me from trying though (and looking super cute doing it too)!


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Is Your Cat Experiencing One of the Big 3 Cat Concerns?

With International Cat Day celebrated last week on August 8, and Happy Healthy Cat Month in September, now is the perfect time to address a topic many cat parents struggle with - your feline friend's diet. I'll be the first to admit Mudpie's diet isn't what I would like it to be. She is an extremely picky eater and a kibble addict while I would prefer that she eat primarily wet food. I'm thankful she's really good about drinking water though, and I plop her mug in front of her any chance I get. (Yes, her favorite place to drink is out of an over-sized pink coffee mug with cats on it.) I've struggled to understand how to address these issues, but then I realized I wasn't alone - Mudpie was just experiencing one of the three most common cat concerns: picky eating, weight gain, and urinary tract issues.


I learned about the Big 3 by partnering with Weruva - a luxurious, natural pet food dubbed "people food for cats" which has launched a full line of gluten, grain, and carrageenan-free cat food in honor of International Cat Day. It's called B.F.F. OMG! (that stands for Best Feline Friend, Oh My Gravy), and it's all about preventing these Big 3 Cat Concerns.

If your cat has any of these, you might want to consider changing their diet:

1)  Is your cat picky? Picky eating is usually a problem with texture, since cats are carnivores whose tongues and teeth are perfectly evolved for meat-eating. It's easy to see why a cat might dislike something without real shreds of meat—would you eat a steak with the texture of tapioca? Weruva's food features these shreds of real meat right off the bone, which is why Mudpie took to it like a duck to water (or a cat to gravy)!


2) Got a fat cat? The problem is in the kibble. It's filled with unnecessary carbs, which are almost impossible for cats to process (they don't produce amylase, an enzyme which helps humans digest their food). Weruva’s B.F.F. OMG! has no kibble to worry about because it’s 100% real meats in their true form.
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3) UT-why? Urinary tract issues often stem from dehydration—even if you're giving your cat plenty of water. In the wild, cats stay hydrated through the food they eat instead of what they drink. Cats are used to 'eating' their water—but most wet foods don't have nearly enough hydration to keep them satisfied. All of the products in Weruva's B.F.F. OMG! line are over 85% hydration, which satisfies Mudpie's hydration needs.


I love Weruva products because they are considered "people food for pets". The new line of B.F.F. OMG! cans and pouches feature land proteins like boneless and skinless white chicken breast, salmon, beef, duck, lamb and more. All recipes are grain, gluten, and carrageenan free. And if you are a BPA-free home, check out the pouches because they are are BPA-free. Best of all, Mudpie loves it!

I kid you not - she ate it THREE DAYS IN A ROW and is coming perilously close to joining the clean plate club!!! For her to even *look* at wet food it must be practically soup, and I add extra water to her food to make it still mushier. These pouches were made for gravy hounds like her.


I'm so glad I had the opportunity to learn more about Weruva's new Oh My Gravy line because it helped me find a food that Mudpie is crazy about! Her favorite so far is the Chicken, Turkey & Salmon flavor, but I'm super excited for her to try the Lamb & Tuna because lamb is her favorite kibble flavor and it's really hard to find in wet food.

You can explore the whole B.F.F. OMG! lineup here, and find a flavor your cat will 'paw'sitively adore, at Chewy.com.

Has your cat experienced one of the Big 3 Cat Concerns? Share your experience in the comments!

Disclaimer: We received a BFF OMG Bundle for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are our own and we never recommend a product we don’t fully believe in.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Tortie Shorties on Mystery Monday


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

We hope you enjoy our choices.



From the publisher: A joyous New Year’s Eve in Historic Brooksford, Maryland, ends in tragedy when fireworks give way to murder during the tiny town’s inaugural First Night celebration, and once again Rory Roberts and her cat are right at the center of it all. This time, though, Rory is more in the center than she’s ever been, as she finds herself caught between her new boyfriend (who happens to be the county sheriff) and the prime suspect (who happens to be her neighbor and lifelong best friend). She may not want to choose sides, but friendship trumps romance as Rory is so sure her nice-guy best buddy could not have committed such a vicious crime. But will her loyalty leave her on the wrong side—and alone?

Meanwhile, Rory’s fluffy-tailed calico, Miss Cuddlywumps, is loyal only to the truth and to crime solving. A classically educated feline who is also well versed in mysteries, Miss C considers the slate of rather obvious suspects while trying to lead Rory in the right direction—hardly an easy task. As the cat sees it, she has only to follow the clues and her instincts to identify the killer, but as she soon learns, sometimes instincts can be wrong.

Tortie Shorties Review: I read a ton of cat mysteries. Honestly, I've gotten to the point where I don't read much else. As I get to meet so many fictional felines it's hard not to fall in love with each and every one of them, yet none has stolen my heart the way Miss Cuddlywumps has. She's adorable, she's hysterical, and she's brilliant. In this third book in the series Rory is at odds with her new beau (the sheriff) when he suspects her best friend of a murder during the town's New Year celebration. Life has been turned upside down in Miss C's home and she simply must help her human solve the murder so things can return to some semblance of normalcy...but is she in over her head this time around? Just as with the first two books in the series, the cozy little world that Rory and Miss C share is pure purrfection. It's a place I long to return to again and again.



From the publisher: As the bookmobile rolls along the hills of Chilson, Michigan, Minnie and Eddie spread good cheer and good reads. But when her faithful feline finds his way into the middle of a murder, Minnie is there, like any good librarian, to check it out.

Eddie turns a routine bookmobile stop into anything but when he makes a quick escape and hops into a pickup truck…with a dead body in the flatbed. The friendly local lawyer who was driving the pickup falls under suspicion. But Minnie and Eddie think there's more to this case than meets the eye, and the dynamic duo sets out to leave no page unturned.

Tortie Shorties Review: Loads of changes are afoot in Minnie's life in this sixth installment of the Bookmobile Cat mystery series, both in her personal and professional life. Her living arrangement is in question, her new boss at the library is a bigger nightmare than the last, and she comes to a startling revelation about her love life. The only constant in Minnie's day to day is darling little Eddie, who stumbles on yet another dead body while out making bookmobile rounds. The little guy's attempt at making Minnie run after him in a parking lot leads to the discovery of a dead body under a tarp in the back of a pickup truck. The victim is the father of Minnie's friend Leese, who has just returned to Chilson to open an elder law practice. When Leese falls under suspicion and her new business is about tank, Minnie and Eddie take on the case.

Each book in this series is like reuniting with old friends, and the mysteries aren't terribly complicated, making for fun little puzzles to be savored with each page. If you're like me and find your bliss in cats and books, this is a series that will make you purr with delight.



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!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Upside Down Mudpie #SundaySelfie

Don't attempt this delicate maneuver at home unless you're an expert at taking selfies like me!


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


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

1. Blind dates seem sort of scary to me. Although I did adopt Mudpie after seeing her picture and we didn't formally meet until the day I brought her home...that was sort of like a blind date and I guess it worked out pretty well ;)

2. Just two years ago, I was beginning my journey with Mudpie. Now it's nearly impossible to remember my life before she was in it! She fills my days with so much joy.

3. I admire famous internet cats who use their celebrity status to help other cats in need because they have the ability to show millions of people how amazing cats are.

4. Any abuse or neglect of an innocent animal makes me think we still have a long ways to go in becoming a civilized society.

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Doll Cat Books by Shanthi Thiruppathi: Review/Interview/Giveaway

I first heard about The Doll Cat books from a fellow Cat Writers Association member who attended BookExpo earlier this summer in NYC. My mom is a long time doll collector so seeing that the series begins with little Fiona's quest for the perfect doll, it really hit close to home. The fact that the feline star is a tortie completely sent me over the edge. I knew that I had to reach out to the author to ask about featuring her books on our blog and she couldn't have been sweeter.


The Doll Cat: Fiona would soon be nine years old and she knew exactly what she wanted for her birthday. Each time she passed by the toy store window, she dreamt of calling it her own. She had never seen a more beautiful doll. It had glossy, blue eyes and porcelain skin. It wore a floral patterned dress and a delicate pair of shoes. It was her dream doll. Or so she thought...

The Doll Cat Goes to Paris: When an opportunity to go to Paris arises, Fiona and the Doll Cat pack their bags for the trip of a lifetime. The two tourists indulge in the many flavors of the city. The scrumptious pastries, the glamorous boutiques and the vast historical landmarks exceed their expectations. They can't open their eyes wide enough to take in all of the sights. If they blink, they might miss something special. Fiona and the Doll Cat connect with the essence of Paris when they attend a high fashion event that sends them on an unexpected adventure through the City of Lights.

Tortie Shorties Review: These children's books are so beautiful they actually brought tears to my eyes. Not just the exquisite illustrations, but the stories themselves. The Doll Cat contains such an important message for kids about your heart's desire sometimes coming to you in completely unexpected ways - Fiona didn't get the doll she thought she wanted, but she got one so much better that will love her back unconditionally. In The Doll Cat Goes to Paris, the best friends get separated in the City of Light and Doll Cat goes on an amazing adventure while trying to reunite with Fiona. The twist at the end showing how they find each other again is so sweet. For kids who want to learn about exploring our world, I just can't think of a better book. And the illustrations depicting Doll Cat in a french beret and the Hunchcat of Notre Dame are simply priceless! These books will live on my bookshelf forever, and I couldn't be happier to learn that three more are in the works!


The Tales of Tiggy & Tobias: Brotherly Love: Tiggy and Tobias are brother seacats. They share a lighthouse and a backyard of sand but no common thread in personality. Tiggy is a brave hunter, while Tobias would rather hunt for seashells along the shore. Hard feelings are exchanged when Tiggy accuses Tobias of lacking seacat bravery. Tobias meets a friendly pelican, who embraces his seacat style. Tides turn one morning when Tobias must find the courage to rescue Tiggy, who has gone missing.

The Tales of Tiggy & Tobias: Neon Jiggles: Every seacat knows that after a hurricane has passed, the sea lays still in tranquility and beckons to explorers. Beneath the stirred up sands and exhausted waves, treasures are waiting to be found. Tiggy and Tobias gear up for a day of snorkeling. Feeling anxious for the many sea trinkets they might find, they are unaware of what is lurking in the waters near them. Little do they know, they will soon encounter a mysterious creature and embark on a journey to a deep, dark place. An underwater world they thought was only possible to visit in their imagination.

The Tales of Tiggy & Tobias: Treasure Hatcher: Each morning wave that rolls onto shore, sprinkles the sandy coast with tiny treasures. As avid sea glass and shell collectors, Tiggy and Tobias are quick to spot the frosty, smooth gems shaped by the sea. But what they find one particular morning, are tracks left behind by a shell-backed creature. The tracks lead them to a sea turtle nest. Tiggy and Tobias volunteer to guard the nest until the eggs hatch. They soon find their duty will go far beyond nest sitting. To ensure the hatchlings make it to sea, Tiggy and Tobias must become the sea turtles' true guardians.

Tortie Shorties Review: Tiggy and Tobias are tabby brothers (both in the books and in real life) who live by the sea, complete opposites in personality and appearance, yet they share a special bond that inspired this series. The seacats adventures lead them to meet all kinds of fascinating creatures, and the illustrations are so vivid you can practically smell the sea air and feel the sand between your toes. I'm not a "beachy" person - at all - but I found myself completely entranced by these books and the messages they convey that you're never too old to be reminded of.

For information on how to buy these wonderful books, visit the author's website. You can also learn more about her artwork and view thumbnail images of the books' illustrations.

Beautiful Chloe

In additional to having the opportunity to review these beautiful books, Mudpie was delighted to be invited to chat with both Chloe, the real life Doll Cat, and her human, author/illustrator Shanthi Thiruppathi...

Welcome Chloe, thank you so much for chatting with me today! Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you came to live with your family?

Meow! Hello Mudpie! Myself and my three siblings, Moe, Tea and Little Kissy were found as new born kittens. Friends of Felines brought us to Shanthi’s family who cared for us. We had no milk so they bottle-fed us. Tea and Little Kissy got adopted out by another family. Moe and I stayed with Shanthi’s family. Shanthi already had two cats: Tiggy and Tobias who are a few years older than Moe and I.

Baby Chloe

You're the star of a series of children's books,The Doll Cat books. How did this come about and how does it feel to be such an inspiration to your human?

Shanthi is always saying “You are such a doll,” to me. Other people also compare me to a doll. It appears I have unique doll-like habits! I feel very special to have my very own series of books. And I am so excited for all the upcoming traveling doll cat stories. I can’t wait to visit new sites and get the children excited about experiencing the cultures of other famous spots in the world.

Your brothers Tiggy and Tobias star in their very own series too! What can you tell us about their stories?

Tiggy and Tobias go on fun beach adventures and each book in their series highlights one of the nine moral values from the Fruit of the Holy Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control. Moe and I guest starred in the Treasure Hatcher book. We were among the sea cats of the island to help rescue the turtle nest.

Tiggy and Tobias

What do you hope kids learn from your literary adventures?

For the first book, The Doll Cat, I hope kids learn that what you desire may come to you in a way or form most unexpected.

Shanthi, what made you decide to have your cats be the stars of your books?

Back in high school, my mom was always telling me to write stories about Tiggy and Tobias. They are brothers with opposite looks and personality so they are an interesting pair of characters to base stories upon. It wasn’t until my last year of college when I wrote the first book, Brotherly Love.

Chloe & siblings

Have you always been a cat lover? Do you have any other pets?

My mom adopted our first cat, Tigger one year before I was born. So I grew up with a cat in the house all my life. Tigger was 15 when Miss Kitty joined us. She found us. Then Kissy found us. We had three cats for a while.

Later, we noticed two kittens at the vets office when we took Kissy for a check up. One of them looked a lot like our beloved Tigger. We decided to adopt him and his brother. And two years later we rescued Moe and Chloe and their siblings.

Chloe and Moe

Tell us about your artistic process, both as an author and illustrator.

The ideas for stories come quite naturally. I can take a walk on the beach and write the entire story in my head. It just flows. Then I come back to my computer, make an outline and write the first draft. I can envision the book cover in my mind immediately. I see it and I know thats what it is going to be. It happens quite effortlessly. The hard work comes in after the idea and vision. This being the writing, editing and artwork.

What are you working on now?

I have ideas for the upcoming books in both series. I can’t wait to start writing them! I am also working on new paintings to add to my Into the Blue collection at www.intotheblueart.com

Giveaway

One lucky reader in the US is going to win their choice of any book in either the Doll Cat or the Tiggy and Tobias series! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below. Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway