Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Beauty of Nature #SundaySelfies

"Nature" is the theme for this week over at The Lazy Pit Bull's 52 Snapshots of Life photo challenge. Thursday afternoon I was walking over to my neighborhood cat-sitting gig, and I happened upon this little cutie pie chipmunk. I was so thankful that I had my Kindle Fire with me so I could snap a few pictures of him through the window.

He played coy for a few minutes, barely popping his head out to survey his surroundings, but finally came out and even (reluctantly) agreed to participate in the Sunday Selfies blog hop!






Saturday, August 1, 2015

Make Your Cat a Pin Up Kitty!


I created this Truffles calendar using Pho.to earlier this year to hang in my office at work. Would you like to see your own cat featured in a calendar while supporting a really great cause? Keep reading to find out how!

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Calling all cat moms & dads! Does your cat have star quality?
Do you have an adorable picture of your kitty?
Would you like to see it in a calendar while supporting a special shelter and rescue -- Look What
The Cat Brought In? Then do we have a deal for you!

Enter your cat's photo to be in our calendar, but only the photos getting the top 13 votes after the
competition voting will get their very own MONTH or maybe even the COVER. Your cat can be a pin-up kitty :-)

You pay $5/photo to enter a picture of your cat(s) into the 2016 Look What The Cat Brought In Calendar
Contest by the August 30th deadline. Then starting on September 1st, anyone can pay 50 cents to vote for
the photos they want to see in the calendar. You (and all of your family and friends) can vote as often
and as many times as you want during the month of September — and all the money goes directly to
Look What The Cat Brought In! Then, on October 1st we will tally up the votes and announce the winners!
The top 13 photos will appear in the calendar with the winning photo on the cover and the remaining 12
photos featured each month. Calendars will be available for pre-order between October 1st – 18th then a
limited number will be available after they’ve been printed.

So, to sum up:

* $5 per photo submission
* $.50 cents per vote
* 1 great 2016 cat calendar!

Is your cat ready for his/her closeup?!
Make your town or state proud by representing them.
There are so many ways to have fun with this.
This also makes a wonderful tribute to your cats who live on in memory too.

Hurry, photo submission ends on August 30th, 2015.
To submit a photo, please go to our website at

Some basic photo considerations to keep in mind (full guidelines on the website).

-- Please limit to 3 photo submissions per household.
-- Photos must be large enough so that, once blown up, they won’t look pixelated or blurry. Generally this means the photo should be a minimum of 300 dpi, or 2400 X 3000 pixels (so cell phone photos most likely will not work). If you need help determining whether your photo meets this criteria, please send your photo to LWTCBI.calendar.contest [at] gmail [dot] com and we can help.
-- Photos should be in JPEG, JPG, PNG, TIFF or GIF format, although JPEG/JPG is the preferred form.
-- Photos must either feature pets owned by the entrant, OR the entrant must have permission from the pet’s owner to submit their pet’s image.
-- We reserve the right to crop or edit winning entries so that they fit within the calendar printing area.
-- We must be able to contact you via email with any questions relating to the contest. If we cannot contact you, we reserve the right to remove your photo from the contest.

Please share with other cat moms and dads.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Book Review/Giveaway: Women Who Still Love Cats Too Much by Allia Zobel Nolan


From the publisher: Are you covered in cat hair? Do you reek of Feliway? Is your kitty's happiness your one desire? Millions of women struggle with the same challenge. They feel inadequate when it comes to satisfying their kitties so they wind up on a never-ending quest to do more, be more, give more.

Some say being addicted to cats plays havoc with self-esteem, makes you the brunt of jokes, and interferes with your quality of life, relationships, and careers, but most women feel that's a small price to pay. Still, if you're on the fence about your feline addiction, Zobel Nolan has reprised and updated her book, and Women Who Still Love Cats Too Much can help.

It's been nine years since Allia Zobel Nolan first wrote her popular humor book, Women Who Love Cats Too Much, which is illustrated by noted Sylvia cartoonist Nicole Hollander. Since then the feline craze has exploded! Suzie Becker's All I Need to Know, I Learned from My Cat started the rage, now from Grumpy Cat and cat cafes to cat videos and blogs, anything and everything cat is hot . . . red hot!


I don't think I've ever been told right to my face that I love cats too much, although it's certainly been implied many times. It's an affliction that I freely admit to, it's been with me practically since birth, and I wouldn't have it any other way. My cats have always been my babies who deserve nothing but the best.

I've been looking forward to reading Allia Zobel Nolan's Women Who Still Love Cats Too Much, figuring that it would be hysterically funny and so over-the-top that I could rest easy with the knowledge that I'm not *that bad*.

Well, I was right that it's hysterically funny, but I was quite surprised by how much of the book I could actually identify with!

For example:

* "You won't turn over during the night no matter how uncomfortable you are because you might disturb the cats." Absolutely...who doesn't see themselves in this one? I've even put off going to the bathroom for as long as possible so I wouldn't have to disturb them!

* "Dozens of plain brown paper bags litter your family room and disrupt your color scheme." Tara's favorite sleeping spot was a crumpled up brown paper grocery bag...there was always one on my floor right next to the couch.

* "You close your eyes when you have to give the cat insulin and wind up stabbing yourself." I stabbed myself with Tara's needles many times...not because I had my eyes closed though, just because I had poor aim.

* "Spend your bonus on a compound that makes her thyroid pill taste like caviar." Not the caviar part, but I have spent bucket loads of money at the compounding pharmacy over the years to make meds more pleasant for my cats!

* "Cut your phone calls short because your cat needs attention." I will never forget the day I was on the phone with my ISP and Truffles was in the background screaming for something so loudly that I couldn't stop laughing. Finally I had to tell the lady I was talking to what was going on and she started cracking up too and asked all about my fur baby.

These are just a few examples of situations that I have already found myself in, but there are many others that I can certainly *see* myself doing as well!

Giveaway:

Can you relate? Would you like a copy of your own to see how you rate on the cat addict scale? Allia is generously giving two lucky readers a chance to win a copy of both Women Who Still Love Cats Too Much and Why Cats Make Great Kids. Simply tell us by noon eastern on Friday, August 7th what is the most over-the-top thing you have ever done out of love for your kitty...and don't forget your email address! (US entries only, please.) 

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About the Author: Allia Zobel Nolan is an internationally-published, award-winning author of over 200 children's and adult trade titles with over two million books in print. Her work reflects her two main passions, God and cats, and include such varied titles as Whatever: Livin' the True, Noble, Totally Excellent Life, The Worrywart's Prayer Book, Purr More, Hiss Less: Heavenly Lessons I Learned from My Cat, Cat Confessions: A Kitty-Come-Clean Tell-All Book, and the classic, 101 Reasons Why a Cat Is Better Than a Man, among others. She is a long-time member and past director of the Cat Writers' Association, who has appeared on Good Day New York, CNN, the Fox 5 "Pet Department," CBS News, and other nationally-syndicated television shows. When she's not tending to the every whim of her puddies, she lives and writes in Connecticut, where she loves her fur babies way too much.

About the Illustrator: Nicole Hollander is the creator of Sylvia, an internationally syndicated comic strip that appears in over eighty newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, the Detroit News, the Boston Globe, and the Seattle Times. She has published sixteen collections of Sylvia strips, as well as Female Problems and My Cat's Not Fat, He's Just Big-Boned. She lives in Chicago.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Book Review/Giveaway: Much Ado About Felines by Kathi Daley


From the publisher: When a woman is found dead in her own grave Cait and the gang set out to discover how it is that she got there.


In the fourth Whales and Tails mystery Cait and her friends are drawn into the mystery of who killed Roxi Pettigrew and buried her in her very own grave next to her recently deceased husband. This time a beautiful calico cat, Beatrice, arrives to help solve the mystery, although Cait begins to think she's a defective cat because all she wants to do is nap and cuddle!

This is a short book, but it's jam packed with action. Secondary story lines involve a mysterious man who arrives by ferry every Saturday morning at 11 and is followed everywhere he goes by a black and white cat. The story behind this really tugs at the heartstrings. Destiny, a pregnant teen, plays a larger role in this book as Cait and Tara hire her to help out at the newly opened Coffee Cat Books. Cait's brother Danny goes missing and her relationship with Cody makes great strides. These books are very character-driven and they've all come to feel like friends.

Coffee, cats, books...in other words, this series is all about the very best things in life!


Leave a comment by noon eastern on Wednesday, August 5th for your chance to win a copy of Much Ado About Felines.

Giveaway is open to both the US and Canada

US winner - choice of print or Kindle copy
Canadian winner - Kindle copy only

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Truffles Interviews: Sylvester from the Psycho Cat and the Landlady Mystery Series by Joyce Ann Brown (w/Giveaway)




Hey everybody, it's Angel Truffles! I told you I'd stick around! I've decided that until I complete my super special project of finding Mommy a new kitty, I will be continuing my interviews. Everybody up here at the Bridge thinks I have a pretty cool gig!

Today's interview is with Sylvester, the feline star of Joyce Ann Brown's Psycho Cat and the Landlady mystery series. I really think you'll enjoy meeting him...




Truffles: Welcome, Sylvester! Thank you so much for chatting with me today. Could you start by telling us a little about yourself and how you came to live with Beth?

Sylvester: I don’t speak or write human, but I’ll let my author, Joyce Ann Brown, translate for me. She seems to know what I’m thinking. Beth Stockwell, the amateur sleuth I help, also picks up on my feline intuition and understands when I point out clues.

Beth wasn’t my first human, you know. I lived with Adrianna, Beth’s step-niece, in one of the rental units Beth owned. After Adrianna disappeared and was accused of embezzlement and then murder, I went to Beth’s house while Beth and her sister, Adrianna’s mother, set about trying to prove Adrianna’s innocence and find other suspects. You’ll have to read CATastrophic Connections to find out why I continued to live with Beth and her husband, Arnie, after that. Was Adrianna guilty, and did she end up in prison? You’ll see.

How did you get the nickname Psycho Cat?

Well, Truffles, I’m a big cat, I must admit—not fat, mind you, just quite large for my species. When I was just a kitten, Adrianna named me Sylvester, but after she dealt with all my ever-so-natural feline rambunctiousness in her condo, she nicknamed me Psycho Cat. She meant it as a joke, of course, a kind of humorous alliteration, but really…

I performed some crazy cat antics back in those days, still do, actually, but I AM big, you see, which makes my natural curious and energetic actions seem overdone. Ah, the memories—the stuffed chair that I liked to jump onto and take a flying leap off the back into the bedroom hall behind it. What fun! The times I hid on the top bookshelf and jumped down onto unsuspecting guests sitting on the sofa below. Hilarious! Neither Adrianna nor I loved the time I fell into the bathtub with her when I was trying to drink from the running faucet. The memory of her facial expression gives me a chuckle, though.

Let’s admit it, most cats perform a few “psycho”-like antics. Mine were just outsized.

What is a typical day like for you?

I eat my kibbles, take catnaps in sunny windows, roam around the house finding fun places to explore and abandoned food on countertops, and sometimes sniff out a curious odor that turns out to be important to solving a mystery.

Would you like to tell us about your first two books?

Yes, thank you, Truffles. I don’t mind bragging about my starring roles. In CATastrophic Connections, I used my loudest yowls to alert Beth that Adrianna had disappeared from her rented condo and left poor me alone. Why would she do that? Then, Beth discovered that Adrianna was accused of stealing a great deal of money from the construction company where she worked. Beth’s sister was terrified that her stepdaughter may have been kidnapped, or worse. Could Adrianna really be a thief, they wondered. Beth dealt with an unexpected trip to the Virgin Islands, a murderer, and ominous threats during her investigation, but she persisted for the sake of her family.

In FURtive Investigation Beth’s and Arnie’s snow birding vacation at an Arizona RV resort ended abruptly after I sniffed out a mummified body in the attic of one of Beth’s rental duplexes where their son and daughter-in-law were pet sitting me. The cold case was dropped by the police investigators after only a few days, but Beth couldn’t let it go. The reputation of her property and the welfare of several tenants, both past and present, were at stake. It’s interesting how my author went back and forth in time to let the readers experience the horrifying truth while Beth searched for it. I, of course, used my feline senses to sniff out clues along the way.

Do you have any special abilities that help Beth with her mystery solving?

Ho. Yes! As I hinted, my powerful senses of smell, hearing, and sight give me almost a sixth sense. Besides that, loyalty for my humans combined with my, ahem, outstanding size make me valuable as a watch cat. (Author’s note: Sylvester isn’t uppity, but he is very self-confident.)

Cat to cat, do you have any favorite treats, toys, or napping spots?

Well, Truffles, I don’t know about you, but I’m a kibbles man, myself. Never have I refused a cat treat between meals, though. I bat around anything I find lying around when I’m in the mood. My favorite spot to nap is on the window seat pillow in the sun.

What can you tell us about your upcoming adventures?

I’ve heard Beth and Arnie and I are moving into a nice condo on the tenth floor, the penthouse level, of the same building in the Brookside neighborhood of Kansas City where I lived with Adrianna in our first book. Beth will rent out the smaller apartment on the sixth floor where Adrianna and I lived. I wouldn’t be surprised if there turns out to be something mysterious about those folks in the penthouse, if the renters on the sixth floor get involved, and if Beth, as usual, steps in to solve the mystery. Will it have something to do with the strange elevator, which will not go to the tenth floor when ten is pressed and always stops on a different floor? Will someone in the building be murdered? Will, I, Sylvester Psycho Cat the Sidekick Sleuth, sniff out the mystery and help solve it? Book three of Psycho Cat and the Landlady Mystery series is coming up. I wish Joyce Ann Brown had a title. Any suggestions?

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Keep your eye on Ms. Brown’s website at http://www.joyceannbrown.com to learn details as the new book takes shape. Meanwhile, read CATastrophic Connections and FURtive Investigation, the first two books in the series. Find out more about Joyce Ann Brown on her Amazon Author page and her Goodreads author page. Like her Facebook author page. Follow her on Twitter.



When Psycho Cat alerts Beth to her step-niece Adrianna's disappearance, the klutzy landlady careens into action. She and her no-nonsense sister question Adrianna's associates. They discover that the police suspect the young woman of embezzling a huge sum of money from the Kansas City construction company where she works. Believing Adrianna has been framed, Beth finds clues which lead her to the U.S. Virgin Islands. After a series of bizarre detours, she finds her niece at a spectacular island hideaway. Once home, the niece is not cleared of the theft charge. Instead, someone murders the company bookkeeper. Shadowy characters follow and intimidate Beth and her family at every turn. Someone else could end up dead. It's one thing for Beth to skirt danger on her own, but when her loved ones are threatened—Beth and Psycho Cat will fight to the end.






When Sylvester, aka Psycho Cat, discovers a human skeleton inside a trunk in the attic of one of her rental units, Beth, a Kansas City landlady, must return from wintering in Arizona. After only a few days, the investigators are told to put the case on hold. Why? Is there a connection to the stench Beth encountered in the building seven years earlier? Tracking down the tenants from that time and uncovering evidence won’t be easy, but Beth, for everyone’s sake, vows to identify both the victim and the perpetrator. The klutzy landlady and the unpredictable cat work with a CSI agent, an irascible police detective, and some passionate young people to scare up an unscrupulous villain with links to an underground world of corruption, drugs, and murder. More than they bargained for.

Giveaway

Leave a comment by noon eastern on Friday, July 31st for your chance to win an e-book copy of either of the Psycho Cat and the Landlady mysteries!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Look What the Cat Brought In's Cat Café

Cat Café: A Meowing Good Time

On the menu at this bistro in the heart of Colorado Springs is a fuzzy blend of camaraderie, fine art, refreshments—and cats. Lots and lots of cats.

Most every Saturday afternoon, the Cat Café of the rescue group Look What the Cat Brought In brings cat-loving humans and eager felines together for play, cuddles, head bumps, ear scratches and just plain fun. A small donation fee for the event keeps the Café returning each week.


“It’s a great opportunity for humans who love cats but for some reason may be unable to have them in their own homes,” said Jennifer Nosler, Director and founder. Those reasons could include allergies, landlord restrictions and just out-of-towners who miss their own kitties at home.

The Café is also a perfect venue for potential cat owners to get a first-hand feel for the affection, companionship and curiosities these mini versions of their jungle relatives can bring. Maybe they even find a new family member on the spot! 


Local human kitty artists enjoy space to display their work and offer it for sale. The Café is well-stocked with print information any cat owner would appreciate and is a great place for discussions with other cat lovers, including cat-savvy volunteers from the organization.

Look What the Cat Brought In of Colorado Springs specializes in hard-luck cats, taking in severe hoarding rescues, disabled (missing a leg or eye), or FIV positive. The cats have their medical and emotional needs tended with plenty of TLC and as much time as they require. This shelter rescues cats and kittens all over the state, and neighboring states as well.


If you are in Colorado Springs on a Saturday, join us at 2129 E. Boulder St. from 1 – 4:30 p.m. and have a meowing good time.

Follow us on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/lookwhatthecatbroughtinorg/140486469027

Join our email list: http://tinyurl.com/oaoe8ew

*** This blog post was written by Ann, a feature writer and volunteer at Look What the Cat Brought In.