Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Caru Soft 'n Tasty Baked Bites Nourish Your Cat with Love #Giveaway

Sometimes I'm so cute I can barely stand myself.

Meows from Mudpie!

Even though I'm not a real big treat junkie I know a lot of my friends are, so I like keeping up with what's new on store shelves. When I was contacted by Caru Pet Food about their new Soft 'n Tasty Baked Bites for cats I was happy to give them a try. We love that all Caru products are made in the USA and that they've signed the Pledge concerning quality and origin of ingredients that has been established by the Association for Truth in Pet Food.

These treats come in two flavors, salmon and chicken. I chose the salmon, which is actually made with real salmon as the main ingredient, alongside chicken and chicken liver. It's a recipe crafted with a limited number of carefully selected ingredients, perfect for cats with allergies and sensitive tummies (like me!) The treats are formulated without artificial preservatives, flavors or colors, contains no grain, gluten, corn, soy, meals or GMO ingredients, and baked in small batches to lock in exceptional aroma, flavor and natural nutrition.

Have you noticed that mommies love torturing kitties? As you can see I just wanted Mommy to hurry up and open the treats but she said I had to be a professional cat blogger and pose with them first. I must have smelled the fresh ingredients right through the packaging because I was more adamant about her tearing these open than I usually am. The little bite-sized pieces are tasty morsels of yumminess and the purr-fect way to nourish your kitty with love!


Guess what? Thanks to our friends at Caru one lucky reader in the US is going to win a package of both the salmon and the chicken treats! To enter simply fill out the Rafflecopter below, and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Caru Pet Food. I am being compensated for featuring this product but we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Book Review: Prose and Cons by Amanda Flower

From the publisher: In Cascade Springs, New York, Violet Waverly and her grandma, Daisy, are the proprietors of Charming Books, where the power of the written word is positively enchanting...

October in Cascade Springs means tourists are pouring in for the annual Food and Wine Festival, and Daisy hopes to draw those crowds to the store. She asks Violet and the local writing group, the Red Inkers, to give a reading of the works of Edgar Allan Poe in the shop’s back garden to entertain the revelers. Everyone eagerly agrees.

Yet their enthusiasm is soon extinguished when Violet discovers one of the writers dead during the event. After the shop magically tells Violet she’ll need to rely on Poe’s works to solve the murder, she enlists the help of her trusty tuxedo cat, Emerson, and the shop’s crow, Faulkner. But they must act fast before someone else’s heart beats nevermore...

I adored last year's debut of Amanda Flower's Magical Bookshop mystery series and knowing that book 2 was inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, one of my all-time favorites, had me anticipating Prose and Cons even more than usual.

It's just before Halloween and Violet and her grandma Daisy are making final preparations for the Food and Wine Festival when Charming Books will be hosting a Poe-try Reading of the master of the macabre's works in the garden. The reading will be done by Violet's writing group the Red Inkers, and member Sadie, owner of the local vintage clothing shop, is in charge of providing the period costumes. On the afternoon of the reading, Red Inker Anastasia goes upstairs to use Violet's apartment to change, and moments later is found dead at the foot of the stairs, her neck broken. What looks like a tragic accident soon becomes a murder investigation when it's discovered that her dress was soaked in liquid nicotine in order to disorient her, making dressmaker Sadie the #1 suspect. The magical bookshop leads Violet to consult Poe's stories to help solve the crime, and before long Violet discovers that not only was Anastasia collecting blackmail materials on her fellow Inkers, she was also hiding a doozy of a secret herself!

Everything about this book is positively enchanting. The scene where Violet has to retrieve her wayward (but wise) cat Emerson from the victim's creepy mansion is straight out of a Poe story. The little town of Cascade Springs and it's residents are brought to life on every page. Violet's new life there is an unexpected blessing as she's still recovering from past tragedies, and in Prose and Cons she's still struggling with her feelings for two suitors while the arrival of another man in her life blindsides her. The killer was a mystery until the very end (although I had my suspicions) and the revelation was a heartbreaker. That's something unique and very special about an Amanda Flower mystery: the killer is hardly ever anyone who evokes strong feelings of dislike, their motives actually make them sympathetic characters.

I can hardly wait to see what's next in Violet's world...

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Happy Birthday, Grandpa!!!

Meows from Mudpie!

It's a very special day at my house because it's my Grandpa's birthday!!! Mommy says it's the "Big 8-0"...good grief that's a huge number to a 3 year old!

I love my Grandpa SO much, and he loves me! His lap is one of my very favorite places to be.

Look at the birthday pie Mommy made for him. It's her own version of a Mudpie (mocha pudding in a chocolate pie crust). It almost looks as yummy as me!

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

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Frosty Flair #CaturdayArt

Meows from Mudpie!

Earlier this week we had an ice storm. Thankfully we didn't lose power but it was way too dangerous to go out so Mommy worked from home. I kept her company on the couch while she tapped away at the keyboard (NOT working on our blog!)

We were inspired by how pretty the world look covered in ice, so we went to LunaPic and PicMonkey to give our artwork a little frosty flair...

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


And now our weekly answers for the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge, hosted by 15andmeowing and McGuffy's Reader!

1. I have seen Cats and Annie Get Your Gun on Broadway. Actually, touring companies of those shows; I've never actually visited Broadway.

2. My Chinese zodiac sign is the snake. (I had to look that up!)

3. Celebrities are (for the most part) overrated

4. A ton of Mudpie love each day is all I need.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Flashback Friday: Truffles' Blue Ball

Earlier this week I was going through my photo files and discovered that three years ago today, on January 27, 2014, I took one of my all-time favorite pictures of Truffles.

While Mudpie lives to play with anything and everything, Truffles had little to no play drive. It breaks my heart to realize now that most likely her heart issues left her with much less energy than a healthy cat.

The one toy that did get her motor running was this fabric-covered, plain blue ball that she received in her first Secret Paws package from Samantha and Clementine from Life from a Cat's Perspective. She played with it so much I had to take a few stitches in the fabric once, she napped with it, she simply adored it.

It means the world to me because it brought her so much happiness. It lives in her memory box now and whenever I pull it out I feel closer to her.

What have you done with the favorite toys of pets who live in your heart?

Thursday, January 26, 2017

A Day at the Vermont Fancy Felines Cat Show

Last weekend I attended the Vermont Fancy Felines CFA Cat Show. It's always one of the highlights of the year for me because it's pretty much the only cat-related event in my neck of the woods. Even though it takes place in the middle of winter each year it's nice to see so many cat lovers come out to celebrate all things feline.

Here are some of my favorite moments...

I had to pose with the cute cat cut-outs.

Ironically, the very first cat I encountered was this beautiful tortie, an entry in the housepet division. What can I say, I'm a tortie magnet! (She wasn't going potty when I snapped this picture, even though that's what it looks like. She was actually napping there until I woke her up squealing!)

I fell in love with this pair of exquisite Devon Rex cats.

This beautiful Bombay is quite the superstar. I spoke with her handler for quite awhile and learned that she's named after the actress Taraji P. Henson but her nickname is "Trashy", and has starred in numerous print ads from Bergdorf Goodman (as shown) to the black cat cover girl of Real Simple magazine's October 2013 issue. So why is she called Trashy? Seems awhile back she was chosen to star in an ad with a nude model for a French magazine, and let's just say she kept sniffing and licking inappropriate places, hence the fitting nickname!

There were a couple "pet me" cats available, one was a British Shorthair who I saw briefly as he traveled the show in a stroller, and the other a Tonkinese who I desperately wanted to meet but was never at her booth, even though I walked by several times. Sadly, Summer was no where to be found :(

It was a fun afternoon spent admiring beautiful cats, but at the end of the day I was more than happy to go home to my perfect little Mudpie. Purebreds are great, but nothing beats a shelter cat!

Have you ever attended a cat show?

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas for Cats & Cat Moms from Etsy

Meows from Mudpie!

Mommy isn't a very big fan of Valentine's Day so she hadn't planned a gift guide like we did for Halloween and Christmas, but I talked her into it by reminding her of all the cool things she finds on Etsy! We've broken our picks into gifts for cats and gifts for cat moms, so there's a little something for everybody!

We hope you enjoy our picks, and don't forget, if you find something here you like and make a purchase using our affiliate links, I get a little money for my piggy bank!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Book Review: Murder Go Round by Carol J. Perry

From the publisher: Lee Barrett has agreed to attend a storage auction with Aunt Ibby—even though she suspects the forgotten rooms will yield more junk than treasure. Her skepticism vanishes once the two win a bid on an overlooked locker and uncover a trove of beautiful curiosities, including a stunning wooden carousel horse with gentle eyes and fading paint. But just before Lee leaves the fairground relic at a local repair shop, the sight of a silver samovar awakens her psychic abilities and conjures visions of murder.

Lee prays the intrusive ESP episode was just a glimpse into the past—until her policeman boyfriend reports a dead man outside the repair shop. Apparently, the unknown victim had been hot on Lee’s trail since the auction. And with the horse found dismantled, it looks like he was up to no good. What’s the story behind the antique equine, and could a strange bubblegum-chewing woman with fiery hair have something to do with the crime? Guided by her gift and O’Ryan, her wise tabby cat, Lee’s set on catching the murderer . . . before she’s sent on the darkest ride of her life.

This is the fourth in Carol J. Perry's Witch City mystery series and the first that I've read, but the rest is already queued up and waiting on my Kindle!

Lee Barrett is the widow of a NASCAR driver who has made her home in Salem, Massachusetts with her beloved Aunt Ibby and their cat O'Ryan. One late August day Ibby and Lee decide to attend a storage auction where they get a great deal on unknown treasure. After deciding what to keep, what to donate and what to toss, Lee brings her favorite find, a carved merry go round horse, to be restored. That same night their trash mysteriously disappears, the repair shop is broken into and the horse is left in pieces, plus a dead body is found outside the door. The victim is the author of books about treasure hunting and it's discovered that he was searching for items belonging to Russia's Czar Nicholas II that were brought to the United States in the early 20th century. Other people are hot on the trail of these artifacts too and they have no plans to give up their pursuit, regardless of the cost.

As a fan of the TV show Storage Wars I adored the context of this story, and I'd gladly move into Ibby's super cozy old home in Witch City! Lee and Ibby make a great crime-solving team between Lee's "visions" and Ibby's tech-savvy, but the scene stealer is kitty O'Ryan who gives Lee clues through her collection of bronze pencil sharpeners. I'm really looking forward to spending more time with this fun cast of characters.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Quintessential Mudpie #SundaySelfie

Mommy here.

Mudpie gave me permission to tell the story of her selfie today. The other day I was walking out of the bedroom and looked into the bathroom to see her sitting on the side of the bathtub. She was taking a rest after running crazy pants around the house and the look on her face was so cute it just killed me.

This picture is quintessential Mudpie: a precious little imp who makes my life better and brighter simply because she's in it.

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

Saturday, January 21, 2017


Meows from Mudpie!

This week we were playing around with LunaPic again and Mommy discovered the "Coffee" effect. I was skeptical but she had to check it out and I must admit, I love what the filter did to my tortie furs!

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


And now our weekly answers for the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge, hosted by 15andmeowing and McGuffy's Reader!

1. Today's music makes me feel old.

2. Playing with a cat makes me feel young.

3. I have way too much clutter around the house.

4. The future is bright.

Friday, January 20, 2017

First Felines: 6 Presidents & Their Cats

Meows from Mudpie 
Happy Inauguration Day!!!

No matter which side of the political aisle you're on the (hopefully) peaceful transition of power is always exciting to watch and Mommy and I will be glued to the couch for all the festivities.

With so much hoopla surrounding this historic day I asked Mommy what she knew about the former feline inhabitants of the White House, and she admitted that with the exception of Socks Clinton and President Bush's cats she didn't know a whole lot, so I asked her to help me do a little research so we could share a few of our favorite (and lesser known) stories today.

Incredibly, we could only find evidence of 12 Presidents that have been owned by a cat! (Wouldn't you think the most stressful job in the world could use loads of purr therapy???)

Photo: National Archives

We have to start with President Reagan. Although technically not White House cats (these two beauties lived at their California ranch), Ronald and Nancy had a pair of torties, Cleo and Sara! Apparently many cats lived at the Reagan ranch but they were photographed with the torties, so they must have been extra special!

Our 16th President Abraham Lincoln was the first to bring a cat into the White House. He actually adored cats, going so far as to feed his son's cat Tabby with a gold fork at White House dinners, and when asked if her husband had a hobby, Mary Todd Lincoln replied, “cats.” During the Civil War, on a visit to General Grant's headquarters in the middle of winter, he found three stray kittens in the telegraph hut. When he learned their mother was dead he made sure the kittens would be fed and a good home found for them.

Rutherford B Hayes reportedly owned the first Siamese cat to come to the United States. Siam was a gift to Hayes and his wife Lucy in 1879 from the American Consul in Bangkok. Several months after arriving Siam became sick and despite intervention from the president's personal physician she couldn't be saved.

Photo: National Archives
Officer Benjamin Fink holds Tige, the Coolidge's cat, at the White House on March 25, 1924.

Vermont's own President Calvin Coolidge and his wife Grace practically ran a zoo! Among their many cats were Mud (no pie!), Bounder, Smokey, Blackie, Timmy and Tige. Timmy and Coolidge's canary actually napped together! Tige traveled the White House around the President's neck and when he went missing, Coolidge appealed to the people by calling for their help on a radio address. After being found he was fitted with a special collar that contained his White House address, but after going missing a second time he was never found.

Teddy Roosevelt’s youngest son Quentin Roosevelt with the six-toed Slippers

Teddy Roosevelt's six-toed cat named Slippers loved to nap in the White House hallways, requiring the guests at a state banquet to detour around her on their way to the dining room! Their second cat Tom Quartz was named after the cat in Roughing It by Mark Twain.

Photo: National Archives

President Kennedy's daughter Caroline had to find a new home for her cat Tom Kitten (named after the beloved Beatrix Potter character) when it was discovered the president was allergic. He died at a very young age and was given an obituary in a local newspaper.

While we don't know when the White House will get a new resident feline, we do know that Number One Observatory Circle (the official residence of the Vice President) has two new kitty occupants - Mike Pence's two family cats Oreo and Pickle who were photographed on a plane last week headed to their new home in Washington DC. Rumor has it poor Pickle got sick on the plane! How embarrassing.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Book Review: My Cat Hates My Vet!: Foiling Fear Before, During & After Vet Visits by Amy Shojai

Sashi was the first cat I adopted as an adult, a 9 year old tuxie beauty who was brought to the shelter because of "family issues". They had left her medical records with the rescue group and I was pleased to see she had received regular medical care with a wonderful cats-only vet about a half hour away. Since they knew her so well I decided to remain with the same vet even though it wasn't at a very convenient location and I knew the trips would be a nightmare. (I had a pretty good idea how car rides were going to go when she shredded the cardboard cat carrier I was given to bring her home from the shelter.)

For 3 years we made the trip for each wellness exam and each year her stress level became progressively worse. The last time we got home she went into the bedroom and lay down flat on the cold floor for over an hour. She had done such a number on herself that I honestly feared she was going to have a heart attack. That was when I realized we needed to make a change and looked into a house call service. It was a good choice for Sashi given her aversion to car rides but as she got older and developed health issues we were very limited as to the amount of testing and care available to her. (This was in the days before mobile vet clinics rolled right up to your door.)

How I wish a book like this had been available to me back then.


We want to provide the best care possible for our beloved cats, but what do you do when your kitty turns into a wildcat at the vet? Cats visit veterinarians less often because their owners hate to see them upset and afraid of the cat carrier, car ride, and stranger handling.

MY CAT HATES MY VET! packs prescriptive advice into a short how-to guide that offers step-by-step instructions to help your cats learn to LOVE the vet, accept the cat carrier, and tolerate car rides--and get the medical care they need and deserve. This is your definitive guide for foiling feline fear. From one of America's best known pet care authorities, you'll learn:

*7 Reasons Cats HATE The Vet
*12 Ways to Soothe Fear
*Best Carriers & 8 Cat Crate Tips
*9 Calming Cat Car Ride Techniques
*How to Choose the Best Veterinarian
*What are Cat Friendly Practices & Fear Free Clinics
*Ways to Stop Cat-to-Cat Aggression After Vet Visits

With a fun conversational tone and easy proven techniques, MY CAT HATES MY VET! helps ensure your loving bond remains strong and intact.

A 2013 study conducted by Bayer HealthCare and the American Association of Feline Practitioners showed only half as many cats get annual checkups as dogs. Reasons vary from the perception of cats being more independent as less needy than dogs to the informal way cats come into many people's lives ("the cat showed up at my door") without instruction on proper vet care. (People who acquire a cat from a breeder or shelter are more likely to receive annual checkups.) And a full 58% of the respondents stated that travelling to the vet clinic - their cat's fear of being placed into a cat carrier and transported by car - led many owners to rule out travel altogether.

This does NOT need to be the case. This clever "quick tips" guide provides a plethora of proven techniques to make life easier for both you and your cat when a trip to the vet is in order, from practices you can start implementing right away in preparation for the big event to the day of the visit, right down to calming techniques in the vet's office and how to avoid turmoil once you're back home between the unfortunate soul who went to the "stabby place" and the lucky ducks who didn't.

This is a book that every cat parent should have in their arsenal of tricks, and one that veterinarians would be wise to promote to their clients as well! It's in everyone's best interest to make each trip to the vet as stress-free as possible.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Book Review: The Cat Sitter and the Canary by Blaize & John Clement

From the publisher: Dixie Hemingway, everyone’s favorite pet-sitting sleuth, is back for yet another riveting case. Set in the lush and beautiful island of Siesta Key, with a cast of characters that Dixie fans the world over have come to know and love, The Cat Sitter and the Canary, the latest book in this critically acclaimed series is sure to leave both mystery fans and cat lovers alike purring with delight.

This time, Dixie finds a tall, handsome tourist loitering around the home of one of her long-time clients. He tells her he’s just arrived from Scotland and that he’s lost his glasses, which presumably explains why he can’t find the house he rented for his seaside vacation. Dixie points him to the bungalow across the street (but not before rebuffing a few of the sexy Scotsman’s passes) and then continues about her business.

She doesn’t think about him again until she stumbles upon a dead body in her client’s front hall ― a man in a three-piece suit with jet-black hair, delicate wrists, and a small notecard stuck to his lapel with a pearl-tipped hat pin. Right away, Dixie puts on her sleuthing cap and starts looking for clues, but when she sees what’s written on that card, she knows… this is going to be an adventure unlike any she’s ever had before.

And if she’s not careful, it just might be her last!

I've always thought that pet sitting would be a dream job so I've always enjoyed living vicariously though Dixie Hemingway. This is the 11th book in the popular series and Miss Dixie shows no signs of slowing down.

Dixie arrives at a cat (& canary) sitting job with another client's dog in tow, only to find a mysterious Scottish man at the door. She sends him on his way but can't understand why her furry companion is determined to get into the front entryway. Returning later she discovers why - there's a dead body there with a note targeting Dixie. Subsequent murders continue to threaten her and the mystery grows as to who is after her and why.

While each book in this series contains a great mystery, it's also the story of a woman (Dixie) learning to move on with her life following an unimaginable tragedy with the help of her beloved brother, his partner and their friends. Her day-to-day duties as a pet sitter are chronicled and her furry clients provide the four-legged characters that so many of us require in our cozies.

I can't recommend this entire series highly enough. Long live Dixie!!!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Monday, January 16, 2017

PAWSitively in Love Valentine's Giveaway Hop #Pawsinlove

Meows from Mudpie!

We're excited to be joining in this fun blog hop hosted by Miss Molly Says and Mom Does Reviews. Each blogger participating in the hop has been asked to give away pet-related gifts.

Since Valentine's Day is all about spending quality time with the ones we love, we're giving away this super cute paw-shaped light pointer toy, fun for both you and your cat.

Featuring two modes, steady-on and blinking, what's really pawsome is that you don't need to keep your finger on the button. Press the paw once and the LED light will blink, press the paw a second time and the light is steady. Press the paw a third time will turn the LED light off. Plus, the small pink silica gel buttons make pressing the buttons more comfortable.

To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below. (US residents only please, although our overseas friends are welcome to enter and have their prize sent to someone in the US.) Good luck, everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Mr. Grinch Needs a Hospice Home #BtC4A

Meows from Mudpie!

A couple weeks ago I had the great honor of interviewing The Cats of Hazzard, a group of four special needs kittens currently under the care of Umbrella of Hope in East Contra Costa County, California. The little nuggets hinted that they had accepted a fifth kitten into their group but that was all they could tell me at the time.

This week Mr. Grinch was announced to the world...

Mr. Grinch has FIVE different heart defects. Four of them make up the condition called Tetralogy of Fallot and he has a fifth one on top of that: Ventricular Septal Defect, Right Ventricular Hypertrophy, Pulmonary Stenosis, Over-riding Aorta and Atrial Septal Defect. It is a miracle that this sweet kitty is alive.

As for his name, he is the Mr. Grinch from the END of the movie where his heart grows three sizes, because he is such a sweetheart. He loves headbutts and kisses. He will even stand on his back legs when he wants to be picked up, and will hug you with his front legs! Despite his ailments, he is a typical playful, loving kitten, and because of his special needs, he is the perfect addition to The Cats of Hazzard family.

Mr. Grinch is considered a hospice adoption but he is adoptable. It is unknown if he will make it six months or a year or more. He has made it to his current age (around 8 months old) without any interventions and that is miraculous in itself. He made it through his neuter surgery (!!) with FLYING COLORS. He is also vaccinated, microchipped and free of parasites.

There has to be a person or a family out there who is touched by his story and wants to give him the best life ever. If you are interested in opening up your heart and home to a kitty who needs a place to live and be loved for whatever time he has left, please email Umbrella of Hope at beourpet@gmail.com

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to help them continue their lifesaving work and support the hospice animals in their care, please do so online at www.paypal.me/UOH


Mr. Grinch gladly accepted my invitation to join this week's Sunday Selfies blog hop hosted by our friends at The Cat on My Head, and this post is also our submission for January's Blog the Change for Animals.

Photos used with permission: catsofhazzard on Instagram