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.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Snuggly #SundaySelfies

Over the past couple months I've fallen behind in participating in The Lazy Pit Bull's 52 Snapshots of Life photo challenge. Week 30's theme is "Snuggly" and I'm hopping back in.

Truffles *loved* snuggling, not only in her various cat beds, but with me in our big girl bed. She would never sleep beside me; she had to be either on my chest or snuggled between my legs.

Having my little snuggle bunny in bed with me is one of the many things I miss so very much.



I'm also participating in the Sunday Selfies blog hop hosted by The Cat on My Head.

If you missed yesterday's post there's still time to enter to win an adorable cat necklace.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Caturday Art: Serendipitini Cat Necklace Giveaway & Discount Code

Just about every day when I leave the house I'm wearing something cat-related on my body. To keep it simple yet sophisticated, often it's a piece of jewelry. I consider beautiful jewelry a work of art, and jewelry designers are most definitely artists, which is why I'm so excited to introduce you to Serendipitini Pet. The shop features handmade pet silhouette jewelry, coasters, and ornaments (available year round).


I recently received a sample of Serendipitini Pet's short haired cat walking silhouette handmade cabochon necklace. It's classic style and elegant design make it the purr-fect accessory for every occasion. On a regular basis I wear it to work, to the store, and I'll be wearing to my cousin's wedding this evening. Since I received it shortly before losing Truffles, and the silhouette looks so much like her, I consider it a piece of memorial jewelry that I can always keep close to my heart.


Other available designs include a short haired cat walking, short haired cat lying down and a long haired cat in clear glass ornaments (available year round). Retail $16.75.


These same designs, excluding the short haired cat lying down are also available in necklaces which are silver coated copper cabochons on faux leather cords. Retail is $15.00. The shop also carries coasters which come in sets of four and range from $15.00 for hand stamped, and a newer kiln fired hand glazed style which sells for $22.00 per set of four. (Note, there is a limited supply of the hand stamped which are being phased out.)


All are the handiwork of professional artist Teena Stewart who also manages two other handmade stores. Serendipitini Jewelry includes non-pet related handmade jewelry: wire wrapped, recycled glass, semi precious stones and ceramics and Serendipitini, recycled glass gifts including sun catchers, window art, wine bottle candles, slumped cheese trays and condiment trays and fused glass ornaments.

For new releases, giveaways, and store specials, be sure to visit her blog, www.serendipitini.com where you can sign up for her monthly ezine. You can also follow Serendipitini on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Serendipitini and Twitter @Serendipitini

Giveaway & Discount Code

One lucky winner in the US will win their choice of either the short haired or long haired cat necklace from Serendipitini Pet. Simply fill out the Rafflecopter below!

And through August 29th the discount code MochasMysteries will get you 20% off your purchase at any of the 3 Serendipitini shops!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out more artsy kitties at Athena's Caturday Art blog hop.

Full disclosure: I received a necklace from Serendipitini Pet in exchange for my fair and honest review. Receiving free product did not influence my opinion about it; all opinions expressed on this site are my own. I only feature products I have used or would use or that I feel are of interest to readers. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Book Review/Giveaway: Chef Maurice and the Wrath of Grapes by J.A. Lang


From the publisher: In the rarefied world of wine collecting, murder isn’t exactly a barrel of laughs…

An invitation to dinner at the home of renowned wine collector Sir William Burton-Trent soon finds Chef Maurice in the middle of an all-too-real murder mystery party, when Sir William is found dead in his own wine cellar.

The guests are acting all innocent, but which one is only playing the part? The pushy Californian film director? The seductive French winemaker?

Or could it be, against all narrative decency, the butler who did it?

With the help of food critic friend Arthur Wordington-Smythe, a large kipper sandwich, and the newly formed Cochon Rouge Wine Appreciation Society, Chef Maurice must get to the bottom of matters before events turn decidedly sour…


J.A. Lang has perfected the art of the classic cozy with her brilliant Chef Maurice mystery series. The action of this second book takes place when Maurice and restaurant critic Arthur are invited to the home of wine collector Sir William Burton-Trent. Bourne Hall is the quintessential country manor, and with a blizzard outside the chilling atmosphere is off the charts. Before the night is over Sir William is murdered in his very own wine cellar.

Hidden passageways and a locked door with only two keys, one with the victim's body and the other in a safe, make for a very compelling mystery. And with a cast of quirky suspects straight out of an Agatha Christie story, I was kept guessing until the very end. Completing this mouth-watering feast is a touch of humor (provided by the precious Hamilton the pig and a frozen goose) and a dash of romance between Patrick and PC Lucy.

Go on holiday to the Cotswolds area of England through the pages of this delightful book and it's predecessor, Chef Maurice and a Spot of Truffle.

About The Author:
J.A. Lang is a British mystery writer, and author of the Chef Maurice Mysteries series.

She lives in Oxford, England, with her husband, an excessive number of cookbooks, and a sourdough starter named Bob.

Author Links
J.A. Lang’s Website
J.A. Lang on Goodreads
J.A. Lang on Facebook

Vendor links:
iTunes | Kobo | Google Play | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Nook


Visit the author's website at http://www.jalang.net/chef-maurice-giveaway/ to enter this fun giveaway!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Dispatches from the Bridge: Remember Me


Hey everybody, it's Angel Truffles! It sure feels good to be back...have you missed me?

I need to start out by apologizing for leaving so suddenly. I was needed here at the Rainbow Bridge so quickly there just wasn't any time to say good-bye. You've all been such dear friends to Mommy and me and it seems so unfair.

So what happened? That's a really good question and I'm going to try to explain.

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Over the 4th of July weekend Mommy was getting concerned because I seemed to breathing a little heavier than usual. But I was eating and pottying and doing everything else normal, plus it's been really hot and I had a couple hairball hacking sessions (with nothing to show for it), so she decided to keep a very close eye on me but was thinking a vet visit would soon be in order. I figured she was just being a worry wart like mommies tend to be.

Never in a million years would we have guessed what was yet to come...

On the evening of the 6th I jumped up into my screened-in bathroom window and took a long nap, then around 9:45 I came out to visit Mommy on the couch. She offered me a snack but I wasn't interested. Then it all happened. I started feeling really uncomfortable, moving from spot to spot on the rug, unable to find relief. I got up and ran for the bathroom crying, which I normally did when I felt a hairball coming, so Mommy was relieved that it might be coming out. I just laid down again and then headed for the kitchen floor.

That's when it got really bad. I started writhing all over and then had to open my mouth to gasp for breath. I was screaming a lot too. That's when Mommy knew we needed help. I got up to head for another room but my back legs went out from under me and I couldn't walk.

Thank Cod for my grandpa because Mommy was in no condition to drive. She stayed with me in the back seat of the car trying to comfort me and telling me everything was going to be alright and she wasn't going to leave me.

When we finally got to the emergency vet it was packed with patients, but when Mommy yelled that I couldn't breathe a vet standing there grabbed my carrier and ran out back with me. After filling out some paperwork Mommy was brought to a room where she could still hear me screaming.

The vet came in and asked my name. When Mommy told her she thought it was really cute. She explained that my back legs were cold, and a test of my blood sugar showed a big difference between my front and back legs. This told her that I had a blood clot that broke off and cut off the blood supply to my back legs, a saddle thrombus. She said I was in extreme pain and the kindest thing would be to let me go, because even if I survived the chances were very high that it would happen again.

How do you ask a Mommy to make a decision like that? Knowing she would never be able to live with herself if I had even the slightest chance, the choice was made to put me on powerful pain medication, blood thinners, and time in the oxygen cage. If I was stable in the morning an echocardiogram and further testing would be done. Mommy was allowed to visit me in the back room where the oxygen cage was located in order to say good night. She looked so scared and sad and I didn't know how to protect her because I was terrified too.

Once home Mommy started googling my condition to try to learn everything she could about it. She hadn't been home a half hour when her cell phone rang. It was the vet saying my pain meds had already worn off and I was screaming again, gasping for breath. She didn't even dare take me out of the oxygen cage to evaluate me. Mommy knew what had to be done. She had to be strong enough for both of us and let me go. She asked the vet to do what she could for me until she got back there so she could comfort me one last time.

Again grandpa drove her to the emergency vet, which took even longer this time because it was now after midnight and they got stuck behind some trucks re-painting the highway lines. As soon as they arrived CPR was stopped and I was already gone. Mommy was assured that it was definitely "my time"...nothing could have been done to save me. The vet closed us in a private room and Mommy cried over my body for the longest time.

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It's beautiful here at the Bridge, but it scares me to see Mommy crying so much. It was my job to comfort her and I feel like I let her down. I want to thank all of you SO much for the outpouring of love that you've showered her with. I think this would be even more unbearable for her without it.

You know who the first kitty was to greet me at the Bridge? TARA!!! She is such a sweet lady and she's taking really good care of me. Tara sent me to Mommy after she passed away just two short years ago, and neither one of us can understand why we're up here together and once again Mommy has been left alone with a shattered heart. I don't feel sorry for myself. She gave me more love in the short time we had together than many kitties ever receive in a lifetime. But it breaks my heart to see her in so much pain.

We've decided to join forces on a super special project to find a new kitty for her to love. Whoever we choose will be so, so lucky. I'm not going anywhere...I will live forever in her heart, and I will always be right by her side, but she still has many kitties left to save until the day we're reunited here at the Bridge.

I'll still be a regular fixture here on our blog too. I inherited it from Tara, and someone else will inherit it from me, but we are all Mommy's inspiration, and for as long as she writes about cats, we will all be a part of everything she does.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Mafia Warning

I'm currently in the middle of a 3-week cat sitting job for my neighbor's kitty. I've had this scheduled for months now, and really hadn't been looking forward to it, mostly because I knew how my being away from home so much would upset Truffles. (So much for that worry...)

It has actually turned into such a blessing. Waking up each day to know that a cat still needed me has been the greatest gift.

Over the past several days she has developed some skin issues that we decided to have checked out by the vet. Her owner was able to come home Monday afternoon for the appointment (she uses a mobile vet), but I wanted to be there as well since I'll be the one administering the meds.

Everything is fine; right now the vet is leaning towards a seasonal allergy, but needless to say by the time it was all over she wasn't exactly happy with the home invasion.

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On Tuesday morning this is the first thing I saw when I walked in the door. Doesn't it look like a mafia warning?


Here they were in happier days:


Do you think she was pretending the mouse was one of the humans in her life while she was killing it?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Kitty Bungalow #CATbaret Gift Bag & Ticket Giveaway


Kitty Bungalow's annual benefit concert CATbaret is back and better than ever! 100% of the proceeds from this cat-and-cabaret themed concert, filled with exciting celebrity performances, support Kitty Bungalow's life-saving work. Kitty Bungalow is a 100% street cat rescue, turning hissy little kittens into Ivy League lap cats through their dedicated cadre of volunteers who spend hundreds of hours each week socializing kittens to ready them for loving homes. Kitty Bungalow also reduces the number of cats being born on the streets of Los Angeles through Trap Neuter Return (TNR), spaying and neutering over 1,000 cats each year. Enjoy a great night out knowing that you are making a difference in the lives of LA's street cats! For more information visit www.kittybungalow.org

Stars set to perform include Fred Willard (Modern Family); Wendi Clendon-Covey (The Goldbergs); Elaine Hendrix (Sex&Drugs&RockandRoll); Mo Collins (Parks and Rec); Billy Boyd (Lord of the Rings); Elisabeth Harnois (CSI); Autumn Resser (The OC); Keith David (Cloud Atlas); Jon Huertas (Castle); and the So You Think You Can Dance Dancers.


If you're interested in attending and will be in the Los Angeles area on August 1st, please enter the Rafflecopter below for the chance to win one pair of tickets to CATbaret, plus passes to the VIP after party (valued at $300). No travel or lodging costs are supplied. If an out of state winner enters and is chosen, they are responsible for their own costs to travel to and from the event. The winner will be chosen from a pool of entrants across all participating blogs on July 28th at noon.

Even if you're not in the LA area, you can still win a piece of CATbaret! Just by blogging about this exciting event, I've been authorized to give one lucky reader a CATbaret gift bag with a retail value of $50. I can't give you an exact contents list, but it will be comprised of a mix of items donated by the show's sponsors such as World’s Best Cat Litter, Nature’s Variety, Pioneer Pet, and more, so you know it will be good! Some will be even signed by the celebrities that attend the event! If you're interesting in winning the gift bag, simply leave a comment that you would like to enter. A winner will be chosen on July 28th; US entries only.


For ticket purchases and further info visit http://www.kittybungalow.org/catbaretinfo.html

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 20, 2015

Live Well & Prospurr: An Interview with Morris the Cat #ProspurrPromo


Morris the Cat is known throughout the world as the star of over fifty 9Lives cat food commercials from the 1970s up through today. He gained even greater notoriety when he became an advo-cat for kitty adoptions with his “Million Cat Rescue” initiative, and just this year, he took a trip to South by Southwest as a feline technology correspondent.

It seems America’s favorite ‘charmingly choosy’ feline is always on the go, but I recently had the chance to catch up with him to talk show biz, naps, and how he’s giving back through his new effort called ‘Live Well & Prospurr.’

You’ve been a TV star since the 1970s and yet you look as vivacious as ever. How do you keep your youthful glow?

People ask me all the time if I’ve had work done. But in fact, my whiskers stay perky thanks to a disciplined regimen of napping, sleeping, napping some more, eating (9Lives, of course), and just generally hanging out. I want to emphasize this last one because even though it’s categorically important for our health and happiness, it’s also the easiest to forget as we go about our busy lives. That’s why I developed my Official Guide to Relaxing, Chillin’, Unwinding & More. (I had to take some time away from hanging out to write it, but I hope you’ll agree it was well worth it.)

Are humans allowed to know what’s in this guide or is it for felines only?

Oh no, the guide was written for all species, both two- and four-legged. And let’s face it, cats are pretty good at hanging out already. I know relaxing can be daunting—what with work, kids, errands, and chores—but that’s why I created the 5 levels of hanging out. Even the most stressed out person can master Level 1: Kicking Back. Then, as people get more comfortable with the idea of just relaxing, they can move on to the higher levels and ultimately achieve what I like to call Prospurr.

How does someone know when they’ve achieved Prospurr?

Excellent question, Melissa. Prospurr is the Holy Grail of hanging out. It’s not so much an action as a state of mind, but purr-haps I could describe it best like this: It’s like the moment you flop onto the couch after a hard day, mixed with the tingling sensation of getting scratched behind the ears, rolled into the drool-inducing taste of a bowl of 9Lives. You humans out there probably haven’t tried 9Lives, so you’ll just have to trust me on this one. For more tips on hanging out, go to this website that I built with my own four paws: http://prospurr.9lives.com/

I know working in show biz can mean very long hours. How do you keep to your hangout regimen while you’re on set?

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Just like Brad Pitt or Liam Hemsworth, I have a stand-in who sets up all my shots for me. That way I can rest in my trailer—ahem, carrying case—until the cameras start rolling. My stand-in is polyester and has a tag that says “Made in the USA,” but he does the trick. All I have to do is show up and look handsome… which is easy since I’ve spent the whole day getting my beauty rest.

Certainly the entertainment industry, and the world in general, has changed a lot since the 1970s. How do you keep up with the times?

I chase the times like a red-laser dot, and I’m always on the lookout for cool new tech gadgets that help cats and humans live well. One of my new favorites is the Apple Watch—it lets me track how much time I spend ‘napping’ versus the time I spend ‘sleeping.’ AND, today it told me that I took 19 steps going from my bed to my food dish—nothing like working up a sweat before a big meal.

What is the best advice you could give to someone who wants to live a better life?

Watch cat videos! A recent study conducted by some really smart people at Indiana University found that after watching a clip of Lil Bub, Nora the Piano Cat or of course, yours truly, participants felt increased levels of joy and energy. Science doesn’t lie, people! Bonus points if you watch said cat videos curled up in bed or on a fluffy couch.

If a cat watches cat videos, does it have the same effect?

Yes—in fact, the effect is multiplied. It’s like topping 9Lives Super Supper with even more 9Lives Super Supper. Some days I’ll watch cat videos the entire four hours I’m awake.

It seems like you’ve got a pretty nice life, Morris.

I’m very lucky, but to me, being a celebricat isn’t about paw-ty hopping or head-booping Hollywood royalty. It’s about enjoying the simple pleasures that let me live well—and helping others to do the same. You may not know this but I was actually a rescue cat in Chicago before I was ‘discovered.’

This year, with your support, I’m donating a million meals to the ASPCA. Every time you tweet using #MorrisFeeds I’ll donate a bowl of 9Lives to a kitty in need. And I haven’t forgotten about my human fans: Go to http://prospurr.9lives.com/ for a chance to win $300 towards a relaxing getaway… You deserve it!


Disclosure: I am being compensated with Morris swag in exchange for this blog post. I have loved Morris since I was a little girl!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Meet Buddy #SundaySelfies

The morning after I lost Truffles, I woke up to an email telling me that my dear friends Alana & Crepes of Cat in the Fridge had sponsored a cat from Paws of Connecticut in my precious girl's memory. It meant more to me than words can say, and the only thing that would be even more wonderful is if Buddy could find his forever home from our sharing his story.

More information on Buddy and an application to adopt him can be found here. PLEASE SHARE!



The Sunday Selfies Blog Hop is hosted by The Cat on My Head.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Caturday Art: Tara & Truffles at the Bridge

Many, many thanks to my Facebook friend Noodle the Disabled Dachshund for the incredibly beautiful images of my little angels at the Bridge.




More artsy kitties can be found at Athena's Caturday Art blog hop.

Friday, July 17, 2015

July Rescued Spotlight: Browser the Library Cat


Over the last several months we've been telling you about 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. 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. We wanted to help spread the word about this very important book by interviewing each of the featured cats in our "Truffles Interviews" series.

Rest assured, these interviews will continue. Truffles was very proud to be a rescue kitty and was passionate about helping other cats find their forever homes too. In her memory I will be continuing the interviews, at least until her successor comes along. Just the other day I was re-reading the interview she did with her friend Nissy of Nerissa's Life. Whoever would have guessed that in just a few short months they would both be gone...

Today I present Truffles' final Rescued interview with July's spotlight, Browser the Library Cat.

Truffles: Welcome, Browser! Thank you so much for chatting with me today. Could you start by introducing yourself and telling us what made your story such a good fit for the Rescued anthology?

Browser: I am a library cat. Historically cats were kept in libraries to keep rodents out of the books. My life is considerably easier than that. That my story was a good fit is obvious. I was dumped in town as a kitten. My library friends rescued me.

I have to tell you, I think it is SO cool that you get to live in a library!!! (Although Mommy has so many books around our house that sometimes I think I do too!!!) What are some of the fun things that you get to do there? 

Living in a library has more benefits for a feline than I can possibly list. Let me start by describing my attention quotient. Every day people friends come into the library and seek me for a good scratch. Then there is “story time”. Small people sit around on the floor and pet me. Someone reads a book to us. It is very soothing. We have several computers in our library. With the computers come very comfy chairs where I enjoy many naps. I have plenty of shelves to climb on – mazes of them, and chess boards where though my ability to play chess is rather limited, I make toys of the pieces. People bring me stuff. Loads of stuff. Toys, food, treats. It’s a wonderful place to live.

How did you come to wear the very special collar that documents your adventures? 

I truly enjoy my perambulations, but sometimes Muriel, head librarian, wants to know where in the world I am. It’s a win/win. I don’t get lost and Muriel doesn’t stress about my location.

You're a blogging kitty and newspaper columnist too! Where can we read your mewsings? 

My blog address is: http://library-cat.blogspot.com/ Also, you can read some of my ruminations in the quarterly “Our Neck of the Woods” under Chit Chat with the Library Cat. That would be me. I also publish relatively frequently in the Pine River Journal, a weekly news paper for our area, where I chronicle events in my life and the lives of those at my home, Pine River Public Library. Yes, I keep busy.

The rescue you've chosen to receive your proceeds from the book this month is Paws and Claws Animal Shelter in Hackensack, MN. What can you tell us about the work they do for homeless animals? 

Paws and Claws is small town facility in the making. They are partnered with an animal doctor who promotes spraying and neutering with a sliding scale so this can be affordable to anybody. Strays and farm cats are treated specially. This is wonderful because it will help assure there are fewer youngsters like I was, roaming around with no food and no home. Paws and Claws has a presence on Facebook. Visit them. They post some pretty fun stuff! At present Paws and Claws is a dream in the making. Funds, if you google them or check facebook, will go toward some pretty fancy digs. (Yes, I’m bi-lingual)

What do you hope people take away from your story? 

The answer to this question is simple. There is always hope. Sad beginnings do not necessarily mean a sad life.



* Photos used with permission from Browser's humans.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Book Review/Giveaway: Peaches & Scream by Susan Furlong


From the publisher: In the first Georgia Peach Mystery, when murder threatens her family’s orchard, Nola Harper is ready to pick out the killer and preserve the farm’s reputation…

To help run the family peach farm during her parents’ absence, Nola Harper returns to her childhood home of Cays Mill, Georgia, and soon discovers that things back at the farm aren’t exactly peachy. A poor harvest and rising costs are threatening to ruin the Harpers’ livelihood, and small-town gossip is spreading like blight thanks to Nola’s juicy reputation as a wild teenager way back when. But Nola really finds herself in the pits when she stumbles upon a local businessman murdered among the peach trees.

With suspicions and family tensions heating up faster than a cobbler in the oven, this sweet Georgia peach will have to prune through a list of murder suspects—before she too becomes ripe for the killer’s picking…


What could be more delectable than sinking your teeth into the flesh of a juicy peach? Sicking your teeth into a juicy mystery featuring the yummiest of summer fruits.

Peaches & Scream introduces us to Nola Mae Harper who has returned home to Cays Mill, Georgia, to help run the family peach orchard while her parents are on an anniversary trip. The next morning while cleaning up she stumbles upon the body of a lumber mill owner, and her brother in law, who recently had a bad business deal with the victim, is the main suspect.

Nola Mae is a very complex and instantly likeable protagonist. Working for a humanitarian organization, she soon realizes that while she's been helping people in faraway lands, her very own family has been suffering - the peach farm is in trouble. She's also hiding a heartbreaking secret from her teenage years that drove her away years ago and she's spent the entire time trying to atone for.

A cast of sassy Southern characters, a charming small town, and a basset hound named Roscoe make for a mouth-watering debut. I can't wait to watch Nola Mae make a success of her new business!

Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Wednesday, July 22nd for your chance to win a paperback copy of Peaches & Scream. (US entries only, please.)

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

An Interview with Volunteer Extraordinare Deb Navari #BtC4A


I adopted Truffles having never met her. I saw her picture on PetFinder, instantly fell in love, and didn't see her in person until I picked her up at the Petco adoption center. That's what makes this month's Blog the Change post so special to me.

Truffles (and Tara before her) were both adopted from Franklin County Animal Rescue in St. Albans, Vermont, which is about 30 miles north of me. I've always said that shelter volunteer extraordinare Deb Navari "delivered my baby" because she was the transport driver that drove Truffles to Burlington...and to me.

Just days before I lost Truffles so unexpectedly, I finally got to meet Deb in person when I brought some donated food to her house for her next trip north. We had the nicest visit and I even got to meet the two current litters of foster kittens that she's caring for. I found myself completely in awe of the tireless work that she does on behalf of animals, from anything that needs doing at the shelter and it's remote adoption centers to turning her hot tub room into a foster care room. She was even nominated for the Purina Cat Chow Shelter Volunteer of the Year contest for the State of Vermont!

Deb is the epitome of what "being the change" means to me and I hope that you're as inspired as I am by everything she does for animals. I want to thank her for taking the time to answer my interview questions on very short notice, and I will forever be grateful to her for the gift of Truffles.


Melissa: Could you tell us how you came to work with Franklin County Animal Rescue?

Deb: I happen to have 2 beautiful felines from FCAR, and have always loved animals…and I always said, “if I EVER retire…its something that I’d love to help a shelter.” So naturally, seeing my crew was from there, I would drive up and see if I could help.

What is a typical day like in the rescue work you do?

My typical day, starts at 5:30am…up to feed the foster kits! Feed and Scoop…check them over from head to toe…butts to noses…that’s what a good foster nana does. Eye and Ear issues, loose bowel issues you want to take care of right away…sniffles…just like they were children…THEY can’t tell you…YOU have to spot an issue. Then cleaning their room…changing their bedding.

Little Playtime and snuggle time…Socializing, especially if it’s a very skittish or feral kitten, the more you interact, the more relaxed around humans they become! (Start this process very early if they come to the shelter feral.) That why fostering is SO important…if a feral kitten is left at the shelter in a crew of 5-8 other kittens, they will still be very skittish unless touched, interacted with for at least 3 weeks….it’s their instinct to run, hide and hiss! They usually come around when in a foster home setting where they are carried around and played with lots… to be pretty social little ones!

This continues throughout my day until night time, where they usually have an open window to see birds and smell the fresh outdoor air…

If its my shelter day, I’m either scheduled to bring in some of my fosters for rechecking health issues or a surgery day where they will be spayed or neutered, then come home with me for recoup! Then I usually get to meet the new adoptive family! Yeahy!

While at the shelter, I put away food that I transported in…or items that were donated to the shelter…

Clean cages, check cats and kittens that are in shelter to see if there are any with special needs or socialization that I can bring home with me, wash carriers.

Last week there was a leak in the surgery room sink…I tightened the drains…all was well!

Put in a load of laundry…pick up have a heart cages dropped off from being borrowed, straighten the storage shed…I use to mow the lawn, but it became just too much for me to handle…

There is so much to do that the workers just can get over whelmed…but also a challenge to see what needs to be done without asking…my parents instilled that in my upbringing!

What are some of the greatest hardships that you see for homeless animals here in northern Vermont?

I really have a hard time with people who move and leave their pets behind…the animals get accustomed to being fed and housed…then are deserted and really can’t fend for themselves. If they have been inside cats…unfamiliar with location, cars, dogs…it can be such a struggle for a pet. Sad so many are left to fend for themselves…owners of “free” kittens, usually never make the attempt to Spay or Neuter…they want to “experience” having a litter… well, you know the rest of the story on that one…we all do!

What do you find is the most rewarding part and the most difficult part of animal rescue?

Most rewarding: Bottle feeding an infant “Prussian Blue-7toed” 6 day old kitten, stranded in a raining parking lot in the middle of the night…and trimming her toenails, 4 years later at 14 LBS…in her adopted mom’s arms! 

Most difficult Part: Knowing we can’t save them all! Loosing a foster after close care, 2 to 3 night time feedings: You are exhausted emotionally and physically…and there is nothing you can do about it! Mother Nature has a plan…

What are some ways that we can all chip in to help animals in need?

See what the immediate needs are to your local shelters…food/litter…and Help donate to Spay and Neuter Programs…trap and release programs….It would so help each community!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Guest Blogger Leslie Goodwin, Author of Cat Skills, on Grieving: Part 2

Do Animals Grieve?

Twice, I've witnessed cats grieving the loss of their cat companions. Was I imagining it? Were cats actually grieving?

Since then, I've found hundreds of stories of cats visibly mourning a loss by howling, ceasing to eat, looking for the lost one or by withdrawing.

The ASPCA Companion Animal Mourning Project in 1996 studied grieving in animals. The majority, 67% of animals in the study, exhibited behavioral changes at the loss of an animal companion.   

    Lucy at age 16 with a bad haircut.  Photo© Leslie Goodwin

Grief is complicated when you have to share it. The animal survivors may be distant just when you need a cuddle. You may resent the surviving cat because he's too needy or acting out, not eating, or vocalizing. The survivor may search for the lost one, making your loss feel even sharper.

Opinions vary, but most writers say that showing the body will not necessarily help him to understand. They recommend leaving the house intact for a while, not moving the lost kitty's bed or removing his scent right away to ease the transition.

Cats thrive on routine, so reinforcing regular habits and rituals will help you both recover. 

When are you getting another cat?

Your friends keep asking. It seems like a good idea. In fact, your first reaction may be to ease your pain by immediately replacing the lost one. But the new kitty may suffer by comparison because you haven't had time to let go, to come to the acceptance stage of grief.

And, confronting a new cat soon after a loss may be very stressful for your other buddies. Your other kitties may need medication to get them back to eating normally.  Time is the only cure for your broken hearts.

I tried to wait, to follow this official advice. So, when Runtie and Lucy had used their ninth lives, I went to volunteer at the humane society. I could do foster care and not make a commitment.

When the time comes, how will I ever choose my next two, I wondered, passing cage after cage of the hopeful homeless. Impossible. But one face stood out from the crowd of needy faces; one little waif who was the spitting image of my recently departed, Lucy.

I was just going to say Hello; a short visit as an emotionally detached volunteer, but Maisie climbed to my neck and clung on like a Velcro scarf.  She had clearly chosen me. I was catstruck.

Out of 350 cats available at shelters near me, I met with four and brought two home. They were two perfect opposites who eventually meshed perfectly together. 

I don't think it was luck or intention.  I think a force much greater than us is at work. Our fate is in the hands of the Cat God.

Cats continually teach us an invaluable lesson: Control is an illusion. You don't pick them, they choose you. The next time I went to the shelter, shopping intentionally, desperately seeking a "replacement," none of the cats picked me. I thought I was ready, but the cats knew better. 

           Our fate is not in our hands. A greater force is at work.

I had doubts when Molly chose me. She was a shelter veteran, landing there twice in only eight months. In only two years, she had lived in at least four homes. She was fearful, withdrawn and peed outside the box. I was reminded that all relationships, feline and human, are a work in progress, requiring patience and love to succeed...and in this case, a hefty dose of cat pheromones! Looking back, I wasn’t through grieving when I brought Molly home…but my other cat Millie, needed a buddy.

Molly is about to mark her first anniversary at our house and she is happy at last. She loves to play tag..tagging us and then running away to get us to chase her. The frightened little girl who used to hide under the bed, now demands lap time and cuddles.  With her own tall litterbox, she no longer misses the box.     
                         
At the shelters, they say many adopters overlook the black cats. I used to pass them over too. Now, some of my best friends are black cats.

Adopting a cat is a little like getting married after only one date. You're pledging to love a total stranger; a frightened, needy stranger with a mysterious or dark past; and always carrying emotional baggage.

You have to believe that whoever you find, or whoever finds you, was divinely chosen to be yours. When you make that leap of faith and surrender yourself without expectations, you may be shocked at the intensity of your bond and the healing power of your love. Excerpted from CAT SKILLS: Loving Care for Cats copyright Leslie Goodwin available on Amazon.com http://goo.gl/tqTpxx

Monday, July 13, 2015

Guest Blogger Leslie Goodwin, Author of Cat Skills, on Grieving


When Melissa first shared the sad news, I was stung with disbelief. Wasn’t Truffles healthy and happy only yesterday? She wasn’t old….was she? Then I thought of my own lost loves; Bubba who chased a squirrel for the first time in his life…straight into the road,  Maisie, who couldn’t beat a fatal disease and Runtie and Lucy…who I loved for almost 17 years.  

I drew strength from nurturing my old guys. They needed me more than ever. The hardest call I ever made was to my vet when Lucy’s cancer could no longer be ignored. Runt’s time was easier. But both times, I had some control in the final days.

The sudden loss of a young, healthy cat, though,  feels like being stabbed in the heart.  After the initial shock, a flood of emotions and questions with no answers torture us as we struggle to make sense of a senseless loss.  Yet, with time, and a little intervention by the Cat God….heart wounds do heal.

Melissa, this is for you and Tara and Truffles….The following is excerpted from my book, CAT SKILLS: Loving Care for Cats. Leslie Goodwin


Grieving

After losing a loved one, we're haunted by a terrifying thought: I'll never love or be loved as deeply again. We are burdened with regrets--baggage we lug along on our grief trip: Why did he have to get sick? Why didn't I see it coming? Why couldn't I have saved him? Why did I wait so long to put him down? Should I have waited longer?

We can invent dozens of woulda, coulda, shouldas that serve only as guides for the future but do nothing to change the past. Somehow, we forget the many happy years together and focus on a few difficult days, weeks, or months.

Loss can leave us feeling numb, paralyzed, broken beyond repair...yet deep inside flickers a pilot light of hope. Sadness is one color in a whole rainbow of emotions that are our privilege and burden as mere humans.

The challenge after loss is to banish regrets, reject fearful thoughts and stow that oppressive cargo. Relief comes from believing that love is perennial. The supply is never-ending. Love grows where it is planted and thrives where it is nurtured.

Fear not. When you are ready, the Cat God will be waiting to match you again with the perfect feline friend. You can never replace a loved one...but you can carry on a beautiful tradition with your new loved ones. 

This is part one of two. Copyright by Leslie Goodwin. Excerpted from CAT SKILLS: Loving Care for Cats by Leslie Goodwin..available on Amazon.com http://goo.gl/tqTpxx

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken.
If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.  C.S. Lewis

Saturday, July 11, 2015

With Heartfelt Thanks...


It feels so wrong to start a blog post without writing "Hey everybody, it's Truffles!"

I hadn't planned on blogging this weekend, but I had to take a moment to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for the support I have received over this past week. The pain has been unimaginable, and I don't know what I would have done without the love, support, and sympathy from everyone who taken the time to write to me to say how much my precious little angel meant to them. Truly, if love could have saved her, she would have lived forever.

Truffles was so protective of me. If I wasn't in the room with her she would call out for me. Over the past year with my parents' illnesses she would comfort me. I have a feeling she's watching over me right now, worrying about me because I'm crying so much. She was the sweetest cat *ever* and I know that leaving me to face life without her broke her heart.

She will continue to be a HUGE part of this blog. I think writing about her is going to be the only way I'm going to get through this. I still have several of her interviews yet to run and pictures that haven't been seen. I want to share the incredible acts of kindness I've been shown and do more research into the horrible disease that took her from me way too soon.

My friend Leslie Goodwin, who wrote the wonderful book Cat Skills, will be guest posting for a couple days next week on the grieving process, in order to give me a little more time. I'm not ready to dive back in just yet.

I have no doubt that Tara sent Truffles to me, and I've asked Truffles to let me know who she chooses as her successor when she feels that I'm ready.

One thing is for sure...they will have some mighty big paws to fill.

*****************

I'm entering today's post in Athena's Caturday Art blog hop and the Sunday Selfies blog hop hosted by The Cat on My Head.