Thursday, December 18, 2014

Santa Kitty Toy Hop at PAWS CT


As part of the Santa Kitty Toy Hop, in addition to sending gifts to our local shelter, we also wanted to send something special to our precious sponsor kitties Truffle and Cinnamon and the rest of their friends at PAWS of Connecticut. Thanks once again to Amazon Prime this is what we had delivered:


Our good friend Kevin at Animal Shelter Volunteer Life was able to secure these pictures of the kitties opening their gifts:







More blogging kitties playing Santa can be found here:

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Target Gingerbread House Cat Scratcher

I've spent the last several weeks coveting those Gingerbread House Cat Scratchers sold at Target that have been making their rounds around the cat blogosphere. Sadly, Vermont is the only state without a Target, and online searches of Target.com and Ebay proved to be fruitless.

Finally I decided to ask my friends on the Cats with Blogs Facebook page and several people said they would be on the lookout for me! That same afternoon I received a message from my friend Jeanne at Random Felines that she was able to secure the last 2 scratchers at her local Target, one for me and one for her vet's office!

This is what went down when it arrived at our house:

"I'm not sure if I trust Mommy's construction abilities. Must snoopervise."


"Hmmm...she did a pretty good job."


"Floor looks solid."


"Nice sturdy roof."


"I'm going in."


"See you after my nap!"


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Treats Your Cat Wants In Their Christmas Stocking


Truffles: I have a question for my 2-legged readers. Do you know what your cat(s) wants to find in their stocking on Christmas morning? Treats!!! Bags and bags of treats!!! And since I'm known around my house as "Truffles the Treat Junkie" I'm just the kitty to let you know which ones you should buy! (And for my 4-legged fans, just leave your Mommy's computer or tablet open to this blog post to drop a hint!)

Now of course I could make this really easy and just recommend every flavor of Temptations, but Mommy told me to keep it more on the healthy side, so here goes:




These treats are SO good that I asked to be packed up and mailed to the Kittles factory! Kittles are crunchy cat treats that come in three scrumptious flavors: Salmon & Cranberries Recipe, Chicken & Cranberries Recipe, and Tuna & Cranberries Recipe. Each morsel has under 2 calories, so pet parents can treat their loved ones multiples times per day with these guilt-free goodies. My complete review can be found here.



I won't confess to how many bags of these treats I've gone through. Described as "a symphony of cage-free chicken and turkey from local prairie farms, plus wild-caught flounder from North Vancouver Island — all delivered fresh each day." These treats are "Biologically Appropriate"...100% meat, no fillers. You can't go wrong with that! My full review is here.





I could practically smell the goodness coming out of the package as soon as Mommy placed it in front of me. These treats are a multivitamin chew that support everyday health in cats. So not only are they super yummy, they're good for me too! My review of the Daily Best treats is here and we also highly recommend Pet Naturals' Calming treats, especially during the busy holiday season. They did wonders for me as I adjusted to my new home last year.




I inhale these treats so fast it's impossible for Mommy to get a picture of me actually eating them. They come in pretty big pieces so they need to be broken up kitty-size, and I also think they would be
quite yummy as "sprinkles" on top of wet food. All Primal Treats are single-source proteins and offer a healthy choice for all pets. My full review can be found here.

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There you have it, my favorite treats of 2014. Thanks to working on the Chewy.com Blogger Outreach program I've had a chance to try many new things that I probably wouldn't have otherwise, and in this kitty's opinion these are the best of the best. My mouth is already watering as I think about the treats I'll be reviewing in 2015!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Tortie Shorties: Christmas Edition

Hey everybody, it's Truffles! Did you know that one of Mommy's favorite things to do during the holiday season is curl up in bed with a Christmas mystery or romance, mug of peppermint hot chocolate, and me? We've been doing a lot of that lately and wanted to tell you about 5 of our favorites!

Blurb: Zak and Zoe fly to Alaska after Zoe is asked by her dog trainer friend Peter to fly to Moosehead Alaska to deliver a search and rescue dog to a team who is desperate for some canine help after their own dog is injured during a rescue. Within twelve hours of arriving in the isolated little town, Zoe stumbles onto a murder scene where everything must be questioned because nothing is exactly as it seems. When a second body is found and a five year old cold case is reexamined, things go from complicated to bizarre. Meanwhile Levi and Ellie are home in Ashton Falls dealing with complex emotions as they solve their own thorny mystery.

Tortie Shorties: This book takes place in the week between Christmas and New Year's as Zoe and Zack travel to Alaska to deliver Sitka, a newly trained search and rescue dog. Their very first night there Zoe finds a body in the library, and with a blizzard raging outside it soon becomes apparent that they are trapped at the inn with a killer. Then another body turns up in a snow bank which ties into a mysterious disappearance in town 5 years ago. Back home in Ashton Falls, Zoe's friends Ellie and Levi are dealing with broken bones after being run off the road by a big black truck. (Zoe assists in that investigation by phone.)

The descriptions of Moosehead, Alaska made me want to book my own trip to The Last Frontier, and I especially loved Whiskey, the Maine Coon bar cat. This was another enjoyable adventure with Zoe and her crew.

Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Friday, December 22nd for your chance to win a copy of Alaskan Alliance. (Paperback for US winners or Kindle copy for non-US winners.)


Blurb: From the day James rescued a street cat abandoned in the hallway of his sheltered accommodation, they began a friendship which has transformed both their lives and, through the bestselling books A STREET CAT NAMED BOB and THE WORLD ACCORDING TO BOB, touched millions around the world. In this new story of their journey together, James looks back at the last Christmas they spent scraping a living on the streets and how Bob helped him through one of his toughest times - providing strength, friendship and inspiration but also teaching him important lessons about the true meaning of Christmas along the way.

Tortie Shorties: I think all cat lovers are familiar with the story of James Bowen and Street Cat Bob, but this is actually the first book of theirs that I've read. Right now only an e-book version is available here in the US, so in order to have a hardcover copy for my cat book collection I ordered a copy right from the UK. It's a fantastic story chronicling Christmas 2010 for the duo as James looks back on harder times and reflects on how life has changed since Bob came into his life. The graphics of Bob are just adorable. I'm definitely going to be reading their other books in 2015.


Blurb: After years abroad, Garrison Brown returns home to Vancouver to build a new life. When his beloved grandmother passes away a few weeks before Christmas, Garrison goes to her house to sort out her belongings, including six cats who need new homes. While Garrison hopes to dispense with the task quickly, his grandmother's instructions don't allow for speed. She has left Garrison with some challenging requirements for the future homes of her furry friends--plus a sizeable monetary gift for the new owners. Garrison's job is to match the cats with the right owners without disclosing the surprise gift. Along the way, he may just meet someone who can make him stay.

Tortie Shorties: This would be such a wonderful gift for the cat lover in your life who enjoys contemporary fiction. It's the story of Garrison Brown, a Ugandan missionary who loses his beloved grandmother and is asked to find homes for her 6 beloved cats. He's not particularly fond of cats, and is highly allergic, but even when faced with specific requirements about their care he makes every attempt to follow through. Along the way he befriends a very special cat and a very special lady. I loved how each of these cats changed the lives that they touched, as all cats do, and how Garrison's grandmother continued to make a difference in his life even after she was gone.




Blurb: Move over, Rudolph – let Pepe lead the way!

Who would steal a little girl’s dog, right before Christmas? After seeing young Sophie’s heartbreaking story on the news, P.I. Geri Sullivan and Pepe—her talking Chihuahua—vow to rescue this bonita canine named Chiquita. But tracking the pooch’s scent through a Pacific Northwest winter wonderland isn’t easy, especially when the trail leads to an elf who’s been mortally mauled! Geri and Pepe must save little Sophie’s Christmas and find this muy naughty dognapper . . . and stir up a little Christmas magic along the way!

Tortie Shorties: All you'll need is a free hour during the holiday season to enjoy Pepe's Christmas adventure, and it's not even necessary to have read each book in the series. I especially loved how some Christmas Eve folklore played a central role in the conclusion of the mystery.




Blurb: During the dress rehearsal for small-town Serenity’s festive Christmas play, star Madeline de Morlaye topples over—on stage!—after a bite of prop pastry. Since the frosty actress had earned plenty of enemies through her offstage dramatics, the cast of suspects is longer than Santa’s “Naughty or Nice” list. Prop mistress Brandy Borne and her diva-turned-director mother, Vivian—assisted by their savvy shih tzu, Sushi—must solve this fruitcake fatality before it's curtains for anyone else.

Tortie Shorties: This is the second year in a row the popular Trash 'n' Treasures mystery series by Barbara Allan has featured the added bonus of a short Christmas story. Antiquers Brandy and Vivian are a mother/daughter team like no other, on meds for their various "issues" and constantly sniping back and forth at each other as they each give their recollection of events. Now I have to confess that I enjoy a good fruitcake, but I always find "death by fruitcake" mysteries to be quite funny, and this is no exception. An enjoyable way to spend an hour.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday Selfies: Paco



Hey everybody, it's Truffles! As you may have read on Friday, my Alma Mater, Franklin County Humane Society, has had a bit of misfortune lately and that's why I had to temporarily stop profiling the kitties up for adoption there. Now that they're back up and running I'm very happy to introduce Paco to you today and to feature him in The Cat on My Head's Sunday Selfies Blog Hop.




Didn't he take a great selfie?


Not a whole lot is known about this handsome fella, just that he's an adult who was brought in as a stray. He was actually found near a Meat Market! (I'll bet he was drawn there because of all the yummy smells!) He doesn't have to scrounge around for food anymore, though. He's safe and sound at the shelter and just needs to find his forever home. Might it be at yours?


More information on how to adopt or sponsor Paco can be found here.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Truffles Interviews...The Cats of Spell Booked by Joyce & Jim Lavene (w/Review & Giveaway)


Hey everybody, it's Truffles! Phew, have I been a busy tortie lately or what? Five interviews in the last two weeks! Someone needs to check for me...aren't there child labor laws? I mean, I'm only 3 years old!!!

Nah, I'm just kidding. I enjoy doing these interviews but I think this is my last one until the New Year...this girl needs a rest.

What's that Mommy? Oh that's right, I still need to finish up a couple treat reviews. Oh well...back to the keyboard. I hope you enjoy my interview with The Cats of Spell Booked, the first Retired Witches Mystery by Joyce and Jim Lavene :)

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Hi Truffles!

It’s so nice to be here today! Thanks for inviting us over.

Welcome, kitties! Thank you for gathering together today to answer a few questions. I understand that you are all familiars. Can you explain what that means?

Isabelle: It’s true, Truffles. We’re all familiars. This means we can remember our past lives as humans and can really relate to our witches. I’m Molly’s familiar. I can feel what she feels. Sometimes it seems like I know what she’s thinking before she even thinks it. Molly is very special to me. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for her.

Harper: I’ll tell you what it means to be a familiar – misery and heartbreak if your witch dies before you. That’s what I’ve been going through since Olivia died. If I’d known then what I know now, I wouldn’t have been anyone’s familiar!

Barnabas: Harper doesn’t mean that, Truffles. He’s just very sad right now, although it’s not all bad – he gets plenty of extra treats at Smuggler’s Arcane where our witches hang out.

All 3 of you have very interesting histories. How did you each come to live with your respective witch?

Isabelle: Well, Truffles, you probably know I was burned at the stake for being a witch. Because of that experience, or perhaps despite it, I was drawn to Molly who also had an ancestor that suffered a similar fate. I think it makes us closer.

Harper: I was drawn to Olivia because she loved to travel, and so did I when I was a human. I was a sailor for many years until my life abruptly ended when I was suspected of witchcraft and burned at the stake. Oh woe is me! Olivia is gone. No one can ever take her place.

Barnabas: My spirit was that of a minister many years ago. My witch is Elsie who’s father was also a minister – though her mother was a witch. Elsie and I found each other when she was very young so we grew up together. Familiars live longer than normal cats, you see, because we share our lives with witches.

Harper, you get to spend some time living in the witches' curio shop, Smuggler's Arcane, after your owner is murdered. Can you take us on a tour around the place? It looks magical! (Is the soil damp down in the cave?)

Smuggler’s Arcane is nice enough, I guess, Truffles. I never thought I’d have to live here. I liked living at Olivia’s house. But I guess that’s over. 

To explain the shop - witches come here to buy herbs and talismans to help them with their magic. Our ladies can get a little of everything from enchanted knives to moon phase calendars. There are teas and robes, books of magic and history. It’s an old shop on the riverfront and has a certain aroma to it, that of wood, sage, and sassafras.

Below the shop there is a cave that leads to the riverfront. The Cape Fear River was once home to many pirates and smugglers who used the cave to hide their ill-gotten gains and kegs of rum. They could wait for the right time when the coast was clear to take what they had to their ships. Pretty neat, actually.

The whole shop, as well as the cave, is surrounded by protective runes and spells. Our witches have never done much strong magic – certainly never anything evil. It has been a pleasure living with them.

Are you able to do any regular "cat stuff" or is your work too important for that?

Isabelle: If by cat stuff you mean catching mice and chasing yarn, of course we do that too – although I have never enjoyed the taste of mice.

Harper: I like a good mouse every now and then. I prefer salmon more.

Barnabas: A cat’s primary function is to guard those he loves and to keep a witch from getting too serious. At least that’s the way I see it. I like to swim in the river occasionally on moonlit nights. I’m not a yarn cat, but a nice squeaky toy can be fun.

In the book it says that you each need to live as an "only cat"...why can't two familiars live together?

Isabelle: It just isn’t done, Truffles. Too much static. You are too close to your witch to share him or her with any other cat.

Harper: I never wanted to share Olivia. We were always together no matter where she went. I think the spark would be lost if there was another cat in the way.

Barnabas: I think it’s just silly superstition. I’ve tried to get Elsie to get another cat several times. I’d like a nice, classic calico – a female. I was denied female companionship as a human, you see. A little now would be nice.

Do you have any magical powers of your own that you use to help solve the murder in Spell Booked?

Isabelle: I think I have some residual magic from being a witch. There are times when I can almost help Molly with a spell. 

Harper: No. I couldn’t even keep Olivia alive.

Barnabas: No. Our magic comes into play when we can soothe and advise our witches. They need us when they’re stressed. We’re there for them.

Do you have any idea what your upcoming adventures will be?

Isabelle: Oh, Truffles. I know a little about what’s going to happen with Molly – and I can tell you that’s it’s not good! Well, some of it is, but some of it is pretty scary.

Harper: Upcoming adventures? I expect to die alone, in misery, without Olivia. What else is there for me?

Barnabas: Like I said, ignore him, Truffles. There is some exciting stuff coming up for our witches. They have to train Dorothy – who falls in love – but is heartbroken. They consult a mermaid and a Selkie and Molly confronts the Bone Man. Wow! I wish I could tell you everything, but that would probably be bad. Suffice it to say, don’t miss Book 2, Looking for Mr. Goodwitch, coming in September 2015.


Blurb: Once upon a time in Wilmington, North Carolina, three witches ran a curio shop named Smuggler’s Arcane. But as the years passed, their magical powers started to fade—leaving them no choice but to conjure up a retirement package….

Before they could blink their eyes or twitch their noses, Molly, Elsie, and Olivia somehow became eligible for AARP. But they can’t fly off to Boca Raton just yet. First they must give up their magic, recruit and train three new witches, and pass on their cherished spellbook.

They’ve barely begun to consider potential practitioners when Olivia winds up dead and their spellbook is stolen. To honor their friend and reclaim their spells, Molly and Elsie are about to go wand-to-wand with a dangerous young witch more powerful than the trio was in their prime. And this time they’re going to need more than magic up their sleeves….

Tortie Shorties
Book reviews that are short and sweet...just like Truffles!

This is one of the most unique witch stories you will  *ever* read. Molly, Elsie, and Olivia are a trio of aging witches ready to retire in Boca...but first they must find and train their replacements. Tragedy strikes when Olivia is murdered and their spell book is stolen. (I was actually quite shocked that the murder victim was one of the original main characters!) Molly and Elsie are forced to use every last bit of magical powers they have left to go up against a powerful force they've never had to face before. Making things even more difficult is the fact that Molly’s husband Joe is the homicide detective assigned to the case and has no idea that his wife is a witch. The ending was a shocker that I never saw coming. I enjoyed every moment of this wonderful story and look forward to the next. My only wish is that I could sit right in the middle of the Smuggler’s Arcane curio shop depicted on the cover!

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Giveaway

Make sure that you make a stop on all the tour sites as the authors have a very special giveaway. They are giving away a handwritten grimoire of spells, a print copy of Spell Booked, a willow wand, and a velvet bag to carry it in. Every stop will have some clue words in each post that can be put together they make a Witch’s Spell. To enter the giveaway readers will have to collect all the words and put them all together on the giveaway entry form after the last stop. Good Luck everyone!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Friday, December 12, 2014

Playing Santa to Shelter Cats ‪#‎SantaKittyToyHop‬


About a month ago members of the cat blogging community got together and created the Santa Kitty Toy Hop, a way to brighten the lives of shelter kitties in our own communities with the gift of toys and treats.

We knew right away that we would be playing Santa Kitty to Tara and Truffles' Alma Mater, Franklin County Humane Society in St. Albans, VT. It really couldn't have come together at a better time because in November the shelter was under quarantine for several weeks due to an outbreak of ringworm. All of their bedding and toys had to be tossed, and what was donated had to be dispersed in small amounts. Needless to say, these were some kitties in desperate need of a little Christmas cheer, even if it wasn't quite Thanksgiving yet!

Since the shelter is an hour north of me, I had to depend on Amazon Prime to make my delivery. I figured the best way to approach the situation was with a bunch of "smalls" so that there would be plenty of toys to go around. This is what Truffles and I picked out:


My friend Heather, director of operations at the shelter, sent me these adorable photos of the kitties enjoying their loot:





If you have the time and a little extra money this holiday season, please consider doing a little shopping for your local shelter. The precious babies waiting for their forever homes deserve to have something special for Christmas too, and I guarantee that playing Santa Kitty to shelter animals is the very best feeling in the world!