Saturday, January 21, 2017


Meows from Mudpie!

This week we were playing around with LunaPic again and Mommy discovered the "Coffee" effect. I was skeptical but she had to check it out and I must admit, I love what the filter did to my tortie furs!

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!

1. Today's music makes me feel old.

2. Playing with a cat makes me feel young.

3. I have way too much clutter around the house.

4. The future is bright.

Friday, January 20, 2017

First Felines: 6 Presidents & Their Cats

Meows from Mudpie 
Happy Inauguration Day!!!

No matter which side of the political aisle you're on the (hopefully) peaceful transition of power is always exciting to watch and Mommy and I will be glued to the couch for all the festivities.

With so much hoopla surrounding this historic day I asked Mommy what she knew about the former feline inhabitants of the White House, and she admitted that with the exception of Socks Clinton and President Bush's cats she didn't know a whole lot, so I asked her to help me do a little research so we could share a few of our favorite (and lesser known) stories today.

Incredibly, we could only find evidence of 12 Presidents that have been owned by a cat! (Wouldn't you think the most stressful job in the world could use loads of purr therapy???)

Photo: National Archives

We have to start with President Reagan. Although technically not White House cats (these two beauties lived at their California ranch), Ronald and Nancy had a pair of torties, Cleo and Sara! Apparently many cats lived at the Reagan ranch but they were photographed with the torties, so they must have been extra special!

Our 16th President Abraham Lincoln was the first to bring a cat into the White House. He actually adored cats, going so far as to feed his son's cat Tabby with a gold fork at White House dinners, and when asked if her husband had a hobby, Mary Todd Lincoln replied, “cats.” During the Civil War, on a visit to General Grant's headquarters in the middle of winter, he found three stray kittens in the telegraph hut. When he learned their mother was dead he made sure the kittens would be fed and a good home found for them.

Rutherford B Hayes reportedly owned the first Siamese cat to come to the United States. Siam was a gift to Hayes and his wife Lucy in 1879 from the American Consul in Bangkok. Several months after arriving Siam became sick and despite intervention from the president's personal physician she couldn't be saved.

Photo: National Archives
Officer Benjamin Fink holds Tige, the Coolidge's cat, at the White House on March 25, 1924.

Vermont's own President Calvin Coolidge and his wife Grace practically ran a zoo! Among their many cats were Mud (no pie!), Bounder, Smokey, Blackie, Timmy and Tige. Timmy and Coolidge's canary actually napped together! Tige traveled the White House around the President's neck and when he went missing, Coolidge appealed to the people by calling for their help on a radio address. After being found he was fitted with a special collar that contained his White House address, but after going missing a second time he was never found.

Teddy Roosevelt’s youngest son Quentin Roosevelt with the six-toed Slippers

Teddy Roosevelt's six-toed cat named Slippers loved to nap in the White House hallways, requiring the guests at a state banquet to detour around her on their way to the dining room! Their second cat Tom Quartz was named after the cat in Roughing It by Mark Twain.

Photo: National Archives

President Kennedy's daughter Caroline had to find a new home for her cat Tom Kitten (named after the beloved Beatrix Potter character) when it was discovered the president was allergic. He died at a very young age and was given an obituary in a local newspaper.

While we don't know when the White House will get a new resident feline, we do know that Number One Observatory Circle (the official residence of the Vice President) has two new kitty occupants - Mike Pence's two family cats Oreo and Pickle who were photographed on a plane last week headed to their new home in Washington DC. Rumor has it poor Pickle got sick on the plane! How embarrassing.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Book Review: My Cat Hates My Vet!: Foiling Fear Before, During & After Vet Visits by Amy Shojai

Sashi was the first cat I adopted as an adult, a 9 year old tuxie beauty who was brought to the shelter because of "family issues". They had left her medical records with the rescue group and I was pleased to see she had received regular medical care with a wonderful cats-only vet about a half hour away. Since they knew her so well I decided to remain with the same vet even though it wasn't at a very convenient location and I knew the trips would be a nightmare. (I had a pretty good idea how car rides were going to go when she shredded the cardboard cat carrier I was given to bring her home from the shelter.)

For 3 years we made the trip for each wellness exam and each year her stress level became progressively worse. The last time we got home she went into the bedroom and lay down flat on the cold floor for over an hour. She had done such a number on herself that I honestly feared she was going to have a heart attack. That was when I realized we needed to make a change and looked into a house call service. It was a good choice for Sashi given her aversion to car rides but as she got older and developed health issues we were very limited as to the amount of testing and care available to her. (This was in the days before mobile vet clinics rolled right up to your door.)

How I wish a book like this had been available to me back then.


We want to provide the best care possible for our beloved cats, but what do you do when your kitty turns into a wildcat at the vet? Cats visit veterinarians less often because their owners hate to see them upset and afraid of the cat carrier, car ride, and stranger handling.

MY CAT HATES MY VET! packs prescriptive advice into a short how-to guide that offers step-by-step instructions to help your cats learn to LOVE the vet, accept the cat carrier, and tolerate car rides--and get the medical care they need and deserve. This is your definitive guide for foiling feline fear. From one of America's best known pet care authorities, you'll learn:

*7 Reasons Cats HATE The Vet
*12 Ways to Soothe Fear
*Best Carriers & 8 Cat Crate Tips
*9 Calming Cat Car Ride Techniques
*How to Choose the Best Veterinarian
*What are Cat Friendly Practices & Fear Free Clinics
*Ways to Stop Cat-to-Cat Aggression After Vet Visits

With a fun conversational tone and easy proven techniques, MY CAT HATES MY VET! helps ensure your loving bond remains strong and intact.

A 2013 study conducted by Bayer HealthCare and the American Association of Feline Practitioners showed only half as many cats get annual checkups as dogs. Reasons vary from the perception of cats being more independent as less needy than dogs to the informal way cats come into many people's lives ("the cat showed up at my door") without instruction on proper vet care. (People who acquire a cat from a breeder or shelter are more likely to receive annual checkups.) And a full 58% of the respondents stated that travelling to the vet clinic - their cat's fear of being placed into a cat carrier and transported by car - led many owners to rule out travel altogether.

This does NOT need to be the case. This clever "quick tips" guide provides a plethora of proven techniques to make life easier for both you and your cat when a trip to the vet is in order, from practices you can start implementing right away in preparation for the big event to the day of the visit, right down to calming techniques in the vet's office and how to avoid turmoil once you're back home between the unfortunate soul who went to the "stabby place" and the lucky ducks who didn't.

This is a book that every cat parent should have in their arsenal of tricks, and one that veterinarians would be wise to promote to their clients as well! It's in everyone's best interest to make each trip to the vet as stress-free as possible.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Book Review: The Cat Sitter and the Canary by Blaize & John Clement

From the publisher: Dixie Hemingway, everyone’s favorite pet-sitting sleuth, is back for yet another riveting case. Set in the lush and beautiful island of Siesta Key, with a cast of characters that Dixie fans the world over have come to know and love, The Cat Sitter and the Canary, the latest book in this critically acclaimed series is sure to leave both mystery fans and cat lovers alike purring with delight.

This time, Dixie finds a tall, handsome tourist loitering around the home of one of her long-time clients. He tells her he’s just arrived from Scotland and that he’s lost his glasses, which presumably explains why he can’t find the house he rented for his seaside vacation. Dixie points him to the bungalow across the street (but not before rebuffing a few of the sexy Scotsman’s passes) and then continues about her business.

She doesn’t think about him again until she stumbles upon a dead body in her client’s front hall ― a man in a three-piece suit with jet-black hair, delicate wrists, and a small notecard stuck to his lapel with a pearl-tipped hat pin. Right away, Dixie puts on her sleuthing cap and starts looking for clues, but when she sees what’s written on that card, she knows… this is going to be an adventure unlike any she’s ever had before.

And if she’s not careful, it just might be her last!

I've always thought that pet sitting would be a dream job so I've always enjoyed living vicariously though Dixie Hemingway. This is the 11th book in the popular series and Miss Dixie shows no signs of slowing down.

Dixie arrives at a cat (& canary) sitting job with another client's dog in tow, only to find a mysterious Scottish man at the door. She sends him on his way but can't understand why her furry companion is determined to get into the front entryway. Returning later she discovers why - there's a dead body there with a note targeting Dixie. Subsequent murders continue to threaten her and the mystery grows as to who is after her and why.

While each book in this series contains a great mystery, it's also the story of a woman (Dixie) learning to move on with her life following an unimaginable tragedy with the help of her beloved brother, his partner and their friends. Her day-to-day duties as a pet sitter are chronicled and her furry clients provide the four-legged characters that so many of us require in our cozies.

I can't recommend this entire series highly enough. Long live Dixie!!!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Monday, January 16, 2017

PAWSitively in Love Valentine's Giveaway Hop #Pawsinlove

Meows from Mudpie!

We're excited to be joining in this fun blog hop hosted by Miss Molly Says and Mom Does Reviews. Each blogger participating in the hop has been asked to give away pet-related gifts.

Since Valentine's Day is all about spending quality time with the ones we love, we're giving away this super cute paw-shaped light pointer toy, fun for both you and your cat.

Featuring two modes, steady-on and blinking, what's really pawsome is that you don't need to keep your finger on the button. Press the paw once and the LED light will blink, press the paw a second time and the light is steady. Press the paw a third time will turn the LED light off. Plus, the small pink silica gel buttons make pressing the buttons more comfortable.

To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below. (US residents only please, although our overseas friends are welcome to enter and have their prize sent to someone in the US.) Good luck, everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Mr. Grinch Needs a Hospice Home #BtC4A

Meows from Mudpie!

A couple weeks ago I had the great honor of interviewing The Cats of Hazzard, a group of four special needs kittens currently under the care of Umbrella of Hope in East Contra Costa County, California. The little nuggets hinted that they had accepted a fifth kitten into their group but that was all they could tell me at the time.

This week Mr. Grinch was announced to the world...

Mr. Grinch has FIVE different heart defects. Four of them make up the condition called Tetralogy of Fallot and he has a fifth one on top of that: Ventricular Septal Defect, Right Ventricular Hypertrophy, Pulmonary Stenosis, Over-riding Aorta and Atrial Septal Defect. It is a miracle that this sweet kitty is alive.

As for his name, he is the Mr. Grinch from the END of the movie where his heart grows three sizes, because he is such a sweetheart. He loves headbutts and kisses. He will even stand on his back legs when he wants to be picked up, and will hug you with his front legs! Despite his ailments, he is a typical playful, loving kitten, and because of his special needs, he is the perfect addition to The Cats of Hazzard family.

Mr. Grinch is considered a hospice adoption but he is adoptable. It is unknown if he will make it six months or a year or more. He has made it to his current age (around 8 months old) without any interventions and that is miraculous in itself. He made it through his neuter surgery (!!) with FLYING COLORS. He is also vaccinated, microchipped and free of parasites.

There has to be a person or a family out there who is touched by his story and wants to give him the best life ever. If you are interested in opening up your heart and home to a kitty who needs a place to live and be loved for whatever time he has left, please email Umbrella of Hope at

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to help them continue their lifesaving work and support the hospice animals in their care, please do so online at


Mr. Grinch gladly accepted my invitation to join this week's Sunday Selfies blog hop hosted by our friends at The Cat on My Head, and this post is also our submission for January's Blog the Change for Animals.

Photos used with permission: catsofhazzard on Instagram