Thursday, December 31, 2015

10 Favorite Cat Books of 2015

The end of the year brings with it a round-up of "best of" posts, so in the spirit of the season we've put together a list of our 10 favorite cat books of the year.

This list easily could have been twice it's length and paring it down to 10 was very difficult. For clarification, we only chose books that were released in 2015. When you click on each book's link you will be taken to our Tortie Shorties review, and in many cases a Mudpie or Truffles interview with a fantastic feline!

10) A Gift from Bob: How a Street Cat Helped One Man Learn the Meaning of Christmas by James Bowen. So I'm breaking my own rule right out of the starting gate. This book was actually published in the UK last year, but not until this fall here in the US. I read it last Christmas after ordering it from Book Depository. Bob's story is even going to be hitting the big screen soon!

9) Oliver the Cat Who Saved Christmas: The Tale of a Little Cat with a Big Heart by Sheila Norton. Another UK import from Book Depository, this was my favorite book of the Christmas season.

8) The Cat, the Sneak and the Secret by Leann Sweeney. The entire best-selling Cats in Trouble series is a must-read for cat cozy lovers, but this seventh book starring a kleptomaniac tortie named Magpie holds an extra special place in my heart.

7) Inspector Dewey by Kristen Heimerl. This children's book starring a crime-fighting cat completely captured my imagination. The illustrations were just incredible, and Dewey's cute and catchy phrases will be a delight for children and also a wonderful introduction to the delightful world of mystery and suspense. In promoting Mudpie's interview he called her the "relentless reporter, pioneering pussycat and forever fabulous, Mudpie."

6) Avalon by Vanessa Morgan. This love story between a woman and a cat rivals anything you will read between humans and I found myself completely engrossed in the intensity of their bond.

5) The Black Cats: Cattarina Mystery #2 by Monica Shaughnessy. I was delighted the day I learned that Edgar Allan Poe was owned by a tortoiseshell cat, Cattarina. As the star of her very own mystery series she is the epitome of "tortitude" and uses it to solve local crimes against both humans and animals, while in the process continuing to be her beloved master's muse. Our review of the first Cattarina mystery, The Tell-Tail Heart, and Truffles interview with Cattarina can be found here.

4) Homer: The Ninth Life of a Blind Wonder Cat by Gwen Cooper. This long-awaited sequel to the monster best-seller, which takes readers through the final four years of his life, is even more unforgettable...if that's possible. Heroic Homer will live forever in the hearts of those who knew and loved him...both in person and through the pages of a book.

3) Rescued: The Stories of 12 Cats, Through Their Eyes. This anthology of rescue cat stories compiled by Janiss Garza, who writes the Sparkle Cat blog, has been a part of our life for most of the year as we've been interviewing each of the featured cats. We look forward to continuing this in 2016 and beyond as the second collection is already in the works!

2) Raphael's Story by Deborah L. Courville. This book was truly a gift from heaven that left me feeling like I had received a message from Truffles. It's a must read for everyone who has a passion for cats and their welfare.

1) Purr Prints of the Heart by Deb Barnes. Every time we bring a new pet into our homes and our hearts, we do so knowing that the day will come when we will have to say goodbye to them. This magnificent book is the best I have ever read on coping with that loss. It's told from the viewpoint of Mr.Jazz, whose great wisdom takes readers through his life, death and beyond. Reading about his lengthy illness I relived Tara's long good-bye. Then following his passing Deb suffered another devastating loss with her beloved Harley's sudden death. As I read this in the spring, little did I know that I was only months away from experiencing the same thing with Truffles. This book is poignant, therapeutic, and exquisitely beautiful.

What was YOUR favorite cat book of 2015?

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Word of the Day: Asthma

Meows from Mudpie!

Mommy and I have been quiet about a bit of a health issue that I've been having, but we now know definitively that I have kitty asthma.

Since shortly after Mommy adopted me in August I've had a bit of a cough. She assumed it was a hairball, but no hairballs ever showed up. Now for the past few weeks I've had a coughing spell each day and she knew it was time to have it checked out.

My coughs haven't had a pattern; sometimes they come on when I'm playing, sometimes when I'm sleeping. They haven't held me down any...I still run crazy pants around the house!

How embarrassing is this picture??? I've gained over 2 pounds since September!!! Although to be fair, when Mommy adopted me in August I was 7.5 pounds and super scrawny!

As soon as the vet listened to my lungs he could hear a wheeze, and chest x-rays confirmed it. He said it's very mild so for now we're just monitoring it. If her episodes increase we'll go with either steroids or an inhaler. We also plan to research some holistic treatments.

Our vet said the most likely culprit right now is the furnace stirring everything up, and it will be interesting to see how I respond to spring pollen. We do know that at my check-up in September there was no sign of a problem. I came to Vermont from western New York, and who knows where I came from before that (or if I ever even lived in a house!), so everything I'm exposed to is new to me. Mommy is planning to start a journal to try and figure out my triggers.

Mommy wasn't really surprised by my diagnosis. She's been watching YouTube videos of asthmatic kitties and was fairly certain that's what was going on. Still, she would never say it out loud but her greatest fear was a heart problem, especially after what she's been through with Tara and Truffles. The vet said that I'm purr-fect otherwise!

We're thankful to have a clear diagnosis without having to go through tons of tests, and as long as we're together everything will be just fine!

Have you ever had a pet diagnosed with asthma?

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Tortie Shorties: Wrapping Up the Christmas Season

Sadly, Christmas is over and with it go all of the wonderfully festive holiday stories that have been the purr-fect accompaniment to a mug of peppermint hot chocolate. Today we wanted to tell you about the last few that we've been curled up with. There's still time to enjoy is still technically the holiday season, after all!

From the publisher: Polly Parrett finds herself in the midst of another murder mystery. This time it involves two little girls, a wicked stepmother, and a missing father. Oh, and Christmas is almost here. 

It all begins with a mysterious gift box that’s left on Polly’s doorstep. Along the way she encounters problems with her pet-sitting customers and her arch nemesis, Britney Harris, who has her eye on Polly’s boyfriend Tyler. 

An Open House is planned at Welcome Home, the residential home Polly and her mom have created to provide a safe haven for homeless military veterans and their pets. It’s all go in Polly’s world, but with a killer on the loose and two children in need of her help, she’ll do anything she can to keep everyone safe.

Tortie Shorties: Pet-sitter Polly returns home from her rounds to find a kitten wearing a gold chain in a box at her front door. She takes the little one to her handicapped mother who runs a halfway house for homeless veterans and her pets, where a resident has found the two young step-daughters of a murdered woman sleeping in the barn. Their father is in the military and they think they're responsible for the death. Polly, boyfriend Tyler, the vets and a very special Christmas Kitten join forces to find the real killer. A charming novella set in Maine with loads of holiday fun.

From the publisher: In Rudolph, New York, it’s Christmastime all year long. But this December, while the snow-lined streets seem merry and bright, a murder is about to ruin everyone’s holiday cheer…

As the owner of Mrs. Claus’s Treasures, Merry Wilkinson knows how to decorate homes for the holidays. That’s why she thinks her float in the semi-annual Santa Claus parade is a shoe-in for best in show. But when the tractor pulling Merry’s float is sabotaged, she has to face facts: there’s a Scrooge in Christmas Town.

Merry isn’t ready to point fingers, especially with a journalist in town writing a puff piece about Rudolph’s Christmas spirit. But when she stumbles upon the reporter’s body on a late night dog walk—and police suspect he was poisoned by a gingerbread cookie crafted by her best friend, Vicky—Merry will have to put down the jingle bells and figure out who’s really been grinching about town, before Vicky ends up on Santa’s naughty list…

Tortie Shorties: If Rudolph, New York were a real place I would have my bags packed faster than Santa can say "Ho Ho Ho". Things go wrong for our heroine, Merry Wilkinson, right from the start when the tractor pulling her float in the Santa Claus parade is sabotaged. Then she finds Nigel Pearce, a journalist from World Journey magazine who is writing a puff piece on Christmas Town, dead in the park. He's been poisoned by a specially decorated gingerbread cookie of Charles Dickens, made by Merry's best friend Vicky, who becomes the lead suspect. With the town's reputation in danger of being destroyed, Merry has no choice but to find the nasty Scrooge. The descriptions of Rudolph's shops just ooze Christmas cheer, and the characters are instantly delightful, from Merry's former mayor father Noel to her St. Bernard puppy to the two men vying for her attention to quirky shop owner Betty. I look forward to my next visit to Rudolph, perhaps to celebrate Christmas in July!

From the publisher: In this new short story from Tasha Alexander, Lady Emily -- called "Victorian London's most colorful and delightfully eccentric sleuth"* -- and her dashing husband Colin are spending a few days in London, doing some last-minute Christmas shopping and making the most of the time alone, when they find themselves in the middle of an unexpected mystery. The couple is just getting cozy, not at all bothered by the storm outside. But when Lady Emily looks out the window to see a woman standing in the blowing snow, without a coat, an eerie feeling falls over her, and she rushes out to help, only to find that the woman has disappeared. Colin is convinced her eyes were playing tricks on her, but Emily is haunted by the woman's image. Clearly, there is something spooky afoot, and she is determined to get to the bottom of it...

Complete with the vivid descriptions and period detail Lady Emily fans have come to expect from this series, That Silent Night is a delicious morsel of a mystery, with an irresistible ghost story at its heart.

Tortie Shorties: There's nothing much better than a Christmas ghost story, which is probably why I am so obsessed with A Christmas Carol! This short story made me feel as though I were living in Victorian London during the era of Charles Dickens and I loved every moment. Just who is the mysterious lady that Emily sees outside her window, and how is she tied to Emily and Colin's newlywed neighbors? I will definitely be adding the full-length Lady Emily novels to my reading list!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Secret Paws 2015

Meows from Mudpie!!!

I've been waiting for what seems like forever, but today I finally get to tell you about my Secret Paws! My package arrived in early December and Mommy said I had to wait until closer to Christmas to open it, and last Monday was the big day.

I would like to thank our wonderful Secret Paws for 2015, Toffee Ripple and her wonderful mom Jessica, as well as Truffle and Brulee's mom Paula from Sweet Purrfections for organizing this wonderful event that makes many blogging kitties very, very happy. Don't you just love it...Mudpie and Toffee!!! Us sweet gals gotta stick together!

Now let me tell you about my pawsome gifts!


Somebody is a Star Wars fan!!!

It's all for me???

I'm going in!!!

Diving right into some treats I've never tried before...and Mommy got something yummy too!

Can you read that book to me later, Mommy?

This stocking was packed full of individually wrapped goodies!

I could smell this nip nanner from a mile away!

And I may have lost control a bit while killing Max from the Grinch!

I was so happy with my loot I could barely contain myself!

Look at everything! I got treats, a Temptations Snacky Snowman, Max and the Grinch catnip mice, a nip nanner, catnip puffs, cute tiny mice that Mommy is finding all over the house, and yummy Muse food. Mommy got a sweet cat book, a bag of truffles, a pine scented Yankee Candle that makes the house smell SO good, and a 2015 teddy bear ornament to commemorate my very first Christmas.

Mommy and I both want to thank Toffee and Jessica so very much for their thoughtful, generous, and purr-fectly wonderful gifts. We couldn't have asked for a better Secret Paws!

Now would also be a good time to reveal that we sent our Secret Paws gifts to the kitties of the Jasper McKitten-Cats blog, Jasper, Josie, Maggie and Huggy Bear. They wrote about their package here and we're so happy to see how much everyone loved what we picked out.

Now I have a very important many days until Secret Paws 2016???

Sunday, December 27, 2015

A #SundaySelfie of Truffles' Twin

Mommy here.

Every night in my Facebook feed I scroll past the New York City ACC (Animal Care & Control) list of cats that will be killed the following day. Perfectly adoptable, healthy cats that still find themselves on the kill list. I see those precious faces, my heart hurts and I say a silent prayer that they will be spared.

On Monday night I saw a face that took my breath away...a cat named Betty who looked so much like Truffles they could be twins:

Betty was brought to the shelter because her owner had passed away. Not only did her face cry out to me, but her name did too. The day I adopted Truffles she hissed at another cat named Betty as she was loaded into my carrier to head home.

For the first time ever I did more than share the post, I was one of many who pledged money to the rescue who would be able to pull her, and the next day Feline Rescue of Staten Island did just that. I gladly honored my pledge with a thankful heart that rescue groups are out there saving lives every single day.

Our new friend Betty is joining the Sunday Selfies Blog Hop hosted by The Cat on My Head.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Caturday Art: A Year of Memories

For our final Caturday Art project of 2015, we decided to make a collage using some of our favorite pictures of the year. The collage was created in, and then we added the frame and text using PicMonkey.

It has been a memorable year, both for good and bad. On July 7th I was forced to say goodbye to Truffles many, many years before I ever thought I'd have to. August 9th brought the arrival of Miss Mudpie. 

Both have given me memories that will last a lifetime.

This is our entry in Athena's Caturday Art blog hop. More artsy kitties can be found here.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Our Christmas Message to You: With Love, Melissa & Mudpie

We wish you a very Merry Christmas...

As we remember Christmases past...

Life is made up of meetings and partings. That is the way of it. --Kermit, Muppet Christmas Carol

May the peace & beauty of the season live in your hearts all year...

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Waiting for Santa

Mommy says that Santa Claws is coming tonight, so I'm watching to make sure he arrives safely.

Do you think he'll like the milk and cookies that I'm leaving out for him?

Many thanks to our dear friends at Sometimes Cats Herd You for the pawsome glass!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Books to Treasure from Special Friends

Back in November I signed up for the Holiday Cat Book Exchange hosted by Cheshire Loves Karma. Each participant was paired up with another to exchange a book about cats, by cats, or featuring cats. I was a bit hesitant at first because since I buy and receive so many cat books, how would my partner ever find a book for me that I don't already have? But still...cats, Christmas, and books...I just couldn't resist.

Then late one Sunday in early December I returned home from a long and tiring day of Christmas shopping and noticed a package from Amazon sticking out of my mailbox. I couldn't think of anything I had ordered recently, and was especially surprised by the Sunday delivery, so I opened it up to find this little treasure from my wonderful Holiday Cat Book Exchange partner, Bonnie and her cats Lily and Luna (@LilyLuWhoT on Twitter):

From the publisher: Raphael's Story is the true tale of an abandoned kitten who found his forever home. Inspired by the difficult journey of her own cat, Raphael, the author has crafted a complete tale based on the sketchy facts of her cat's life before he came to her. The story of Raphael and those of all the other animals in this book are true. The author uses the journey of the 'little orange kitten' to call attention to several issue related to animal well being in the modern world, such as the plight of feral cats, overpopulation, declawing, cruelty and abandonment. 

Everyone who has a passion for cats and their welfare must read this book. The story starts as Raphael (which became his name once he found his forever home...everyone he meets up with names him something new) and his litter mate Moo are adopted by a little girl and her father. From the beginning it's obvious things will go very badly for the small kittens, and sure enough, when the humans are evicted from their apartment, the cats are left behind to care for themselves. When they're finally discovered they end up on the streets, and after tragedy strikes Raphael is all alone and forced to live under a porch until a kind tenant in the home takes him in. She already has a cat and her landlord won't allow her another, but she arranges for him to be taken to Cat Ladies' Rescue. Once at the rescue he meets many new friends and learns all of the sad stories of their lives before and their hopes for the future in a forever home.

Along the way Raphael has a mysterious dream where a sad tortoiseshell cat tells him to watch for a very special lady. The meaning of this dream is revealed at the very end, and while you absolutely *must* read the book, I will just say that it hit me directly in the heart and left me feeling like I had received a message from Truffles. This is a book I will never forget. I had never heard of it prior to receiving it as a gift, so I know that I was meant to read it and that it was heaven sent.

Raphael's Story by Deborah Courville can be purchased here.


Shortly after losing Truffles I received this sweet little book from my dear friend Ellen at 15 and Meowing. At the time I couldn't bear to read anything even remotely religious, so I set it aside to read at Christmastime.

From the publisher: The old Siamese Ptolemy was alongside his master when a star of unusual brightness was seen in the heavens, indicating an event of momentous significance, and leading to a great quest. Ptolemy must watch over his frail master, so he sends three young cats to journey in his place and to fulfill the prophecy: The three finding the one.

*Abishag, a sturdy reliable cat who has never shirked her duty.
*Kezia, a beautiful young tabby, delicate and a bit vain, but of good heart.
*And Ira, younger and bolder than the others, with a temper.

Accompanying them is a fourth traveler—the rat Asmodeus, who can hear of no glorious thing without wanting to spoil it. Together, the unlikely band will cover many miles and have many dangerous adventures. And finally they will arrive in a far land, where the star bends close to the earth over a humble stable…  

If this isn't already considered a kitty Christmas classic, it should be! The story of the three wise men, as told by cats as they ride in baskets on camels on the long journey, is sure to make anyone feel the wonder of the Christmas season and the true reason why we celebrate. Along the way they make new friends and learn where they are destined to be after they visit the Messiah. Each cat has their own distinct personality and I was touched by each one. Their awe when they finally come face to face with the baby Jesus is especially heartwarming.  I even loved the trouble-making rat that traveled with them! The cover is stunning and the whimsical illustrations that accompany the story and just adorable. I can easily see myself re-reading this book each Christmas season!

Three Wise Cats by Harold Konstantelos and Terri Jenkins-Brady can be purchased here.


Both of these little gems still have time to make it under your tree in time for Christmas morning thanks to the magic known as Amazon Prime!!!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Book Review: Homer: The Ninth Life of a Blind Wonder Cat by Gwen Cooper

From the publisher: The odds had always been stacked against Homer, the blind kitten nobody wanted. But destiny took a hand the day he met Gwen Cooper, and with the publication twelve years later of the international bestseller "Homer’s Odyssey," Homer went from beloved house cat to world-wide star. He became the scourge and darling of the reporters, photographers, videographers, bloggers, and radio hosts who clamored to meet him—dragging his hapless human behind him as he greeted fame with his usual joie de vivre and occasional “catitude.” He became a spokes-cat for the cause of special-needs animals everywhere, and eventually the wise older mentor to the new special-needs kitten who would enter his and Gwen’s lives. Most importantly, Homer taught those who loved him best how to live and die with courage and joy—and left behind a rescue community of “Homer’s Heroes” that continues to save countless lives in his name.

By turns humorous and tender, this beautifully written, 115-page sequel concludes the adventures of Homer the Blind Wonder Cat—the fearless feline who proved that love isn’t something you see with your eyes, that even the smallest of creatures can make a big difference, and that true love lives forever.

Anyone who's read Homer's Odyssey knows that it's a story that stays with you long after that final turn of the page. The long awaited sequel, Homer: The Ninth Life of a Blind Wonder Cat, which takes readers through the final four years of his life, is even more unforgettable...if that's possible. Gwen put off writing this book for a long time because she didn't want to relive the pain of losing him. Instead, she discovered that “in writing the book, I’ve gotten to live with Homer again.” What pet owner wouldn't cherish the opportunity to do that with a beloved companion?

This sequel covers the trials and tribulations that Gwen faced leading to the book's publication, followed by her awe and amazement as Homer's star continued to rise. She loses the two cats that Homer grew up with, Scarlett and Vashti, leading her to adopt kittens Clayton and Fanny as new companions for Homer. Clayton in particular has a special connection with Homer and ends up playing a large part in Gwen's healing process when she finally has no choice but to say good-bye.

Homer passed away on August 21, 2013, the day after I adopted Truffles. I remember reading the news on Facebook and while experiencing such joy with the new addition to my family, also feeling such heartbreak for Gwen, knowing what she was going through having just lost Tara 7 weeks prior. It's the inevitable outcome we all know will happen one day (some much sooner than we ever thought possible, as I discovered with Truffles), yet life without our furry soul mates is just unthinkable. The connection that Homer and Gwen shared is nothing short of magical and that kind of love never fades away.

Homer is a hero in my eyes. His bravery in the face of adversity, his joyful outlook on life, his valiant battle to live when medical science said he shouldn't, and his lasting legacy that will continue to help special needs cats for years and years to come. He will live forever in the hearts of those who knew and loved him...both in person and through the pages of a book.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author. Receiving the free copy did not influence my review.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Letter to Santa #SundaySelfie

Meows from Mudpie!

This weekend I've been tackling a very important job...writing my very first letter to Santa!!! I want to make sure that I make a really good first impression on the big guy, so it has to be just purr-fect.

I've given it a lot of thought and think I finally have it just right. Wanna read it? You can find it below my Sunday Selfie for this week.

Dear Santa,

Last year you probably flew right by me in your sleigh. I was a lonely, homeless little tortie on the streets. But this summer something amazing happened. I ended up in Vermont at the animal shelter and the most wonderful lady in the whole world saw my picture online and she adopted me!!! (Please make note of my new name and address!)

Honestly, Santa, I can't think of a single thing I need. Since I'm a kitty blogger I get all kinds of toys and treats to review. I have a warm bed, yummy food, and sunny windows. I know there are many kitties all over the world that aren't as lucky as me, though. I've been a super good girl (most of the time...), so I'm hoping you can make my Christmas wishes come true. 

I want all of the cold and scared homeless kitties out there to find their forever homes where they will always be safe and loved. I want humans to be responsible and spay and neuter their pets so healthy kitties don't face a horrible fate because there aren't enough homes for them. I want cruel people to stop abusing and abandoning us and start recognizing us as the precious gifts that we all are.

And one more thing, Santa. I would love it if Mommy didn't cry so much. I know she loves me to pieces but she still misses Truffles terribly, and the grief has hit her especially hard this holiday season. I try to put a smile on her face every single day but it hurts me to see her sad sometimes. She's the best Mommy in the world and I just want her to be happy.

Merry Christmas, Santa...I love you!


PS: If you happen to be passing by my house on Christmas Eve and have a couple extra balls or catnip mousies, feel free to drop them in my stocking!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Caturday Art: Dreaming of a White Christmas

Meows from Mudpie!

For today's Caturday Art we used the "picture in picture" Christmas ornament effect in PhotoFaceFun and think it turned out so pretty.

We love the snow in the image too because we are desperate for some Christmas snow!!! You would think in northern Vermont snow would be a given right about now, right? WRONG!!! It's been in the 50s and rainy and just plain yucky all week, and next week looks to be much the same.

Are any of you lucky enough to be expecting a white Christmas?

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Purring Peddler: Stocking Stuffer Edition

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

One week from today children of all ages will be diving into their Christmas stockings for fun little trinkets and treasures. Big packages are great, but there's something particularly special about reaching into that stocking and pulling out tiny goodies. The possibilities of what could be stashed in there are just endless!

Of course, I always look forward to finding cat-related items in my stocking. Here are a few things we think cat ladies and gents would love waking up to on Christmas morning:

1) Brainwright Cat Stax, The Perfect Puzzle Brain teaser games are so popular right now, and this one has the added bonus of being cat-themed.

2) Set of 4 Cat Coasters Each coaster features a different artistic rendering of a short haired cat and comes beautifully packaged in a sturdy box that has images of all 4 designs.

3) Beaded Bookmark ''A cat's favorite place to nap is on whatever you're reading.'' Were truer words ever spoken???

4) Cat Paw Thumb Drive The included key loop easily attaches to key chains, so important files are never out of reach.

5) Cats in Art: Mini Notebooks A set of three notebooks featuring charming illustrations of cats in scenes from art history. We all need small notebooks in our purses for when blog post ideas pop into our heads...and to make pet store shopping lists!

What kinds of stocking stuffers do you enjoy finding on Christmas morning?

Disclaimer: All of these items are available through Amazon Prime to ensure delivery by Christmas! These are not affiliate links, however, because my state was dropped from Amazon's affiliate program due to a tax issue. We just picked these items because they're fun!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Wild Pursuit for a Taste Cats Crave #NaturalBalance

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

Every day I marvel at Mudpie's "hunting prowess"...the way she stalks and attacks her toys with a single-minded pursuit. It starts with a wiggle of her little butt and before I know it that toy is in her mouth and she's prancing around the house, so proud of her catch. She probably could have done quite well hunting for her food in the wild like her ancestors did, but thankfully she can live life as a pampered house cat thanks to food like Wild Pursuit™ from Natural Balance® Pet Foods.

Wild Pursuit formulas for cats are designed to satisfy your pet's ancestral cravings. A grain-free diet with elevated levels of protein from unique animal sources, Wild Pursuit meets a cat's nutritional needs by closely resembling the diet they would have eaten in the wild. High quality ingredients deliver a taste cats have evolved to crave and are available in two varieties of dry food: chicken, turkey meal & quail and trout, salmon meal & tuna, and three varieties of canned food: salmon, herring, & walleye; trout, salmon & tuna; and chicken, turkey & quail. Does your cat love freeze-dried treats? The Wild Pursuit dry food has freeze-dried pieces mixed right in!

Does this sound like food your cat would go wild over? It's as close as your nearest PetSmart®! (Or if you're all shopped out with Christmas just a short week away!)

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

Natural Balance believes that every pet has a unique personality worth celebrating and their product tagline is "Food with Substance for Pets with Character™". Every pet parent knows that their cat or dog is truly special and deserves nothing but the best. It's refreshing to see a big company feel that way too!

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

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Our Christmas eCard 2015

Last year was the first time I had a Christmas card designed. I challenged Ann at Zoolatry with a very specific request: since Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol is my all-time favorite story, I wanted Truffles' very first card to reflect that, and Tiny Truffles Christmas Carol was born.

Little did I know that would be Truffles first and only Christmas card, and I will treasure it always.

This year, for Mudpie's card, I had no idea what I wanted to do, except that I still wanted Angel Truffles to be a part of it. What Ann created...Mudpie reading Tiny Truffles Christmas Carol by the fire...completely took my breath away.

We are so proud to present our 2015 eCard — feel free to take it if we haven't already sent you one! We have two different sizes.

We'd like to thank everyone for all of the wonderful snail mail and e-cards that we've been receiving. Each and every one of them means so much to us.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

My 5 Favorite Cat Coloring Books...So Far!

When I was a little girl I was obsessed with coloring. Any visitor to my house, friend or family member, had to color with me. It was a rule.

One Christmas I received a 'Twas the Night Before Christmas coloring book from my aunt and uncle. It was so big I could only work on it at the dining room table. Each year in December I worked on one page and my mom dated it when I was done. I still have that book too...a cherished piece of my childhood filled with so many memories.

Coloring is cool again and more popular than ever...for adults! It's finally being recognized as the amazing stress reliever it is, as well as a creative outlet for children of all ages.

The best news? Cat coloring books are among the most popular! Many have hit store shelves, and these are my five far! One of my New Year's resolutions is to make the time to start coloring again! Until then, I'm hoarding books :)

Color Cats Book One: Coloring Pages for Adults by Margaret Gates Root What I love about this book is it's filled with cats doing "cat stuff"...lying in the middle of your desk, acting innocent after knocking over a flower vase, eating breakfast on top of the dining room table! The drawings are presented as single-sided images in landscape view, with the binding at the top of the images. So, they're friendly for right or left-handed colorists. No binding to get in the way. If you would like to view thumbnails of all 32 drawings or download sample pages, visit For US orders, a portion of the purchase price benefits the Feline Nutrition Foundation, a non-profit advocacy organization focused on better nutrition for companion cats. I adore the dedication page too: "This book is dedicated to the best cat ever...yours." I can't wait for the release of Book Two!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author with the request for a review. Reviewing a free copy did not influence my opinion in any way...I love this coloring book!

Creative Haven Creative Cats Coloring Book I would say this is the most popular cat coloring book on the market right now. The images are fun and whimsical...purr-fect for bright and vibrant colors. More than 30 full-page portraits of pretty pussycats form a rich tapestry of motifs that includes hearts, flowers, and paisleys in various patterns. Pages are perforated and printed on one side only for easy removal and display. I received a copy of this book as a gift from a treasured friend, and it inspired my desire to reconnect with my coloring passion.

Santa's Cats by Jason Hamilton This little gem is a Christmas coloring book that contains twenty four timeless, unique illustrations of cats and kittens getting into trouble, helping Santa and his elves as they prepare for the big day, and cuddling up with Jolly Old St Nick after an exhausting day in the workshop at the North Pole. As a Christmas fanatic I can easily see myself coloring in this book all year long, because I'm always ready to feel the Christmas spirit. Each picture is printed on one side of 60 lb pure white paper to minimize scoring and bleed-through, and appears in two sizes: large and half size (4"x6"), both suitable for framing when complete.

Artist BZTAT’s Color Me Cats Coloring Book Artist BZTAT has a style all her own. Her love of animals inspires her art, and that is apparent on every single page of this unique book of 25 original line drawings. The drawings are intricately arranged to present creative challenges for adult colorists, yet are inspired by the art of children. The book is spiral bound to make the drawings easier to color within the book; each coloring page is perforated and printed only on one side in case the colorist wants to easily remove the page from the book; and the pages are printed on heavy paper stock to prevent bleeding if the colorist chooses markers as their coloring media. Any pet loving (yes, there are a couple dogs here too) coloring enthusiast would be thrilled to find this charming book under the tree on Christmas morning!

My Captivating Creative Cat Designs and Patterns by Grace Sure I picked this book up for free as a Kindle download (it's currently $1.99). I'm sure you're wondering how you're supposed to color a Kindle book. There's a special link at the back of the book that will allow you to download all of the images to print out as many copies as you want! Perfect for someone just starting out who doesn't want to practice in a beautiful print book.

And two books coming out in 2016 that I've already pre-ordered:


Have you been bit by the coloring bug yet?
Are cats your favorite thing to color?
Do you have any favorite books to recommend?