Saturday, August 19, 2017

Making a Splash #CaturdayArt

Meows from Mudpie!

This week for my Caturday Art project I used the Splash effect in LunaPic. I think it's so cool the way it looks like I have long hair blowing in the breeze. 

How are you making a splash this week?


Visit more artsy kitties at Athena's Caturday Art hop!


And now our weekly answers (answered by Mommy) for the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge, hosted by 15andmeowing and McGuffy's Reader!

1. If someone were visiting my area, I would recommend a visit to The Country Christmas Loft. It's a local store in Shelburne, Vermont, featuring everything Christmas all year long, even down to an authentic Victorian Christmas village through the center of the store. Anytime I need a little taste of Christmas, even in the middle of July, that's where you'll find me!

2. My favorite room in my home is my bedroom. Especially late at night when I'm in bed reading and Mudpie is cuddled up right beside me, purring away. Pure bliss.

3. Back-to-school time makes me think of my birthday coming up. I think it's a special sort of cruelty for a kid when your birthday falls a week after the beginning of a new school year, and every single year without fail I had caught a cold by then so I was sick on my special day.

4. My favorite year of school was 3rd grade, because of my teacher, Mrs. Brownsword. She once told my mom that she thought I was a really good writer and encouraged me to do more creative writing. I'm not sure where she is now, but I hope she stumbles upon this blog one day!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Fun Feline Finds: Cat Lady Old Maid

One of my favorite card games growing up was Old Maid, probably most memorable to me because of the cute graphics on the deck of cards we had at home. I haven't played the game in years and I've pretty much forgotten the rules, but I'm going to have to relearn them because of this...


Cat Lady Old Maid is much like the original version of the card game, but instead of losing when you get the Old Maid card, you WIN when you get the Cat Lady card!


The illustrations on the cards are by amazing artist (and proud cat lady) Megan Lynn Kott. With names like Fluffer Nutter, Sad Jack Silver, and Colonel Snuggle Bottoms, it's going to be hard not to get distracted from the game by gazing at the adorable kitties!


You KNOW you need this...buy it here!



Disclosure: We received a free deck of cards from Chronicle Books, and the Amazon link is an affiliate link.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

5 Ways to Celebrate Black Cat Appreciation Day

Today is Black Cat Appreciation Day, a day to celebrate house panthers everywhere and help raise awareness about the hardships they still face. It's time for those silly superstitions dating back to the Middle Ages to be put to rest once and for all!


1) Adopt one! It's no secret that black cats (and dogs) are the last to get adopted and the first to be euthanized in most shelters across the US. If you have room in your heart and home for a new pet, please consider adopting a black cat (or dog) from your local shelter. You will be saving a life.

2) Already live with a black cat? Spoil them even more than you ordinarily do today! Give them an extra hug or kiss, a few more minutes of play or cuddle time, extra treats wouldn't hurt either. Post your favorite pictures of your precious pet on social media to show the world that black cats make purrfect companions too!

3) Find some adoptable black cats on PetFinder and share them online. The Internet has revolutionized the way animal lovers and shelters are able to get the plight of homeless animals to the masses. Every day lives are saved because of people blogging, Facebooking, and tweeting about waifs in need of their forever home.


4) Decorate your home in black cat decor! Christmas is my favorite time of year but Halloween comes a very close second, simply because of the influx of black cat merchandise on store shelves! Yes, I've already been scouring local stores to add to my collection and no, I'm not one of those people disgusted by seeing Halloween even before school starts. I'm over summer...bring it on! Some of the pieces I've bought don't even get put away at the end of the spooky season! Any visitor to my home knows that I love cats of ALL colors.

5) Read a book that celebrates black cats. We got a sneak peek of Black Cats Tell All, the brand new release by Layla Morgan Wilde, cat expert and founder of Cat Wisdom 101. It's a must have for every cat lover's home library, loaded with pawsome stories and stunning full color photos of both famous Internet black cats and the mini panther next door. Three personal favorites are "The Adventures of Willow, the Little Black Cat from Down Under" about an adventure cat who travels Australia with her human in a VW van, "From Frostbite to Warm Love" by blogger Kristin Avery, and "The Legend of Black Lightning, the Crime-Fighting Cat", a hysterical mystery/time travel story by Shalom, one of the mascots of Crazy Cat Lady Ceramics based right here in my home state of Vermont!

At last, a celebration of all that is pawsitively black cat to reverse negative stereotypes. This myth-busting collection narrated by cats will move and amuse you with their tell all stories, fun purrsonality profiles and stunning photos. This full color anthology features over 100 black cats from all over the world including YouTube and Instagram. For black cat lovers, it’s a must-have. It’s the gift which gives twice: pleasure for the reader and helps shelter cats with a portion of the proceeds of this book. 
From famous celebrity cats like Cole of Cole and Marmalade to the cat next door; see them lounging, working, enjoying outdoor adventures, strutting their model poses, playing and celebrating holidays–showcasing the full spectrum of their fascinating lives through four seasons. This book, the first of its kind to change negative black cat superstitions, is a welcome gift for cat lovers everywhere.
Tell us about the special black cat(s) in your life and how you're planning on celebrating today!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Handy Household Helper

Meows from Mudpie!

Last week I was helping Mommy sort through crap stuff in the office when she emptied this cool box. I hopped right in even though it was a vertical box and I had absolutely no room to turn around or lie down. That didn't stop me from trying though (and looking super cute doing it too)!


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Is Your Cat Experiencing One of the Big 3 Cat Concerns?

With International Cat Day celebrated last week on August 8, and Happy Healthy Cat Month in September, now is the perfect time to address a topic many cat parents struggle with - your feline friend's diet. I'll be the first to admit Mudpie's diet isn't what I would like it to be. She is an extremely picky eater and a kibble addict while I would prefer that she eat primarily wet food. I'm thankful she's really good about drinking water though, and I plop her mug in front of her any chance I get. (Yes, her favorite place to drink is out of an over-sized pink coffee mug with cats on it.) I've struggled to understand how to address these issues, but then I realized I wasn't alone - Mudpie was just experiencing one of the three most common cat concerns: picky eating, weight gain, and urinary tract issues.


I learned about the Big 3 by partnering with Weruva - a luxurious, natural pet food dubbed "people food for cats" which has launched a full line of gluten, grain, and carrageenan-free cat food in honor of International Cat Day. It's called B.F.F. OMG! (that stands for Best Feline Friend, Oh My Gravy), and it's all about preventing these Big 3 Cat Concerns.

If your cat has any of these, you might want to consider changing their diet:

1)  Is your cat picky? Picky eating is usually a problem with texture, since cats are carnivores whose tongues and teeth are perfectly evolved for meat-eating. It's easy to see why a cat might dislike something without real shreds of meat—would you eat a steak with the texture of tapioca? Weruva's food features these shreds of real meat right off the bone, which is why Mudpie took to it like a duck to water (or a cat to gravy)!


2) Got a fat cat? The problem is in the kibble. It's filled with unnecessary carbs, which are almost impossible for cats to process (they don't produce amylase, an enzyme which helps humans digest their food). Weruva’s B.F.F. OMG! has no kibble to worry about because it’s 100% real meats in their true form.
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3) UT-why? Urinary tract issues often stem from dehydration—even if you're giving your cat plenty of water. In the wild, cats stay hydrated through the food they eat instead of what they drink. Cats are used to 'eating' their water—but most wet foods don't have nearly enough hydration to keep them satisfied. All of the products in Weruva's B.F.F. OMG! line are over 85% hydration, which satisfies Mudpie's hydration needs.


I love Weruva products because they are considered "people food for pets". The new line of B.F.F. OMG! cans and pouches feature land proteins like boneless and skinless white chicken breast, salmon, beef, duck, lamb and more. All recipes are grain, gluten, and carrageenan free. And if you are a BPA-free home, check out the pouches because they are are BPA-free. Best of all, Mudpie loves it!

I kid you not - she ate it THREE DAYS IN A ROW and is coming perilously close to joining the clean plate club!!! For her to even *look* at wet food it must be practically soup, and I add extra water to her food to make it still mushier. These pouches were made for gravy hounds like her.


I'm so glad I had the opportunity to learn more about Weruva's new Oh My Gravy line because it helped me find a food that Mudpie is crazy about! Her favorite so far is the Chicken, Turkey & Salmon flavor, but I'm super excited for her to try the Lamb & Tuna because lamb is her favorite kibble flavor and it's really hard to find in wet food.

You can explore the whole B.F.F. OMG! lineup here, and find a flavor your cat will 'paw'sitively adore, at Chewy.com.

Has your cat experienced one of the Big 3 Cat Concerns? Share your experience in the comments!

Disclaimer: We received a BFF OMG Bundle for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are our own and we never recommend a product we don’t fully believe in.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Tortie Shorties on Mystery Monday


Welcome to this week's edition of Tortie Shorties on Mystery Monday!

We hope you enjoy our choices.



From the publisher: A joyous New Year’s Eve in Historic Brooksford, Maryland, ends in tragedy when fireworks give way to murder during the tiny town’s inaugural First Night celebration, and once again Rory Roberts and her cat are right at the center of it all. This time, though, Rory is more in the center than she’s ever been, as she finds herself caught between her new boyfriend (who happens to be the county sheriff) and the prime suspect (who happens to be her neighbor and lifelong best friend). She may not want to choose sides, but friendship trumps romance as Rory is so sure her nice-guy best buddy could not have committed such a vicious crime. But will her loyalty leave her on the wrong side—and alone?

Meanwhile, Rory’s fluffy-tailed calico, Miss Cuddlywumps, is loyal only to the truth and to crime solving. A classically educated feline who is also well versed in mysteries, Miss C considers the slate of rather obvious suspects while trying to lead Rory in the right direction—hardly an easy task. As the cat sees it, she has only to follow the clues and her instincts to identify the killer, but as she soon learns, sometimes instincts can be wrong.

Tortie Shorties Review: I read a ton of cat mysteries. Honestly, I've gotten to the point where I don't read much else. As I get to meet so many fictional felines it's hard not to fall in love with each and every one of them, yet none has stolen my heart the way Miss Cuddlywumps has. She's adorable, she's hysterical, and she's brilliant. In this third book in the series Rory is at odds with her new beau (the sheriff) when he suspects her best friend of a murder during the town's New Year celebration. Life has been turned upside down in Miss C's home and she simply must help her human solve the murder so things can return to some semblance of normalcy...but is she in over her head this time around? Just as with the first two books in the series, the cozy little world that Rory and Miss C share is pure purrfection. It's a place I long to return to again and again.



From the publisher: As the bookmobile rolls along the hills of Chilson, Michigan, Minnie and Eddie spread good cheer and good reads. But when her faithful feline finds his way into the middle of a murder, Minnie is there, like any good librarian, to check it out.

Eddie turns a routine bookmobile stop into anything but when he makes a quick escape and hops into a pickup truck…with a dead body in the flatbed. The friendly local lawyer who was driving the pickup falls under suspicion. But Minnie and Eddie think there's more to this case than meets the eye, and the dynamic duo sets out to leave no page unturned.

Tortie Shorties Review: Loads of changes are afoot in Minnie's life in this sixth installment of the Bookmobile Cat mystery series, both in her personal and professional life. Her living arrangement is in question, her new boss at the library is a bigger nightmare than the last, and she comes to a startling revelation about her love life. The only constant in Minnie's day to day is darling little Eddie, who stumbles on yet another dead body while out making bookmobile rounds. The little guy's attempt at making Minnie run after him in a parking lot leads to the discovery of a dead body under a tarp in the back of a pickup truck. The victim is the father of Minnie's friend Leese, who has just returned to Chilson to open an elder law practice. When Leese falls under suspicion and her new business is about tank, Minnie and Eddie take on the case.

Each book in this series is like reuniting with old friends, and the mysteries aren't terribly complicated, making for fun little puzzles to be savored with each page. If you're like me and find your bliss in cats and books, this is a series that will make you purr with delight.



Disclaimer: As members of the Amazon Associates affiliate program, if you click on our links and buy something Mudpie gets a little money for her piggy bank!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Upside Down Mudpie #SundaySelfie

Don't attempt this delicate maneuver at home unless you're an expert at taking selfies like me!


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


And now our weekly answers (answered by Mommy) for the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge, hosted by 15andmeowing and McGuffy's Reader!

1. Blind dates seem sort of scary to me. Although I did adopt Mudpie after seeing her picture and we didn't formally meet until the day I brought her home...that was sort of like a blind date and I guess it worked out pretty well ;)

2. Just two years ago, I was beginning my journey with Mudpie. Now it's nearly impossible to remember my life before she was in it! She fills my days with so much joy.

3. I admire famous internet cats who use their celebrity status to help other cats in need because they have the ability to show millions of people how amazing cats are.

4. Any abuse or neglect of an innocent animal makes me think we still have a long ways to go in becoming a civilized society.

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Doll Cat Books by Shanthi Thiruppathi: Review/Interview/Giveaway

I first heard about The Doll Cat books from a fellow Cat Writers Association member who attended BookExpo earlier this summer in NYC. My mom is a long time doll collector so seeing that the series begins with little Fiona's quest for the perfect doll, it really hit close to home. The fact that the feline star is a tortie completely sent me over the edge. I knew that I had to reach out to the author to ask about featuring her books on our blog and she couldn't have been sweeter.


The Doll Cat: Fiona would soon be nine years old and she knew exactly what she wanted for her birthday. Each time she passed by the toy store window, she dreamt of calling it her own. She had never seen a more beautiful doll. It had glossy, blue eyes and porcelain skin. It wore a floral patterned dress and a delicate pair of shoes. It was her dream doll. Or so she thought...

The Doll Cat Goes to Paris: When an opportunity to go to Paris arises, Fiona and the Doll Cat pack their bags for the trip of a lifetime. The two tourists indulge in the many flavors of the city. The scrumptious pastries, the glamorous boutiques and the vast historical landmarks exceed their expectations. They can't open their eyes wide enough to take in all of the sights. If they blink, they might miss something special. Fiona and the Doll Cat connect with the essence of Paris when they attend a high fashion event that sends them on an unexpected adventure through the City of Lights.

Tortie Shorties Review: These children's books are so beautiful they actually brought tears to my eyes. Not just the exquisite illustrations, but the stories themselves. The Doll Cat contains such an important message for kids about your heart's desire sometimes coming to you in completely unexpected ways - Fiona didn't get the doll she thought she wanted, but she got one so much better that will love her back unconditionally. In The Doll Cat Goes to Paris, the best friends get separated in the City of Light and Doll Cat goes on an amazing adventure while trying to reunite with Fiona. The twist at the end showing how they find each other again is so sweet. For kids who want to learn about exploring our world, I just can't think of a better book. And the illustrations depicting Doll Cat in a french beret and the Hunchcat of Notre Dame are simply priceless! These books will live on my bookshelf forever, and I couldn't be happier to learn that three more are in the works!


The Tales of Tiggy & Tobias: Brotherly Love: Tiggy and Tobias are brother seacats. They share a lighthouse and a backyard of sand but no common thread in personality. Tiggy is a brave hunter, while Tobias would rather hunt for seashells along the shore. Hard feelings are exchanged when Tiggy accuses Tobias of lacking seacat bravery. Tobias meets a friendly pelican, who embraces his seacat style. Tides turn one morning when Tobias must find the courage to rescue Tiggy, who has gone missing.

The Tales of Tiggy & Tobias: Neon Jiggles: Every seacat knows that after a hurricane has passed, the sea lays still in tranquility and beckons to explorers. Beneath the stirred up sands and exhausted waves, treasures are waiting to be found. Tiggy and Tobias gear up for a day of snorkeling. Feeling anxious for the many sea trinkets they might find, they are unaware of what is lurking in the waters near them. Little do they know, they will soon encounter a mysterious creature and embark on a journey to a deep, dark place. An underwater world they thought was only possible to visit in their imagination.

The Tales of Tiggy & Tobias: Treasure Hatcher: Each morning wave that rolls onto shore, sprinkles the sandy coast with tiny treasures. As avid sea glass and shell collectors, Tiggy and Tobias are quick to spot the frosty, smooth gems shaped by the sea. But what they find one particular morning, are tracks left behind by a shell-backed creature. The tracks lead them to a sea turtle nest. Tiggy and Tobias volunteer to guard the nest until the eggs hatch. They soon find their duty will go far beyond nest sitting. To ensure the hatchlings make it to sea, Tiggy and Tobias must become the sea turtles' true guardians.

Tortie Shorties Review: Tiggy and Tobias are tabby brothers (both in the books and in real life) who live by the sea, complete opposites in personality and appearance, yet they share a special bond that inspired this series. The seacats adventures lead them to meet all kinds of fascinating creatures, and the illustrations are so vivid you can practically smell the sea air and feel the sand between your toes. I'm not a "beachy" person - at all - but I found myself completely entranced by these books and the messages they convey that you're never too old to be reminded of.

For information on how to buy these wonderful books, visit the author's website. You can also learn more about her artwork and view thumbnail images of the books' illustrations.

Beautiful Chloe

In additional to having the opportunity to review these beautiful books, Mudpie was delighted to be invited to chat with both Chloe, the real life Doll Cat, and her human, author/illustrator Shanthi Thiruppathi...

Welcome Chloe, thank you so much for chatting with me today! Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you came to live with your family?

Meow! Hello Mudpie! Myself and my three siblings, Moe, Tea and Little Kissy were found as new born kittens. Friends of Felines brought us to Shanthi’s family who cared for us. We had no milk so they bottle-fed us. Tea and Little Kissy got adopted out by another family. Moe and I stayed with Shanthi’s family. Shanthi already had two cats: Tiggy and Tobias who are a few years older than Moe and I.

Baby Chloe

You're the star of a series of children's books,The Doll Cat books. How did this come about and how does it feel to be such an inspiration to your human?

Shanthi is always saying “You are such a doll,” to me. Other people also compare me to a doll. It appears I have unique doll-like habits! I feel very special to have my very own series of books. And I am so excited for all the upcoming traveling doll cat stories. I can’t wait to visit new sites and get the children excited about experiencing the cultures of other famous spots in the world.

Your brothers Tiggy and Tobias star in their very own series too! What can you tell us about their stories?

Tiggy and Tobias go on fun beach adventures and each book in their series highlights one of the nine moral values from the Fruit of the Holy Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control. Moe and I guest starred in the Treasure Hatcher book. We were among the sea cats of the island to help rescue the turtle nest.

Tiggy and Tobias

What do you hope kids learn from your literary adventures?

For the first book, The Doll Cat, I hope kids learn that what you desire may come to you in a way or form most unexpected.

Shanthi, what made you decide to have your cats be the stars of your books?

Back in high school, my mom was always telling me to write stories about Tiggy and Tobias. They are brothers with opposite looks and personality so they are an interesting pair of characters to base stories upon. It wasn’t until my last year of college when I wrote the first book, Brotherly Love.

Chloe & siblings

Have you always been a cat lover? Do you have any other pets?

My mom adopted our first cat, Tigger one year before I was born. So I grew up with a cat in the house all my life. Tigger was 15 when Miss Kitty joined us. She found us. Then Kissy found us. We had three cats for a while.

Later, we noticed two kittens at the vets office when we took Kissy for a check up. One of them looked a lot like our beloved Tigger. We decided to adopt him and his brother. And two years later we rescued Moe and Chloe and their siblings.

Chloe and Moe

Tell us about your artistic process, both as an author and illustrator.

The ideas for stories come quite naturally. I can take a walk on the beach and write the entire story in my head. It just flows. Then I come back to my computer, make an outline and write the first draft. I can envision the book cover in my mind immediately. I see it and I know thats what it is going to be. It happens quite effortlessly. The hard work comes in after the idea and vision. This being the writing, editing and artwork.

What are you working on now?

I have ideas for the upcoming books in both series. I can’t wait to start writing them! I am also working on new paintings to add to my Into the Blue collection at www.intotheblueart.com

Giveaway

One lucky reader in the US is going to win their choice of any book in either the Doll Cat or the Tiggy and Tobias series! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below. Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Remembering the Day I Got 'Dopted...2 Years Later!

Meows from Mudpie!

Two years ago today my life changed forever when Mommy decided I was the kitty to fill the empty hole in her heart that Truffles left behind. We told this story last year on my first Gotcha Day, but it's a real life "fairy tail" and I didn't think you'd mind reading it again. I know that I never get tired of telling it!


It all began 10 days earlier with a series of photos posted on the shelter website. Mommy says she saw my picture and had the same feeling in her heart that she had the first time she saw Truffles. Still, she didn't want to make a hasty decision so she saved my picture to her PC and tablet and kept looking at it over and over. When she finally decided to call the shelter and ask about me it didn't take long for her to decide that I was the one.

She filled out the adoption application, gathered the needed references, and was immediately approved, but then we hit a bit of a snag. The shelter doesn't typically finalize adoptions before the prospective family meets the pet, meaning I couldn't be placed "on hold" (for lack of a better term) and when Mommy spoke to the shelter on Friday afternoon she learned that another lady had just stopped in and was very interested in me! Thankfully the nice shelter volunteer heard the panic in Mommy's voice when she reiterated that she just couldn't come get me until Sunday (they had already agreed to open the shelter just for us!) and said she'd do everything she could to steer the lady's attention to another cat. (People are just drawn to me...what can I say???)


So on a sunny Sunday morning Mommy and my Grandpa made the hour drive to make our union legal and bring me to my forever home.


She had never been to this particular shelter before and thought it was so beautiful. She especially loved the cat quotes on the walls.


She enjoyed spending a little time with Thomas, the shelter mascot, but her heart was pounding with anticipation to meet *me*!!!


There was a cute little tortie in the front holding room, and at first Mommy thought it was me! Then she was told that I was sequestered in the shelter director's office because I don't play well with others. Tattletales!!!


As soon as Mommy saw me it was all over...I held her heart in my paws!


In no time at all the paperwork was complete and I was on my way home. Mommy rode in the back seat with me and I barely made a peep. We just gazed at each other as well fell completely in love.


I made myself at home the moment I walked in the door, immediately gravitating to the toys set out waiting for me...


...and the pawsome cat beds too! (Geez, wasn't I a skinny, scrawny little thing???)

The whole day was just a dream come true, one Mommy and I will never forget. Life is pretty darn amazing for this little tortie today. I have a wonderful family who worships the ground I walk on, and loads of friends in the blogosphere who welcomed me with open arms.

Of all the kitties in the world, Mommy picked me. And I thank Cod for her every single day.

Do you remember the day you moved to your forever home?


One last thing...because Mommy and I plan to spend lots of extra quality time together today, we're taking tomorrow off! But don't worry, we'll be back on Friday to feature a new book series we discovered that tortie aficionados will go crazy over, an interview with the real life star, and a giveaway too!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Mudpie's Vaccination Scare...and What We'll Do Differently Next Time

August is National Immunization Awareness Month, a time to shed light on one of the most important aspects of being a responsible pet parent. While it can be a controversial subject prone to much debate there is no doubt about the importance that vaccines play in our lives.


“Pets should be vaccinated to protect them from many highly contagious and deadly diseases. In some cases (rabies, for example), vaccinating your pet can also protect you from disease. If an unvaccinated pet develops one of these diseases, treatment can become very expensive and many of these diseases can be fatal, even if your pet received prompt and appropriate treatment. Rabies vaccination is required by law in many states and counties.
“Not all pets should be vaccinated with all available vaccines. “Core” vaccines are recommended for most pets in a particular area because they protect from diseases most common in that area. “Non-Core” vaccines are reserved for individual pets with unique needs. Your veterinarian will consider your pet’s risk of exposure to a variety of preventable diseases in order to customize a vaccination program for optimal protection throughout your pet’s life. Talk with your veterinarian about your pet’s lifestyle including its expected travel to other geographic locations and/or contact with other animals (such as exposure at kennels, obedience classes, shows, and dog parks) since these factors impact your pet’s risk of exposure to certain diseases. For older pets, make sure your veterinarian is aware of any previous adverse reactions to vaccines.”
The purpose of this post isn't to tell you what to do about vaccinating your pets. That's a personal decision to be made following consultation with your vet. This is the story of a scare we had following Mudpie's most recent vaccination in early December 2016, and what I learned from it to make her safer the next time around.

Scary Times

I had been receiving reminders in the mail since the summer that her vaccinations were due but since her annual wellness exam isn't until December I'd been putting it off to do all at once. While being a cat blogger has given me the opportunity to research and learn so much about caring for our feline friends, it has also given me more things to worry about through that knowledge, and in the weeks leading up to her appointment I found myself reading more about injection site sarcomas than I probably should have.

Photo credit: depositphotos/kaninstudio

I adore our vet and feel comfortable asking questions and sharing my concerns, so when appointment day rolled around I was quick to let him know that I wanted to take as conservative an approach to vaccines as I possibly could. Since Mudpie is an "only child" and strictly an indoor cat he completely agreed with me but state law does dictate that he needed to give her a rabies shot. I took this opportunity to express my concerns about what I'd been learning about injection site sarcomas. His reply was that in 22 years of practice he had only seen 2 instances of a vaccine related sarcoma, to which I gently replied that the year before when I asked him how common a saddle thrombus is in cats he told me that he usually saw one per year. Guess who that "one" was in 2015? My cat.

The rabies vaccine was administered and we were told if she had any problems with it to let them know, and soon we were on our way. Through the next couple days she thankfully didn't have any adverse reactions and before long through the busyness of the holiday season the visit was completely forgotten.

Then on the night of December 28th I was running my hands down Mudpie's sides and felt a hard lump at the injection site. I have no idea if it had been there all along and I had just never touched the right spot, all I knew was it was there now and panic set in immediately. I kept running my hands over it hoping I was mistaken, that it was just her hip bone or something, but over the next few days there was no denying that it was there and no matter how much I touched it I wasn't going to make it magically disappear.

I consoled myself a bit in reading online that sarcomas don't typically pop up that quickly, and that mild swelling is a common side effect, but I was still a bundle of raw nerves and on January 3rd I emailed the vet's office to let them know what was going on. I was advised of the same thing - that it is very common to develop a small bump at the injection site after getting vaccinated - but if it changes in size or shape or doesn't go away within a couple more weeks to let them know.

Photo Credit: depositphotos/ckellyphoto

By that weekend I started feeling cautiously optimistic that the lump seemed to be getting smaller, while still trying to push away the lingering fear that some cruel twist of fate was going to take another young cat away from me long before her time. Then, almost exactly two weeks after contacting the vet (and 6 weeks after the vaccination), the lump was gone and a huge sense of relief followed.

What We'll Do Differently Next Time

I count my blessings every day that it was a false alarm (although I still run my hands over that spot on a regular basis), yet it scares me to death that she had such a strong reaction to the rabies shot and I won't be taking the risk again. The next time around (thankfully this was a 3-year vaccine so she's set for awhile) we will be doing things differently.

1) I will be asking for the non-adjuvanted Purevax 3- year vaccine manufactured by Merial. This is one thing I hadn't informed myself about ahead of time and I was upset to learn my vet isn't offering it at this time. An “adjuvanted vaccine” contains a substance that enhances the body's immune response to an antigen and purposely causes inflammation at the vaccine site in order to alert the immune system to its presence. While safe in humans and dogs, it has been implicated in causing injection site sarcomas. That risk is much lower with the use of “non-adjvuanted" vaccines. They are a bit more expensive and I'll probably have to wait for my vet to order it, but to keep Mudpie safe I'll go through any additional inconvenience.

2) If any other vaccinations are recommended in the future I will be requesting a titer test which measures the amount of antibodies in the bloodstream, offering an approximation of an animal's immunity to a disease. If a cat's titer levels are adequate indicating she is still protected against any future exposure, revaccination isn't needed. (Unfortunately most jurisdictions won't accept a titer test for rabies antibodies in lieu of a vaccine.)

3) I'll always make sure that injections are administered as low on the leg as possible. In a worst case scenario, legs can be amputated, whereas a tumor on the hip or between the shoulder blades will be much more difficult to completely remove.

While vaccinations are an important part of protecting our pets (and ourselves), making sure they're administered in a safe and responsible manner is just as crucial. YOU are your cat's best advocate. Take time to do some research and discuss with your vet the best vaccine protocol for your pet, and after the vaccinations have been administered be extra vigilant about any adverse reactions. Your pet is counting on you to make the right choices for them!

Has your pet ever had scary side effects from a vaccination? 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Tortie Shorties on Mystery Monday


Welcome to this week's edition of Tortie Shorties on Mystery Monday!

We hope you enjoy our choices.


Purrfect Heat (The Mysteries of Max Book 4) by Nic Saint

From the publisher: The peace and calm of Hampton Cove is brutally disturbed when celebrity chef Niklaus Skad, famous for his show Kitchen Disasters, is found cooked in his own oven. The chef wasn’t a well-liked man, and there are plenty of suspects to go around. Odelia Poole, Hampton Cove Gazette reporter and civilian consultant to the police department, teams up with Detective Chase Kingsley to catch the killer, but soon finds this proves a lot harder than she thought.

Max, Odelia’s blorange tabby, would love to help out, but is faced with a cat emergency when Odelia takes in a new stray. Diego soon proves to be a handful, and when he sets his sights on Harriet, it’s war in the cat menagerie. With Dooley fearing he’s contracted a wasting disease, and Brutus in a funk because Diego stole his girlfriend, Max has his hands full. Good thing he still has time to ferret out clues and chase suspects, or Odelia would never be able to crack the case.

Will Diego become a permanent fixture in the Poole household? Will the celebrity chef’s killer ever be found? And what’s going on with Gran’s crush on the mysterious Leo? Find out in Purrfect Heat, the new installment in the funny cozy cat mystery series The Mysteries of Max.

Tortie Shorties Review: This is the rare series that I download each book the moment it becomes available and start reading immediately. Purrfect Heat is book 4 and features the murder of a hated celebrity chef. Once again Odelia and Chase team up to work the human angle, while kitties Max, Dooley, Harriet and Brutus do a little undercover investigating of their own. The mystery and the various suspects are fun and kept me guessing, but as always I have to focus on the mini-soap opera featuring the cats. Diego is the latest addition to the menagerie and trouble from the word go. When he steals Harriet's heart (who quite honestly is a furry little trollop), tough guy Brutus falls apart, forcing Max and Dooley to see him in a new light. Max also has his paws full calming down sweet, innocent Dooley who fears he's dying after being told he's scrawny. And what happens at the very end opens up a whole new can of worms. Run - don't walk - to your Kindle and start reading NOW!


From the publisher: OLD MONEY AND FRESH MURDER -- Trouble, a savvy black cat with a penchant for sleuthing, has landed in the cream of Savannah society. So has a murderer and art thief.

Julia Hampton comes from old family, old money, and old society, but her job as an art insurance investigator puts her at odds with her background--and with the killer. Julia is determined to stop him.

U. S. Deputy Marshal Deputy Mitch Lawson knows more than he's willing to let on. One thing is clear: Julia is in danger--because of secrets he won't share.

But have no fear, Trouble the black cat detective is on the job and while Julia and Mitch are distracted by their attraction to each other, he is about to get his man.

Tortie Shorties Review: As much as I wanted to love this book I found it incredibly confusing. Maybe it was the Russian art angle and the fact that I'm sick to death of hearing about Russia on the news every day but I really struggled through it. At times I was even tempted to set it aside and try again another time but I'm crazy about Trouble the cat so I kept going. Three things I did enjoy - heroic Familiar (of course), the Savannah setting, and Julia's spunky Aunt Ethel. I think fans of romantic suspense and international intrigue would enjoy Trouble in Dixie, but for me it just wasn't "cozy" enough.



Disclaimer: As members of the Amazon Associates affiliate program, if you click on our links and buy something Mudpie gets a little money for her piggy bank!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Caption This #SundaySelfie

Mudpie is always a real Chatty Cathy, and now she doesn't even stop talking long enough to snap her weekly selfie! What do you think she's going on about in this picture?


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


Saturday, August 5, 2017

Tahiti Inspired Graffiti #CaturdayArt

Meows from Mudpie!

Honestly, my Caturday Art project this week took less than 5 minutes. I went to LunaPic, which I haven't used in several weeks, chose the Graffiti effect, plugged it in and decided that graffiti has never looked better! Then I picked out a funky frame in PicMonkey and applied the same colors. Do I look like I'm ready for a Tahitian vacay or what? (Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere. Good grief, it feels like a tropical island right here in Vermont lately!)


Visit more artsy kitties at Athena's Caturday Art blog hop!


And now our weekly answers for the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge, hosted by 15andmeowing and McGuffy's Reader!

Mommy's answers:

1. Meetings at work are boring as you-know-what.

2. The best time to take a nap is when you're sleepy. I know people who schedule a nap into each day. I can't just put my head back and sneak a snooze. It has to happen at just the right time...

Mudpie's answers:

3. Rules ...what rules? I'm a cat!

4. I have learned that there is nothing better than living in a forever home with a human who adores you.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Fun Feline Finds: The Pusheen Pet Collection at Petco

Meows from Mudpie!

Are you and your cats Pusheen fans? If so, we have some exciting news for you!


Petco recently unveiled an exclusive collection of cat toys, beds, collars and bowls inspired by Pusheen the cat. The collection is as endearing as the beloved animated cat it’s inspired by, with nearly 20 products that range in price from $5 to $30, now available online at Petco.com/Pusheen and in stores Aug. 20.

Designed to reflect the adventures of the gray tabby cat, the collection features toys and accessories with imagery of pizza and ice cream, among other nostalgic illustrations that will leave cats joyful for hours on end. Energetic felines will find entertainment for hours playing with the Pusheen Donut Cat Teaser Toy and the Pusheen Cuddling Cat Bed is perfect for Pusheen-loving, playful kittens to curl up in for nap time. Stylish cats can show their Pusheen fanaticism 24/7 with the Pusheen Cookie Cat Collar.


Pet parents are encouraged to share photos of their cats playing with and enjoying products from the new collection using the hashtag #PetcoPusheen. Learn more about Petco and the new line at: www.petco.com/Pusheen, Facebook.com/Petco, Twitter.com/Petco, and Instagram.com/Petco.

Now the question is -  

I have a Gotcha Day coming up next week... 

Petco offers free shipping on orders of $49 and over...

Do you think Mommy would mind if I borrowed her credit card and did a little shopping? 

I reaaaallllllly want that bed, blankie, and ball set...

Photos: Edelman for Petco

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Unboxing July's CatLadyBox

The theme of July's CatLadyBox was "Serenity Meow"...here's what was inside!


Featured Cat Lady Artist: "Mellow Cat" by Valerie Hill

Playful Kitten Tea Light Holder (CatLadyBox exclusive): Just like with May's color-changing cat light, I can't wait to use this on cozy fall and winter nights! I love candlelight but having an open flame makes me nervous so I adore LED tea lights that flicker just like the real thing. 

Cat Wine Corkscrew (CatLadyBox exclusive): The main reason I've never indulged in wine nearly as much as I'd like is because I only had a basic travel corkscrew that required someone with superhuman strength to make it work. I don't have that problem anymore with this fun and stylish kitchen gadget! 

Calming Kitty Bead Bracelet (CatLadyBox exclusive): This bracelet is so simple yet so beautiful. I love layering it on the same arm as my watch.


KitTea Tea Bags Tin by Pet Winery: I've been seeing Pet Winery products all over the internet lately and was so excited to see this in our box. It can be brewed as real tea for your cat, but Mudpie loves batting the tea bags around just the way they are (and she hasn't even torn one open yet!) Plus the tin the tea bags come packed in is just TOO CUTE!

Zen Stone Catnip Toy (CatLadyBox exclusive): Because even kitties need inspurrational quotes to live by!


Not a subscriber yet? Visit CatLadyBox today!

Interested in purchasing individual items from past boxes? You can do that too!

Disclosure: I receive a small discount on my CatLadyBox subscription as a thank you for my monthly review. Regardless of compensation received, we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers.