Sunday, January 31, 2016

Wanted: One Final Home for Oreo

Meows from Mudpie!

Today I'm turning over my Sunday Selfie post to a very special kitty at our local shelter who is in search of the purr-fect home to live out her final days.

Please meet Oreo...


Oreo originally arrived at the Humane Society of Chittenden County in January 2013 and was quickly adopted. She returned to HSCC again last fall when her owner had to move to senior housing and couldn't take Oreo along.

Recently the shelter discovered a mass near her front armpit. The mass was surgically removed and biopsied, and then came the unfortunate diagnosis of high grade mammary cancer that had already spread. With this type and stage of cancer, the prognosis is that Oreo has an average of 8 months to live.

Currently Oreo is comfortable and pain-free. The shelter is hoping that someone will adopt Oreo despite her prognosis and give her a beautiful final home where she can simply lie in the sun and receive ample amounts of love.

Oreo’s adoption fee will be waived to the right home.

Please help us share Oreo’s story and together we can make sure her final chapter is a peaceful one.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Caturday Art: Dazzling or Dastardly???

Meows from Mudpie!

We're looking for your opinions on our Caturday Art project this week.

Do I look positively dazzling (as we all know I am anyways) or like I just got zapped to life like Frankenstein???


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

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Purring Peddler: Valentine Edition

Welcome to The Purring Peddler, a must read column for the stylish cat lady!

The holiday that celebrates love is a mere two weeks away. We've chosen a handful of items purr-fect for showing that special human (or cat!) in your life that you adore them...or for dropping hints about what you'd like to receive! Of course you could always just cut out the middle man like I do and treat yourself...but that sort of defeats the purpose of the holiday, doesn't it?


1) "All I Care About Is My Cat And Like Maybe 3 People" Mug
If your partner is lucky, they're one of the 3 people you care about ;) The fact that this quote fits me to a "T" is most likely why I typically spend Valentine's Day at home with my cat. And I'm perfectly fine with that.

2) Valentine's Day House Cat Scratcher
Target knows they've stumbled upon a winning formula with their line of Halloween and Christmas cat houses, so why shouldn't our kitties get in the Valentine spirit too? And it's big enough to fit more than one kitty for quality cuddle time :) (Available in Target stores and on Target.com)

3) Catfeine Cup Cat Bed by Captain Catnip
We need another cat bed at our house like I need another book but *OH* how I love this bed.

4) Kitten Bowl itty bittys®
I have zilch-zero-nada interest in football. All the Super Bowl means to me is that the NASCAR season is mere days away. But for the past several years the Puppy Bowl and Kitten Bowl have been annual traditions at my house. Hallmark's popular itty bittys® line lets you invite the star players into your home before the big game!

5) Grumpy Cat Valentine's Day Cards
It's been many, many years since I was in grade school handing out Valentine's Day cards. With all the PC nonsense, is it even allowed anymore? No matter, these cards are too cute to give away anyways...they're a prized addition to my Grumpy Cat collection! (Available in Target stores and on Target.com)

I love putting together these Purring Peddler posts and hope you enjoy them too! What kinds of things would you like to see featured here? Give me an excuse to stalk the online stores for purr-fect products to share!

Disclaimer: I am not being compensated in any way for featuring these items, I just picked them out because they're pawsome!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

January Rescued Spotlight: Rascal


Meows from Mudpie!

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.

January's spotlight is Rascal, who along with his brother Rocco blog at Rascal and Rocco. These two sweet boys found themselves at a shelter not once, but twice, because their senior owners had to move into nursing homes! As adult cats they could only wait and hope to be chosen over the cute kittens.

Mommy has always adopted adult cats and wishes others would do the same. They have the hardest times finding forever homes. Rascal and Rocco's story is also a good reminder to make provisions for your beloved pets should anything ever happen to you. Our lives and futures matter too!!!


Welcome Rascal! Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me today! Could you start by introducing us to yourself and telling us what made your story such a good fit for the Rescued anthology?

Hello! Thank you for interviewing me. Be sure to get my good side, will you?

My brother and I were rescues so naturally our story fit, but what makes it unique is that we were sent to a shelter more than once and our chances of being adopted, especially together, were slim, since we were already grown.

Why is your story titled "Twice Disrupted"?

Twice we thought we were settled in a home for life, but both times our lives were uprooted, or disrupted, without any consideration as to how we might feel about the changes. One moment we were perfectly comfortable, the next we were rudely whisked away to an unfamiliar place and uncertain fate.


What was your greatest fear while you were at the animal shelter?

We thought we’d never get to rule our own household again! Shelters have very strict schedules to keep and we prefer to do things on our own terms. We need to be able to roam outside as we please, feel the breeze on our whiskers, and sit on high fences to keep an eye on our kingdom. We require staff that does as we command. You can’t sleep on a shelter volunteer’s warm head, but with family, they bend to your will after a bit of training. It was terrifying not knowing if we would ever have these small necessities in our lives again, but even more terrifying was the thought that we could be serarated. We have never been apart and the chances of us both getting adopted to the same home were not good.

The rescue you've chosen to receive your proceeds from the book this month is Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter. What important work do they do for homeless cats?

This shelter is dear to my human family because they adopted many animals there over the years and have always found compassionate people within. The Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter supports trap-neuter-return to lower the feral cat population while letting the cats that can not be socialized and adopted live out their lives in peace. They care for many stray and injured cats and attempt to find homes for each one. They educate the community about animal safety and much more.


What's life like for you today?

We’ve adjusted to our new home and love our people. The children have grown and learned when we want attention and when to give us our space. On a typical day I will wake the humans up, they are so lucky to have me keeping them on schedule, and remind them to feed us. Then Rocco and I will prowl the neighborhood to stretch our legs for a bit, earning a long nap. We don’t have a favorite spot, we like to keep the humans guessing on where they might find us. Rocco’s current napping spot is in the laundry hamper. I’ve been checking out the headboard, removing any knicknacks I find there, helping to declutter is my specialty. It’s a simple, but good life. I had hoped for no more big changes, but then the dog came. I don’t even want to discuss him. No, I’m done. Next question please…

Okay, he’s not so bad now that we’ve given up hope that they’ll return him. We ignore each other for the most part and live peacefully.

What would you like humans to learn from your story and what do you want your lasting legacy to be?

Don’t overlook adult kitties if you’re looking to adopt. We are way more awesome than annoying kittens. Often already litter box trained! Any age cat wants a warm home and a lap to curl up on.

Also, if you or someone you know is getting old, I mean really, really old, or have declining health, make a plan for the cats in your family for where they will go when you can no longer care for them. We are family and our future should not be secure, not left to fate.

Photos used with permission: L. E. Mastilock

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Lounging by Lamplight

Meows from Mudpie!

Ever since my asthma diagnosis Mommy has been doing tons of research on natural remedies to help relieve my symptoms since my vet said I don't need to be on meds yet.

For two weeks I've been taking Jackson Galaxy's Easy Breather Spirit Essences. We've also been reading about how Himalayan salt lamps can reduce allergy and asthma symptoms, among other health benefits.

When Mommy literally stumbled upon a salt lamp at a terrific price while shopping at HomeGoods last weekend, she knew it was a sign that she should buy one.

As soon as she unboxed the lamp I figured the best way to receive it's full effect would be to curl up against it and take a nap.

Aren't I smart???


Mommy: Good thinking sweetpea, but the lamp purifies the air around us, so you don't really need to be touching it. And it sort of needs to be plugged in and turned on too...

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

Note from Mommy: In this picture Mudpie is lying on the HomeGoods bag but was never left alone with it. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

My Heroes Have Always Had Whiskers #MyPetIsMyHero

The tagline of my blog, which encompasses my two greatest passions, is "Books Feed My Mind. Cats Feed My Soul." It's a slogan that epitomizes my life. There has never been a time when a cat hasn't been my primary confidant, the one little being who I know will always be there for me. I'm even going to go a step further and say the cats I've shared my life with are my heroes.


This post is sponsored by Chicken Soup for The Soul Pet Food and the BlogPaws® Pet Influencer Network. I am being compensated for helping create awareness around the Brand and new product launch, but we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers. Chicken Soup for The Soul is not responsible for the content of this article.

The news stories that never fail to put a smile on my face are those that feature heroic pets, whether it's the newly adopted cat who awakens her family when a fire breaks out or the dog who alerts their human that an epileptic seizure is imminent. Remember Tara the cat who saved a 6 year old boy from getting attacked by a dog?

True, I've never had a cat do anything that would lead the world to view them as anything other than an "ordinary cat", but when you love your pet, every single moment you spend together matters. My cats have always been my greatest joy and my greatest comfort...and that makes them my greatest heroes.


One moment that I will never forget for as long as I live happened just last June. I was lying in bed working on a blog post about the dog movie "Max" that was about to premiere. I started to watch the music video by Blake Shelton for the movie's theme song, "Forever Young". I don't know if it was the images from the movie or the song itself or the two combined, but I started crying. Not just a few tears either but outright sobbing.

Truffles ran into the bedroom, hopped on the bed, got into my lap and started rubbing against me and purring. She knew that I was terribly upset and her first instinct was to comfort me the only way she could...with her love. Little did I know a few short weeks later she would be gone in the blink of an eye. That moment is the reason why I titled the blog post announcing her passing "Forever Young, Precious Truffles". She was only four years old and it's the way I will always remember her...forever young.


Needless to say, when I adopted Mudpie she had some gigantic paws to fill and the monumental task of mending a completely shattered heart. That popular adoption quote "Who rescued who?" has never held greater meaning. While I still haven't even begun to accept the unfairness of what happened to Truffles, the pure joy that Mudpie exudes 24/7 has proven to be so healing and therapeutic.

And that makes her a mighty big hero in this cat mom's eyes.


Do you have a hero pet in your life?

Chicken Soup for the Soul®, the company that has brought us the popular line of heartwarming books and super-premium pet food (more about the food in a future post!) is giving pet owners the opportunity to show how their pets are heroes and have a chance to appear on Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Hidden Heroes on the CBS Saturday morning lineup. Write your story or submit your video to the Pet Hero webpage.

Connect with Chicken Soup for the Soul Pets:



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Monday, January 25, 2016

Mudpie Interviews...Arf from Guilty as Cinnamon by Leslie Budewitz (w/Giveaway)



Meows from Mudpie!

Today I'm interviewing Arf, the canine star of the Spice Shop mysteries by Leslie Budewitz. The latest book in the series, Guilty as Cinnamon was released in December.

It's a good thing I found Arf to be a really nice guy, because he has a wicked sense of humor! You'll find out what I mean when you read the interview :)

Enjoy!






Welcome Arf, 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 Pepper?

Thank you for inviting me, kind lady. I am an Airedale, the King of Terriers. (There may be a touch of the smaller Welsh Terrier in me as well – they, too, are a most excellent breed.) The humans seem to think I’m about five years old, in their terms; age does not matter to me. I came to live with Pepper last fall, when Sam---the street name of the man known officially as Winfield Robinson III---decided to leave Seattle and return to Memphis, where his humans are. I am not familiar with Memphis, but I believe I would have enjoyed the opportunity to explore its streets and smells---I hear they serve very fine barbecue. But Sam thought the long bus ride would be too much for me. I am not sure why---I have always gotten along well with greyhounds. Sam knew Pepper to be a generous and loyal friend, and she does indeed have those admirable qualities. She is a delightful companion who values my presence in her life, and rubs my ears. She is also well-acquainted with the butchers in the Pike Place Market, where we spend much of our time.

What is a typical day like for you?

I rise early and take Pepper for a walk. She is occasionally a little grouchy in the mornings, so I make sure she has her coffee, and that improves her mood tremendously. Most days, we go straight to the Market, a few blocks from our loft in a downtown Seattle warehouse. We greet the farmers, vendors, craftspeople, and merchants as they set up their stalls and stores for the day. Pepper owns the Seattle Spice Shop, and we prepare to open it. Then I keep an eye on things while she works. Occasionally, trouble arises and she is called upon to investigate. I often assist in her inquiries---she often refers to me as Mr. Ambassador. On occasion, she leaves me in the shop to assist her employees, which I do from my bed behind the front counter. (I have heard rumors that dogs are not officially allowed in the Market, but the Golden Retriever who supervises the Market managers’ office tells me not to worry.)


It must be fun getting into mischief at the Pike Place Market!

It is a glorious place, full of crooks and crannies, sights and smells, and many friendly people. And a few bad apples, but we know what to do with them, don’t we?

What kinds of mischief do you get into in Guilty as Cinnamon?

I run, I jump, I sniff and chase! I nibble and nap. I stick my nose into people’s---pardon me, dear lady, I forget myself. Suffice to say, a dog’s life is wonderful.

Do you help to solve the mystery in any way?

Gentle lady, I know you do not expect me to spoil the fun for readers. Let me say simply, he got what he deserved. And it was deliciously good fun.

How do you feel about kitties?

I hear they’re very good, with barbecue sauce. Pardon me, Miss Mudpie. Just a little dog humor. There are few cats in the Market, and I have not spent much time with your species of late, but in my youth, I shared a home with a lovely calico named Phoebe. She once perceived that I was misbehaving, and swatted me on the nose and knocked me off the front porch, but that aside, we were great friends. I miss her dearly.

Can you tell us anything about your upcoming adventures?


In KILLING THYME (October 2016), Pepper and I don capes and fly through the city---no, wait, that was last night’s dream. We investigate a suspicious death linked to Pepper’s childhood home, uncovering decades-old secrets that put her family and dearest friends in danger. Pepper once again proves herself smart, loyal, and courageous---and I her most faithful companion.

Thank you, Miss Mudpie, and Miss Melissa, for so kindly inviting me to visit with you and your friends.

Yours most sincerely,
Arf


Pepper Reece knows that fiery flavors are the spice of life. But when a customer dies of a chili overdose, she finds herself in hot pursuit of a murderer…

Murder heats up Seattle’s Pike Place Market in the next Spice Shop mystery from the national bestselling author of Assault and Pepper.

Springtime in Seattle’s Pike Place Market means tasty foods and wide-eyed tourists, and Pepper’s Seattle Spice Shop is ready for the crowds. With flavorful combinations and a fresh approach, she’s sure to win over the public. Even better, she’s working with several local restaurants as their chief herb and spice supplier. Business is cooking, until one of Pepper’s potential clients, a young chef named Tamara Langston, is found dead, her life extinguished by the dangerously hot ghost chili—a spice Pepper carries in her shop.

Now stuck in the middle of a heated police investigation, Pepper must use all her senses to find out who wanted to keep Tamara’s new cafĂ© from opening—before someone else gets burned…

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

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. She fell in love with the Pike Place Market as a college student in Seattle, and still makes regular pilgrimages. The president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher. Connect with her through her website and blog, www.LeslieBudewitz.com, or on Facebook, www.Facebook.com/LeslieBudewitzAuthor

Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Friday, January 29th for your chance to win an autographed copy of Guilty as Cinnamon. (US entries only, please.)

Sunday, January 24, 2016

CatLadyBox #SundaySelfie

Meows from Mudpie!

On Thursday we told you all about our latest CatLadyBox, but we withheld one picture from the post!

At first Mommy thought the picture was a blooper because I'm climbing out of the box I was supposed to be posing with, and I appear to be chatting about something too!

I had to explain to her that I was actually taking a selfie while in the CatLadyBox! Geez, it's a good thing I've taken control of this blog or Mommy would never get anything right!


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


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Caturday Art: No Snow Leaves Us Feeling Blue

Meows from Mudpie!

We're just a teensy bit jealous of those of you who are getting loads of snow this weekend. Here in northern New England not a single flake is being predicted :(


Hope all of our friends in the blizzard's path are staying safe and warm inside with hot chocolate, great books, and lots of kitty cuddling time! That's what Mommy and I will be doing...even though the sun is shining!


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


Friday, January 22, 2016

Answer Your Cat's Questions Day 2016

Do you ever wonder what your cat is thinking? Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day is a chance to find out, and to answer some of their big questions.


Here are a handful of questions that I think Mudpie would ask me:

Am I the cutest kitty in the whole wide world?
Yes Mudpie, you absolutely are.

Out of all the homeless kitties out there, why did you pick me?
You know how I talk about your big sister Truffles all the time? Well, when she died my heart was absolutely shattered. When I saw Truffles on Petfinder two years ago her picture just grabbed me the minute I saw her, and I knew I needed to feel that "connection" to another little face again. When I saw you, it happened.

You talk about Truffles so much...do you love me as much as you love her?
Oh sweetie, I hope my talking about her doesn't make you feel that I love you less. Losing Truffles is still so fresh and so new...and I didn't have closure because I never got to truly say good-bye to her. Every kitty that comes into my life has a place in my heart where they live forever and ever. And in 5 short months I already can't imagine life without you. You make every single day so much fun!!!

Why did you name me Mudpie?
Actually, you picked it! I was debating between four names for you: Moxie, Mudpie, Smudge, and Mocha. The day you came home I tried calling you with all four names, and when I called "Mudpie" you looked at me as if to say, "Yes, that one!" You made a good choice because I think torties should have chocolate-related names :)

Why do you say you're gonna call the "cute police" on me? I haven't done anything wrong!!!
I say that because you're so criminally cute I think it might be illegal! (Don't worry...there's not really a cute police.)

I love all the fun toys you've gotten for me...playing with them is my favorite thing to do in the whole world! Do you like playing with me, Mommy?
It's my favorite thing to do, precious. I love seeing you so happy and having so much fun.

Even when I run the Mudpie 500 through the house?
Especially when you run the Mudpie 500...it's helping me to get through my NASCAR withdrawls. And when you race my favorite driver always wins :)

Uh oh...is it almost time for the new NASCAR season to start???
Yep! Just a few short weeks!!! Aren't you excited???

Um...sure, whatever you say, Mommy. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

December's Meowy Holidays CatLadyBox


Meows from Mudpie!

Check out what I got in my December CatLadyBox: an adorable Abominable Snowman Catnip Monster by Loopies (love this little guy!!!) and a super fun crinkleball by CanCor, made in Canada!

The box arrived on Christmas Eve so I got to start celebrating the holiday a day early :) And check out how I'm modeling the items...Vanna White, eat your heart out!!!


Now I'll turn things over to Mommy so she can show you what she got:


1) A Christmas card from the CatLadyBox mascots, Pimp, Moo and Phantom, and a gorgeous holiday print from Featured Cat Lady Artist Krista May.

2) Black Cat Glass Necklace, the very first CatLadyBox original jewelry design. It was inspired by the story of Isis and Joan...a dying woman and her cat who were given a very special final Christmas thanks to CatLadyBox founder Dorian and a group of amazing cat lovers.

3) Crazy Cat Lady Pouch by Zana. I've been coveting one of these stylish pouches since I saw it in one of the very first CatLadyBox ads, and I'm so happy to finally have one! I actually think I'm going to use it as a little clutch purse!

4) Cat-Shaped Paper Clip Set, another CatLadyBox exclusive. These are going to be used in my home *only*...they are way too cute to risk a co-worker getting their paws on one!

Are you a CatLadyBox subscriber yet? Subscriptions cost $34.99 a month, but you can get an even better deal if you prepay for 3 or 6 months. Also available is the Crazy CatLadyBox, which includes a couple surprises for your kitty! From what I hear January's special edition "Kitty Love" CatLadyBox ships this weekend!

Disclosure: I'm not being compensated in any way for this review. I am a proud CatLadyBox subscriber!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Move Over Oscars, This Year's Award Season Has Gone to the... Cats


The Meow Mix Acatemy has voted and the results are in: The winner of the 2015 Internet is... Cats. From Reddit posts to Buzzfeed lists, it's im-paw-sible to scroll through your news feed without a cat pouncing its way into your heart.

I recently partnered with Meow Mix to help kick off award show season and recognize this year's top theatrical performances (on the Internet, of course) for The 2015 Cat's Meow Awards.

The Cat's Meow Awards received more than 25,000 submissions from everyday cat lovers just like you. And though competition was stiff, Meow Mix fans ultimately chose winners in three cat-egories: Best Cat Cuddle, Best Cat-hlete, and Wild Cat Card.

View the winning clips below:

Best Cat-hlete:



Best Cat Cuddle:



Wild Cat Card:



Finally... an awards show starring my favorite purr-formers: cats! Con-cat-ulations to the all of the 2015 Cat's Meow Awards nominees and winners!

Do you have a cat destined for the silver screen (or one that just likes tasty treats)?  Meow Mix has created a line of Irresistible treats to make all your cat's treat-worthy moments even more delicious. To get a FREE bag – and learn more about the Cat's Meow Awards – go to irresistiblemoments.com. With real meat, a wide variety of flavors, and both soft and crunchy textures, your cat will be sure to thank you in his acceptance speech.

Stay tuned for the next edition of the Cat's Meow Awards! Which new cat-egory would you like to see added next?

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Meow Mix Acatemy. As members of the Acatemy team, we received product compensation in exchange for promoting the Acatemy. This did not influence ​our opinions at all, and we only share information that we feel is relevant to our readers.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Mudpie Interviews...Baskerville from Paige Shelton's To Helvetica and Back (w/Review & Giveaway)


Meows from Mudpie!

We have a special treat for you on this Mystery Monday...a brand new hard-hitting installment of "Mudpie Interviews"! 

I'm chatting with Baskerville, the feline star of Paige Shelton's brand new Dangerous Type mystery series. He's a cool cat with a name that might not mean what you think!

Welcome Baskerville, 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 Chester and Clare?

Hi, Mudpie, it’s good to be here. I’ve heard about you. You’re kind of famous actually. Thanks for the interview.

My mother, Arial, was by all accounts – mine too – the greatest cat in the history of all cats. Chester and Clare and my other people love me mostly because I’m Arial’s son, but sometimes I do try to be a little loveable on my own accord. Sometimes.

I love your name! Was it inspired by the classic Sherlock Holmes story?

Nope, I’m a font. Arial was the first font. I’ve heard my people joke around with customers about the Sherlock Holmes connection, but they insist my name was either going to be “Baskerville” or “Calibri.” I like Baskerville.

What is a typical day like for you?

Lots of sunning. I live in the shop; the retail part during the day, the apartment upstairs with Chester at night. There are high shelves and windows on the west and east sides of the shop. I can always find a sunny spot from which to observe the humans below or take a nap.

It must be fun hanging out at The Rescued Word! Do you ever get into any mischief there?

Sometimes the customers can get really annoying – all that chatter and such. Mostly, I like to watch for trouble. New people garner my suspicion, but I’m getting used to the regulars. They expect me to be all lovey-dovey though. I’m not that easy. They need to prove that they’re worthy of my lovey-dovey.

Can you tell us about the first Dangerous Type mystery, the new series that you star in?

One of my people, Clare, is threatened by a guy who wants her to give him a typewriter that’s in the back of the store. She doesn’t, and then she finds his dead body out back the next day. Of course she had to know why he wanted the typewriter so badly and who would have killed him. She’s pretty good at figuring things out. It was interesting to watch her work through the clues.

Do you help to solve the mystery in any way?

Of course. These humans – sometimes you’ve just got to jump in and maybe help point out the obvious.

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

The shelves are my favorite napping spots. The sun is amazing up there. Don’t tell my people, but every now and then I grab one of the promotional pens they’re selling and take it up to my secret spot on the shelves. I have a pretty good collection. I’m not one much for playing with the pens; I just like having them.

Can you tell us anything about your upcoming adventures?


The next Dangerous Type mystery takes place during the Star City Film Festival. I’ll have to deal with movie stars and murder. I can handle it though. I’ll just have to be extra diligent and keep those people of mine on task. Some of them can get so star struck, you know.

Thanks, Mudpie, and thanks to your person, Melissa, too.


From the publisher: The New York Times bestselling author of the Farmers’ Market Mysteries and the Country Cooking School Mysteries introduces readers to Star City, Utah, and a little shop called the Rescued Word...

Star City is known for its slopes and its powder. But nestled in the valley of this ski resort town is a side street full of shops that specialize in the simple charms of earlier eras. One of those shops is the Rescued Word, where Chester Henry and his adult granddaughter Clare lovingly repair old typewriters and restore old books. Who ever thought their quaint store would hold the key to some modern-day trouble?

When a stranger to town demands they turn over an antique Underwood typewriter they’re repairing for a customer, Clare fears she may need to be rescued. A call to the police scares the man off, but later Clare finds his dead body in the back alley. What about a dusty old typewriter could possibly be worth killing for?


Is it possible to find your favorite new series of the year in January? I'm not sure...but this one will be hard to beat!

To Helvetica and Back, the first book in Paige Shelton's new Dangerous Type mystery series, introduces us to Clare Henry and her grandfather Chester who own Rescued Word, a typewriter repair/book printing and restoration/stationery shop. The drama begins when Mirabelle, a romance author and old friend of Chester's brings her old Underwood typewriter in for repair. As soon as she leaves a leather-clad man demands that Clare turn it over to him. The police are called and the shop's security is upgraded, but the next morning the man is found dead in the alley behind the shop. How can a typewriter lead to murder??? Upon further inspection of the Underwood Clare discovers a mysterious serious of numbers and letters scratched into the key bars which ends up being a very important clue!

All of the characters in this book are memorable, from cranky kitty Baskerville to Clare's BFF/cop Jodie to her love interest, geologist Seth who might be keeping a secret or two of his own. And speaking of secrets, where was Chester on the night of the murder and why has he been seeking out information online on pancreatic cancer?

The setting of Star City, Utah is a character all it's own: a skiing mecca, old mining town, and home to both a monastery and polygamist compound!

This book was of great interest to me because I still have the old typewriter that my mom used during her secretarial days and I used to love playing on it as a little girl. It didn't disappoint in the least. I predict a bright future for this series and I'm already looking forward to book 2!

Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Friday, January 22nd for your chance to win a paperback copy of To Helvetica and Back. (US entries only, please.)

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Caturday Art: Iced Mudpie

Meows from Mudpie!

We're still having SO much fun playing with the SuperPhoto app! For today's artwork we used the Ice filter and then added an icy blue frame too.

BRRRR......


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



Friday, January 15, 2016

Saving Boston's Forgotten Felines #BtC4A

The winter of 2014-2015 is one Bostonians won't soon forget. 94.4 inches of snow fell from Jan. 24- Feb. 22, with a season total of over 110 inches making for the snowiest winter ever recorded. The cold was just as unrelenting: the temperature didn't reach 40 degrees for a month and a half straight.

Records weren't merely broken, they were obliterated.

While stats like that are tough for humans to take, imagine being a cold, hungry and homeless cat. Sadly, Boston streets are flooded with feral cats and kittens. The Feral Cat Warriors of Boston’s Forgotten Felines fight to help these sweet babies survive every single day.

I recently got to chat with Victoria, one of the amazing ladies of Boston's Forgotten Felines about the work they do, the difficulties they face, and what we can all do to help.


MMM: Please tell us about Boston's Forgotten Felines and how your organization came to be.

BFF: Boston’s Forgotten Felines is a new 501c3 charity organization less than a year old. However, Joni Nelson, the founder of BFF has been at this for over a decade. What began as a simple feeding a stray along her school bus route in Dorchester has turned into over 50 feeding sites for over 150 cats mainly in Dorchester & Roxbury areas of Boston.

What is a typical day like for one of your volunteers (or is there such a thing?)

BFF has a small army that is currently feeding Joni’s dozen sites every morning. This army takes turns feeding. Joni on the other hand has taken on another feeder’s over 100 sites as he is in end stages of Pancreatic Cancer. Many of us are trying to help her do the many tasks that she does. From feeding ferals, to trapping cats to be TNR’d, to trapping friendly cats, to finding foster homes (as we’re not a shelter, just a rescue) to house the friendlies until adoption, to bring sick cats to the vet, transporting to & from vet appointments. Joni is just one person so she needs an army to help her with all these tasks. We’re desperately looking for more volunteers. We don’t expect any one person do juggle tasks like Joni does; if each of our volunteers does one thing and it may not look very big alone that’s one more task off Joni’s plate. The more help we get the more feral cats we can save! And saving them is exactly what we’re doing. Without the Feral Cat Warriors many of these cats would still be suffering in the streets or dead. "Many hands make light work."- John Heywood

What's life like for a feral cat?

Life as a city feral cat sucks. From trying to stay warm from the frigid winter elements to not being hit by cars or shot by idiots practicing their gun skills in the inner city streets to fighting racoons and rats. Their only highlight of the day is their visit from one of the Feral Cat Warriors of BFF.

Last winter was the worst in Boston history, both for cold and snow. How hard did it hit the feral cat population?

We lost many of our ferals last year in Storm Juno. Many of our ferals got stuck under porches with no way out due to the snow packing them in and they’re not getting food and they freeze to death. A slow & horrible way to die.

What difficulties are you currently facing?

Currently we’re facing the need to find more feeders who will help feed the over 50 sites. Even one person doing a 2 hour slot once a week would be a HUGE help. We also feel that TNR alone is NOT the answer. Education is key to eliminating this epidemic and we feel we need to teach the children of the area so they can bring home the knowledge and share it with their families.


Many of us around the country can't be there "in the trenches" with you, but want to help Boston's Forgotten Felines. What can we do?

Thank you. We have a wish list on Amazon and Walmart of the foods that we feed the ferals daily. We feed at 50+ sites a day, for over 130 cats. BFF uses 52 lbs of dry food a DAY, 100 LARGE cans (13 oz) of wet food a DAY. We also go through a lot of paper towels, trash bags and kitty litter. Donations are always welcome. Our wish lists:

We also have a Paypal account that helps us cover any veterinary bills we have: bffcatrescue@gmail.com

Also, SHARING our Facebook page and posts help more than you know! That’s how we get word out on our adoptables and our fundraising needs.

Do you have any tips on how we can help the ferals in our own communities?

People don’t think they have stray cats or ferals. They don’t see them so they don’t know that they are there. Feeding them in your neighborhood helps them tremendously. Please feed your local ferals. Please fix them by TNR (trap neuter return). Please find homes for those that are friendly. For those who are unadoptable please provide them shelter. Find the local rescues in your area to let them know you’d like to help in their efforts. If there are no local rescues in your area, start one! Most small rescues are started by one person or just an idea. The ferals will thank you!

What are some things you wish more people understood about our feral friends?

They did not CHOOSE the life they were given. They did not ask to be abandoned in the streets by their previously owners, nor born in the streets by their abandoned parents. Animals have the same rights as us humans to live a life of joy & happiness. Help these ferals by eliminating some of their worries & fears. No one should be left starving out in the cold, including ferals. These feral cats are not your enemy. It’s the only life they know and it can be a good life with some people out there watching out for them.

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Photo Credit: Danapel C de Veer 
Creative Credit: Sharon Keenan

Would you like to help Boston's Forgotten Felines on an ongoing basis? You can sponsor a kitty for $25 a month, set up through automatic deductions via Paypal.

With $25 a month you are assuring these cats that they will be fed and remembered forever. Your favored feral will get their own album on BFF’s Facebook page and you will get periodic emails with updates and pictures so you can stay in the loop of his care.

Even though we can't bring these feral kitties into our homes to love them, your donation will show them love from afar. If you're interested send BFF a private message on Facebook!

Photos used with permission: BFF Facebook



Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Mighty Huntress Dreams... #NaturalBalance


This post is sponsored by Natural Balance and the BlogPaws® Pet Influencer Network­™. I am being compensated to help spread the word the word about Natural Balance available at PetSmart, but Mochas, Mysteries and Meows only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Natural Balance and PetSmart are not responsible for the content of this article.

Late the other night the house was blissfully quiet while I tried to snatch a couple hours of reading time before going to bed. Mudpie was already sound asleep in her kitty bed and soon my attention was drawn to the cute little chattering noises she was making. I looked over to see her body twitching, her paws either swatting or chasing after something.

I couldn't help but let my mind wander to what she might be dreaming about. My best guess is that she was probably stalking a squirrel or a mouse, answering the "call of the wild" just like her ancestors did. Thanks to food like Wild Pursuit™ from Natural Balance® Pet Foods, available at PetSmart®, Mudpie can live life as a pampered house cat while still satisfying her ancestral cravings!


Why do we all resolve to live a healthier lifestyle just because it's a new year? It should be a lifelong pursuit, both for us and our pets! A proper diet is the #1 way to help our pets live a longer, healthier life, and it all begins with high quality ingredients in the right combination.

Here are 5 reasons why Wild Pursuit is a great choice for your cat:

1) Wild Pursuit formulas are complete and balanced for all life stages. With elevated levels of protein from unique animal sources such as salmon, herring, & walleye; trout, salmon & tuna; and chicken, turkey & quail, Wild Pursuit meets a cat's nutritional needs by closely resembling the diet they would have eaten in the wild.

2) Does your cat love freeze-dried treats? The Wild Pursuit dry food has freeze-dried pieces mixed in with the kibble! These minimally processed pieces are rich in high-quality protein with a taste cats have evolved to crave.
3) 100% Grain-Free: Made with legumes including garbanzo beans and peas, excellent grain-free sources of energy, fiber, and protein

4) Prebiotics help to maintain optimal digestive function

5) Balanced Omega-6 and Omega-3 ratios support healthy skin and a luxurious coat


Like all Natural Balance foods, the Wild Pursuit line is backed with a Buy with Confidence guarantee to ensure pets' health and safety and all products are tested in their state-of-the art in-house laboratory for nine known contaminants before they reach store shelves. You can do a search on their website and read the actual test results of the product you're buying here. They even have people with nutrition/veterinary degrees on their customer support team to help customers find the best products for addressing their pets' health concerns!

Our cats’ ancestors hunted for their meals in the wild and flourished on a high-protein diet from different animal sources. Natural Balance has achieved a formula with the "natural balance" your cat would instinctively seek for peak nourishment.


Visit Natural Balance on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

When I See Sugar Smile


One of the (many) things I love about the pet blogging community is the way we rally around and support each other during tough times. We all know that awful feeling of fear, uncertainty and helplessness when a beloved pet is ill.

This week we're sending bucket loads of purrs and prayers to our sweet doggie friend Sugar the Golden Retriever who will be undergoing surgery on Friday to remove a mass on her spleen.

In August of 2012 Angel Tara was also diagnosed with a splenic mass so I know what a frightening diagnosis it is. My vet was quite shocked because while they are common in dogs, it's very uncommon in cats. Because of her congestive heart failure surgery was not an option, so our only course of treatment was holistic.

Sugar's smile lights up the pet blogosphere and our thoughts will be with her and her wonderful family on Friday. We completely believe in the Power of the Paw so please join us in telling Sugar how much we love her and that we can't wait until this is all behind her!



Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Tortie Shorties on Tuesday


Meows from Mudpie!

We're a day late with our Mystery Monday feature because of our participation in yesterday's Pet Blogger Challenge, but we still have a couple of great books to recommend this week!

Be sure to stop by next Monday because after a brief hiatus I'll be back with a brand new installment of "Mudpie Interviews"!





From the publisher: This January, Wagtail, Virginia, the top pet-friendly destination in the country, is throwing a fun murder mystery weekend—but no one expected the real thing...

Holly Miller is delighted her grandmother has finally left the Sugar Maple Inn to take a well-deserved vacation. It means Holly’s in charge, but running the inn might be more challenging than she realized. Wagtail’s throwing a weekend-long murder mystery game to draw in tourists during the slow season, the inn has a full house, and a blizzard is on the way.

Trouble is unleashed the night the game begins, when the storm blows in and the lights go out. It gets worse the following morning when Holly’s Jack Russell terrier, Trixie, discovers a body—one that’s actually dead. Now Holly, her calico kitten Twinkletoes, and Trixie must play by the rules and find one dirty dog...

Tortie Shorties: If such a town as Wagtail really existed I would move there in a heartbeat. It's a pet lover's paradise that caters to tourists and their pets where animals are welcome everywhere, even restaurants with special menus for the furry patrons.

In this third book in the Paws & Claws mystery series, Holly finds herself flying solo at the Sugar Maple Inn as her grandmother is on a cruise. The inn is hopping too with everyone excited for the murder mystery weekend taking place. With a blizzard outside the lights go out...and in addition to the fictional murder, a real murder also takes place and it's Holly who finds the body frozen to a bench out in the snow. There's no shortage of suspects as the victim had many enemies, many of whom are stranded at the inn. Everyone gets involved and soon Holly's weekend guests team up to solve both mysteries!

I loved the characters brought in for the mystery weekend, especially the book club with an overly competitive member. Also taking place is an "If the Dog Fits" program where attendees can "try out" an adoptable dog. The mystery itself is a real puzzler, and believe it or not, a mouse ends up playing a key role in identifying the killer in a real game of "cat and mouse".

For pet loving mystery readers, the Paws & Claws mystery series is purr-fection!



From the publisher: A cozy mystery series set on Madrona Island, a fictional island within the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington State. As a fourth generation islander Caitlin Hart is struggling to make her way as the economy and culture of the island evolves toward a tourism based industry. Cait lives in a cabin on her aunt's oceanfront estate where she helps her aunt run Harthaven Cat Sanctuary. When she isn't working with the cats, she helps best friend Tara, operate the coffee bar/bookstore/cat lounge they own, named Coffee Cat Books. In the fifth book in the series, Cait and Cody join forces to track down a killer when a body is found in the hollow.

Tortie Shorties: In this Halloween edition of the Whales and Tails mystery series, a black kitty named Ichabod leads Cait to the body of the mayor in a haunted hollow on Madrona Island. The location of the body makes no sense because he had no reason to be there...he hated cats. Additional bodies stack up, all with black poker chips nearby, leading to fears of a serial killer on the island.

I adored Ichabod; he's my favorite feline to enter Cait's life with clues to a murder. Where he ended up at the end of the book put a *huge* smile on my face. This book also introduces us to Cait's sister Siobhan who has lost her job and apartment. As she reconnects with her family and ex-fiance, she also takes a lead role in solving the murder spree. Aunt Maggie is missing through much of the story. She has told everyone that she's going to a yoga retreat, which ends up being a lie. By the end of the book what she was up to is still a mystery. The love story between Cait and Cody really heats up too!

This series is so character driven that each new story is like time spent with lifelong friends, and what's better than spending your favorite holidays with friends!

Monday, January 11, 2016

2016 Pet Blogger Challenge

Today we're joining the 2016 Pet Blogger Challenge hosted by GoPetFriendly.com.


1. How long have you been blogging? And, for anyone who is visiting for the first time, please give a quick description of the subject of your blog.

I started blogging in August 2011. Mochas, Mysteries and Meows is the purr-fect destination for everyone who embraces a cozy, cat-centric lifestyle: curling up on the couch with a warm beverage, a great book, and a cat...or 3.

2. What is the one thing that you accomplished during 2015, either on your blog or because of it, that made you most proud?

I'm proud that I *survived* 2015. It was another year of transition for me, as I suffered the sudden loss of Truffles and added Mudpie to my family. The outpouring of love that I received in the aftermath of Truffles' death meant more to me than anyone will ever, ever know. And everyone's love and acceptance of Mudpie taking over the blog makes me so happy too. Being part of such a tight-knit community is something I will always cherish. I'm not sure I would have gotten through this past year without that support.

3. Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why? (Please include a link.)

The post where Angel Truffles interviewed Mudpie is incredibly special to me.

4. A common theme from last year’s challenge was that many of us wanted to increase the size of our audiences. Whether or not we intend to monetize our blogs, it seems we’d all like to reach more people. It feels good to know that we’re connecting with others, sharing a laugh or supporting a cause, and it’s motivating to see those numbers grow! What is one thing you’ve done in the past year that has brought more traffic to your blog?

I joined Instagram! I had avoided it like the plague because I don't consider myself a very good photographer, but I've actually come to love it and already have over 400 followers!


5. Which of your blog posts got the most traffic this year? Why do you think it was so popular? (Please include a link.)

Of course, the posts where I announced Truffles' passing, Forever Young, Precious Truffles, and Mudpie's arrival were hugely popular. Then Dispatches from the Bridge: Remember Me, where Truffles wrote about what happened to her on that awful night. (I wrote the post and I *still* can't read that one without crying!!!)

I think what struck a chord with people about Truffles' death is it made them realize they need to cherish every single moment they have with their pet. Age means nothing, they can still be gone in the blink of an eye.

6. What is one blog that you read religiously – other than your own – and what makes you such a devoted reader? (Please include a link.)

Oh, there are SO many amazing cat blogs out there today. If I *have* to single out just one, I must say that I have a serious blog crush on A Tonk's Tail, chronicling the escapades of Allie, Faraday and Maxwell. The photography is stunning and the blog posts are fun, creative and informative. A new post goes live at 1AM eastern, which is usually around the time I quit reading before bed, and I always check it out before turning out the lights.

7. What resources do you rely on to enhance your technical, writing, photography, social media, or other skills that improve your blog?

I could not live without PicMonkey. In 2015 I invested in a premium membership and I use it every single day. My pictures need all the help they can get!!! As I said before, I don't consider myself a good photographer at all, but I've discovered that I really enjoy getting creative with my pictures thanks to PicMonkey. Maybe one day I'll take the plunge and dive into Photoshop, but until then it has worked really well for me.


8. What is the best piece of advice you can offer other bloggers?

Blogging is a lot of work and a big commitment, so write about what you love. The two things in life that I could never live without are cats and books, so writing about them both comes as natural to me as breathing.

9. What is your vision for your blog in 2016? Do you have specific goals?

My goal is to continue growing our blog and to use it as a stepping stone towards freelance writing for a national publication, either online or print.

10. You have the attention of the pet blogging community – is there one blogging challenge you’d like help with, or one aspect of your blog that you’d like input on?

I would love to ask our readers what they want to see more of on the blog. Do you have a favorite feature? A topic you would like us to cover? Please let us know!!!