Saturday, June 24, 2017

Cat World Domination Day #CaturdayArt

Meows from Mudpie!

Did you know that today is a very special day? It's Cat World Domination Day, a day for us kitties to celebrate our world domination!


Truthfully, I already dominate my little corner of the world - I get whatever food I want, my litter pan is always spic and span, I can nap anytime and anywhere I like, Mommy is always at my beck and call. I am loved, worshipped, and adored. I accomplished this in a very short period of time too, and all it took was my natural beauty, adorableness, and loads of tortitude!!!

Sadly, I know that for many cats life is not like mine. They are alone, scared, abandoned, abused, hungry, and unloved. That's why in honor of Cat World Domination Day, I envision:

* A world where everyone appreciates the pawsomeness of the world's most perfect animal - the cat.

* A house for every cat, and a cat for every home.

It's quite simple, really...don't you think the world would be a much happier place if everyone lived by my philosophy?


Don't forget to visit Summer's blog today to join in all the fun and festivities. She's giving away the most pawsome prize package EVER!!! (Actually, forget I said that. Don't even bother visiting, nothing exciting is going on over there. Fewer entries means a better chance for us to win! HA!!!)

Just kidding, Summer!

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


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

1. A recurring dream I have is actually, nothing I can remember! I dream a ton but hardly ever remember it when I wake up.

2. Turn a pumpkin into pumpkin pie. Sorry, I'm already counting down the days until fall!

3. The humidity and incessant rain is driving me crazy!

4. Lately, I have been spending as much time inside as possible because of the icky weather.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Unboxing June's Meowloha CatLadyBox


The theme of June's CatLadyBox was "Meowloha"...here's what was inside!

Featured Cat Lady Artist Eve Furchgott: The artist lives in Hawaii, and this particular print is titled "Ti Party" because the plant behind the cats is a ti plant, which is used to make tiki skirts (among other things!)


Hula Cats Beach Roundie (CatLadyBox exclusive): I'm not a beach person (at all) and I had no idea what a "roundie" was before this box. Turns out it can be used as a beach blanket, swim suit cover-up, a tablecloth. We'll most likely be using it as a throw blanket on the bed come fall! The "Tahiti Kitties" artwork by Denise Avery is just purrfection. For an item I knew absolutely nothing about, this has become one of my favorite things ever!


Cat Silicone Ice Tray: Because who doesn't need cat-shaped ice cubes in their life??? Mudpie is asking for a tray of tunasicles too ;) 

Meowloha Surf Tank Top (CatLadyBox exclusive): Sun, surf, and cats...what else? Love the vintage look to this tank top.



Hula Girl and Pineapple Catnip Toys (CatLadyBox exclusives): Is it just me or are the cardboard tags attached to the cat toys getting to be just as cute as the toys themselves? I cut them off and use them as bookmarks! The pineapple is Mudpie's new favorite thing...she bops it around on a daily basis. She's just crazy about toys that are stuffed, round and feathered.


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.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Rescued Interviews: For the Love of Pounce

Meows from Mudpie!

As you all know, I've been interviewing the kitties featured in Rescued Volume 2, the second anthology of rescue cat stories compiled by Janiss Garza (of Sparkle Cat blog fame). June's spotlight is on Pounce, a clever little guy who sought out helpful humans when he found himself in need. Sadly, Pounce was called to the Bridge shortly after the book was released.

Since Mommy knows how therapeutic it can be to write about a beloved pet after their passing, we decided to ask his wonderful human if he'd like to share some favorite memories of Pounce. And since a portion of the book's proceeds this month are going to Pounce's designated rescue, Chicago's Felines and Canines, we can't think of a better time to buy a copy in his memory!


Guest Post by Pounce's human, Marshall Bowden

Writing about my friend Pounce is really difficult right now, but it is something I want to do because he was such an extraordinary cat, and because telling his story in the anthology Rescued 2 was incredibly important to him, and to me.

Sadly, Pounce passed away quite suddenly on April 26, 2017, just a little more than a month after Rescued 2 was published. He had cancer somewhere that had quietly, without drama, metastasized throughout his chest. He kept it a secret, just as he had his dietary indiscretion before being rescued. The first sign was that day, when I noticed his respiration was rapid and shallow. The cancer was widespread. There was nothing left to do but say goodbye.

What I want to tell you about, though, is what a thoroughly happy cat Pounce was and how he brought me happiness every day that we spent together. He was truly indefatigable, there was no "off" switch to Pounce. He devoured his life, eating it up and pulling others into his orbit. When I sat on the couch, he would run up my legs and launch himself onto my chest, his face right in front of mine. He might greet me with his familiar war-cry, or he would sit in silence as I began to rub his head, and then he would begin purring.


Inevitably, he would fixate on my reading glasses, often left on or pushed up onto my head as I dozed over some magazine or my phone. My greatest sensory perception of Pounce, that no amount of time will ever erase, was of his hot breath against my temple as he came in to gently grasp the frame of my glasses in his teeth and pull them off. If I successfully thwarted that effort, he would simply start reaching up with his paws, trying to grab them. When I close my eyes and sit quietly, I can still feel that breath on my skin. Those moments now seem like the greatest gift that he left me.

Pounce had a kind of slippery walk. His back end didn't always do what he wanted it to when he turned a corner or landed from a jump. His back legs weren't weak, but they weren't quite right, either. X-rays of his hips and legs all looked pretty normal. The theory was that he had sustained some mild neurological damage from absorbing minerals from the phone wire he had eaten. It was never really a problem for him, his back end would just occasionally shimmy out of control a tad. I said that he had 4-way hips, after the Tom Tom Club song "The Man with the Four Way Hips."

Pounce loved to spend time at the window of my apartment. My kitchen window looks out on a city playlot. Besides the various equipment for children to play on, it has grass and trees around it, and it attracts a lot of birds and squirrels, and once even a possum. Pounce didn't really care about the kids or the dogs that people brought to run and play there, or the birds. These were all pleasant diversions, but they didn't merit his full attention. The two things that Pounce cared about out there were squirrels and leaves.


The squirrels were his obsession. As soon as he latched onto one, his eyes would follow it all over. No matter where the squirrel went, Pounce would watch. He could sit, motionless, watching for more than an hour if the squirrel didn't leave. Sometimes there were multiple squirrels, and that really put him into overdrive. He incited another of my cats, Scout, to become interested in the squirrels also, though it was not nearly as serious an endeavor for him. But there they were, a couple of rescue cats sitting in the window and sharing an interest, growing older together. It made me very happy.

The leaves were another thing altogether. When the leaves turned autumn colors and began to fall from the trees in earnest, swirled by the wind into a chaotic twister, Pounce would fairly dance back and forth along the windowsill, calling loudly as if announcing, "It's fall! It's fall! Look at the leaves falling!" He poked a little hole in the screen trying to get to leaves that had fallen onto the outer window ledge. I pulled a couple of leaves inside for him to smell and investigate. He dutifully sniffed them and played with them a little, but of course there was no wind and so they held no real interest.

Pounce was just too big a soul to contain. He was friendly towards every cat that came through my home over the years, and if they weren't friendly back, he gave them their space. On the day I brought him home from the shelter I dutifully set up my bathroom for him to stay in during his acclimation period. He periodically scratched at the door and called out all day, wanting to come and join the party. When it was time for bed, he was merciless in his assualt on the door as well as my sanity. Finally, I let him out, crawled into bed and shut off the light. All was quiet.


When I awoke the next morning, everything was fine and Pounce was one of the cats. That was Pounce. No acclimation necessary, thank you.

I know that Pounce is out there in the universe now, and I will think of him when I see squirrels running next door or when I imagine that I feel that hot breath on my face as I doze off, but especially when I see the leaves dancing around, falling from the trees in the autumn.

Don't be afraid, he would say. Don't be defeated. The seasons change but life continues, ceaselessly, and it cannot be contained. And I know he's right and I'm glad he's out there, a part of all of consciousness.

But right now, I still really miss my friend.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

When Good Girls Get Grumpy

Mudpie is the sweetest cat you will ever meet, but she has her grumpy days just like the rest of us do, and the #1 thing that puts her in a bad mood is the summer heat (just like her Mommy). 

She's a chatty tortie anyways, but when she's overheated she could give Grumpy Cat a run for her money. The least little touch, even when I simply walk by her, I get griped at. 

Don't believe me? Don't say I didn't warn you...



Happy Summer Solstice!

NOT.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Tortie Shorties on Tuesday


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

We hope you enjoy our choices.



From the publisher: Vintage cookware and cookbook collector Jaymie Leighton has agreed to help her sister clear out the house of a deceased older neighbor, and she’s thrilled at the prospect of discovering antique kitchenware and other treasures—until she opens a vintage trunk in the cellar and finds the remains of a teenage girl with a cleaver buried in her skull. When the body of a second girl is found just days later in a nearby river, the clues all indicate that the crimes are connected—and that the culprit’s motives are hidden in the past.

Jaymie just wants to cut and run, but the victims were both high school classmates of her sister when they disappeared, and that makes Jaymie the perfect person to help the local police investigate the killings. As she dredges up old memories and even older rivalries and jealousies, her list of suspects grows. But Jaymie knows she’ll have to whittle it down to just one, and fast, because someone has decided to cut their ties to Jaymie—in the most fatal of ways . . .

Tortie Shorties Review: This has been a favorite series of mine from the very beginning, and I was heartbroken to learn it was one of the victims of it's publishing company's recent purge of cozy mysteries. I couldn't have been more delighted when the author announced that she'd be continuing the series on her own. It's been an agonizing wait for Leave It to Cleaver, but a wait that was well worth it because this is my favorite in the series so far!

I always love with a mystery delves into the past, and the fact that this one took me back to my childhood years of the 1980's made it even more special. The back and forth from modern-day to decades ago is seamless and the story flows at a fast pace. I found myself completely engrossed in the characters' lives, both those I've come to know and love over the course of the series and the new ones we're introduced to, especially the tragic teenage victims. I had my suspicions about the killer before Jaymie did and enjoyed watching the clues stack up that proved I was right.

The other central theme of Leave It to Cleaver is sisters Jaymie and Becca's double wedding which leaves the series wide open to new adventures. I'm not usually a fan of weddings taking place in cozy mysteries but this was different because it was the central characters getting married. It brought happiness and hope to a story of lives taken too soon and so much lost promise. In short, one of the best cozies of 2017.



From the publisher: Ten-month-old Keiki thrives on each test of her growing abilities, but strange new yearnings mystify and distract her. What's a good-dog to do? She doesn't want to let the girl down.

Lia Corazon has only three days left to prepare Keiki for the police dog test. There's more than the dog's future at stake. Success will save Lia's dream of rebuilding her North Texas dog kennel. Failure means a lifetime of living her grandparents' dreams.

When a training exercise takes a deadly turn, Lia sends Keiki to protect a young girl, but who will protect Lia? There's a killer on the loose and he'll burn anybody who gets in his way.

Tortie Shorties Review: This is the second prequel to the popular Lei Crime Series focusing on Rottweiler pup Keiki's training for her future as a police dog. In this installment Keiki stumbles upon a dead body during a training exercise. A young witness runs off in fear when the police are called and Lia gives Keiki the command to go find and protect her. Then a fire breaks out and puts all their lives in danger while a killer still runs loose.

This is a novella but it's more action-packed than some full-length books I've read! Told alternately from Keiki and Lia's points of view, I enjoyed a glimpse inside the mind of a puppy during training. Lei, the star of the Lei Crime series, makes a brief appearance, and the revelation of a connection between Lia and Lei was a twist I look forward to seeing play out in the next novella. A short, suspenseful story perfect for summer!



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! I received review copies of both of these books from the authors in exchange for my fair and honest opinion.

Monday, June 19, 2017

A Box With A Story

Meows from Mudpie on one of the happiest days of the year for us kitties...International Box Day!!!


My very first review as a professional kitty blogger came just a couple weeks after I moved into my forever home when I received a Purr Packs box in the mail. (I'm so sad that the subscription service has been discontinued because it was a totally pawsome box!) In it contained my all-time favorite animal print mousie who I lovingly refer to as my Baby, and at the bottom of the box was a horizontal cardboard scratcher that I've done my nails on every single day since it arrived.

Geez, was I ever that tiny???

Needless to say, after nearly two years it's been pretty much falling apart at the seams (and leaving miniscule cardboard crumbles all over the living room floor), so a couple weeks ago Mommy finally found a replacement insert to fit the outer box decorated with cute kitty faces.


I was ecstatic! I was going to have the best looking claws in the neighborhood! I couldn't wait to hop in and start scratching!

Then less than a week later I lost my breakfast on it.

Luckily my puke was thick (is that TMI?) and Mommy was able to scoop it right up with a paper towel, and then she removed the insert and put it in the bathroom window to dry and remove any lingering odors.

What was I doing while she was busy cleaning up my mess? I took a nap in the empty box!


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Deep In Thought #SundaySelfie

Meows from Mudpie!

It sure has been a sad week to watch the news, hasn't it? On Tuesday night we went to bed after watching breaking news about the horrific tower fire in London, only to wake up on Wednesday to learn about the assassination attempt on a group of Republican congressmen.

Sure makes me happy to be a kitty and not a person harboring so much hate in their heart.


Speaking of the London fire, have you heard about Pancho, the sweet kitty who was rescued from the building and is now providing comfort to other victims in a nearby church? I'm purring like crazy that his humans are found unharmed so they can be reunited quickly. It's devastating to think about how many animals were probably left behind in the chaos and lost their lives that night. Of course our hearts hurt for the human victims too, but it's the animals who are always forgotten.


We also want to wish all the wonderful cat daddies out there a very happy Father's Day! Last year Mommy wrote a post about my grandpa titled The Making of a Cat Guy. I think it's a pretty sweet story that you would enjoy reading if you missed it the first time (or would like to read it again!)


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

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Caturday Art

Meows from Mudpie!

It seems like whenever Mommy takes a new favorite picture of me, I like to gussy it up for my Caturday Art project. I'm not sure why...it's not like you can improve on purrfection ;)  

This week I applied the "Floating" effect in LunaPic, then transferred it to PicMonkey where I played with the exposure and added a frame. It turned my autumnal tortie colors into a summery, pastel work of art!


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


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

1. I challenge everyone to do something for an animal in need this week.

2. I regret disposing of um...not a whole lot! A trait I inherited from my mom is the inability to throw stuff away, but that's all changing! Last week I filled two big garbage bags with clothes I hadn't worn in years and brought them to Goodwill. Now I look forward to going through the rest of the house and gradually clearing out all the clutter. I've been inspired!

3. I have a difficult time admitting when I've made a mistake or could have done something better. I have a tendency to get defensive even by well-meaning, constructive criticism. Definitely something I need to work on.

4. If I were given a psychic power, I would like it to be the ability to communicate with spirits. My favorite paranormal show is The Dead Files.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Fun Feline Finds: Lime Crime's Kitty Bundles

There's nothing I love more than shopping for cool cat-related stuff, especially when some of the proceeds go to cats in need!

Lime Crime, the cult makeup brand with over 3 million Instagram followers, recently launched Kitty Bundles, purrr-fect Diamond Crusher, Velvetines, and Unicorn Lipstick pairings benefitting Kitty Bungalow, a non-profit cat and kitten rescue based in Los Angeles.

Kitty Bungalow Charm School for Wayward Cats specializes in rescuing feral street kittens and turning them into cuddly lap cats. Twenty percent of proceeds from Kitty Bundle sales will be donated to help fund the nonprofit's mission to bring feral cats from "hiss to home."


As a certified 100% Vegan and Cruelty-Free company, this cause is near and dear to the makeup brand's heart.

"Lime Crime HQ is full of animal lovers," explained Lime Crime CEO Doe Deere. "Members of the Lime Crime team actively adopt and foster furry friends who need love. Everyone at our company is committed to creating animal-friendly cosmetics for everyone. It's an important part of our culture and a cause we're most passionate about!"

The Kitty Bundles Include:

  • POUNCE (MSRP $12) featuring Unicorn Lipsticks, Varsity and Pom Pom.
  • PURR (MSRP $32) featuring Metallic Matte Velvetines, Lana and Happi.
  • BITE (MSRP $32) featuring Velvetines, Fetish and Polly.
  • MEOW (MSRP $29) featuring Diamond Crushers, Lit and Cheap thrill.

Kitty Bundles are available exclusively on LimeCrime.com. To learn more about Kitty Bungalow's mission, volunteering, or adoption please visit KittyBungalow.org.


Even if you're like me and only wear make-up on rare occasions, it's never too early to start thinking about the holidays!

If you have a fun feline find you'd like us to feature, shoot us an email by clicking on the Contact tab above!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Heatstroke in Cats: 6 Tips to Keep Kitty Cool on Hot Summer Days


A Guest Blog by Gary Le Mon

Your cat's favorite pastime may be curling up in a pool of sunshine, but she is as susceptible to heatstroke as a dog or human during hot days. Check out these six easy tips to learn how to keep your cat cool in summer:

Give a cooling wipe down. Many cats will not mind if you wipe them down with a damp paper towel or facecloth. The moisture on their fur cools them off. Do this in front of a box fan or open window for added comfort.

Have a supply of fresh water. Do not be the owner with the dusty water bowl. Change the water several times a day to keep it fresh in the heat. You can also place several containers around your property so that kitty does not have to look for one when she is feeling the heat. If you are out for the day, you can add some ice to the water before leaving.

Create air flow. You can use a box fan or open window to let a draft cool down your furry friend if he needs some relief on a hot day. Place a frozen water bottle in front of the air source if you do not have air conditioning. However, frozen gel packs could be toxic for your pet. Do not leave them lying around.

Raise the pet bed. If you elevate your cat's bed, air will circulate and cause a cooling effect to keep body temperature down. Placing it in a drafty room or near a box fan will double the effect.

Provide shade. Make sure there are lots of shady areas for your cat to stretch out. Many cats will seek out cool places like basements and rooms with heat-resistant hard flooring. If it is safe, let your pet have access to these rooms in hot weather. Closing the blinds will also create a dark, cool environment.

Avoid car trips. Cats are just as vulnerable as dogs to the heat trapped inside a car. Never leave your pet in a vehicle on a hot day, even with the windows cracked. It is not safe.

Use these tips to create comfort for your cat during hot days. This will provide a better environment to keep your pet safe and healthy.

Symptoms of Heatstroke

If you suspect your cat has become overheated, check for the following symptoms of heatstroke:

  • excessive panting
  • lethargy
  • drooling
  • fever
  • vomiting
  • collapse

If your pet has any alarming symptoms, contact your veterinarian right away for assistance. Remember the six simple steps above to help you avoid a dangerous situation.

How do you keep kitty cool during the dog days of summer?

Bio: Gary Le Mon is a Board Certified Master Herbalist specializing in natural home remedies for dogs and cats. He is certified by the American Naturopathic Medical Certification Board, a member of the American Herbalists Guild and the American Botanical Council. Founder and chief formulator of Natural Wonder Products, Gary, now retired, dedicated himself to caring for animals and the formulation, testing and distribution of Earth-friendly, 100% natural veterinary-naturopathic medicine.

Photo Credit: flickr creative commons/KeithJustKeith

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

5 Reasons We Give Wellness® Complete Health™ 4 Paws Up #HealthyMeetsHappy

As pet parents, establishing a relationship with pet food brands that you can trust, and that are willing to evolve and make changes to their formula based on our cats' nutritional needs, is so important. It seems like not too many years ago there weren't all that many cat food choices on store shelves. Today a visit to the pet store can be overwhelming with new recipes and textures being added on what seems like a weekly basis. Our pets have to trust us to make the right decisions for them, and it's an even bigger deal because they end up eating the same thing almost every day!


This post is sponsored by Wellness® and the BlogPaws® Pet Influencer Network™. I am being compensated to help share the availability of Wellness Complete Health and NEW Complete Health Grain Free Cat Food available at PetSmart, but Fully Feline only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Neither Wellness or PetSmart is not responsible for the content of this article.

Because of their long-standing history of providing wholesome food that feeds our pets' souls, sustains their lives and protects their bodies, and their mission to help us provide our fur kids with a healthy, happy, long life through the power of natural nutrition, Wellness® will always be a staple in my pet food pantry. Better still, the Wellness® Complete Health™  line of dry and canned food has been reformulated in many cases, and readily available at your local PetSmart®! After a few weeks of trying out these new recipes we wanted to give you our thoughts on why we give the Complete Health line four paws up!


All Wellness Canned Food is Carrageenan-Free

My mom suffers from a good amount of heartburn and indigestion. She's always been prone to stomach trouble but as she's gotten older it has steadily become much worse, and since she's developed heart issues as well any discomfort can be concerning. We decided to start keeping a list each time she ate something that didn't agree with her and it didn't take long for a pattern to emerge - offenders such as chocolate milk, soft serve ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese - all contained carrageenan, a thickening agent derived from red seaweed. Edible seaweed, that should be healthy, right? WRONG! Carrageenan has been linked to a multitude of digestion issues stemming from it's ability to activate an immune response that causes inflammation. Chronic inflammation is a root cause of many serious diseases including heart disease, Alzheimer’s, even cancer. If carrageenan is capable of doing that much damage to our bodies, imagine what it's doing to our cats!

Truth be told, carrageenan isn't even an ingredient I would've thought to look for if I hadn't been a member of the pet blogging community where it's frequently discussed. Since it's an additive in many pet foods containing gravy (and I freely admit that I pay closer attention to what Mudpie is putting in her perfect little body than the humans in my life), it's something I've educated myself about and red flags go up when I see it listed. Because Mudpie isn't a huge fan of wet food but does love gravy, it's comforting to know that healthier options exist.

Added Source of Hydration

Cats don't have a strong thirst drive, so finding ways to keep them properly hydrated is extremely important. If they don’t get enough water, they can be susceptible to a host of health issues, including urinary tract infections, kidney problems and more.

Wellness realizes cats are picky and often don’t drink enough water, so they’ve launched Wellness Complete Health wet cat food to add extra moisture into their diet. The line features 5 different textures (Gravies, Sliced, Morsels, Minced & Pate), sure to please all palates!


Grain Free Complete Health Dry Food

There are three new options in the new Grain Free Complete Health line: deboned chicken and chicken meal for adults, salmon and herring meal for indoor cats, and deboned chicken and chicken meal for kittens. Each is formulated with carefully chosen ingredients, plus added omega fatty acids, vitamins and minerals for optimal health.

Terracycle®, the Wellness Recycle Program

Wellness is dedicated to long-term sustainability by embracing and supporting recycling efforts. They are the first US-based pet food company to partner with upcycle and recycle leader TerraCycle® to help eliminate waste. Anyone can sign up for free for the Wellness Recycling Program through the TerraCycle® website and earn points for gifts or cash to your favorite school or nonprofit (such as animal shelters!) All dry food packaging from Wellness Complete Health, Wellness Complete Health Grain Free, and Wellness Core products can be recycled, and shipping your Wellness pet food packaging to TerraCycle is free!

Catisfaction Guaranteed

If your cat doesn't like the new Wellness recipes, simply return the unusued portion back to PetSmart for a full refund. Now that's the sign of a company that truly cares about their customers and believes in the quality of their product!


In celebration of the Year of the Cat (which should be every year as far as we're concerned!), why not commit to providing your precious pet the optimum in cat nutrition? Visit PetSmart® to check out and purchase your cat's favorite Wellness® Complete Health and Complete Health Grain Free recipes today!


For the latest news coming from our friends at Wellness, visit them on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Wellness®. The opinions and text are all mine.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Tortie Shorties on Mystery Monday


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

We hope you enjoy our choices.


If the Haunting Fits, Wear It (A Haunted Vintage Mystery) 

From the publisher: When Cookie Chanel lands a dream assignment of providing vintage hats for a high-society Kentucky Derby party, she’s brimming with excitement. Leaving her mother and best friend to mind the store at It’s Vintage Y’All, Cookie packs up her psychic cat and races to Kentucky. But before she can hang her hat, her enthusiasm is dampened when the rider of the potential Derby-winning horse is put out to pasture. Now she’s saddled with the jockey’s ghost, who insists she find his killer. With suspects ranging from an odds-on favorite to a dark horse, Cookie may just find herself in a dead heat before the photo finish...

Tortie Shorties Review: This is the fifth book in the series and the first I've read. What made me decide to jump right in without catching up with previous installments is the Kentucky Derby theme because I'm such a huge Triple Crown fan. It can easily be read as a stand-alone because the book takes Cookie away from her home turf, a vintage clothing shop named It's Vintage Y'All. The fashionista hops into her red 1946 Buick convertible with her beautiful cat Wind Song (who is also her grandmother and uses Ouija boards and Tarot cards), the ghost of her friend Charlotte Meadows, and the new spirit of Maureen who she meets in an attic before leaving town and asks for Cookie's help in finding her killer, and off to Kentucky they go. Cookie's client Danielle has hired her to provide clothes and hats for Derby parties, and at the very first event Cookie stumbles upon the body of jockey Ramon Gooden, who was supposed to ride Danielle's horse. And now Cookie has two murders to solve...

This book is a quick and easy escapist read with a fun setting and interesting characters. The mystery itself wasn't all that difficult to figure out but the antics of the ghosts kept the pages turning quickly. At the very end there's a special appearance by the ghost of an extraordinary horse that brought tears to my eyes. It was completely unexpected and unforgettable. Now I need to catch up with Cookie's previous adventures!



From the publisher: Tricia Miles, mystery bookstore owner and amateur sleuth, is in for a surprise when her ne’er-do-well father, John, comes to town—and promptly becomes a prime suspect in the murder of a woman with her own scandalous past. Even Tricia’s faith in the old man is shaken when the Stoneham police break the news that her father is a known con man who has done jail time.

But what about bestselling thriller author Steven Richardson? Is it a coincidence that he arrived for a book signing just before the crime or that the victim was found with a signed copy of his latest bestseller?

From merlot to murder, Tricia is determined to clear the family name before another body shows up and ruins Stoneham’s first—and highly anticipated—wine and jazz festival.

Tortie Shorties Review: This is a series that I adored and read religiously for years but for some crazy reason the last few titles never left my TBR pile. I decided it was time to revisit Stoneham and it was so wonderful to spend time in Tricia and Angelicle's cozy little world once again.

The sisters' lives are thrown into a turmoil when their father John comes to town. He's a con man and in no time at all gets into trouble when a local woman is found murdered after arguing with and slapping both John and an author visiting Haven't Got a Clue for a book signing. The victim has quite a colorful past herself, but of course John tops the suspect list. Adding to Tricia's troubles is the fact that her home above the shop is being renovated, forcing her to live elsewhere, and her separated (and unlikable) parents are making life miserable for the whole family. A second murder of another suspect was a complete surprise, and the resolution kept me guessing until the very end.

If you're new to the Booktown mystery series I would highly recommend binging on the entire series this summer. A Just Clause is #11 and the delightful cast of characters is still going strong!



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! I received review copies of both of these books in exchange for my fair and honest opinion.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Sunday Selfie

Meows from Mudpie!

The other day on the news we heard a crazy statistic. During the month of May our area had over 5 inches of rain...which was nearly double what Seattle received! What's up with that? How is a kitty supposed to enjoy springtime window whiffies?

Paws crossed the worst is behind us now because we had a beautifully sunny Saturday. I took advantage of the opportunity to survey my domain from the comfort of my favorite window, and I managed to snap a selfie too!


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


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Smokin' Hot Tortie #CaturdayArt

Meows from Mudpie!

I guess my blog title today explains it all. I took one of my most sultry boudoir pics and loaded it into LunaPic where I applied the Smoke effect. I see mancats all over the world drooling on their keyboards.

Look but don't touch...I'm hot stuff!


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. A prop from a tv show or film I would like to own is anything from Bates Motel. Now that the show is over (*sob*) a huge auction took place recently featuring lots of props from the series. Much of it was most definitely out of my price range.

2. My oldest friendship is with my mom. She is and always will be my very best friend.

Mudpie's answers:

3. Whenever I nap on Mommy's lap, I always put her to sleep too! She says I work better than a sleeping pill MOL

4. The best part of the day is Mommy and me time.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Meezer Colors Day: Legend of the Tortoiseshell Cat

Meows from Mudpie!

Today is Meezer Colors Day, a day for all kitties to flaunt their colors with pride.

Tortoiseshell cats are known as gatas carey in Spanish, and they have a very special legend about how we got our unique colors. We've shared the legend on Meezer Colors Day before, but it's so beautiful that we decided to present it again this year.


Many thanks to Yadiri's Crafty Adventures for the loose translation of the Spanish version.

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A few weeks ago I celebrated my 10 year anniversary of living with torties, and chronicled my love affair with the most beautiful cats ever made in a special post. BlogPaws was going on at the time so some of our regular readers may have missed it (or in case you might just want to read it again), here's the link to A Decade of Tortitude: The Magic & Mystique Of My Heart Cats

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Life Is Purrfect In A Catio Designed By Catio Spaces

Photo credit: Catio Spaces

This post is sponsored by Catio Spaces

Meows from Mudpie!

I'm sure by now you all think I'm a pretty pampered pussycat. I have a family who worships me, yummy food and treats, cozy beds and blankies, and sunny windows to watch the latest episode of Bird TV. Better still, as an only cat I don't even have to share! Life is about as good as it could possibly get, yet I still find myself desperately hoping for one last thing that would make my life truly complete.

What is this happiness that eludes me, you're probably asking? A catio. A place of my very own to hang out and safely watch the world go by. Sadly, dreams of my little spot of heaven on earth are being hampered by my practical Mommy who keeps telling me that other home improvement projects need to come first.

The toilet needs to be replaced? There's a perfectly good litter box sitting right beside it that you're more than welcome to use. The kitchen faucet is on the fritz? Lick your plates clean like I do and you won't need to wash them! Seriously Mommy, are those things more important than your precious little Mudpie??? Where are your priorities?

Until I get our resident party pooper to see the error of her ways, join me in lusting over the amazing catios designed by Catio Spaces...

Photo credit: Catio Spaces

Cats, whether living mostly indoors or outside, enjoy the stimulation of being outdoors, but responsible owners know danger lurks. Seattle cat-lover Cynthia Chomos has built a business to help cat guardians balance their pet’s natural curiosity and craving for outdoor stimulation with concerns for animal safety.

“Indoor-only cats like fresh air and the stimulation of nature, just like their outdoor counterparts,” Chomos said citing early rising, sun worshipping, and nocturnal scampering around the house as some of the telltale signs of this desire. “Once outside, cats pursue squirrels, birds or a mate and there are many hazards outdoor cats can encounter, including vehicles, predators, parasites and poisons,” she explained. In a quest to protect Serena, her own beloved tabby, she built a catio (cat patio).

Soon thereafter, Chomos realized she could combine her passions and skills as a designer, feng shui professional and general contractor to launch Catio Spaces. Her company designs spaces for safe, healthy and happy cats, offering both custom catios and several downloadable “DIY” plans for those who want to build their own catio (or hire a carpenter to build the plan).

Photo credit: Catio Spaces

“I understand the importance of creating environments for wellbeing, so it seemed like a natural extension of my design services to create visually appealing catio havens for both feline and human enjoyment,” she said, adding, “It’s a joy to be involved every day with cat safety and enrichment while also protecting birds and wildlife.” (She donates a portion of each catio plan purchase to support animal and wildlife organizations.)

Chomos cites many benefits of catios and it turns out some of the biggest fans of them are bird-watchers who want to keep their feathered friends safe from their natural predators. (Housecats that venture outdoors and feral cats are blamed for killing between 1.3 billion and 4 billion birds annually, according to a recent analysis by Peter Marra of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.)

Photo credit: Catio Spaces

Initially focused on designing and building custom catios in the Seattle metro area, Catio Spaces® also offers Do It Yourself (DIY) catio plans in a variety of designs and sizes for patios, decks, gardens or yards.

Current DIY plans include the compact Window Box™ or Haven™ and two larger options, the Sanctuary™ and Oasis™ that Chomos describes as “purrfect choices” for guardians who want space for human seating and enjoyment.

Along with easy-to-follow instructions and illustrations to eliminate guesswork, each set of DIY plans is designed for ease of assembly (or removal if relocating) and to complement a home’s design and aesthetics.

Photo credit: Catio Spaces

Bonus information includes guidelines for acclimating a cat to a cat door and the new space, plus tips for cat-safe plants, d├ęcor, and accessories to promote cavorting, exercise and enrichment.

Straightforward assembly was an early goal of Chomos’ DIY concepts. “You don’t need to be an expert carpenter,” she emphasized. “Even novices will find the plans easy to follow and rewarding to build.”

Chomos has also become a go-to “CATalyst” and resource for feline owners. (Website visitors can request her free tips for considering and planning a catio.) “On a daily basis, I work with cat guardians, locally and globally on a variety of issues,” she stated. Recent calls and email queries have ranged from questions on protecting cats who were attacked by coyotes to creating a retreat for cats that were living in an upstairs bedroom fearful of a newly adopted dog. Additionally, bird organizations and wildlife rehabilitators seek her advice on educating their communities on the benefits of catios.

Photo credit: Catio Spaces

10 BENEFITS OF CATIOS:

1. Protection from vehicles, predators, poisons, diseases or getting lost or stuck in a tree
2. Reduce vet bills from cat fights or injuries.
3. Protect birds and wildlife
4. Help reduce the roaming cat populations in local communities.
5. Provide a healthy outdoor lifestyle with fresh air, exercise, bird watching and sunbathing.
6. Reduce indoor multi-cat issues by adding more territory.
7. Enjoy feline and human interaction surrounded by nature and fresh air.
8. Help reduce indoor odors with an additional outdoor litter box.
9. Good neighbor relations (keep your cat out of their gardens and yards).
10. Peace of mind knowing your cat is in a safe and protected place.

Photo credit: Catio Spaces

Prices for the DIY catio plans range from $39.95 to $69.95; gift certificates are also available. Catio Spaces donates 10 percent from the sale of each DIY plan to an animal welfare or wildlife organization.

For more amazing photos of completed catio projects visit the Catio Spaces photo gallery, and "Catimonials" with pawsome before and after shots from happy customers can be found here. Make sure you follow them on Facebook too!

Do your kitties have a catio? Any plans to build one?


FTC Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Catio Spaces. I am being compensated for featuring this content but we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers.