Monday, January 11, 2016

2016 Pet Blogger Challenge

Today we're joining the 2016 Pet Blogger Challenge hosted by

1. How long have you been blogging? And, for anyone who is visiting for the first time, please give a quick description of the subject of your blog.

I started blogging in August 2011. Mochas, Mysteries and Meows is the purr-fect destination for everyone who embraces a cozy, cat-centric lifestyle: curling up on the couch with a warm beverage, a great book, and a cat...or 3.

2. What is the one thing that you accomplished during 2015, either on your blog or because of it, that made you most proud?

I'm proud that I *survived* 2015. It was another year of transition for me, as I suffered the sudden loss of Truffles and added Mudpie to my family. The outpouring of love that I received in the aftermath of Truffles' death meant more to me than anyone will ever, ever know. And everyone's love and acceptance of Mudpie taking over the blog makes me so happy too. Being part of such a tight-knit community is something I will always cherish. I'm not sure I would have gotten through this past year without that support.

3. Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why? (Please include a link.)

The post where Angel Truffles interviewed Mudpie is incredibly special to me.

4. A common theme from last year’s challenge was that many of us wanted to increase the size of our audiences. Whether or not we intend to monetize our blogs, it seems we’d all like to reach more people. It feels good to know that we’re connecting with others, sharing a laugh or supporting a cause, and it’s motivating to see those numbers grow! What is one thing you’ve done in the past year that has brought more traffic to your blog?

I joined Instagram! I had avoided it like the plague because I don't consider myself a very good photographer, but I've actually come to love it and already have over 400 followers!

5. Which of your blog posts got the most traffic this year? Why do you think it was so popular? (Please include a link.)

Of course, the posts where I announced Truffles' passing, Forever Young, Precious Truffles, and Mudpie's arrival were hugely popular. Then Dispatches from the Bridge: Remember Me, where Truffles wrote about what happened to her on that awful night. (I wrote the post and I *still* can't read that one without crying!!!)

I think what struck a chord with people about Truffles' death is it made them realize they need to cherish every single moment they have with their pet. Age means nothing, they can still be gone in the blink of an eye.

6. What is one blog that you read religiously – other than your own – and what makes you such a devoted reader? (Please include a link.)

Oh, there are SO many amazing cat blogs out there today. If I *have* to single out just one, I must say that I have a serious blog crush on A Tonk's Tail, chronicling the escapades of Allie, Faraday and Maxwell. The photography is stunning and the blog posts are fun, creative and informative. A new post goes live at 1AM eastern, which is usually around the time I quit reading before bed, and I always check it out before turning out the lights.

7. What resources do you rely on to enhance your technical, writing, photography, social media, or other skills that improve your blog?

I could not live without PicMonkey. In 2015 I invested in a premium membership and I use it every single day. My pictures need all the help they can get!!! As I said before, I don't consider myself a good photographer at all, but I've discovered that I really enjoy getting creative with my pictures thanks to PicMonkey. Maybe one day I'll take the plunge and dive into Photoshop, but until then it has worked really well for me.

8. What is the best piece of advice you can offer other bloggers?

Blogging is a lot of work and a big commitment, so write about what you love. The two things in life that I could never live without are cats and books, so writing about them both comes as natural to me as breathing.

9. What is your vision for your blog in 2016? Do you have specific goals?

My goal is to continue growing our blog and to use it as a stepping stone towards freelance writing for a national publication, either online or print.

10. You have the attention of the pet blogging community – is there one blogging challenge you’d like help with, or one aspect of your blog that you’d like input on?

I would love to ask our readers what they want to see more of on the blog. Do you have a favorite feature? A topic you would like us to cover? Please let us know!!!


Pawesome Cats said...

It was great to learn more about you and the blog and the highs and lows of your year. I'm not surprised by your popular posts - so many people can relate to the loss of a beloved pet, your posts no doubt brought others comfort knowing they're not alone. Wishing you every success in 2016.

Cats Herd You said...

This was a fun post! We love that you balance the book-centric posts here with your cat-centric ones. The head peep envies the amount of reading you manage to fit in!

Rascal and Rocco said...

Losing Truffles was such a shock. We were all in love with him. But so glad you kept on blogging and found a new little soul to love and keep your lap warm. You've made Truffles proud! ~RascalandRocco

Fur Everywhere said...

You had a hard year in 2015, Melissa. You know I'm always here if you want/need a friend. There are times I talk about Jewel and still cry, too (last night, even!!).

We've enjoyed getting to know you and can't wait to see what this year brings for you - hopefully lots and lots of great things!

The Island Cats said...

We always enjoy visiting you. Good luck with reaching your goals for 2016!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post, Melissa! Just keep doing what you love. I look forward to your posts, every day. Wishing you the best in 2016.

Random Felines said...

we wish you a joyful 2016!! mom loves your book her authors to add to her growing list of things to read :)

The Menagerie Mom said...

This is a truly wonderful post, Melissa. 2015 was certainly a roller coaster year for you, but look at you now! Your Angel Truffles will always be with you, and your precious Mudpie is her purrfect successor. Purrs!

Collie222 said...

That post about what happened to Truffles is heartbreaking. I'm sorry you had to lose her that way.

Anonymous said...

Gweat posty. Weez sendin' purrayers as we knmow this brought up those memories of loss again. Have a blest day.

Luv ya'

Dezi and Lexi

Cathy Keisha said...

Best of luck on your goal. Your images are getting better and better.


Pawsome post and great answers to the questions! Yes 2015 was a monumental year for you, I'm glad that Mudpie came into your life and helped to ease the sorrow on the loss of Truffles.

Anonymous said...

We always love finding out more about our favorite bloggers!!

da tabbies o trout towne said...

mudpie.....yur mom did a grate job on answerin de challenge quest shuz...we N joyed reedin them....oh, N we dont suppoze ya could ree view sum tastee fish dinner recipeez sum time.....what cha think !! ♥♥♥

Timmy Tomcat said...

This was a really good post for us. The challenges you have been through with such grace is an inspiration to pet bloggers everywhere. Thanks also for the insights that will improve our blog

Beth said...

I'm new to the blog, but I love cats and books, so it sounds like my kind of place! Looking forward to reading more!

BeadedTail said...

We enjoyed finding out more about you! We might have to join Instagram but somemommy keeps putting it off. We don't even edit our photos can you believe it? We're so behind the times!

Cat and DOG Chat With Caren said...

Is there anyone who DIDN'T do this challenge? Great answers! If you want a photo editing site that I feel is even easier than picmonkey (or just add it to your toolbox), I use (I find it to be the most user-friendly, and my photos always need help too)......another one is pizap......oh and fotor! catchatwithcarenandcody

Robin said...

I am glad that you were able to make it so gracefully through Truffles' passing. That was a shock to me when I saw it come through on Facebook. Mudpie is the purrrfect addition to your blog! I love her happy-go-lucky personality. As far as what I like the most - I would say Mudpie's fun and adventures at home. Her photos are adorable! I also enjoy your book reviews. I'm such a slow reader that I don't get through many books. It is nice to at least hear about the great cat mysteries out if I can't get to them! Mysteries and thrillers are my favorite! If I think of any great content ideas for you, I will make sure to message you. Sometimes I do randomly think of ideas for other people.
-Purrs from your friends at

meowmeowmans said...

Awesome answers. We loved learning more about you, Melissa and Mudpie!

pilch92 said...

I enjoyed your answers and I like all your features on your blog just like it is. Thank you for the kind words you left for me on the passing of Stinky.

kamoorephoto said...

Great post! And such a pretty kitty. I have such a soft spot for calicoes (and the color pink!). Truffles looked a lot like my own Loopi who passed many years ago now...I believe her spirit is never far away; Truffles is still with you too, I'm sure.
As for my own advice on cat photos, as a cat photographer (although I use Lightroom and Photoshop), if you were ever to take the leap and get Photoshop Elements, there's a great way to use it, 'Guided', and it will give you brilliant results and not too complex. It will take editing to the next level. The first step though, is getting it right in camera though, so you don't need to fix much in the end. That said, your photos just need to carry the cat's spirit. It's all in the eyes... They're the key to showing so much about what's going on in that moment and about that cat.
I'd love for you to drop by my own blog, when you have time to see some pretty kitties, and see my cat photography. I'll be sure to see you again soon! I look forward to reading more. You can find me here
~ Katherine