Monday, November 30, 2015

Cyber Monday Mischief

Meows from Mudpie!

I decided to get a head start on my Cyber Monday shopping, so I grabbed Mommy's credit card and fired up the laptop. I only had a few things on my list...a 4-tier cat tree, a heated cat bed, gifts for my Secret Paws, some of those pawsome Petsafe toys I'm seeing on all the cat blogs but have never been asked to review lucky enough to win.

Then suddenly the screen went blank.

I'm in trouble, aren't I?

Note from Mommy: This picture was actually taken on Thursday night. Mudpie climbed on top of the laptop while I was trying to get some work done. I had to use Google to figure out how to undo what she had done!!!

We are joining the Monday Mischief Blog Hop hosted by MyBrownNewfies!

Snoopy's Dog Blog

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thanksgiving Morning #SundaySelfies

Meows from Mudpie!

On Thanksgiving morning Mommy didn't have anything she needed to do until afternoon, so I asked her to help me take a couple selfies.

Brace yourself...this may be too much cuteness for some people to handle.

Everybody okay? Anybody need resuscitating?

Mommy and I hope that you'll stop by each day this week because we have some really exciting things planned: FOUR pawsome giveaways *and* the debut of my very first Christmas card!!!

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

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Caturday Art: Ready for Christmas

Mommy here!

With Thanksgiving behind us all eyes are finally turning to Christmas. Truthfully, I'm ready for Christmas the day after Halloween, but I know many people don't like to even think about it until Black Friday.

Since I've been slowly decorating for the past couple weeks it's been a pretty quite and lazy weekend here at our house. Any Black Friday shopping was done online. I refuse to become a part of that craziness. I actually splurged a bit on myself, buying some things I've had my eye on for awhile, and a few things for Mudpie too, of course.

We created our Caturday Art Christmas ornament today using PhotoFaceFun, but these are real, my "Trio of Torties". Mudpie just got her ornament this week!

Have you gotten any good deals this weekend, or did you stay home and decorate?

Friday, November 27, 2015

Morris the Cat Paws It Forward #MorrisFeeds

Hey Mochas, Mysteries & Meows readers! Morris the Cat, from 9Lives cat food, here. (You may have thought that a cat's only computer skills involve laying on the keyboard while others are trying to use it, but in fact, we are very tech savvy.)

For those of you who don't know me, I've starred in over fifty 9Lives cat food commercials, am an advo-cat for kitty rescue, and was even crowned one of Advertising's Greatest Icons by the Museum of Broadcast Communications. (But I must say, I took issue with this honor. I didn't know I was advertising all those years... I just really love 9Lives!)

In case you couldn't guess, I'm purr-ty much an expert when it comes to eating, and that's the subject of my next venture. I know we just had Thanksgiving and you may have promised yourself you were never going to eat again. But trust me, your appetite will come around like a good old friend and when it does, I want you to be ready!

I also thought since we just had a day to give thanks, we should now take a moment to give back. After all, December 1st is Giving Tuesday, a day people all around the world have dedicated to affecting 'pawsitive' change. Lucky for you, giving back is as easy as using your opposable thumbs. With those two bad boys – and the rest of your fingers – you can help feed a kitty in need. Watch this video to find out how. (Spoiler Alert: It's totally FREE!)

I don't know about you but all this meowing about food has gotten me hungry.

I've made it my mission to help cats and humans eat well – and by extension – live well. (I've often said the key to life can be found in your food dish.) With that in mind, I invite you to check out my Official Guide to Eating, Munching, Snacking & More. If you've ever caught yourself inhaling your food between errands or carting your human kittens around... or if you mindlessly shovel in your dinner while catching up on the latest episode of "Meownton Abbey" or "Silicon Alleycat"... then this guide is for you!

In it, you'll learn how to eat like the true foodie you were meant to be. On my site, you can also enter to win a customized drivable cooler, so if you do have to eat on the go, you can do so in style. And don't forget to tweet #MorrisFeeds to give hungry kitties the gift of a tasty, hearty 9Lives meal.

On that note, my stomach is starting to rumble. What's on the menu tonight, you ask? 9Lives Lean & Tasty and a side of Meaty Paté with Real Chicken. For a beverage I'll be enjoying some delicious tap water. How about you?

Disclosure: I am being compensated with Morris swag in exchange for this blog post. I have loved Morris since I was a little girl!

Black Friday Book Bonanza

Black Friday Book Bonanza

Meows from Mudpie, and Happy Black Friday morning!!!

You're not going shopping today, are you? We're sure not! As a matter of fact as you're reading this Mommy and I are most likely still lounging in our bed nursing a turkey hangover!

Don’t go out and brave the crowds; get cozy with us in your jammies and enter to win some new-to-you books!


Welcome to the 5th annual Black Friday Book Bonanza, hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Jennifer at Bookshelfery!

Here's the box of books we're giving away to one lucky reader in the US...simply fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter and good luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And check out the linky list below for many more chances to win some great prizes!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Book Review/Giveaway: The Silence of the Chihuahuas by Waverly Curtis

From the publisher: Pepe, aspiring P.I. Geri Sullivan’s muy clever Chihuahua, has stopped talking. But why now, with Geri’s best friend Brad missing and her ditzy sister in grave danger? Geri’s lost without Pepe’s dogged detective work, especially when a client of Brad’s expires under very murky circumstances.

Luckily, Pepe turns out to be an excelente blogger, and his nose for clues soon has the detective duo chasing down leads. But they’ll have to put a bite on crime quickly, because danger’s afoot – and it’s making tracks in their direction . . .

Last year at Christmas I read a short story featuring Pepe, star of the Barking Detective mystery series, and I fell a little bit in love with the feisty little chihuahua. After reading The Silence of the Chihuahuas, the fifth full-length book in the series, he's completely stolen my heart.

Geri is devastated that Pepe has suddenly stopped talking to her. The truth is, Pepe is worried that Geri's friends think she's nuts and are suggesting that she seek psychiatric help. He decides to start writing a blog in order to communicate with her, but Geri remains oblivious to his plans. Then her best friend Brad goes missing, his partner hasn't reported it, and his difficult client Mrs. Fairchild is found murdered in her kitchen. On top of all that, Geri receives a strange phone call from her estranged sister who claims someone is trying to kill her. Caller ID says the call came from Forest Glen Clinic, a treatment center for additions and psychiatric illnesses. Geri figures that since everyone has been insinuating that she find a quiet place away from Pepe to get her brain back in order, a rest at Forest Glen Clinic might be just what she needs...

Yes, there's a lot going on here, but it's such a fun and madcap adventure that I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. We all wonder what's going on inside our pet's heads, and Pepe's observations are spot-on. If he really were a blogger, I'd be his first subscriber!

In real life, Pepe is an eight-year old Chihuahua, adopted by Waverly’s daughter Shaw, when he was a puppy. He likes stuffed toys, especially if they squeak. He hates the rain, which is unfortunate since he lives in Seattle. Like his namesake character, he hates being dressed up and thinks he is much bigger than he is. Unlike his namesake, he has a sweet disposition and doesn’t talk much, but he does have his own Facebook page and website.

Purchase Link:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

4 Invaluable Resources for Managing Feline Diabetes

Whether your cat has just been diagnosed with diabetes or you've been managing your pet's disease for years, there is always more to learn in order to improve the quality of life for both the pet AND the owner. November is Pet Diabetes Awareness Month, so I figured it was the perfect time to put together a list of the most helpful resources I've found to take away some of the fear and confusion surrounding this very complicated disease.

The day Angel Tara was diagnosed with feline diabetes was one of the most overwhelmingly terrifying days of my life. Could I handle her treatment on my own? What choice did I have?

Since it was a recurring urinary tract infection that led to the diagnosis, Tara had to spend most of a weekend at the emergency vet on fluids, antibiotics, and to start an insulin regimen. I had those hours alone to let the whole situation sink in. When I picked her up Sunday night I was shown how to give insulin shots and we were sent home to our "new normal". Over the coming days, weeks, months, and ultimately two years, she was the best little patient ever and received her testing and shots like a trooper.

And you know what I discovered? It wasn't the end of the world. Managing Tara's diabetes wasn't "easy", but it was certainly do-able. My research-oriented mind immediately kicked into gear and I started seeking out everything I could get my hands on about feline diabetes.

There is a wealth of information in books and on the web; these are the resources that worked the best for me:

1) Feline Diabetes Message Board This message board was a life saver. There is always someone online there, even in the middle of the night, to help you through a difficult time. It's a true community, a reminder that you're not alone, because everyone there is going through the same thing you are.

2) Sugarbabies - A Holistic Guide to Caring for Your Diabetic Pet This ebook covers everything from understanding what the disease process involves, through the ensuing medical tests, to treatments, diet, exercise and emergency care. Most importantly, it's written in an easy to understand, user-friendly manner. I combed through this book so much that if it had been an actual print book it would have been dog-eared and falling apart at the seams!

3) YouTube video: How to Test Your Diabetic Cat's Blood Sugar at Home Learning how to give an insulin shot is one thing, testing your cat at home is another, but it's extremely important to do because stress effects blood sugar levels, and what's more stressful for your cat than a trip to the vet for a blood test? I watched this video over and over and over again before attempting it for the first time...and once again, Tara couldn't have made it any easier on me.

4) Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM Diet is one of the most important factors in regulating feline diabetes. For some cats, remission is achieved with diet change alone. A print out of these food charts had a permanent place in my purse and were pulled out at each and every visit to PetSmart. Thankfully Tara was a fantastic eater and loved trying new things, so changing her diet didn't prove to be difficult at all.

Have you ever done your own research on a pet's medical condition as a supplement to veterinary care?

Please remember that these resources are no replacement for veterinary advice and care. Diabetes is a very serious disease that must be diagnosed and managed by a veterinarian.

Photo Credit: depositphotos/ben44

Monday, November 23, 2015

Book Review/Giveaway: White Colander Crime by Victoria Hamilton

From the publisher: In the new Vintage Kitchen Mystery from the author of No Mallets Intended, the Heritage Society is re-creating a perfect Victorian Christmas—until good tidings go bad...

Queensville has great expectations for their Dickens Days festival. A tourist-trade boon boom means a big turnout for the opening of Queensville Historic Manor and for Jaymie Leighton, food columnist and vintage cookware collector, a chance to promote the manor and give away homemade goodies. At the end of a long day of festival fun, Jaymie discovers the battered body of local woman Shelby Fretter.

Shelby predicted her own murder in journal entries—and all clues point to Cody Wainwright, the troubled son of Jaymie’s beleaguered newspaper editor. But considering the entire Fretter family had its share of dirty secrets, Jaymie’s not convinced by the case against Cody. With twists all over, she’s going to have to work like the Dickens to wrap up this investigation before Christmas—especially with the real killer ready to kill again.

I've been looking forward to a Vintage Kitchen mystery set during Dickens Days since the very first book, and my wish finally came true!!!

In this fifth book in the series, Jaymie is making preparations for the opening of Queensville Historic Manor, where she will be working at the manor's vintage kitchen, which she's been busy restoring. Tragically, at the end of the evening, Shelby Fretter is found badly beaten in the town handyman's workshop, and later dies. The Fretter family makes regular appearances in the police blotter, so there's no lack of suspects, but it's Cody Wainwright, son of Jaymie's editor Nan at the newspaper who is arrested. Jaymie herself had witnessed a violent altercation between the two just days before, and Shelby's journal all but seals his fate. 

Nan asks Jaymie to clear her son, and the investigation ends up discovering that Shelby's life was filled with secrets and lies. She also uncovers evidence that the murder may be related to the disappearance of another local girl, Natalie. Many twists and turns kept me guessing until the very end, wondering how so many loose ends would end up coming together.

The Vintage Kitchen Mystery series has been a favorite of mine from the beginning particularly for the fact that I see so much of myself in Jaymie Leighton. She's an old-fashioned girl living in a modern world, content to live her own life in spite of judgments from others, and dotes on her beloved rescue pets. She's been in a love triangle of sorts with multi-millionaire software computer mogul Daniel and Detective Zach, but they are both out of the picture now and her new love interest is Christmas tree farmer Jakob, who also has an adorable young daughter. Jakob is just perfect for Jaymie and I can't wait to watch this relationship continue to play out.

Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Friday, November 27th for your chance to win a copy of White Colander Crime. (US entries only, please.)

Full Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book to review by the publisher free of charge, but all opinions in this review are my own.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Selfies on Championship Sunday

Meows from Mudpie!

Well, I've been chatting with Angel Truffles and she's been preparing me for this day. Mommy's driver, Kevin Harvick, is racing for his second Sprint Cup Championship today. He's only of only 4 drivers eligible to win, along with Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, and Martin Truex.

Angel Truffles has told me that last year on Championship Sunday, Mommy was an absolute basket case, and already I can tell that she's teetering on the edge.

I might just spend the day napping in Mudpie Manor...someone wake me when it's over?

On NASCAR's Facebook page you could add a Championship frame to your profile picture, so then this happened:

Wish me us luck!!!

We're joining The Cat on My Head for the Sunday Selfies blog hop.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Caturday Art at Trader Joe's

Meows from Mudpie!

Last weekend Mommy was shopping at Trader Joe's, and one of her favorite things to do when she goes there is to check out the murals. Imagine her surprise and delight on this particular trip when she looked up and saw a CAT!!!

This particular mural was over the Thanksgiving display, and depicted a dairy cow and a catamount sharing Thanksgiving dinner in front of the Ira Allen Chapel in Burlington, Vermont.

Why a catamount, you might be wondering? Rally Catamount is the official mascot of the University of Vermont (UVM), and although the wild cat has been officially extinct for decades, there is still a lot of mystique about the animal in Vermont. There are dozens of reported "sightings" every year, but no evidence of the cat in the state has been found for at least a century.

That's my Vermont history lesson for the week...pretty interesting stuff, don't you think?

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

Friday, November 20, 2015

Savor the Purina Pro Plan Experience #SavorShreddedBlend

During Mudpie's first three months with me I've spent some time chronicling her eating habits. For the first week I was practically in tears because nothing seemed to satisfy her. The food she had been eating at the shelter had run it's course and she no longer had any interest in it. I'd find something she would like one day only to have her reject it the next. Other things I would open and I swear she would've laughed at me if she could.

Then I remembered that I had a sample bag of Pro Plan® Savor® Adult Chicken & Rice Formula that I had picked up for Truffles and never opened.

EUREKA!!! She loved it!!! And as each day goes by, she STILL loves it!!! Mudpie is 100% a Pro Plan girl. We currently have 3 different bags of dry food open, which we rotate on a daily basis, Pro Plan canned food is in our pantry, and the *only* treats she will eat are Pro Plan treats. (She just reminded me to tell you that in a couple weeks she'll be offering a giveaway of some of her favorite Pro Plan treats too!)

Every Pro Plan product we've tried has been a resounding success and I am very happy with her choices.

Brand new to PetSmart store shelves is Purina Pro Plan® Savor® Shredded Blend, which combines crunchy kibble with tender, meaty shreds for an all-new mealtime experience that boasts an aroma, taste and texture your cat will love. Other key features include:
  • 40% protein and real meat is the first ingredient (available in two varieties: Chicken & Rice Formula and Salmon & Rice Formula.)
  • Vitamin A and linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid, for healthy skin and coat
  • Natural prebiotic fiber, sourced from chicory root, helps promote digestive health 
  • Vitamin A and taurine help promote healthy vision.
Mudpie gives Pro Plan Savor Shredded Blend four paws up. Quality nutrition that tastes great, is reasonably priced, and as close as your nearest fur baby is one very smart girl!

Are you following Pro Plan Cat on social media? We love that they have accounts just for cats!
Has your pet ever tried Pro Plan? Do they have any favorite products?

Thursday, November 19, 2015

VitusVet App Provides Peace of Mind

Pet owners know that the majority of emergencies happen late at night, over the weekend, and on holidays. In other words, when your primary vet is most likely closed, thus requiring a trip to the emergency room. 15 million pets went to the ER last year. The number of emergency cases spikes during the holidays, due to pets ingesting people food and other holiday objects. However, what you might not realize is how important your pet’s medical records are during a health emergency and how difficult they are to obtain over the holidays – when most primary vet offices are closed for extended periods of time.

That’s why VitusVet launched a free app for pet parents, which lets users view their pets’ complete medical records at any time. It’s currently the only method that allows veterinary offices to share their patients’ complete medical records, not just lab work or vaccines, with their clients.

I downloaded the free app and was extremely impressed by how easy it was to set up Mudpie's account. VitusVet then emailed my vet's office with a request to upload a PDF file of her medical records. Within a couple of hours I had all of her information at my fingertips.

VitusVet also allows pet owners to upload their own notes, take photos, and schedule appointments with their veterinarians, in addition to the comprehensive medical history and the “Find an ER” function. Pet owners are also able set medication and vaccination reminders and invite family, kennel, dog walkers, pet sitters, and others to view their pets’ profiles, so everyone receives the same instructions for care. Additionally, the app allows for record sharing between multiple veterinarians – this is crucial, as many pet owners mistakenly assume an emergency clinic recommended by their primary care veterinarian will already have their pet’s record on file.

Angel Tara had a primary vet, a cardiologist, and an oncologist, yet it seemed like every few months something brought her to the ER. The VitusVet app would have been invaluable back then. Now with Mudpie, I have the peace of mind that I'm prepared in an emergency situation.

To download the VitusVet app, click here for iOS or here for Android.

I was not compensated in any way to write this blog post. I'm sharing my experience with the app because I think it's such a great tool for pet parents.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

We're Gonna Need More Kitties

Meows from Mudpie!

Check it out! Just as Mommy was packing up my Target Haunted House scratcher, a box arrived.

She ordered this year's Holiday Gift Box Cat Scratch House and Gingerbread Cat Scratch House because they were on sale and available with free shipping. Last year's Gingerbread House is in the basement with the Christmas decorations.

Four scratch kitty...uh oh.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Chewy Review & Giveaway: KONG Triangle Play Mat

Meows from Mudpie!

One morning a couple weeks ago I was busy hitting refresh on my email over and over again, waiting for my monthly Blogger Outreach newsletter. When it finally arrived, the selections were pawsome! I immediately saw my #1 favorite treat on the list (which I'll tell you about soon), but then my peepers were drawn to something called a KONG Triangle Play Mat. It was SO cool, I knew I just *had* to have it, but the email said it would only be available to the first 15 requests!

Now by not having opposable thumbs, I can't type all that quickly, so I got Mommy's attention and asked her to reply as fast as she could! She dropped everything she was doing (as she's likely to do when I need something), pounded out a quick email, and scored one for me!

Check it out!!!

The KONG Triangle Play Mat for Cats promotes healthy exercise and fulfills your cat’s natural desire to chase, hunt and capture. This mat creates an inviting and versatile play space for indoor cats. The textured interior encourages scratching and the soft plush floor is ideal for snuggling. The added catnip mouse entices play and encourages batting and swiping, and the space saving design folds up for easy storage and travel.

Key Benefits
  • Versatile play mat and tunnel combination
  • Promotes healthy exercise
  • Dangling catnip mouse and varied textures fulfill natural instincts
  • Folds up for easy storage and travel

When we pulled the play mat out of the box, the first thing we noticed was the amazing is that purple animal print??? The color is incredibly vibrant and the base of the mat is super soft and velvety to the touch.

The next thing we noticed was the size. It's very portable (which is great because it can easily be picked up and stored when not in use), but it's also *very* small. Would you believe the first thing Mommy said was that I was never going to fit into it??? How rude!!! Apparently I've gained a little weight since moving into my forever home.

Well I proved her wrong! Not only do I fit (ok, I might hang out a little) but I play with it so much that Mommy hasn't even been able to pick it up since it arrived!

Here are a few action shots (and a short video) of the hide and seek games that I play in my triangle!

The KONG Triangle Play Mat is definitely my current favorite toy, and I was so excited when Chewy said that I could offer one as a giveaway to one of our readers in the US! If you live outside the US you can still enter and have your prize sent to a friend in the US, or better still, how much fun would shelter kitties have with this??? Just use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter, and good luck!

If you don't win and would like to buy one for Christmas, the KONG Triangle Play Mat is currently on sale for $10.92 at

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We received one free play mat in exchange for our fair and honest review as part of the Blogger Outreach Program. All opinions are our own.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Book Review/Giveaway: The Candy Cane Cupcake Killer by Livia Washburn

From the publisher: ‘Tis the season in Weatherford, Texas, and everyone in town is gearing up for the annual holiday parade and tree-lighting ceremony in the town square, where Phyllis Newsom will be serving her much-anticipated candy cane cupcakes. Local rancher Barney McCrory manages to charm one away from her before the ceremony begins. But unfortunately, when the minty confection is finished, so is he.

This isn’t the first time someone has dropped dead after eating one of Phyllis’s treats. But when the paramedics determine the rancher was shot, suspicion swiftly falls on McCrory’s daughter and her husband—who both stand to reap some sweet rewards from his death. Though Phyllis doesn’t want to get mixed up in another murder investigation, something about this case doesn’t sit right with her. With a little help from a tabloid TV news crew, Phyllis must unwrap the truth and restore good cheer to Weatherford before it’s too late…

It's Christmas in Weatherford and the whole town is abuzz with the excitement the city's annual Christmas parade brings. The action begins in the very first chapter of Livia Washburn's 10th Freshed Baked mystery, as readers are introduced to rancher Barney McCrory, an old friend of Sam's. Barney has been asked to drive the horse drawn carriage that will carry Santa into town, but he's killed right in the middle of the parade by shots fired from a window up above. The main suspect is Barney's son-in-law Nate, who was arguing with him about putting a gas lease on the ranch, but Sam once coached Nate and knows he's no killer. As he and Phyllis dig a little deeper, they start wondering if Barney was even the intended victim. Road commissioner Clay Loomis, aka Santa, sure had a lot of people who would be more than happy to see him dead.

This was a fun and light read which had me guessing until the end. When the killer was revealed it was so obvious that it left me wondering why I hadn't figured it out sooner, but I enjoyed every twist and turn that led a logical conclusion!

Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Friday, November 20th for your chance to win a copy of The Candy Cane Cupcake Killer. (US entries only please.)

Sunday, November 15, 2015

An Exquisite #SundaySelfie

In a world gone mad, we're in desperate need of beauty.

This picture of Mudpie simply takes my breath away.

We're joining The Cat on My Head for the Sunday Selfies blog hop.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Caturday Art

Meows from Mudpie!

Just about every day Mommy tells me that I have the attention span of a gnat. Being the tech-savvy kitty that I am, I googled what a gnat's attention span is, and I learned that it's about .210005 of a second.

Yep...that sounds just about right!

This week's Caturday Art came from a failed photo session. Mommy was trying to get me to pose with something I was supposed to review, and obviously something more interesting was happening elsewhere in the house!

We cropped out the ignored product, applied the charcoal effect in PhotoCat and the craft scissors frame in PicMonkey...and voila! Instant Mudpie masterpiece!

Check out more artsy kitties at Athena's Caturday Art blog hop.

Friday, November 13, 2015

November Rescued Spotlight: Gemini

Meows from Mudpie!

Over the last several months we've been telling 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.

November's spotlight is Gemini, sister to Chey of the blog The Cat Post Intelligencer. Gemini met her human as a tiny kitten lost in the rain. She was in no mood to be rescued by a lowly human, and even at a young age had perfected the art of playing hard to get.

I think you'll enjoy meeting Gemini as much as I did!

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

Gemini: My name is Gemini and I have been blogging since 2005. I started out on my own blogger blog (which I think is not gone after one of their updates) but then I had to share with Chey, who blogged at My Siamese. Over the years, her name changed to the Cat Post Intelligencer because Ichiro and I became more and more a part of the blog. My Tabby Tuesday posts were always very popular. We haven't blogged much since moving in January of 2015. We remain active on Facebook with over 1,000 likes and we have a twitter account, but mostly that is just repeats of what we post on Facebook. Mama never runs it.

Mama found me as a kitten at her condo the day after she lost her beautiful Siamese who came before, Simone and 10 days after she lost her beloved Iggy Cat so my story was one of a rescue BY HER!

A key character in your story is a cat named Eight Ball...why is he so significant?

Eight Ball was probably more significant to Mama than he was to me. She said this whole time was quite magical. She'd been with her big orange tabby cat, Ig when he died at home, and she felt he'd sent her a message because it was a bit hard for him to go. She was doing the click a day on the animal rescue site and this picture of an orange cat in a cage kept showing up for her. He had an annoyed expression a lot like Ig did and behind him was a water bottle like for small animals and it looked like a halo. For the next week, no matter what she did that photo came up for her. No one else saw it unless she clicked over on her computer to show them. It was like that image was meant for her.

When I showed up and she couldn't find after I left again, she asked Eight Ball to keep an eye out. After she had walked around a few of the buildings looking for where I might have hidden, Eight Ball was relaxing in a new spot, which was right outside the condo courtyard that I was hiding in. She always thought that he led her to me. I felt I had to include his part because it had been so important to her. 

Mommy's heartstrings were tugged by the meaning behind your name. What inspired it?

In early May, Mama lost her cat Ig who died at home. He was 16. Not ten days later, suddenly her lovely Siamese, the first Siamese, Simone, crashed. We found she was in liver failure. Although they tried to treat it, she was breathing hard and bleeding through her nose. Mama agreed that it was time to let her go. Simone died in her arms.

That night, she heard the first little mews, which was me.

Dad, at the time, did not live with us, but he came down that weekend and he took all the letters in Ingold Inglorian (Ig's full name) and Simone (the full names of the two cats) and put them in a letter mixer and found all the name combinations that could be made. Mama picked Gemini because it meant the twins. I had the shoes of two cats to fill. And well, she always laughed at how I would hiss at her when she tried to feed me and then I'd find the food and I'd give this really huge purr!

And Dad, he wanted Soiling Demon, but Mama said that cats will live up to their names and she did NOT want that!

The rescue you've chosen to receive your proceeds from the book this month is Purrfect Pals. What important work do they do for homeless cats?

Purrfect Pals is a large no kill cat shelter in Arlington Washington. They have a big FIV room for FIV cats and an FELV area for FELV cats that has a big ramp and a huge catio area with a full yard that's completely covered so no one can escape. They also have a feral area where ferals can live safely. Sometimes local area farmers come by and adopt the ferals to help keep the rodent population down on their farms. They've helped a lot of very sick cats by raising special funds for them to have major operations so that they can go on and have long and happy lives at real homes. This is all in addition to their regular cat adoptions. It's a smaller shelter and relies on donations.

It is a good place, even if Ichiro came from there. He was probably a mistake but Mama says he was homeless and needed help. I just don't know why he had to come to MY home.

What's life like for you today?

I am eight years old now. About three months after she got me, Mama went down and adopted Chey, who was being petted out by a Siamese breeder. Mama really wanted a cat with a Siamese personality because she had loved her Simone so much. Chey didn't like her at all at first but then Chey met me and she got all excited. She was so excited, I was a little worried. She bonded with Georgia really well and was one of the first cats that Georgia didn't mother that she really liked. Because she liked the other cats, she decided to give Mama a try.

About five years ago, Georgia crossed the bridge at 21. She says no one should be sad because she had had a long, long life with more of it good being Mama's cat than being on her own like before. Chey and I had a good couple of years but then we got Ichiro and it has not been so good.

I moved to Charlotte, North Carolina from Seattle. I have a sun room, which I really like. Mama doesn't take me outside as much but I am not as interested here because we do not have big fence (just a little one on one side) and our neighbor has dachshunds who bark at me. I stay in my sun room or in Mama's bedroom mostly. I like the sunshine on my furs and I roll around a lot. Chey is here and sometimes I bop her because she deserves it. Ichiro always deserves it but he is a pill. He is a BOY. I wish we had left him behind, but Mama wouldn't. If not for him, my life would be perfect.

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

I would like people to remember that when they hear a mew in the night, it's not really a cat who is just looking to get back into their home! And sometimes we take time being found. Mama said I was semi-feral for a very long time but now, at 8 I am becoming very demanding in my affections. She likes that. I think that everyone needs to remember that cats grow and change just like humans. When we are given patience and love we can become very affectionate cats.

Oh and another thing people can learn from my story, is that people really can talk to cats and we get the message. Mama and Eight Ball really talked to each other about rescuing me. I doubt she would have found me again without his help!

Thank you so much for interviewing me Mudpie! You are very good at this! Gemini.

Photos used with permission: Bonnie Koenig

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Book Review/Giveaway: A Dickens of a Murder by Joyce & Jim Lavene

From the publisher: Christmas at Canterville! Lisa Wellman and Simon Canterville are surprised to find a dead man on their roof in the midst of rushing to open the Canterville Book Shop in time for the holidays. And not just any dead man – Ebenezer Hart – the man who opposed the book shop opening in Olde Town, Portsmouth, Virginia.

What might be more surprising is when Daniel Fairhaven – Lisa’s ex – turns up at the door of the three-story Victorian house to head the police investigation. She hasn’t seen him in years but the sparks start to fly as soon as they are in the same room together.

Simon and Lisa are obviously the best suspects for the murder. Each of them had something to gain by Hart’s death. Then an attempt on Simon’s life throws that theory into a tailspin.

But the biggest surprise yet comes when the ghost of Charles Dickens turns up to help Lisa with the murder investigation – and writing the mystery novel she has been working on for years.

Without a doubt, Daniel and Dickens in Lisa’s life means trouble. And there’s still the matter of trying to get the book shop open with a killer on their heels.

Every now and then a book is so special that you know it will have a cherished spot on your keeper shelf forever. For me, this is that book.

I was first introduced to A Dickens of a Murder during the summer when I read the blurb and saw Christmas, book shop, Victorian house, ghost of Charles Dickens. I was hooked and could hardly wait for it to be released.

Then in August authors Joyce and Jim Lavene held a contest to name the pet characters in the book and having just lost my precious Angel Truffles, I submitted her name. Not only was Truffles chosen as the tortie in the book, her character is on the cover. Joyce said to us, "How could I name any tortie without thinking of Truffles?" She's even listed "in memory" on the acknowledgements page of the book.

Then the unthinkable happened and Joyce Lavene passed away on October 20th, just days before A Dickens of a Murder was scheduled to be released. It has all seemed like a nightmare we would wake up from, sadly it's not, but she left us with a book to remember.

Lisa Wellman is a former librarian who has the once in a lifetime opportunity to open a book shop with Simon Canterville in his old Victorian while writing her own novel in her spare time. It's the perfect time to start a new life following her mother's death and being forced to sell the family home to pay the bills. Now two weeks before Thanksgiving, the goal is to open the shop by Black Friday, but then Ebenezer Hart is found dead on the roof. Simon and Ebenezer had been fighting over the shop opening in a residential neighborhood, which makes Simon the main suspect until he's assaulted as well. Distractions in the form of the lead detective who is also Lisa's ex-husband, and the ghost of Charles Dickens who wants Lisa to help him finish writing his last novel, attempt to keep Lisa and Simon from achieving their dream.

I loved every single moment of this book and tried to read it as slowly as possible to keep it from ending. I can't wait to find out what's next for these characters.

If you read only one cozy this year, I ask that it be this honor of Joyce and Truffles, both gone far too soon.

Author Links:

Purchase Link:Amazon

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Ho-Ho-Ho Read-a-thon Goals

Just like with previous years, I was one of the first bloggers to sign up for the Ho-Ho-Ho Read-a-thon (hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and BookShelfery).  Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year, and I usually try to spend the last 6 weeks of the year reading nothing but Christmas books.

These are the books that I'll be starting to read during the Read-a-thon and beyond! They're the ones I've been looking forward to reading the most this holiday season.

Veterans Day 2015

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Winnie's Wish Cat Rescue & Shelter Holiday Auction

Winnie's Wish Cat Rescue & Shelter is in need of all kinds of things: food and litter, medical supplies, bedding, toys ~ funds to spay and neuter ~ and so much more. The everyday daily and special needs of housing and caring for all these "adorable adoptables" while they wait for you and their forever homes.

So a Holiday Auction is now underway! A great time to shop for gifts, a great time to shop for your own pets ... just a great time to shop!

We were happy to donate the items you see below to this most worthy cause. Each one is in mint condition...and if you're lucky they might even come packaged with a tuft of Mudpie fur!!!

The holidays are right around the corner, so why not get a head start on your shopping? Stop by the auction and check out the list of well over 60 items for yourself, and for the special humans and pets in your life. 

Plus, your bid will be supporting a great cause, so you'll be giving some needy kitties a very special Christmas gift too!