Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Rescued Interviews: Maxine

Meows from Mudpie!

Back in 2015 Angel Truffles started interviewing the cats featured in 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. She was unable to see it to completion but I was more than honored to continue the series once I settled into my forever home and took full reins of our blog. Now Rescued Volume 2 is on store shelves and it's my goal to interview as many of the kitties as possible once again! (If you missed our review, it can be found here.)

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. November's spotlight is Maxine, a cat so determined to escape from her rescuers that she ended up losing a leg in the process!

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

Hello, Mudpie. I’m Maxine (or Max), resident Calico Manx of the Carson City Catmandu Adoption Center and Sanctuary and sometimes the volunteers refer to me as their favorite “tripod” due to my missing hind leg. Between living as a rescue at a rescue and recovering from the violent loss of my leg, I suppose my story hits both themes of Rescued 2 several times over.

You were so determined to escape your life at the shelter that you ended up experiencing something quite horrific. What made you so desperate to leave? 

Losing my leg was horrific, but so was being separated from my family and the only home I’d ever known. I suppose with age and distance I can admit the Topaz wilderness wasn’t the best place for us, but that doesn’t mitigate the terror I felt at the time or the fact I still don’t know where my mother and siblings ended up. I never want to feel that powerless again.

The title of your story in Rescued is "Feline Road to Recovery". What was your road to recovery like, and do you wish you had made a different decision on the day you made your great escape? 

It was long and pitted. I didn’t know at the time crawling inside cars when it’s cold isn’t a new idea for our kind or that many don’t survive injuries like mine, let alone enduring bungled medical procedures on top of it. If I had the chance to do it over part of me wants to say I would not crawl under the fan belt. I certainly would’ve saved myself a lot of physical torment that way, but realistically I probably wouldn’t have made it home. I also wouldn’t have come around to Linda and the other volunteers because I never would’ve agreed to go back in the trap. I’m pleased with how my life is going right now, so given the circumstances I think my choices played out the best way they could.

How have you adjusted to life minus one leg? Has it slowed you down in any way? 

I run sideways now, but that’s a minor change to my routine (and I’m still too fast for Camille to snap a photo of me scaling my cat tree, try as she might). The biggest obstacle to life without a back leg is scratching an itch on my neck or behind my head. Have you ever tried not scratching an itch? Awful! And when someone does scratch those places for me, the muscles vibrate in the area where my leg used to be.

What is life like for you today? 

I’m still at Catmandu, but unlike most other residents, it’s by choice. Linda tried to send me home with someone exactly once. I didn’t know the woman and she didn’t know me, so I unzipped her carrier on the way out the door and hid on the Catmandu property for over a week. Linda eventually came outside and literally promised if I agreed to go into the trap she would never send me home with anyone unless I chose the human myself. That’s all I wanted to hear, so I went into the trap the same night. I do have my eye on a man named Mark, but there’s already a cat living at his house, so for right now I’m perfectly content staying at Catmandu. I’ve even decided to begin writing a column for Catmandu’s newsletter, which should be out this month.

What shelter have you chosen to receive your proceeds from the book this month and why? 

Catmandu is both my shelter and my home. Some might say that’s self serving, but between the physical property and Catmandu’s foster homes there are over a hundred of us here (and it’s not even Kitten Season). I think most would agree they’d rather be here in a free roam former daycare than locked up in tiny metal cells.

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

Number one: I hope humans remember to check their cars when it’s cold. Give the hood a couple thumps before you start the engine. For that matter, check the wheel wells too. I never climbed in wheel wells myself, but I’ve seen neighborhood felines who have and I’ve heard horrible stories.

Number two: not all of us can be extroverts—some of us need gradually built relationships. When you’re expanding your family, it isn’t wrong to take your time. I’m certainly taking mine.

Monday, November 20, 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: For the first time in sixteen years, Lara Caphart has returned to her hometown of Whisker Jog, New Hampshire. She wants to reconnect with her estranged Aunt Fran, who's having some difficulty looking after herself-and her eleven cats. Taking care of a clowder of kitties is easy, but keeping Fran from being harassed by local bully Theo Barnes is hard. The wealthy builder has his sights set on Fran's property, and is determined to make her an offer she doesn't dare refuse.

Then Lara spots a blue-eyed ragdoll cat that she swears is the reincarnation of her beloved Blue, her childhood pet. Pursuing the feline to the edge of Fran's yard, she stumbles upon the body of Theo Barnes, clearly a victim of foul play. To get her and Fran off the suspect list, Lara finds herself following the cat's clues in search of a killer. Is Blue's ghost really trying to help her solve a murder, or has Lara inhaled too much catnip?

Tortie Shorties Review: Lara's visit to her estranged Aunt Fran in New Hampshire starts out as just a short trip to check on her well-being amidst rumors she's accumulating too many cats. Little does she know how attached she's going to become to everyone involved, much less that she's going to find herself needing to catch a killer.

Fire up your Kindles right now, cat lovers! This is one you won't want to miss. So many of the cats involved in the story have unique purrsonalities of their own, especially the mysterious Blue (you have to love it when the character list in the beginning of a book is all the feline characters, not the human ones!) but I also enjoyed meeting all the residents of Whisker Jog and witnessing the cozy little world Lara and Fran inhabit. The killer ended up being one of my favorite characters (!) and I was completely shocked by how twisted this person actually was. The plans Lara and Fran have for finding their furry charges new homes is pure purrfection and I can hardly wait for subsequent books in the series!

From the publisher: Between dealing with her newly rural life, her grumpy, sports-obsessed father, and preparing to showcase her products in the local Sunnyside Power Mom’s trade show, Colbie has more on her plate than she bargained for. Luckily, she has her official taste-tester, Trouble, by her side to vet her Meow-io Batali Gourmet Cat Food line. Things look promising—until one of the Power Moms is found dead—with an engraved Meow-io specialty knife buried in her chest.

As the prime suspect, Colbie needs paws on the ground to smoke out who had means, motive, and opportunity among the networking mothers—including a husband-stealing Sofia Vergara lookalike. And the cat’s still not out of the bag when a second violent death rocks the bucolic community. Trouble may have nine lives, but Colbie’s only got one to clear her name and stop a killer from pulling off the purr-fect crime...

Tortie Shorties Review: Adorable Trouble the cat joins Colbie's family when he's left behind at a rental unit she managed. His tummy troubles lead to her cooking for him which resulted in her starting a gourmet cat food company. Now Colbie, her son Elliott and Trouble are staying with Colbie's dad while he recovers from a serious bout with pneumonia. Life is quite stressful for Colbie as she deals with single motherhood and an ailing parent, but it's about to get even worse when a member of the group of entrepreneurial moms she belongs to is found dead - murdered with one of Colbie's knives! Since it's obvious she's being framed she has no choice but to join in the hunt for the real killer.

I enjoyed this cast of characters and their relationships so much. Things are somewhat strained between Colbie and her father but that doesn't stop her from making his recovery a priority. The possibility of romance is in the air with the farmer next door and his wayward chicken Charlie provides lots of comic relief, and Elliott's passion for the theater is an interesting secondary story. What's next for Meow-io Batali is super exciting and I look forward to seeing it play out!

Disclaimer: I received free copies of these books from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. 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, November 19, 2017

Selfies on Championship Sunday

Meows from Mudpie!

In honor of this big day at our house I've allowed Mommy to plop a baseball cap on my head. (Digitally, anyways!) 

It's NASCAR's Championship Sunday and for the third time in the last four years our guy Kevin Harvick is one of only 4 drivers eligible to win the big trophy. In 2014 he won it and in 2015 he finished 2nd. In all honesty we'll be very surprised if he wins because two of the other guys have had better years, but at least he's got a shot. 

Mommy is super excited but so nervous she can hardly stand it. Me, I'll be hiding out until the race is over. Whichever way it goes I have a feeling things will get very, very loud. Send help. And cross all your fingers and paws that the 4 car wins the Cup!

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

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Caturday Art

(LunaPic's Nouveau effect)

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. I can’t wait to eat stuffing on Thanksgiving. I use Stove Top stuffing mix and add dried cranberries to it...my favorite part of the meal!

2. My favorite kind of pie is pecan. (It's comes in a distant second to Mudpie, though!)

3. This year, I am particularly thankful for a period of personal peace and contentment. I hope it lasts.

4. A funny holiday tradition in my house is decorating for Christmas on Veterans Day. Not really "funny" but I know lots of people laugh at me over it and I don't care. Christmas is my favorite time of the year and I want to enjoy my decorations for as long as possible.

Friday, November 17, 2017

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Tortie Lovers

Last year I created my very first gift guide for tortie lovers and it ended up being one of our most viewed posts ever! Seems there are lots of tortie fanatics out there like me upset by the lack of our favorite cats on wearables, jewelry and home decor. 

Since I'm always on the hunt for anything tortie-related I decided to make a holiday gift guide exclusively for tortie lovers an annual tradition to help make your shopping a little easier. I hope you find something that will make that special tortie-holic in your life purr (or to treat yourself with!)

(Click to enlarge)

(You're not imagining things...the one and only Mudpie was the model for this tree topper!!!)

Looking for more ideas? Check out last year's gift guide!

Do you have any tortie lovers on your shopping list this year?

This post contains affiliate links.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Senior Pets Make Life Golden #HillsTransformingLives

This post is sponsored by Hill’s® Science Diet® and the BlogPaws® Pet Influencer Network™. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about the Adopt A Senior Pet Month and ‘Mission Adoptable’ Campaign, but Mochas, Mysteries and Meows only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

I've lived the majority of my adult life with senior cats, and the years of love they gave me left memories that will last a lifetime.

It all started when I was 16 years old and my family rescued a neighbor's cat that had been abandoned. Sebastian was 12 and had lived the majority of his life outside, covered in snow during cruel Vermont winters. Finally my mother had enough and when it was obvious the new neighbors he'd been pawned off onto didn't care any more about him than his original owners did, he "disappeared" into our house. He was only with us for a few years before succumbing to kidney disease, but there's not a doubt in my mind that those were the 3 happiest years of his life.

The first cat I adopted as an adult was Sashi. I'll never forget the shelter telling me how many people had commented on what a beautiful cat she was, then saw that she was 9 years old and walked away. Their loss was my gain because we had 9 wonderful years together. Even at an advanced age she never lost her playfulness, with one of her favorite games being to catch my pen with her paws or teeth while I was writing. (These were the days before computers!)

Next came Tara. She was 7 and while she was plagued with more than her fair share of health issues, I can't help but think she was meant to be with me because far too many people would have given up on her.

I'll be 100% honest and admit that by the time Tara passed away I was emotionally exhausted. Her last two years were incredibly stressful, and I decided that for my peace of mind I needed to adopt a young cat for once, one that I wouldn't need to worry about every minute, one that I could look forward to spending the next 15 years of my life with.

I had Truffles for exactly 1 year, 10 months and 17 days.

Animals are just like people - age is just a number - and regardless of their age we have absolutely no control over how long we're going to have with them, so why do we allow so many amazing animals with so much love to give sit unloved and unwanted in shelters? Of course kittens are irresistible; there's no denying that. But I can tell you from experience that adopting a senior pet can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Not only do you know what you're getting as far as size and personality, they require less exercise and training, and since older cats are among the hardest to find homes for, when you adopt one you are truly saving a life. They know they've been rescued too, and they show their love and gratitude every single day resulting in a bond like no other.

As cats age their nutritional requirements change, and the right food along with veterinary care can play a key part in helping keep older cats active, healthy and happy, allowing them to live their life to the fullest. Hill's® Science Diet® Youthful Vitality has been scientifically developed for a seven and older pet's biology and incorporate ingredients that support:
  • Brain function, which is involved in supporting the desire for family interaction
  • Energy and vitality to help a pet get moving and have an interest in activity and playing
  • Healthy immune system
  • Healthy digestive system
  • Luxurious coat with increased shininess and softness

    Hill’s Pet Nutrition wanted to help increase older cat adoptions so they partnered with Animal Planet to launch a new exciting web series called “Mission Adoptable”.  Filmed in collaboration with the SPCA of Texas in Dallas, “Mission Adoptable” focuses on the plight of older shelter pets that face a difficult time getting adopted because of changes in their appearance or behavior due to the aging process. Viewers follow the journey of each senior pet, as their lives and prospects for adoption are transformed through the power of the right nutrition and loving shelter care. Each episode ends in high drama, as two families vie for the privilege of welcoming their new family member home.

    Are you ready to join us in celebrating senior cats? Here's what you can do!

    1. Visit a local shelter and consider adopting a senior pet during Adopt a Senior Pet Month.

    2. Help your new family member and/or your senior pet fight the effects of aging by trying Hill’s® Science Diet® Youthful Vitality, specifically designed for pets of age 7 and up.

    3. Watch the "Mission Adoptable" webisodes and get inspired to share with your family and friends.

    To learn more about Hill’s products and their nutritional philosophy visit HillsPet.com or Hill’s Pet Nutrition on Facebook.

    Have you ever adopted a senior cat? 

    This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Hill's. The opinions and text are all mine.

    Wednesday, November 15, 2017

    The Cat in the Cupboard

    Meows from Mudpie!

    Remember how we said the Christmas tree was going up on Monday? Well, the deed is done. (Although it's not lit or decorated yet. It's sitting in the living room nakey.)

    I had fun snoopervising the heavy lifting - literally. The tree going up requires moving furniture, and since Mommy has to do it herself she had to move everything out of this cabinet in order to lift it. I couldn't resist and had to hop in! Mommy didn't have the heart to make me move so she used it as a good excuse to take a break :)

    I think she should leave it empty for me, don't you?

    Tuesday, November 14, 2017

    Mudpie Interviews...Whisper: Senior Cat, Working Cat

    Meows from Mudpie!

    Did you know that November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month? Mommy had lots of experience with senior kitties before Angel Truffles and I and she'll have more on that Thursday. I'm nowhere close to being a senior myself, so as any good reporter should I sought out a source to help me tell a story!

    On one of our local news stations there's a segment each week called "Super Seniors" featuring people who are working well into their senior years. (I should submit my grandpa's name for consideration!) My interviewee today is a feline version of a "super senior", a cat who has some years on her and has been through a traumatic experience, but holds down a job and is as full of life as ever! I hope you enjoy meeting her as much as I did.

    Welcome, Whisper! Thank you so much for chatting with me today. Can you start by telling us a little about yourself and how you came to arrive at the Dumb Friends League?

    Hi Mudpie! Thanks for having me!

    My name is Whisper and I’m 10 years young. I’m the official clinic cat to Parkside Animal Health Center. It’s an important job but I try not to let it go to my head.

    As far as how I got to the DFL, I don’t remember much about the early years but I remember the last several very clearly! I was living with a lot of other cats in a house that was too small for all of us. After a little while, some people nearby saw that we needed help and brought us into the shelter.

    There were 9 of us in total!

    I was really worried when we left but luckily the shelter really wasn’t a bad place. Don’t get me wrong- I wouldn’t want to live there forever but of all the places a cat could end up, it really wasn't bad. I had my own litter box, my own food bowl, and my own water bowl. Almost my own everything! But I didn’t have my own human. I had to share the humans with all the other animals and I didn’t like that much.

    You weren't in very good condition back then. What was your road to recovery like?

    Long! The first problem was I was pretty nervous at the shelter. Nowadays, I’m certainly not known for being shy. Quite the opposite. But I was so overwhelmed by how many cats, dogs, and people there were there that I guess I kind of shut down. The people at the shelter said I was afraid. Since I was labeled as shy that meant I got extra attention and extra treats. Which definitely helped.

    From there I had all kinds of medical tests done. People just kept looking in my mouth which was a little embarrassing since I didn’t have many teeth left. Not sure what they were looking for exactly.

    At one point I thought they were going to look in my mouth again but instead, someone poked me with something and I started getting very sleepy. I woke up without ANY teeth! Even though I only had a few left, it sure did feel funny to not have any at all.

    After that, I went home with Dr. Eisenhauer. That was a good day even though my mouth was feeling strange.

    Along the way, you came into contact with Dr. Brenda Eisenhauer of Parkside Animal Health Center in Colorado. Tell us how your relationship evolved and what made you realize you were meant to be together always?

    Dr. E, as I like to call her, seemed to take a liking to me. I took a liking to her too. I don’t know exactly what it is. You know how you see human after human and then suddenly you see one and think...I could get used to this one. Well, that’s how it was. I just kinda knew we would do great together.

    I found out later that Dr. E is also the one who took care of all my teeth. In fact, she always seemed to be around when I was having something done. I think she was really looking out for me. Like I said before after my teeth were “fixed up” Dr. E even took me home!

    Her house was awesome! Not like anything I’d ever seen! There were cats with no fur (they all seemed to be called “Rex”?) and some dogs. The best part was, everyone was my friend! Where I come from, there wasn’t enough food, room or litter boxes so everyone had to compete. But here with Dr. E, there was plenty of food, lots of soft beds and more than enough litter boxes. It was paradise. But just when I didn’t think things could get any better, Dr. E decided to give me a promotion! I went from being in charge of the house to being in charge of a vet clinic! That’s right! I now run a fully functional veterinary clinic in beautiful Colorado!

    But back to Dr. E, I wasn’t eating after my teeth were removed because my mouth felt so funny. Dr. E thought I would do better out of the shelter so that’s why she took me home. But after a few days, we really hit it off. Dr. E is the best and most caring human I’ve ever met! I also think she liked the way I managed the household and chased the dogs around. That’s part of why I think I got the promotion.

    A little birdie told me that you will only eat dry food in spite of being toothless! I have the exact same aversion to wet food! It drives my Mommy crazy.

    What is it with these humans and wet food! I mean, have they smelled the stuff? And the texture! Teeth or no teeth I simply refuse to lower myself to THAT!

    What’s strange is how excited they get! They pop that can and look at me like I should be excited too! Yuck!

    Now that you're the mascot of Parkside, what is a typical day like for you? What are your duties?

    Ahem. I’m sorry Mudpie, you may have misheard me. I’m not exactly a mascot, that’s really Dr. E’s job. I mean she does important doctor and business owner things like surgery, clinical work, hiring, managing the vet clinic, handling the books and saving the lives of the cats, dogs, and other pets but I’m really the brains of the operation. I make sure things are done the right way and at the right times.

    One of the most important jobs I have is greeting clients. It’s an important job and I follow a careful process. First I start at the window to and try to size up the new visitors. I pride myself on being able to tell exactly how they would like to be greeted. Whether that’s a quiet meow or a big strong MEOW I jump to the desk and proudly welcome them to Parkside.

    Then I usually let the receptionist take care of the rest. You know the boring stuff like collecting information and getting the client into the exam room.

    I also do consultations with some of the pets. They don’t always seem to understand what they’re doing at the clinic so I give them a quick update on what is going to happen. You know, just to make sure they aren’t too nervous.

    I also supervise cleaning. I find the vacuum particularly interesting and I want to make sure the humans are using it properly.

    One of the ways I like to manage the staff is to hide inside any cabinet that’s been left open. When someone goes to get something from it or close it I jump out! That usually startles the humans quite a bit but they just shouldn’t let things get cluttered up like that!

    I always make sure to get my exercise and I’m an avid soccer player. I also do a sort of jump rope exercise. You have to see it to really understand.

    I like my job because I get to meet a lot of new people and new creatures. I like being able to help them with their visit to the veterinarian. I think that when they see me living the good life at the clinic they realize the vet can’t be all bad, you know?

    I also get to see some strange creatures! Have you ever met a thing called a tortoise? I have and it is something else!

    November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month. As a mature ladycat of 10+ (with a job!), what do you hope people take away from your story with regards to adopting an older animal?

    Dr. E taught me that age is not a disease. Just because I’m older doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with me! I’m still a happy cat!

    The other thing is that age doesn’t define personality. When clients see me jumping out of cabinets, playing soccer or doing my string exercises they always think I’m much younger than 10! They think only a young cat would do the things I do! Sure, some older cats like to sit around more but just like humans, cats come with all types of personalities!

    In short, don’t write us older cats off! We need homes too!

    Lastly, is there anything about yourself that your fans and friends might be surprised to learn?

    I think some of my fans might be surprised to learn that I think dogs are actually not so bad. I know, I know, dogs don’t always get the best reputation in the cat world but the important part is to lay the ground rules. Once you have some boundaries set things can go pretty well.

    I’ve met hundreds of dogs at the clinic and most of them have been pretty great. They just don’t know when to stop sniffing! That’s when a well-placed paw on their head helps straighten things out.

    Thanks for having me Mudpie!

    Monday, November 13, 2017

    It's Time To Buy 2018 Calendars! #ChewyInfluencer

    Every year I end up buying way more calendars than I can possibly use and when the year is over they end up getting added to the pile in the basement because of course I can't throw them away. Cute cat calendars are mainly what I buy (I'm sure that doesn't surprise you), and my main goal is to pick up the Garfield and Grumpy Cat calendars each year, typically when they get marked down to half price after Christmas. I keep telling myself one day I'll take the calendars apart and frame some of the pictures. That's the plan, anyways!

    For the calendar I hang in my office at work, I always choose one with adorable cat pictures. It satisfies my kitty fix until I can get home to Mudpie, and it looks more professional than a cartoon. When Chewy.com sent me an email asking me to check out their new line of calendars, my eyes immediately landed on one called "What Cats Teach Us: Life Lessons Learned From Our Feline Friends". Not only does it feature beautiful photographs of cats, but also quotes containing valuable lessons to help us enjoy more positive and fulfilling days...purrfect for a work environment!

    I was so excited to see how many different calendars Chewy had to offer! There's something for every pet lover, from cartoon cats to various dog breeds in both wall versions and day-to-day calendars. (I always have a hard time with the "page a day" calendars because I feel like I'm destroying it every time I tear a sheet off!)

    Why not check out Chewy's calendar selection and add one to your pet's next order? You deserve something special too!

    Disclaimer: We received a free calendar from Chewy.com as part of their Blogger Outreach Program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are our own and we never recommend a product we don’t fully believe in.

    Sunday, November 12, 2017

    Gimme A Kiss #SundaySelfie

    Meows from Mudpie!

    I snapped my selfie this week in my favorite new spot in the house...on the couch next to Mommy! You all know that I spent all last winter on Mommy's lap with Santa blankie underneath me. Every now and then she would complain that she couldn't get anything done, so this fall she tried putting Santa blankie on the seat next to her, and I love it! Now she has a place to put me when she has to get up and do "stuff". 

    She says she loves having me beside her because she can lean over and give me a kiss me anytime she wants. I can't imagine why she'd want to do that, can you? 

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

    Saturday, November 11, 2017

    Walking in a Watercolor Wonderland #CaturdayArt

    Meows from Mudpie!

    Did you catch our post last night about the artist looking for submissions for her 2019 calendar project? It's going to be a fun opportunity for some very lucky kitties. The project actually inspired my Caturday Art this week. I used the watercolor effect in LunaPic, then applied the snowflake border. (We saw our first snow flurries yesterday, so the timing is purrfect!) Then I put my own spin on a classic holiday song. 

    Did you notice we've started using our Christmas blog header? Veterans Day is the start of the season at our house...the tree goes up on Monday!

    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. The best part of where I live is the fall colors. There's really no more beautiful place to be from late September through October.

    2. The worst part of where I live is mud season. All that snow has to melt eventually. In spite of Mudpie's name, I'm no fan of mud ;) 

    3. If I had unlimited funds, I would build sanctuaries all over the world to protect animals.

    4. My favorite article of cold weather clothing is my collection of Christmas sweatshirts. I wear them all winter because they're so warm and cozy!

    Friday, November 10, 2017

    Submissions Needed For Artsy Cat Calendar

    Barn Cat Petunia seeks help from cats around the world. Her human, artist Alex Hubbell, has obsessively painted her throughout the year. It’s time to broaden horizons for both animal and artist. Petunia’s calling all cat lovers to share photos and stories for the 2019 calendar.

    Twelve cats will be chosen from all submissions. Alex will create an original artwork based on the winning kitties for each month in 2019. To get involved and submit your story visit us at on Kickstarter.

    "My cat, Petunia, may be the star in this year's calendar, but next year, I want to paint cats from around the world, and I need your help. Either you love cats, or you know someone who does, and you have a story to tell.

    So please, send me your cats, because I need 12 FRESH felines to be featured in next year’s edition. If you send me a photo and a quick story with your backer survey, I will be painting a selection of your cats throughout this year. You could be part of a Commissioned Cat Calendar for 2019! So, please, join me! I can’t wait to see what stories you have to share."

    2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Cat Ladies from Etsy

    For as many years now as I can remember my entire holiday decor has been cats, from every ornament on the tree to every knick knack sitting on the table or hanging on the wall, right down to a kitty nativity! Christmas is a time for recalling special memories and traditions, and all of my life's most special moments have included a cat. And they always will.

    Likewise, I don't know how many times I've been told that I'm easy to shop for when it comes to Christmas gifts (or any occasion, actually) because all anyone needs to do is buy me something cat-related and I'm happy! Christmas is one more way for me to celebrate my love of all things feline, and I'm not afraid to shout my cat lady pride loudly.

    So what does that special cat lady in your life want for Christmas this year? We have some ideas, courtesy of the amazing sellers at Etsy!

    We hope you enjoy our picks, and don't forget, if you find something here you like and make a purchase using our affiliate links, Mudpie gets a little Christmas spending money!

    Thursday, November 9, 2017

    Fun Feline Finds: Catnip Wine & Cheese Toys by munchiecat

    I've always enjoyed browsing pet store aisles for the latest in cute cat toys, but lately I've found it even more fun to stay home and visit online retailers to see what creative entrepreneurs are developing for our pets. As I mentioned very recently, a goal of mine is to one day make and sell cat toys of my own, but until that day comes I'm absorbing all I can from people who are building a successful business out of creating things that will make cats happy.

    This post is sponsored by munchiecat

    I was recently introduced to a company called munchiecat, makers of cat toys for felines who enjoy the finer things in life! They recently completed a successful Kickstarter campaign for a ridiculously adorable Wine & Cheese Deluxe Set of 9 toys: 2 wine bottles, 3 pieces of cheese, 2 olives and 2 figs! Munchiecat’s Wine & Cheese Set is a variety pack including catnip, crinkle, and toys with bells sewn in to offer a wide range of fun for your kitty in a variety of sizes and shapes from 2” Olives to 8” Wine Bottles. With so many toys to choose from there's something in the set for every cat's taste!

    Here's what Natalie, the human behind munchiecat, told us about the origins of her company:
    Growing up in our house meant sharing life with pets and so my love affair with animals began early. My siblings and I were ardent animal lovers and luckily we had a wonderful variety of pets from dogs, parakeets and cockatiels, to hamsters and guinea pigs. I absolutely adored my pets and was the girl who’d dress up her guinea pigs and spend her free time beautifying pet homes with fancy toys and accessories. Fast-forward to today—married with three kids, and living the apartment-in-the-suburbs-life, unfortunately we can't have large furry pets for now. But I still have many little animals living with us and get to pass onto our kids the joy of life shared with pets!!
    My dream for munchiecat started about 3 years ago, while buried in accounting work and unhappy with the daily grind. I had a stressful job and really needed a creative outlet. I enjoy making crafty things and spent some time browsing online simply looking for inspiration. I wanted to find modern and beautiful cat toys to make as a gift but had a hard time finding anything that I liked. And that’s when it hit me; the world seriously needs more beautiful cat toys.
    I was inspired to make a Sushi themed cat toy set because I love sushi and thought it would be an adorable toy for my cat-loving friend. She loved it, her cats loved it, other humans loved it, and their kitties loved it, and I thought to myself...why not try a Kickstarter? I never in a million years thought there would be so much interest or that our campaign would be so successful!
    But here we are! A year later, and now launching a Wine & Cheese themed set as a result of numerous feedback requests from previous customers and supporters. I’m humbled by the enthusiasm and support for my work. I hope to continue designing pet toys that emphasize safety and aesthetics for a long time.

    Yes, you read that right: Sushi cat toys, and they are every bit as adorable as you think they are. Available in a four piece set of Maki sushi, a four piece set of Nigiri sushi, or the deluxe 8 piece set of both collections, they come packaged in a bamboo-print gift box, purrfect for gift giving. These sushi toys are made with wool felt and filled with polyester fiber and catnip (Nigiri) or with bell inserts (Maki) in small batches to ensure freshness and quality.

    Munchiecat also produces fun t-shirts for the cat-loving humans in your life, featuring cats noshing on - what else - sushi and wine!

    Munchiecat has created some of the most sophisticated and stylish cat toys you will ever encounter. Already incredibly popular, when you visit their website you'll see that everything is listed as sold out! We have an exclusive scoop for you though: a Pre-Order Store is going live as we speak for the Wine & Cheese toys as well as the newest version of the sushi toys!

    Munchiecat also conveniently has an Amazon store for the sushi sets and t-shirts. (The Wine & Cheese toys will be added as soon as they are in stock, most likely the second week of December. If you'd like to be contacted when the toys hit Amazon, feel free to email us and we'll add you to the list!)

    We're super excited to see these toys in purrson, and just as excited to see what munchiecat has planned next! Purrsonally, I wouldn't mind seeing a box filled with assorted chocolate truffles...for cats, of course! When it comes to enjoying the finer things in life, is there anything better than chocolate?

    Stay up to date on all the exciting news coming from munchiecat by following them on Facebook and Instagram.

    This post is sponsored by munchiecat. I am being compensated for featuring this content but we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers. Munchiecat is not responsible for the content of this article. This post also contains Amazon affiliate links.