Saturday, February 28, 2015

{52 Snapshots} & Caturday Art: Pretty in Purple

Hey everybody, Truffles at the keyboard! It's week 9 of the #PBSG #52Snapshots of Life photo challenge (hosted by The Lazy Pit Bull) and the theme is purple. This was a really easy one for us because purple is one of Mommy's favorite colors and it's all around our house. But since this blog is 95% mine I decided to feature *my* favorite purple Peach Industries Kitty Lounger Mini. It's pretty special to me and here's why:

I won my lounger in a giveaway from Katie and Waffles first announced the giveaway on August 20, 2013...the day I arrived here at my forever home. At that time Mommy never won anything, so in the excitement of bringing me home she completely forgot that she had entered. A short week later we got an email that I had WON!!! It's like the lounger was meant to be mine and I've loved it since the day it arrived in the mail.

This picture was taken just a few minutes after Mommy put my lounger together...

For Athena's Caturday Art blog hop, we made the picture even more "purplicious" by applying the "Lilac Dreams" effect in and a simple frame in Picmonkey.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Truffles Interviews...Bambino from Duffy Brown's Geared for the Grave (w/Giveaway)

Hey everybody, it's Truffles! Today I'm interviewing Bambino, the feline star of Duffy Brown's brand new Cycle Path mystery series. Duffy is offering a really cute prize for one lucky commenter so I hope you'll enjoy our interview and giveaway. {{{Purrs}}}

Welcome, Bambino! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions for us today! Could you start out my telling us a little about yourself and how you came to live at Rudy's Rides?

Cleveland and I belonged to Servant Mavis who lived in one of the big cottages on Mackinac Island. Cottages here are not like the kind that little-red-riding-hood’s grandma lives in, they are cottages as in big houses, many floors, many porches and where the Rockefellers swill brandy with their cronies…but I digress.

Servant Mavis just couldn’t take the Mackinac cold any longer and decided she wanted to finish her golden years in the golden sun and she moved to Arizona. Word has it she strips naked from time and when the cops arrest her nsisting she’s getting her vitamin D that she’s been deprived of all these year.

Servant Mavis gave Cleveland and me to Rudy to train…and we are doing a pretty good job of it. It’s tuna for breakfast on Mondays and Fridays.

I understand you hang out in the side pocket of a pool table...that can't be very comfortable???

I’m little and no one bothers me and it gives me a chance to check out the other pool players and learn their moves. You should see me with a cue in my paw.

What is a typical day like for you?

Bambino’s off playing with Evie so it’s me Cleveland here. I keep telling Bambino he needs to knock that stuff off. He needs to dole out the fun and only respond when there are treats involved. Life is pretty darn good as long as Evie and Rudy know who rules the roost…that would be me and Bambino. We have delish food and a place by the window to watch birds and the boats out in the harbor and we sleep on Evie’s back to keep ourselves warm.

What's life like on Mackinac Island?

Cleveland and I live in Rudy’s, a bike shop here on the island. Mackinac Island is one of those places stuck in time. Fact is it’s like the 1800s with no cars. Everything is horses and bikes. And there are parades for the tourists we call fudgies ‘caue they eat so much fudge. Oink! The parades have bands and music and famous people like George Washington, Betsy Ross…you get the picture. Well, Rudy takes on the character of Mark Twain and Twain had cats named Cleveland and Bambino. Of course the two of us are much cuter than the original Cleveland and Bambino.

Tell us about the new book series you star in, the Cycle Path Mysteries...

Here’s the 411 on Evie and what’s going on. To boost her chances for a promotion, Evie helps her boss’ dad with his cycle shop and Cleveland and I, of course. The good idea turns bad when dad winds up prime suspect in a murder. To save her job Evie takes over the failing shop though she’s never ridden a bike, finding a killer though she can’t find her keys in her purse and discovering why someone is out to frame Dad. Can Chicago Evie survive life on Mackinac Island without her Honda, being on an eight-mile chunk of land with horses, carriages, bikes, fudge-eating tourists, the resident sage writing her eulogy and a killer who wants her dead? Well of course she can…she has Cleveland and me around. It doesn’t get better than that.

Could you tell us about the other 4-legged characters in the book?

Cleveland and I hiss at the cat across the street when he comes over and tries to get Evie outside to pet him. Hey, dude, she’s ours, get lost. Got it. Cleveland and I are very protective. We got it pretty good here until Evie starts talking that we need a job stuff. Like that’s going to happen. Get real.

This place is crazy with horses. You see there are no cars on the island so everything is done with horsepower…literally. And I’m not taking ordinary horses these guys are the Budweiser variety on steroids. They are huge so we stay out of their way.

And there are the dogs, lots of dogs. We just met a new one named Meatball ‘cause he’s shaped like one. He got too close to one of those horse guys and Evie had to save his sorry furry butt.

I understand that your character is based upon Mark Twain's cat Bambino. What do you know about him?

He wrote books, drank good whiskey smoked cigars spouted things like It’s not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog. He spent time on the island for while and he was a pretty smart dude and of course he had cats…lots of cats. What a great guy.

Do you get involved in solving any mysteries in the series, and do you know what your upcoming adventures are going to be?

Well in Braking for Bodies, Rudy’s moved out and getting married and he’s left Cleveland and me with Evie. We taught Rudy how to play euchre and he got pretty good at it and now we’re going to teach Evie a thing or two about solving crimes…we have to. Another murder is just around the corner and Evie’s right in the middle of things again. This time she needs protection and Cleveland and I are up for the task if there’s enough tuna in it for us of course.

Duffy Brown is the national bestselling author of the Consignment Shop Mysteries, including Pearls in Poison, Killer in Crinolines, and Iced Chiffon. She loves anything with a mystery. While other girls dreamed of dating Brad Pitt, Duffy longed to take Sherlock Holmes to the prom. She has two cats, Spooky and Dr. Watson, and works at a consignment shop when she’s not busy conjuring up whodunit stories.

About the book: Mackinac Island is a peaceful summer resort town where everyone coasts through the streets on bicycles. But after someone sends a prominent local on her final ride, it’s up to one resourceful visitor to get things running again…

Hoping to shift her chances of a promotion in her favor, Evie Bloomfield heads to Mackinac Island to assist her boss’s father. Rudy Randolph has broken his leg and operating his bike shop, Rudy’s Rides, is too much to handle by himself. But Evie’s good turn only leads to more trouble…

After Evie’s arrival, wealthy resident Bunny Harrington dies in what looks like a freak bike accident. Upon closer inspection, Bunny’s brakes were tampered with, and now the prime suspect in her murder is also Bunny’s number one enemy: Rudy. So if Evie hopes to stay on her boss’s good side, she’ll need to steer Rudy clear of jail. Now she must quickly solve this mystery so she can put the brakes on the real killer’s plan…

Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Friday, March 6th for your chance to win a set of *adorable* cat hot mitts. (US entries only, please.)

Thursday, February 26, 2015 Review: Greenies Dental Treats

Hey everybody, it's Truffles! Earlier this month I blogged about February being Pet Dental Health Month and I got to try PetSmart's exclusive Authority brand dental treats. Then asked if I would like to review some Greenies dental treats, and of course I said yes. Why limit yourself to one brand of treat when there are more out there to be savored and enjoyed?

Feline Greenies Dental Treats have a unique teeth-cleaning shape that helps prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar accumulation on kitty teeth, while cleaning and freshening breath. Made with a natural formula with added vitamins, minerals, taurine, and chlorophyll for optimum feline health, each treat is only 1.25 calories and contain no artificial flavors or preservatives. They come in 6 flavors: Oven Roasted Chicken, Ocean Fish, Savory Salmon, Tempting Tuna, Catnip and Succulent Beef. Greenies are the only cat treat to have The Veterinary Oral Health Council Seal of Acceptance for tartar reduction.

Usually when I make a treat selection I choose chicken or turkey flavors, but this time I decided to shake things up a little and request the new Catnip flavor. I am SO glad that I did...these treats are absolutely delish!!! To think such yumminess is also good for my pearly whites is just icing on the cake!

If you're not shopping at, you really should give them a try. They have distribution centers around the country and if you place your order by 4 PM eastern on a weekday it will ship the very same day. For orders under $49 there is a flat rate shipping fee of $4.95, but over $49 shipping is free! The value size bags of Greenies (5.5 ounces) are currently on sale, so make sure you add them to your orders today.

We received a free package of treats in exchange for our fair and honest review as part of the Blogger Outreach Program. All opinions are our own.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Checkered Flag

Another Daytona 500 has made it's way into the history books, and with it comes the end of our Daytona 500 Zoomies Event. We would like to thank everyone who made their predictions.

The winner of the race was Joey Logano, who didn't get any love here because no one picked him!

So we moved on to the 2nd place finisher...

That's right! It was "our guy" Kevin Harvick, who totally would have won the race if not for a late race caution.

Three of you took our advice that he's the best driver on the track (he did win the Championship last year, after all!):

Robyn K.
Patricia T.

So we put all 3 names into our Harvick Can Koozie and the winner is...

Concatulations to Robyn and her kitties Nutmeg and Cozmo...your prize is on it's way!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Ladle to the Grave by Connie Archer: Guest Author & Giveaway

The name is Champ (not Nessie)
by Connie Archer

Vermont is a fascinating place.  That’s why it’s so much fun for me to explore the news, research history and generally, as much as possible, keep myself informed about all the doings in the beautiful state where the Soup Lover’s Mystery series is set. 

For example, did you know that Vermont has its very own lake monster?  Champ.  Not Champ, as we would say in English, but Champ, with a French accent. 

Situated between the Green Mountains of Vermont and the Adirondacks of New York, Lake Champlain is a 125 mile long fresh water lake shared by New York and Vermont as well as Quebec, with the Champlain Canal connecting the lake to the Hudson River.  The lake was named after the French explorer Samuel de Champlain who first encountered it in 1609.  Although Native Americans had dubbed it by various names long before.  The Iroquoi called it Caniaderi Guarunte, meaning “door of the country” and the Abenaki called it Petonbowk which means “the lake in between.” 

But to get back to Samuel de Champlain . . .  In 1609, Champlain spotted a fearsome underwater creature five feet long, thick as a man’s thigh, with silvery gray scales that a dagger could not penetrate.  He is supposed to have claimed that the monster had jaws as wide as two and a half feet with sharp and dangerous teeth. 

As it turns out, this account is somewhat exaggerated.  Champlain’s actual words are far less dramatic: 

“. . . [T]here is also a great abundance of many species of fish. Amongst others there is one called by the natives Chaousarou, which is of various lengths; but the largest of them, as these tribes have told me, are from eight to ten feet long. I have seen some five feet long, which were as big as my thigh, and had a head as large as my two fists, with a snout two feet and a half long, and a double row of very sharp, dangerous teeth. Its body has a good deal the shape of the pike; but it is protected by scales of a silvery gray colour and so strong that a dagger could not pierce them.” 

Debunkers of Champ believe that Champlain saw nothing more than a large sturgeon or garfish.  Nevertheless, there have been hundreds more sightings of Champ over the years.  In 1873 and again in 1887, the showman, P.T. Barnum, even offered rewards for Champ, dead or alive. 

But here’s where it gets really interesting.  In 1977, a vacationer named Sandra Mansi, relaxing by the lake shore with her family, was fascinated and terrified to see a strange creature rising from the water.  Fortunately, she had the presence of mind to snap a photo.  That Champ photo is now world famous and has given the debunkers of Champ a lot to chew on. 

Spike TV even aired a special program about Ms.  Mansi’s experience. 

Then, in the summer of 2005, two fishermen, Dick Affolter and Pete Bodette, managed to take video footage of a plesiosaur-like animal.  Two retired FBI forensic image analysts who reviewed the tape stated that it appeared authentic and unmanipulated. 

Another piece of evidence of Champ’s existence is an echo recording taken in 2003 by the Fauna Communications Research Institute as part of a Discovery Channel program. The group believe the recorded sounds are similar to that of a Beluga Whale or perhaps an Orca, but not of a known animal.  The echolocation itself was recorded in three different areas of Lake Champlain including a man-made navigation channel in the deepest part of the lake.  

Many cryptozoologists believe that the creature could be a plesiosaur, a zeuglodon (a what?) or another unknown or extinct creature, similar to Nessie of Loch Ness fame.  Although plesiosaurs are believed to have died out 66 million years ago, this theory is defended by a British cryptozoologist, Dr. Karl P.N. Shuker, who argued that a surviving plesiosaur could have evolved an ability to tolerate colder temperatures, as well as a different neck structure. 

Whatever Champ is or isn’t, he (or she) has spawned an industry – newspaper and magazine articles, books, radio and television specials, keychains, mugs, T-shirts – even Champburgers (seafood patties on sesame buns).  The village of Port Henry, New York, has erected a giant model of Champ and holds “Champ Day” on the first Saturday of every August.  Champ is also the mascot of a minor league baseball affiliate, the Vermont Lake Monsters.  And a statue of Champ is on display at the lakeshore in Burlington, Vermont.  Champ is quite literally the best known lake monster in North America, a bigger celebrity even than Ogopogo in British Columbia

I for one am very glad Champ has never been captured.  And if the imaginary village of Snowflake were just a little farther west and closer to Lake Champlain, it would be such fun for Champ to make an appearance in the Soup Lover’s Mystery series. 

What do you think?  Do you believe in Champ?  I believe . . . I want to believe . . .

Connie Archer is the national bestselling author of the Soup Lover’s Mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime. A Spoonful of Murder, A Broth of Betrayal and A Roux of Revenge are set in the imaginary village of Snowflake, Vermont. The fourth book in the series, Ladle to the Grave, will be released in March 2015. You can visit Connie at her website and blog:, and Twitter @SnowflakeVT.


About the book: By the Spoonful is Snowflake, Vermont’s most popular soup shop, but owner Lucky Jamieson doesn’t have any time to enjoy her success—she’s too busy trying to keep a lid on false accusations against her loved ones…

It’s almost May, and some of the local ladies have organized a pagan celebration in the woods to welcome spring. But the evening goes terribly wrong when one of the attendees winds up dead, apparently poisoned by an herbal concoction prepared by Lucky’s grandfather, Jack.

Lucky’s sure her grandfather could not have made such a tragic mistake. But before she can clear him of suspicion, her best friend, Sophie, is diverted from planning her wedding to By the Spoonful chef Sage DuBois when she finds a dead man floating in the creek on her property. Now it’s up to Lucky to get both Sophie and Jack out of hot water before a killer stirs up more trouble…

Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Monday, March 2nd for your chance to win a copy of Ladle to the Grave. (US entries only, please.)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Helping Shelter Cats During Kitten Season #FoodShelterLove

This post is sponsored by Hill’s. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill’s® Food, Shelter, & Love Program, 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.

One of my favorite things about being a cat blogger is having a platform to help shelter cats, whether by profiling adoptable cats at my local shelter, participating in a toy drive to bring a little Christmas to kitties who otherwise wouldn't have one, or raising money through a commentathon to sponsor shelter cats while they wait for their forever home. Even before I started blogging I donated my time and money whenever I could.

One thing I haven't done (yet) but greatly admire those who do, is fostering. Good foster homes are always needed for senior, special needs, and abused cats that need a little extra TLC, and especially for kittens and mother cats with nursing litters. March is right around the corner and with it comes "kitten season", the time of year when already overcrowded shelters are exploding with kittens and the need for foster homes is at it's height. Fostering frees up shelter space so more cats can be rescued.

Something that isn't often thought of during kitten season is how adult cats are affected: sadly, they end up overlooked by potential adopters when there are adorable kittens as far as the eye can see. There are so, so many cats in shelters waiting to find their forever homes. One thing I take into consideration when choosing to support a company is whether or not they go the extra mile to be advocates for animals in need. That's why I'm happy to spread the word about the Hill’s® Food, Shelter & Love™ Program.

The Hill's Food, Shelter & Love program is a living, breathing example of how they live out their mission statement on a daily basis and is based on four pillars:

* Encouraging loving individuals to support their local shelters by caring for and spending time with local shelter pets.

* Whether it's cash or pet toys, local shelters can always use donations. We can help get donors connected directly to your organization.

* Helping pet parents everywhere learn more about our shelter program and find out how choosing Science Diet® for their own pets can help thousands of shelter pets around the country.

* The ultimate goal of the program is to bring some love home.

Hill's has provided over $240 million worth of food to nearly 1,000 shelters, 365 days a year helping over 6 million pets find a new home…and counting. Proper nutrition, such as Hill’s® Science Diet® Kitten Healthy Development which provides balanced, easy-to-digest nutrition  for growing kittens, makes shelter pets happier, healthier and more adoptable.

Every time we choose Hill’s® Science Diet® for our own pets, we're helping Hill's continue their mission of supporting shelter pets when they need it most.

Have you ever been a feline foster mom? I would love to hear about it!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday Selfies: Meet Morgan

*** BREAKING NEWS: Do you remember Venus, one of the cats we profiled from Truffles' Alma Mater? After waiting for over TWO YEARS she found her forever home this week! Concatulations, Venus...we hope you have a purr-fect life in your new home!!! ***


Have you ever run across an adoptable cat in your Facebook feed and been completely unable to get her out of your head, even though she's hundreds of miles away? That's exactly what happened to me earlier this week when I saw this face:

Seriously...could she possibly be any cuter???

Morgan is available for adoption at the Wyandotte Adoption Center in Wyandotte, Michigan. Apparently she came from a sad situation (no details were given) and due to her circumstances upon arrival, she spent her first few weeks in a foster home. She immediately took to being in a home environment, with her favorite hobby being sitting on the bathroom vanity while watching her host get ready for the day. According to the shelter's Facebook page, one of her cutest behaviors is her need to cup water in her paw before she drinks it. They say she is a wonderful cat who would do well in a quiet home with a lower level of activity. She is very friendly and loves to interact with humans, but if there's too much going on she tends to fade into the background.

I know we have many readers in the Midwest, so we're entering Morgan in this week's Sunday Selfies blog hop with the hopes that shares help her to find her forever home.

More information on how to adopt Morgan can be found on her Petfinder page.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

{52 Snapshots of Life} & Caturday Art: Mirror

It's week 8 of the #PBSG #52Snapshots of Life photo challenge (hosted by The Lazy Pit Bull) and the theme is mirror. Trying to get Truffles to pay attention to a mirror proved to be a lesson in futility, so I decided to cheat a bit and use the artwork I created for Athena's Caturday Art blog hop.

Speaking of art, I recently finished a 2 week cat-sitting job for my neighbor. T-Two's Mom and I have a tradition where whenever she travels she picks up something cat-related for me. This trip to Arizona and California she got me this Romero Britto cat teapot. I love it so much :)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Cat Bed or Your Bed: Infographic

Truffles is the very first cat I've had who has wanted to sleep in bed with me every single night. I'm a total night owl and she's typically ready for bed far earlier than I am. Usually she stays with me until around 4 AM, at which time she gets up for a snack and to use the little girl's room, then comes back and spends the rest of the night in her cat bed on my bookcase to look out the window.

Terrys Fabrics recently sent me a really cute infographic that details the pitfalls we all face while sharing our beds with cats. Personally, I find Truffles to be the purr-fect bedmate. The only situation shown that I can identify with is #8. She usually starts the night settled into a little cocoon between my legs, and then eventually makes her way up onto my chest, but I don't find it bothersome at all. I love that she wants to be that close to me.

What are the feline sleeping arrangements at your house?

Cat Bed

Cat Bed by Terrys Fabrics.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Tortie Shorties Roundup: A Trio of Cat Books

Blurb: When a cat named Alice comes into her life, Cait begins to suspect that Alice may hold the answers to the mystery surrounding the body she found in the church as well as the person behind her aunt's illness. Join Cait and her feline and human friends as they track down a killer and save a community.

Tortie Shorties Review: This is book two in Kathi Daley's delightful Whales & Tails mystery series, and it starts out with a bang when Cait and Cody go into church in search of sheet music, only to overhear Father Kilian and Mrs. Trexler arguing. A short time later while turning out the lights Cait discovers Mrs. Trexler has been killed. The arrival of a cat named Alice leads Cait and her friends to clues about the murder and also her aunt's mysterious poisoning. A little girl named Haley is introduced, who has been sent to live with her aunt because her mother is very sick. She loves animals and starts helping Aunt Maggie out at the cat sanctuary, and I really hope to see more of her in subsequent books. I adore everything about this series and love how The Mad Catter sets up book 3, Grimm's Furry Tail, coming in March.

Purchase Link

Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Wednesday, February 25th for your chance to win a copy of The Mad Catter. US - Choice of Print or Kindle copy; Canada - Kindle copy only.

Blurb: Ever wished you could go back in time and change your luck? Cathy Robinson is about to get that chance. All thanks to help from Suzy -her cat over the Rainbow Bridge - and a very special pendant that binds them through eternity. From the author: Suzy was my own cat, but this story is entirely fictional (though like most authors I borrowed from some of my own life experiences). It's a story I wanted to write in Suzy's memory. I also believe it's a story my beloved black and white cat wanted me to tell, and feel that she co-authored it with me from the Rainbow Bridge. If you love animals, and have been lucky enough to have been blessed with a pet's unconditional love, this book is for you. It's a tale both younger and adult readers will enjoy.

Tortie Shorties Review: This is a book that is sure to touch the heart of anyone who has loved and lost a beloved cat. Cathy suffers from depression and alcoholism, made even worse since the death of her cat Suzy. Little does she know that Suzy is still watching over her thanks to a cherished snowflake pendant, and they are soon to take an unforgettable and magical journey together. Cathy is a character that I instantly could identify with, from her lifelong attachment to cats over people to the soul-crushing devastation she feels following Suzy's death and her longing to be reunited with her. Marie Symeou's passion for cats comes through in every word of this special book.

Purchase Link

Blurb: Cats are fascinating and mysterious creatures and no matter how much you think you know about them, I can almost GUARANTEE that there’s more to learn. For instance, why did the CIA recruit cats as spies in the Sixties? Which other ancient race (as well as the Egyptians) also worshipped cats? In which US state must cats have a permit before having sex? Where is it illegal to take your lion with you to the movies? Exactly how long is the officially recognized longest cat whisker? What is the biggest sign of love your cat can give you? What percentage of cats snore? What grand old age did the world’s oldest cat manage to reach? What do one third of cat owners believe their cat can do? Which human foods should you never give your puss, no matter how hard she begs? Clearly, you need to know these things, and that’s exactly why you need to read this book. 1106 Fascinating Facts About Cats has been reformatted from the ebook for this dead tree version. It was inspired by the hilarious and informative QI series of ‘facts’ books, this one has the added bonus of being all about cats, which obviously makes it EVEN BETTER.

Tortie Shorties Review: If you enjoy reading fun bits of trivia about cats you will love this book. Did you know that a cat's nose print is as unique as a human fingerprint? Or that only 7% of cats snore? (Truffles sure does!) How about the fact that older female cats are known as Grimalkins and another word for hairball is bezoar! From unconventional uses for kitty litter (great tips here!) to historical facts about cats (who was the very 1st American to be owned by a cat?) to superstitions, crazy cat laws, famous cat lovers and haters, I guarantee that even the most knowledgeable cat lover will discover something that they didn't know!

Purchase Link

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Truffles & Cody Sittin' in a Tree...

Hey everybody, it's Truffles! Did you know that I got a Valentine gift this year? It's true! Cody from Cat Chat with Caren and Cody went looking for a little feline companionship and I was one of the lucky ladies that he picked! I hear he's playing the field a little bit, but that's okay. Mommy says that once you go tortie there's no going back!

This is the cute package he sent me:

It contained a sparkle fish and an elephant stuffie (how did he know that Mommy affiliates herself with the elephant party?)

I immediately gravitated towards the sparkle fish. (Check out the leg action!)

Thank you so much for the thoughtful gifts, Cody. Call me!

Don't forget, you still have time to enter to win a Catit Design Senses Speed Circuit! All you need to do is predict who will win the Daytona 500 on Sunday :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Auction For Winnie’s Wish Building Fund

As a book blogger I receive more books in the mail than I could possibly ever read, many of which I set aside for giveaways. Then not too long ago a blog called Auctions for Petz in Need was created and I started setting aside extra books to donate with the hopes that they might raise a little money for cats in need. An auction for the Winnie's Wish Building Fund was just launched, and I hope that you'll check it out!

Winnie’s Wish is a private animal rescue and shelter, funded solely by donations and fundraising, and now in great need of a new room to house the growing numbers of rescued cats. This room will also allow for separation of the more timid cats from those more aggressive ones while all wait for their forever homes. They are currently less than $2000 from their goal, so here's hoping that this auction will be a huge success!

As far as the items we donated, click here and scroll down to Item #39 for a lot of 8 brand new cozies:

And Item #40 for 3 brand new hardback mysteries:

Even if these books don't strike your fancy, please check out the auction page. There are more than 50 other wonderful items up for bid with the money going to a really great cause.

Monday, February 16, 2015

February's Rescued Spotlight: Crepes & Alana Grelyak

Hey everybody, it's Truffles! A few weeks ago I told you about Rescued: The Stories of 12 Cats, Through Their Eyes, an anthology of rescue cat stories compiled by Janiss Garza, who writes the Sparkle Cat blog. Each author featured in the book has nominated a cat rescue and was assigned a month to promote the book, with a third of the profits from that month going to their rescue. I am so excited to announce that I will be interviewing each author and/or their cat over the next 12 months!

February's focus is on Crepes and her human, Alana Grelyak, authors of the Cat in the Fridge blog. These two were so much fun to interview!

Truffles: Welcome, Crepes and Alana! Mommy and I love reading your blog everyday and it is such an honor to get to chat with you. For readers who aren't as familiar with your story as we are, could you tell us how you found each other, knew you were meant to be together forever, and what your relationship is like today?

Crepes: Hello, Truff!  Gosh, thanks for having me here. I really appreciate it.

Alana: Me, too! We’re fans of your work and pleased to be here.

C: Oh. How did you get here?

A: I came with you. I drove the car.

C: Oh, right. Anyway, the way we found each other is that I was getting the VIP treatment from Tree House - food, water, a box to play in - and then MomFOD here came to pick me up for temporary safe keeping.  Now, I may have misunderstood the original meaning of the word “temporary,” because I thought it meant for a limited time. And yet, I am still in her house.

A: What Crepes means to say is that she was rescued from a very bad feral situation by Tree House Humane Society and fostered by my husband and me. We decided to adopt her because we loved her and also because she has some special needs that we thought would make it a bit harder for her to find a home.  I think you can see what our relationship is like based on this conversation.

Crepes, how did you come to be chosen as the cover girl of Rescued?

C: Charm, beauty, grace, and style.

A: Yes, Crepes, all those, plus the fact that I used to do journalistic photographer. Janiss Garza, our editor, liked my photography and asked if I would be willing to take some photos to meet specific style requirements. Naturally, Crepes was chosen as the subject.

C: Because of my Charm, beauty, grace, and style! I already said that.

A: I think you need a nap.

The rescue group you're supporting in Rescued is Tree House Humane in Chicago. Can you tell us about the work they do and how you're involved with them?

C: They neutered my family.

A: Which is a good thing, Crepes! Crepes’ family was an out of control feral colony in a factory. Tree House does amazing TNR work around Chicago and they stepped in to collect the kittens and make the living situation safer and healthier for all involved. I have been a volunteer with them for the last ten years in various ways - as a photographer, performer at their events, writer, cat socializer, foster mom, etc. - and am very proud of the work they’re doing for Chicago and its homeless kitties.

Congratulations on winning at the Catdance Film Festival with your amazing CATastrophes web series! Crepes, do you enjoy being a film star, and what are you currently working on?

C: Yes, I love it. While I detest the long hours on set and frequently retire to my green room -

A: which is my desk drawer...

C: I love the accolades. I love seeing myself on the big screen. My big brother Rocky, also a tabby, was our great star, and since he passed away, I have taken it upon myself to step in for roles he would have otherwise played. Now, I have to admit that I myself wasn’t actually in the winning Catdance film, I was still at the house while it was being filmed and take credit for promoting a safe, enjoyable, and cat-filled work environment.

Photos Courtesy of Alana Grelyak

My blog readers love cats and mysteries, and I understand that you're a mystery-writing feline yourself! How did you create the Harry Sheets Mystery Series, and when can we expect future installments?

C: Oh wow! I didn’t realize anyone had noticed that! It was so early in my blogging career. So far, I’ve only done one short mystery. It’s based on Harry Sheets and his three-legged sidekick Pancakes, who have to solve the crime of who puked in mom’s shoe. I was very inspired by my big brother Niles, who always leaves hair on the sheets. I would like to write more of them. Do you think I should?

How did your blogging adventure begin and how are you using your blog to advocate for animals?

C: When our film “Catalogue,” our very first cat-themed movie, was a finalist in Catdance 2013, we wanted to have a fun way to remind people to vote. Naturally, I thought my life would be the best topic and so I began writing about all the things that are important to me. People actually started reading, so I started promoting adoption! And it worked!

A: I serve as the editor to try to reign in some of Crepes’ narcissistic tendencies -

C: This is the last interview you drive me to.

A: - and frequently serve as the go-between for Crepes and rescues around the country. Each week, we post a special needs bachelor/ette who is looking for a home and is considered less than adoptable. So far, we’ve raised more than $3000 for charity and have been able to donate more than 5,000 meals to hungry kitties.

C: Not one of which has invited me to dinner to thank me, I’ll have you know. 

A: Crepes, sometimes I have no words for you.

C: I’ll remind you of that next time you’re using your words to shush me off the counter. I have rights!

Photo Credit: Victoria Sprung Photography, LLC

Lastly, what are some things we can all do to help animal shelters and cats that are waiting for their forever homes? The need just seems so great and overwhelming at times.

A: The needs are great, for sure, but because of that, almost ANYTHING you do will be helpful. Creative talents are wonderful because you can write, photograph, or donate artwork as part of a fundraiser. You can stay informed about their events and help them share important things on social media. You can share adoptable kitties online or even sponsor them, as I know you do, Truffles. It can even be as simple as this: each time you go to the grocery store, buy one can of the best food you can afford to buy. Put it in your closet at home, and at the end of the year, you will have a whole case to donate to your local rescue.

C: Excellent idea, MomFOD. You probably got that from me.

A: Yes, Crepes. I did, indeed, get that idea from you.

Thanks, Truffles!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Truffles' Daytona 500 Zoomies Event

WOOHOO today I'm taking my Sunday Selfie 
from behind the wheel of a moving race car!!!

(And the 2014 Sprint Cup Champion's car at that...just sayin'.)

Hey everybody, it's Truffles! You know what a huge NASCAR fan Mommy is, right? She's been counting down the days until the Daytona 500 ever since her Harvick guy was crowned the champion, and at last it's only ONE WEEK AWAY!!!

I asked Mommy if I could host a giveaway to celebrate this national holiday in our house, and she agreed! Here's the prize: a Catit Design Senses Speed Circuit, which is pretty much a racetrack for cats!

For a chance to win, simply leave a comment predicting the winning driver by midnight eastern on Sunday, February 22nd. Don't forget to leave your email address too! (Due to shipping costs this is open to US residents only, however everyone is invited to enter. Winners residing outside the US may gift or donate their prize to a friend or shelter. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, February 25th.)

In the event that more than one of you pick the winning driver, we will draw a name from a hat. If no one picks the winning driver, we will move on to second place, etc., until a winner is chosen.

If any of you would like to do something race-related on your own blogs or Facebook pages this week, we would love to see it!

Here are your driver choices, and where they finished last year:

DriverMakeTeamSponsorLast Yr
#1 Jamie McMurrayChevroletChip Ganassi RacingMcDonald's14
#2 Brad Keselowski               FordPenske RacingMiller Lite3
#3 Austin DillonChevroletRichard Childress RacingDow9
#4 Kevin HarvickChevroletStewart-Haas RacingJimmy John's/Budweiser13
#5 Kasey KahneChevroletHendrick MotorsportsGreat Clips31
#6 Trevor BayneFordRoush Fenway RacingAdvoCareDNF
#7 Alex BowmanChevroletTommy Baldwin RacingNikko/Toy State23
#9 Sam Hornish Jr.FordRichard Petty MotorsportsTwisted TeaDNR
#10 Danica PatrickChevroletStewart-Haas RacingGoDaddy/TaxACTDNF
#11 Denny HamlinToyotaJoe Gibbs RacingFedEx Express2
#13 Casey MearsChevroletGermain RacingGEICO10
#14 Tony StewartChevroletStewart-Haas RacingMobil 1/Bass Pro Shops35
#15 Clint BowyerToyotaMichael Waltrip Racing5-hour ENERGYDNF
#16 Greg BiffleFordRoush Fenway RacingOrtho8
#17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.FordRoush Fenway RacingFastenal7
#18 Kyle BuschToyotaJoe Gibbs RacingM&M's Crispy19
#19 Carl EdwardsToyotaJoe Gibbs RacingArris17
#20 Matt KensethToyotaJoe Gibbs RacingDollar General6
#21 Ryan BlaneyFordWood Brothers RacingMotorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto CenterDNR
#22 Joey LoganoFordPenske RacingShell Penzoil11
#23 J.J. YeleyToyotaBK RacingDr PepperDNR
#24 Jeff GordonChevroletHendrick MotorsportsDrive To End Hunger4
#26 Jeb BurtonToyotaBK RacingBK RacingDNR
#27 Paul MenardChevroletRichard Childress RacingPeak/Menards32
#29 Justin MarksToyotaRAB RacingAmerican Born MoonshineDNR
#30 Ron Hornaday Jr.ChevroletThe Motorsports GroupSmokey Mountain Herbal SnuffDNR
#31 Ryan NewmanChevroletRichard Childress RacingCaterpillar22
#32 Bobby Labonte               FordFAS Lane RacingC&J Energy Services15
#33 Ty DillonChevroletCircle SportCheerios/KrogerDNR
#34 David RaganFordFront Row MotorsportsKFC34
#35 Cole WhittFordFront Row MotorsportsSpeed StickDNF
#38 David Gilliland               FordFront Row MotorsportsLove's Travel Stops36
#40 Landon CassillChevroletHillman RacingSnap Fitness12
#41 Kurt BuschChevroletStewart-Haas RacingHaas Automation21
#42 Kyle LarsonChevroletChip Ganassi RacingTargetDNF
#43 Aric AlmirolaFordRichard Petty MotorsportsSmithfieldDNF
#46 Michael Annett               ChevroletHScott MotorsportsPilot Flying JDNF
#47 AJ AllmendingerChevroletJTG Daugherty RacingBush's Baked Beans26
#48 Jimmie JohnsonChevroletHendrick MotorsportsLowe's5
#51 Justin AllgaierChevroletHScott MotorsportsBrandtDNF
#55 Michael WaltripToyotaMichael Waltrip RacingAaron's Dream MachineDNF
#62 Brian ScottChevroletIdentity Ventures RacingShore Lodge25
#66 Mike WallaceToyotaIdentity Ventures RacingCrazy VaporsDNR
#78 Martin Truex Jr.ChevroletFurniture Row RacingFurniture RowDNF
#83 Johnny SauterToyotaBK RacingDustless BlastingDNR
#87 Joe NemechekChevroletNEMCO MotorsportsNEMCO MotorsportsDNQ
#88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.ChevroletHendrick MotorsportsNationwide1
#95 Michael McDowellFordLeavine Family RacingLeavine Family RacingDNQ
#98 Josh WiseChevroletPhil Parsons RacingPhil Parsons Racing24

Here's the thing about the Daytona 500: it's a total crap shoot so you don't need to know a thing about racing in order to predict a winner. It's known as a "restrictor plate race" which limits speed and increases safety, to provide an equal level of competition. The cars all run in crazy scary packs and winning is more a matter of luck than anything.

Back in 2007 our driver Kevin Harvick won the race. My grandpa's boss at the time stood to win $1,000 if Mark Martin won, and Martin was leading until the last turn of the last lap when Kevin came from 7th place to win by fractions of a second. It was a thrilling finish, but grandpa never told his boss that Kevin was our driver! Check it out:

Good luck, have fun, and may the best man Kevin Harvick win!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

{52 Snapshots of Life} & Caturday Art: Love

Happy Valentine's Day!!!
Have you been smooched yet?

This is our entry for both Athena's Caturday Art blog hop, and the #PBSG #52Snapshots of Life photo challenge (hosted by The Lazy Pit Bull), with LOVE being the theme for this week. Truffles could not possibly be loved any more than she already is!

We hope you'll stop by tomorrow to enter our Daytona 500 Zoomies Event. I promise you don't need to know a thing about NASCAR to play along ;)

Friday, February 13, 2015

Truffles Interviews: Cupid the Cat from Lois Winston's Hooking Mr. Right (w/Giveaway)

Hey everybody, it's Truffles! I have something a little different for you today. We don't read a lot of romantic comedy here at my house, but in the spirit of Valentine's Day I'm interviewing Cupid...Cupid the matchmaking cat, that is, who stars in Hooking Mr. Right by Lois Winston. He has some advice for both Mommy and I on how to find our own Mr. Right!

Lois is offering one lucky commenter an e-copy of Hooking Mr. Right, either mobi or epub file. (PS: Today is also Lois' birthday, so you might want to mention that in your comments!) A winner will be chosen at noon eastern on Monday, February 16th.

Welcome, Cupid! Could you tell us a little about yourself and the book you star in, Hooking Mr. Right?

Hi Truffles! Thanks for inviting me to hang out with you today, and please call me Cu. Everyone else does.

I may not be the hero of Hooking Mr. Right, but I’m crucial to the plot. I play the role of matchmaker to two very pig-headed humans whose past experiences in matters of the heart have left them emotionally scarred. Both have sworn off the opposite sex. However, my extremely discerning cat sense determines right away that Thea and Luke are perfect for each other. Forget that they believe they’re polar opposites. We all know opposites attract. It just sometimes takes a little help from a very purr-ceptive pet.

How did you come to be named Cupid?

That’s a mystery that will probably never be solved. I have no memories of my life before waking up in a cat clinic a few years ago. When Luke found me, I was being mauled to death by a pack of feral feline bullies. The trauma left me near death and terrified of other animals. Luke even makes a special appointment before or after regular office hours whenever I have to go to the vet so there are no other pets in the waiting room. We only know my name because I was wearing a collar with a heart-shaped gold charm inscribed with “Cupid.”

In the description of the book you are called "a butt-ugly alley cat." How horrible! There is no such thing as an ugly cat. Why do they say that about you?

As we all know, genetics is a crapshoot, and in my case, I crapped out. Add to that the injuries I sustained in the attack, and “butt-ugly alley cat” is probably being a bit too kind. In Hooking Mr. Right I’m described as having fur that’s an odd assortment of earth tones and various shades of gray, short in some spots, long in others. I look like a Persian mated with both a Siamese and a calico, and the resulting genes couldn’t make up their minds. When Thea first meets me, she claims I’m the strangest looking cat she’s ever seen and that all I’d need are a few body piercings to qualify as a feline Dennis Rodman. But she falls in love with me anyway and later defends me by claiming I’m not ugly; I’m “unique.”

How might I go about helping my Mommy find her "Mr. Right"? (If the time should ever come...we are purr-fectly happy just the two of us right now!)

Well, you could suggest she reads one of Thea’s books on the subject, but I think your exceptional cat sense will let you know immediately when you spot someone who will be the purr-fect mate for your Mommy. We cats are highly evolved creatures with a level of extra-sensory purr-ception that humans lack. They often need a bit of nudging from us to see beyond their misconceptions and prejudices or simply to push them into moving past prior heartaches.

Better still, what advice do you have for me on finding my own "Mr. Right"? Mommy would love to adopt another kitty (if he was approved by me, of course!)

That’s easy. Have Mommy take you along to the local cat shelter and introduce you to the residents. Your extra-sensory purr-ception will do the rest.

Lastly, what is life like for you today? Did the humans in your life find their "happily ever after"?

Of course they did! After all Hooking Mr. Right is a romance, and the number one rule of a romance is that it has to have a happily-ever-after. But it certainly wasn’t easy, and it never would have happened without yours truly.

Life really couldn’t get any better! There’s even a sequel to Hooking Mr. Right now. Finding Mr. Right is a Valentine’s Day themed novelette included in the print edition of Hooking Mr. Right and as a stand-alone ebook.

About the Author: USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and non-fiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry.

Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog:
Twitter @anasleuth.

Hooking Mr. Right
Can a butt-ugly alley cat named Cupid bring together two people driven apart by secrets and lies?

After writing a doctoral thesis that exposed fraud in the pop-psychology genre, thirty-two year old professor Althea Chandler sacrifices her professional integrity to save her family from financial disaster. She secretly becomes best-selling romance guru Dr. Trulee Lovejoy, self-proclaimed expert on how to catch a man, even though Thea's a miserable failure when it comes to relationships -- especially those with the opposite sex.

Burned by a failed marriage, Luke Bennett finds himself pursued by Dr. Lovejoy toting women after a gossip columnist dubs him New York's most eligible bachelor. When he at first mistakes Thea for one of the women out to snare him, sparks fly, but the two soon find themselves battling sparks of a less hostile nature, thanks in part to that alley cat.

Luke believes he's finally found an honest woman. Unfortunately, Thea is anything but honest. She's got more secrets than the CIA and a desperate gossip columnist out to expose her. Cupid definitely has his work cut out for him.

Buy Links
paperback (includes bonus short story Finding Mr. Right)