Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Day Diana Died #TBT

Today we hope you'll allow us a departure from our regular cat coverage to share memories of a day many of us will always remember.

In all our lives there are world events that you never forget where you were and what you were doing when you heard the news. The first big news stories of my lifetime were when President Reagan was shot and the Challenger disaster, but I was really young and just remember being at home with my parents, not really grasping the gravity of what was happening. For me, the top 3 events that are as vivid in mind as the day(s) they happened are the OJ Simpson trial (I was obsessed), 9/11, and the day Princess Diana was killed in a Paris car crash - 20 years ago today.

It was a Saturday night and here on the east coast the news broke around 8PM on August 30th. I sat glued to the television with my family in shock, and then - oops, this isn't a completely cat-free post - when the news came around midnight that she had tragically passed away, I was outside in the driveway trying to break up a cat fight with my mom! After all those hours of watching and waiting the irony isn't lost on me that a cat played a role in my memories of that night.

It was now the wee hours of August 31st, a day I had circled on my calendar for months because I was scheduled to travel to Schaghticoke, New York's local fair to see Tom Wopat (The Dukes of Hazzard) in concert. As a huge fan of the show and his music, my parents agreed to the 3 hour trip as an early birthday gift.

The day was amazing - I got to meet him! - but it was still a bittersweet day and one I'll always remember as a very happy one for me personally, but a tragic day for the world.

Do you remember where you were and what you were doing when you heard the news that Princess Diana died?

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

3 Ways to Help Hurricane Harvey's 4-Legged Victims

The images coming out of southeast Texas are impossible to comprehend. As an animal lover first and foremost, my heart breaks for the human victims, but it's completely torn in half for the four-legged ones. Animals separated from their families (either by choice or by chance), shelters unable to evacuate choosing to euthanize cats and dogs in advance of the's all just too much.

Here are a few ways you can help, whether you live close to the affected area or are watching helplessly from far away...

Financial Donations and Supplies. Austin Pets Alive has been working tirelessly since before the hurricane hit to transport animals from affected areas and has so far saved over 400 lives. Money is the main need for them right now because they have received so many donations of supplies that they're having a hard time storing everything. Financial donations will allow them to purchase what they need when they need it.

On Friday afternoon the SPCA of Texas (thanks to an amazing donation from PetSmart Charities) received a transfer of 123 cats from The Cattery Cat Shelter in Corpus Christi, and is prepared to take in hundreds more in addition to deploying emergency response teams to the area. Please consider contributing at or make an in-kind donation. The supplies most needed are cat litter, litter boxes, towels, blankets, large wire crates, toys, treats, pet beds, newspaper and gas gift cards.

Best Friends Animal Society is working closely with affected shelters, and northeast shelters will also be needing donations as the little furry refugees arrive.

There are many, many other worthwhile organizations working to help hurricane victims, both human and animal. Just be aware of any possible scams, an unfortunate aftermath of any disaster.

Foster. Shelters are overcrowded under ordinary circumstances, so when a natural disaster hits they find themselves in even greater need of foster homes for the animals they rescue. Opening your home to a foster pet gives them a safe, loving environment to recover from this ordeal while allowing shelters to save more animals.

Adopt. If you or someone you know has been looking to add a furry family member, now is the perfect time. You will save that animal's life as well as open up space for another homeless pet in need.

We all have the power to do something, no matter where we are. These shelters are going to need our support for a long, long time.

We're also super excited about the Auction for Austin Pets Alive organized by our friends at the Dash Kitten blog. They're looking for donations of items and bids so please check out the auction's Facebook event page!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Tortie Shorties on Tuesday

Welcome to this week's edition of Tortie Shorties on Tuesday!

We hope you enjoy our choices.

From the publisher: For residents of Salem, Massachusetts, the day after Halloween brings empty candy wrappers, sagging pumpkins, and a community-wide identity crisis. That is, until Lee Barrett’s TV production class suggests extending the spooky season with the traditional Mexican celebration Dia de Los Muertos. But when the students discover not all of Salem’s dead are resting in peace, the post-October blues don’t seem so bad after all . . . 

As if a series of haunting graveyard visits isn’t disturbing enough, Lee and her policeman boyfriend connect the crime to an unsolved missing person case. Driven by a series of chilling psychic visions, Lee calls on her cleverest allies—including her shrewd cat, O’Ryan—to go underground and dig up the evidence needed to put a lid on a cold case forever . . . before the latest headstone in town has her name on it!

Tortie Shorties Review: 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. This fifth book in the series takes place at Halloween, but Lee's TV production class which is studying investigative reporting, has decided to focus on the Mexican celebration of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). One of her students has recently moved to Salem from Alaska with the hopes of finding out the truth about what happened to her sister, whose death has been ruled a suicide but she believes was murdered. Lee runs the idea past her cop boyfriend Pete who dismisses the idea until Lee starts have some revealing "visions". During a cemetery visit she stumbles upon the body of a person related to the case, which ends up resulting in the entire class attempting to solve both mysteries.

I love this series - the characters, the setting, just a touch of the paranormal without being over the top. This particular book spotlights the history behind Dia de los Muertos (a holiday I've become very fascinated in) and the Howard Street Cemetery where Giles Corey was pressed to death during the Salem Witch Trials. Wonderfully creepy stuff! The identity of the killer isn't a huge surprise, but if you're looking for a book to get you into the upcoming fall and Halloween season, look no further!

From the publisher: Bailey King is living the sweet life as assistant chocolatier at world-famous JP Chocolates in New York City. But just when Bailey’s up for a life-changing promotion, her grandmother calls with news that her grandfather’s heart condition has worsened. Bailey rushes to Harvest, Ohio, where her grandparents still run Swissmen Sweets, the Amish candy shop where she was first introduced to delicious fudge, truffles, and other assorted delights.

She finds her grandfather is doing better than she feared. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for a local Englisch developer, whom Bailey finds dead in the candy shop kitchen—with Jebediah King’s chocolate knife buried in his chest. Now the police are sweet on her grandfather as the prime suspect. Despite the sincere efforts of a yummy deputy with chocolate-brown eyes, Bailey takes it on herself to clear Jebediah. But as a cunning killer tries to fudge the truth, Bailey may be headed straight into a whole batch of trouble...

Tortie Shorties Review: You simply can't go wrong with anything Amanda Flower writes, and the debut of her Amish Candy Shop mystery series is no exception. The entirety of Assaulted Caramel takes place in the 48 hour period following a phone call from Bailey King's Amish grandmother about her grandfather's failing health. Bailey puts her life in NYC on hold to return to Harvest, Ohio, and on her first night back home she finds the dead body of a man her grandfather had been arguing with earlier in the day in the candy shop kitchen. Both she and her grandparents become the main suspects and Bailey has no choice but to remain in Harvest to clear their names. She takes on the task of providing desserts for the wedding of the dead man's son which puts her in contact with a plethora of suspects, and the killer ends up being someone I never would've suspected.

The cast of characters in this series is wonderful, with just the right mix of Amish, small town residents and big city people. Bailey isn't perfect and her return home forces her to face the changes she needs to make in her life, BFF Cass is a hoot, and potential love interest deputy Aiden has his own ties to her beloved grandparents. Aiden's mother Juliet's black & white spotted pig Jethro just might steal the show (and more than a few hearts), and Nutmeg the cat saves the day when Bailey finds herself in a sticky situation. Tears are shed at the end, and Bailey makes a decision about her future that has me very excited to read Lethal Licorice, on store shelves in January!

Disclaimer: As members of the Amazon Associates affiliate program, if you click on our links and buy something Mudpie gets a little money for her piggy bank! I received review copies of these books from the publisher in exchange for my fair and honest opinion.

Monday, August 28, 2017

My Visit to the Rainbow Bridge: A Short Story

Being a pet blogger has afforded me a multitude of incredible opportunities, from pampering my cats with items to review that they most likely wouldn't have gotten otherwise, having a platform to shine a light on the importance of saving lives through adoption, to becoming a small part of an amazing community of like-minded animal lovers who have become dear friends. But absolutely nothing will ever compare to the day I received an email with an exclusive invitation to visit a place that anyone who has ever lost a cherished pet has dreamed about and formed an image in their mind of what's it's like - the Rainbow Bridge.

It was all very hush-hush. I couldn't share with anyone where I was going, and I had to accept and be ready to go that very afternoon. Of course there was never a doubt in my mind that I was going, and as soon as I was able to come to terms with the gravity of what was about to happen I started making phone calls and sending emails to make excuses that would explain my absence for the rest of the day.

There was one other caveat to my trip - after it was over I would obviously be able to share my experiences, but I had to promise to never tell anyone how I got there. After all, if pet lovers all over the world knew how to visit their beloved fur babies one more time there would be a rush at the gate and all peace and tranquility would be gone. I knew it would be hard to keep this information to myself (and the temptation to use the knowledge to visit again is strong), but this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I had to accept the wishes of my hosts.

I'm happy to tell you the Bridge is every bit the beautiful, magical place we've always hoped our babies go to after they leave us. Upon my arrival I was escorted through the gate by a ghostly white cat who introduced herself as Misty. As I looked around trying to take it all in I saw a place where every animal lived in harmony. Cats, dogs, birds, hamsters, iguanas, every animal you could possibly think of was playing together and getting along like they were the best of friends. Toys, warm beds and blankets, bowls full of yummy treats, every creature comfort that our pets enjoyed in life were readily available everywhere you looked. Animals that had never known a kind word or gentle touch on earth were now happy and carefree as their lives were meant to be.

Misty escorted me to a private room where I was told I would have a chance to have some time with each cat I had shared a bond with in my life. I was a bundle of nerves as I sat there waiting on the couch, hesitant to stir up old memories yet blissfully happy at the same time.

The door opened and Patch and Sebastian, my two childhood cats walked in. These guys were like little furry brothers to me growing up and it had been over 2 decades since I'd seen either of them. They were both excited to see their big "sis" again and eager to catch up on the news of what's been going on at home with my parents since they've been gone. Then Sashi and Tara strolled in together - the first two girls I adopted as an adult who turned me into the cat mom I am today. They were both just as beautiful as I remembered. I was so happy to see that all the cats I'd shared my home with were now the best of friends as each told me they enjoyed spending time together, sharing memories of their time living with me. Everyone got a tummy rub and lots of cuddles and kisses, then Misty came in and announced I had more visiting to do.

I got to briefly spend time with neighbor kitties I had befriended through the years - Tommy, Squirt, OC, Terpsie, Squiffy, Milton and Cooper - just to name a few. I was even able to catch up with Mooch and Pop Tart, two neighborhood strays I had brought to a local rescue, then lost track of after they'd found their forever home. It was so good to hear that my intervention had given them the chance at a wonderful life they wouldn't have had if they'd continued to live on the streets.

Minutes seemed like hours as I waited for the one I so desperately needed to see one last time. Finally a little tortie face appeared in the door.

My Truffles...

She ran across the room into my arms. I held her as tight as I could and sobbed into her silky soft fur, wondering how I was ever going to force myself to let her go again. Then a tiny voice said, "I was afraid you were going to be mad at me."

I looked into that precious, innocent face. "How could I ever be mad at you?"

"Because of what happened...that night. I was supposed to take care of you for years and years but I just couldn't hold on. I was hurting so bad."

"Oh baby I know you were. It wasn't your fault. You had a blood clot in your heart and the vet said nothing could be done, it was just your time. But we both know that's not true because we were cheated out of so much time together."

"I miss you so much, Mommy."

"Truffles, I didn't know a human heart could hurt as much as mine did the day I lost you. Do you remember that night at the emergency vet when you were in the oxygen cage and I promised you I'd be back in the morning?"

"I remember how scared you looked. I didn't understand what was going on."

"I didn't either, sweetie. I had never even heard of a saddle thrombus before. Ever since that night I've lived with the regret that I left you. I should've demanded to stay with you. Right after I left you crashed. The vet called me at home and advised that I let you go, and I asked her to keep you comfortable because I wanted to be with you at the end. Then your grandpa and I got held up by a road crew painting lines on the highway and we had to take a detour. By the time I got to you it was too late. I still can't forgive myself for not being there for you when you needed me. We never got to say good-bye."

"I forgive you, Mommy. I let go because I didn't want that to be your last memory of me. We didn't have a long time together but you gave me more love in the time that we did have than many kitties get in their entire lives. I've heard some pretty sad stories from the animals I've met up here. I'm thankful for the life I had."

"How'd I get such a brave, wise girl?" I asked her. "Are they taking good care of you here? Are you making new friends?"

"Oh yes, everyone has been so nice. When a really young animal like me arrives unexpectedly and is still super scared and sad everyone pitches in to make sure they're never alone and to show them how to watch over their grieving humans. I hope you've been able to feel me near you and that I picked out the purrfect new kitty to send your way. When Mudpie applied for the position I thought she seemed like such a sweet, fun girl."

"Mudpie is pure perfection in every way. You couldn't have done a better job. She's been such a comfort to me over the past 2 years since you've been gone."

The door opened and Misty poked her head in. "I'm sorry but you're going to need to wrap things up. We have to get you back home, Melissa."

I didn't even realized I'd been holding Truffles in my arms this whole time. She looked up at me as I said, "I wish I could stay with you."

"I wish you could too but there are still a lot of kitties on earth that are going to need you. I'll be right here waiting for you when you come back in 40-50 years. Then no one will ever be able to separate us again..."


I turned over and slammed my hand on that annoying alarm clock, upset that it had interrupted my beautiful dream.

I still didn't get to say good-bye...

Mudpie was beside me, kneading the blankets. "Mommy, are you okay? You've been crying and talking in your sleep. I was scared."

I pulled my sweet girl up onto my chest and gave her a kiss. "I'm fine, sweet pea. I was just catching up with some old friends."


This special day was created by Deborah Barnes – author, award winning blogger, and cat advocate in tribute to her cat, Mr. Jazz, who she had to say goodbye to on August 28, 2013. She shared the journey of letting him go in her most recent book, “Purr Prints of the Heart: A Cat’s Tale of Life, Death, and Beyond,” a warm and heartfelt book that is written in the wise and comforting voice of Mr. Jazz himself as he shares his life and death journey to offer guidance and understanding through a cat’s perspective as to why sometimes letting a pet go can be the greatest gift you give them.

A special event page for Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day has been created on Facebook so that people can share blog post links, pictures, poems, favorite memories, etc. Please click here for the link.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

A Sunday Selfie Reminder

Meows from Mudpie!

Our blog post today is short and sweet as Mommy is taking a quick break from a plumbing mess. (Her bright idea of preemptively attacking a minor issue hasn't turned out so well.)

Tomorrow is Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day and after two years of writing a poem to celebrate, this year Mommy decided to tackle a short story. She says it's her favorite thing she's written since Truffles' Remember Me post, so I sure hope you'll stop by tomorrow to read it. 

While you're waiting, feel free to worship me...

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

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Caturday Art

Meows from Mudpie! 

This week for my Caturday Art project I went to Photofunia and used their Watercolor Splash effect. I played around with the colors and chose a blend of yellows and oranges, not just because they complement my tortie colors so well, but also because they look just right for this late summer/looking forward to fall time of year...

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

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

1. Arguing politics on Facebook is a waste of time. I've forced myself to (mostly) bite my tongue so much lately it's a wonder I still have one.

2. My favorite app is Facebook. I much prefer scrolling my feed via the app on my iPad as opposed to my laptop (or my desktop at work...shhh!).

3. My first car was a 2001 Jeep Cherokee. I had to let it go last year because the frame was rotten and wouldn't inspection. I learned how to drive and took my road test using that car!

4. The best car I ever owned is the one I'm driving now, a 2016 Jeep Patriot, because I had to make a decision on it so fast I was afraid I'd suffer buyer's remorse, but I  love it and enjoy hopping into it every day. (And, of course, hopping back into it after work to head home to Mudpie.)

Friday, August 25, 2017

The Must-Read Cat Book of 2017: Strays by Britt Collins (Review & Giveaway)

Imagine the pain of a beloved cat going missing, and for months you have no idea what's happened to her.

Imagine finding what you think is a stray cat, completely losing your heart to her as she changes your life, then discovering she has an owner desperate to be reunited with her.

Both are nightmare scenarios for any cat lover, yet it's the unthinkable situation that two very different men and one amazing cat find themselves facing in one of the best cat books you'll ever read, Strays: A Lost Cat, a Homeless Man, and Their Journey Across America by Britt Collins.

For fans of A Street Cat Named Bob and Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World,Strays is a compelling true story of a man who rescues a stray, injured cat and how they save each other.
Homeless, alcoholic, and depressed, Michael King lives in a UPS loading bay on the wrong side of the tracks in Portland, Oregon. One rainy night, he stumbles upon a hurt, starving, scruffy cat and takes her in. Nursing her back to health, he names her Tabor and she becomes a bit of a celebrity in southeast Portland. When winter comes, they travel from Oregon to the beaches of California to the high plains of Montana, surviving blizzards and bears, angry steers and rainstorms. Along the way, people are drawn to the spirited, beautiful cat and moved to help Michael, who cuts a striking figure with Tabor riding high on his backpack or walking on a leash. Tabor comforts Michael when he’s down, giving Michael someone to love and care for, and inspiring him to get sober and to come to terms with his past family traumas and grief over the death of his life partner.
As they make their way across the West Coast, the pair become inseparable, healing the scars of each other’s troubled pasts. But when Michael takes Tabor to a veterinarian in Montana, he discovers that Tabor has an identification chip and an owner in Portland who has never given up hope of finding his beloved cat, Michael makes the difficult choice to return to Portland and reunite Tabor with her owner. Now Michael must create a new purpose in his life after Tabor.
The authentic tale of an adventurous and charismatic cat and her compassionate human admirers, Strays proves the healing power of love and the profound bond between humans and animals.
I knew going in that this book was going to be heart-wrenching, because reading about someone facing the loss of a beloved pet, rather through death or any other circumstance, hits too close to home for anyone who has loved and lost a cherished companion. In this case it's made even harder because of the bond Tabor (named for the cafe she was found at) instantly forms with Michael, the homeless man who finds new reason to live in this precious little cat. (My favorite line: The cat allowed him to touch another world and see beauty in the smallest things.) The greatest act of love you can show someone is to let them go regardless of how your own heart is breaking, and that's exactly what Michael does when he discovers Tabor's true owner never gave up hoping she would return one day.

Photo credit: Tiziano Niero

I had tears through most of the second half of the book because I knew Michael and Tabor's time together was coming to an end, but when they embarked on their final journey back to where it all began I was completely done for. That little adventure cat Tabor stole my heart and I honestly don't think I could've been as brave and selfless as Michael in returning her.

This is a book that is destined to be a movie. It's an amazing story celebrating the power of love and the impact that one little cat can have on so many lives.

Photo credit: Michael King

About the author: Britt Collins is a British journalist and writes for The Guardian, Sunday Times, the Independent, Harper’s Bazaar, Condé Nast Traveller, and is a contributing editor for She has volunteered at sanctuaries around the world, from tending big cats and baboons in Namibia to wild horses in Nevada, that have inspired features for The Guardian and the Sunday Times. While writing for the British tabloid, the Sunday People, she has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for many international charities through her investigative animal-cruelty stories; as an activist, she has help shut down controversial breeders of laboratory animals. She lives with her cats in London.

Join Britt Collins on October 6th at the New York Open Center in New York City for an evening talk and book signing. Details and registration can be found here.

Giveaway: Thanks to the publisher one lucky winner in the US is going to win a hardcover copy of Strays: A Lost Cat, a Homeless Man, and Their Journey Across America. To enter, simply leave a comment below (don't forget your email address!). A winner will be chosen at noon eastern on September 1st using

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Mark Your Calendars for Remember Me Thursday

I have a cousin who worked for our local humane society back in the 1980s, and I will never forget the day she told me that on the day a dog was to be euthanized they would go out and get them a hamburger from McDonalds as one last special meal. If that doesn't simply gut you I just don't know what to say. I can't even type it without crying. Those innocent little angels deserved the kind of life your own cherished pets enjoy, but they were never given that chance.

We've come a long way since then - this same shelter now adopts out animals so quickly we're able to partner with shelters down south to save even more lives - but as a nation we still have a long, long way to go. According to the Humane Society, only 30% of pets in the United States come from rescue facilities, while over 3.4 million animals lose their lives in shelters without ever finding their forever home. How can we allow this to continue???

Five weeks from today is Remember Me Thursday, a day to honor the millions of pets who lost their lives without the benefit of a loving home and shine a light on the millions of healthy pets who are still awaiting adoption. Now in it's fifth year Remember Me Thursday has become a global awareness campaign uniting individuals and pet adoption organizations around the world as one voice speaking out for the voiceless.

As supporters of Remember Me Thursday since it's very first year I was so honored to receive an email earlier this summer offering us a blogger kit with tools to help start building the excitement for this year's event. It contained a t-shirt for me, a pet bandanna (oh, Mudpie!), a tea light and miscellaneous promotional materials. We would've posted about this special day regardless, but this sure was a nice thank you from the people at Helen Woodward Animal Center.

Are you ready to join the movement? Here's what you can do in advance:

1) Let your friends and followers on social media know that Remember Me Thursday is right around the corner.

2) Enter the #RememberTheRescue photo contest from September 1-30. Besides winning thousands of dollars for an animal shelter or rescue of your choice, each prize will also come with 1,000 pounds of pet food from Blue Buffalo and 100 toys from Kong!

And on Thursday, September 28th:

1) Light up social media using hashtags #RememberTheRescue and #RememberMeThursday to spread the word about pet adoption.

2) Light a candle to shine a light on animals in shelters and rescues waiting to find their forever home, and to remember the ones who died waiting for one.

In 2016, people using #RememberTheRescue and #RememberMeThursday reached nearly 340 million people on social media.

Can we get even more people sharing the importance of pet adoption in 2017? It’s up to you to spread the word!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Is Your Cat Getting Routine Veterinary Care? #Cat2VetDay

It’s easy to argue that cats rule the internet and social media; the prevalence of cat memes and feline Instagram stars attest to that. But when it comes to veterinary visits, dogs win, paws down. According to a study by Bayer Animal Health, half of all American pet cats do not see a veterinarian regularly. And Banfield reports that in their more than 900 veterinary hospitals, only one cat is seen by a veterinarian for every five dogs, despite many studies reporting that there are nearly eight million more pet cats than dogs in the U.S.

Even though they may love their pets, many cat owners don’t take their cats to the veterinarian for routine wellness visits. Cost can be one of the obstacles, and even more than cost, the belief that cats don’t need veterinary care as much as dogs.

“It’s not that cats are inherently healthier than dogs,” says Jane Brunt, DVM, Executive Director of the CATalyst Council, a coalition whose mission is to connect people and organizations to transform the health, welfare, and value of companion cats, and owner of Cat Hospital At Towson in Maryland. “It’s that they are stoic about their symptoms, making it nearly impossible for even the most observant pet owner to recognize signs of potential problems.”

Routine wellness exams can uncover illnesses before they become life threatening — and expensive. 


The other reason that tops the list is getting the cat to the veterinary clinic in the first place. “Cats are fast learners,” says Brunt, “and if the only time a carrier is around is right before an unfamiliar experience, cats will learn to hide when they see or even just hear it.” And that’s just the beginning. “Once the owner drags their cat out from under the sofa,” she says, “there’s still the challenge of getting the cat into the carrier, followed by an uncomfortable ride in a car with a beloved pet who is scared and yowls the entire trip. It’s no wonder so many people avoid taking their cat to the veterinarian.”


The CATalyst Council is calling attention to the gap in preventive veterinary care that exists between cats and dogs by supporting National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day on August 22. The goal is to reduce that gap by increasing awareness of the importance of routine veterinary care, sharing tips on how to make a trip to the clinic less stressful and encouraging cat owners to make appointments for their feline family members to be seen by a veterinarian.


Brunt has several tips to help make taking your cat to the veterinarian a more pleasant experience.

  • Bring the carrier out at least a week before the appointment. Better yet, leave it out so the cat can get used to it, explore it, and maybe even curl up and take a nap in it. 
  • Make the carrier more attractive by placing treats, catnip or favorite toys in the carrier. 
  • Brunt recommends putting a recently worn article of your clothing — like a t-shirt or sweatshirt — in the carrier. “This can help make the carrier a safe place for your kitty — with something to snuggle in or hide under,” says Brunt. “Plus, in an unfamiliar place like a veterinary clinic, your scent can provide additional comfort to your cat.”
  • Brunt also suggests working with your veterinarian ahead of time to come up with a plan to reduce your cat’s stress. This may include feline facial pheromone spray or wipes, or prescription medications that will help most cats be less anxious. “Remember,” says Brunt, “cats are both predators and prey. They are the hunters and the hunted. It helps for both cat owners and veterinarians to see the world from a feline perspective, understanding what makes them anxious or afraid, and then taking steps to prevent, minimize and manage those fears.”


It may also help to bring your cat to a feline-only practice, says Brunt, or consider taking your cat to an AAFP-designated Cat Friendly Practice®, or a clinic that has been certified as Fear Free. Facilities and practitioners with these designations are focused on making visits to the vet as stress-free as possible.


To help cat lovers everywhere get involved in National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day, Royal Canin is asking cat owners to share a photo of their kitty or offer tips for a less stressful visit to the vet. For every post tagged with #Cat2VetDay in August, Royal Canin will donate $5 to Frankie’s Friends, a non-profit that helps with the cost of veterinary care for pets whose families can’t afford the full cost of treatment.

“Cats require more than love,” says Brunt. “They need our attention and care to keep them healthy and happy. And taking them in for routine wellness visits is one of the best ways to keep them purring for a long time.”

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Rescued Interviews: Wu Kitty

Meows from Mudpie!

Back in 2015 Angel Truffles started interviewing the cats featured in 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. She was unable to see it to completion but I was more than honored to continue the series once I settled into my forever home and took full reins of our blog. Now Rescued Volume 2 is on store shelves and it's my goal to interview as many of the kitties as possible once again! (If you missed our review, it can be found here.)

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. August's spotlight is Wu Kitty, a cat facing certain death at New York City's Animal Care and Control until a woman facing serious struggles of her own took a chance on this damaged soul.

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

First off I just want to say how awesome it is to be on your blog and thank you for asking me to participate. As you know my name is Wu Kitty and I’m a 5 year old, female, orange kitty rescued off of Death Row at the Manhattan NYC, ACC. 

I was honored to be chosen in this anthology amongst so many talented feline authors. My human and I share a very special bond. We both understood labels, health issues and what it meant to keep pressing forward towards your purpose when facing difficult circumstances. I believe our healing story is powerful and was an excellent fit for Rescued Volume 2. 

I am so proud to represent the feline street warriors who were lucky enough to have survived their journey after the streets and ACC. I also feel it serves as a tribute to those who did not. 

The title of your story in Rescued is "Rescued from the Row" because you landed in New York City's dreaded Animal Care and Control and your assessment didn't leave much hope for rescue. What do you remember about that scary time? 

I was what they call “New Hope” or as the rest of us call it “No Hope”. I could only be pulled by a rescue group and was not available for public adoption. This was because of my behavior and health rating along with being labeled semi feral. 

I struggled to remain centered and in the moment while in the ACC. I will admit I was at times full of anger, then fear and at times sadness for those animals surrounding me. The main thing I refused to do was give up. I would not allow despair to take over. I kept reminding myself the lessons I had been taught by my She-Fe and those lessons are what got me through. I like to call it “Wisdom in the Meow”, staying in the moment, focusing on your breath, staying centered and remembering that you have a greater purpose.

You and your human share an extra special bond because of her own struggles. Tell us about your relationship and why she chose you. 

My human has had a long and at times very scary health journey. She is all to familiar with plastic bracelets with numbers like the one the ACC tightly wrapped around my neck. She too had been in a situation that meant life or death. At the time she had an orange rescue fella named TC who she had adopted at 6 months of age when he was rescued from a feral colony. Sadly TC passed away at 8 years young from lymphoma not long after the human returned home from a 2 month hospital stay. TC had been a behavior challenge his entire life and my human adored him. TC no doubt played a major role from afar as he looked over us from the Rainbow Bridge and ultimately had a paw in bringing me and the human together. 

The other reason I love the human so much is because she understands my unique needs and respects me for who I am, just like she did with TC. She does not try to change me. That respect and unconditional love is the glue to our bond. 

What's the story behind your unusual name? 

The human has what I call a She-Fe too. His name is Dr. Ming Wu and he has been a large part of her health journey. Dr. Wu is my human’s healer, teacher and friend. My human left a 15 year teaching career and reinvented herself as a social media strategist during her health journey. Dr. Wu was her first client and she runs his social platforms to this day. Not long after she adopted me, they decided I would make the best mascot. I reminded them of Tigress in Kung Fu Panda, a favorite movie for all of us. She had already decided on the name Wu and I liked it too. I love being the Wu Healing Center’s online mascot. I am very proud about that.

What is life like for you today? 

Life today is beyond my wildest dreams. I have a Facebook and Instagram page of my own. I work for the Wu Healing Center as their online mascot and spread the “Wisdom of the Meow”. I am loved and spoiled by my human. I absolutely adore our new home in New Britain, CT where I enjoy running up and down the stairs and meditating in our yoga room. I am blessed to be with my two rescue dog brothers Petey and Finnegan and all my rescue cat brothers and sisters. Life is amazing! I am very grateful for all I have especially my human. 

What shelter have you chosen to receive your proceeds from the book this month and why? 

I chose Boston’s Forgotten Felines for many reasons. The main reason is the lead feral cat warrior Joni Nelson. Joni is one of the most amazing rescue people I have ever met and the human agrees. (Finnegan does too). She has worked tirelessly 365 days a year for countless years saving and caring for the feral and community cats of Boston. Her friend Fred, who sadly passed away not long ago; worked alongside her to try to change the lives of these forgotten animals. I wanted to honor her and Fred and the cats who journey on in-spite of the odds. 

As a semi feral myself I knew they could sure use the help in trying to educate the public, bring humane solutions to the problem and make the lives of these cats better. Joni now has some amazing feral cat warriors who help feed and fundraise but they always need more people to donate, sponsor a community cat, foster and feed. Reach out to them if you can, you can make a big difference even if only in one cat’s life; my human made the difference of life and death in mine and you can too.

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

I want to bring hope to others and share stories about healing and compassion. I understand the difficulties of balance and staying centered when dealing with the good and bad in the world. Today I focus on the good, on the now (meow), on the wisdom inside me and to the voice that tells me I am here for a reason. I want others to feel that power in themselves too. 

I would also like people to learn that labels can be harmful. A number should not define an animal, or a human it is a barcode for a nonliving product. It is not something that should determine your outcome in the world. We must begin to be more careful about placing animals and humans in little boxes identified by numbers, labels and words used to stifle who they are and make it difficult for them to grow and be themselves. They said I was dangerous, feral, sick, unruly and not even worthy of having a chance to be adopted by society. Good thing my human didn’t believe in it, and instead believed in me. For me, teaching the wisdom of the meow, telling healing stories and lifting people and animals up by allowing them to be themselves, both the great qualities and the challenging ones..that is my legacy. 

Like I always say “In the Meow”..that’s where it’s at my friends. Stay there and all will be well. 

Much Love, Wu Kitty

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Angel Truffles' 4th Gotcha Day #SundaySelfie

Meows from Mudpie!

Today is a very special day for two reasons: it would have been Angel Truffles' 4th Gotcha Day, and it's also the 3 year anniversary of the Sunday Selfies blog hop. Truffles participated in week one of the hop back in 2014, rarely missed a week, and I've been faithful in carrying on the tradition.

In honor of this special day I asked Mommy to choose one of her favorite pictures of Truffles as our entry in the hop this week. We only wish she were here with us today. 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Making a Splash #CaturdayArt

Meows from Mudpie!

This week for my Caturday Art project I used the Splash effect in LunaPic. I think it's so cool the way it looks like I have long hair blowing in the breeze. 

How are you making a splash this week?

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

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

1. If someone were visiting my area, I would recommend a visit to The Country Christmas Loft. It's a local store in Shelburne, Vermont, featuring everything Christmas all year long, even down to an authentic Victorian Christmas village through the center of the store. Anytime I need a little taste of Christmas, even in the middle of July, that's where you'll find me!

2. My favorite room in my home is my bedroom. Especially late at night when I'm in bed reading and Mudpie is cuddled up right beside me, purring away. Pure bliss.

3. Back-to-school time makes me think of my birthday coming up. I think it's a special sort of cruelty for a kid when your birthday falls a week after the beginning of a new school year, and every single year without fail I had caught a cold by then so I was sick on my special day.

4. My favorite year of school was 3rd grade, because of my teacher, Mrs. Brownsword. She once told my mom that she thought I was a really good writer and encouraged me to do more creative writing. I'm not sure where she is now, but I hope she stumbles upon this blog one day!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Fun Feline Finds: Cat Lady Old Maid

One of my favorite card games growing up was Old Maid, probably most memorable to me because of the cute graphics on the deck of cards we had at home. I haven't played the game in years and I've pretty much forgotten the rules, but I'm going to have to relearn them because of this...

Cat Lady Old Maid is much like the original version of the card game, but instead of losing when you get the Old Maid card, you WIN when you get the Cat Lady card!

The illustrations on the cards are by amazing artist (and proud cat lady) Megan Lynn Kott. With names like Fluffer Nutter, Sad Jack Silver, and Colonel Snuggle Bottoms, it's going to be hard not to get distracted from the game by gazing at the adorable kitties!

You KNOW you need it here!

Disclosure: We received a free deck of cards from Chronicle Books, and the Amazon link is an affiliate link.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

5 Ways to Celebrate Black Cat Appreciation Day

Today is Black Cat Appreciation Day, a day to celebrate house panthers everywhere and help raise awareness about the hardships they still face. It's time for those silly superstitions dating back to the Middle Ages to be put to rest once and for all!

1) Adopt one! It's no secret that black cats (and dogs) are the last to get adopted and the first to be euthanized in most shelters across the US. If you have room in your heart and home for a new pet, please consider adopting a black cat (or dog) from your local shelter. You will be saving a life.

2) Already live with a black cat? Spoil them even more than you ordinarily do today! Give them an extra hug or kiss, a few more minutes of play or cuddle time, extra treats wouldn't hurt either. Post your favorite pictures of your precious pet on social media to show the world that black cats make purrfect companions too!

3) Find some adoptable black cats on PetFinder and share them online. The Internet has revolutionized the way animal lovers and shelters are able to get the plight of homeless animals to the masses. Every day lives are saved because of people blogging, Facebooking, and tweeting about waifs in need of their forever home.

4) Decorate your home in black cat decor! Christmas is my favorite time of year but Halloween comes a very close second, simply because of the influx of black cat merchandise on store shelves! Yes, I've already been scouring local stores to add to my collection and no, I'm not one of those people disgusted by seeing Halloween even before school starts. I'm over summer...bring it on! Some of the pieces I've bought don't even get put away at the end of the spooky season! Any visitor to my home knows that I love cats of ALL colors.

5) Read a book that celebrates black cats. We got a sneak peek of Black Cats Tell All, the brand new release by Layla Morgan Wilde, cat expert and founder of Cat Wisdom 101. It's a must have for every cat lover's home library, loaded with pawsome stories and stunning full color photos of both famous Internet black cats and the mini panther next door. Three personal favorites are "The Adventures of Willow, the Little Black Cat from Down Under" about an adventure cat who travels Australia with her human in a VW van, "From Frostbite to Warm Love" by blogger Kristin Avery, and "The Legend of Black Lightning, the Crime-Fighting Cat", a hysterical mystery/time travel story by Shalom, one of the mascots of Crazy Cat Lady Ceramics based right here in my home state of Vermont!

At last, a celebration of all that is pawsitively black cat to reverse negative stereotypes. This myth-busting collection narrated by cats will move and amuse you with their tell all stories, fun purrsonality profiles and stunning photos. This full color anthology features over 100 black cats from all over the world including YouTube and Instagram. For black cat lovers, it’s a must-have. It’s the gift which gives twice: pleasure for the reader and helps shelter cats with a portion of the proceeds of this book. 
From famous celebrity cats like Cole of Cole and Marmalade to the cat next door; see them lounging, working, enjoying outdoor adventures, strutting their model poses, playing and celebrating holidays–showcasing the full spectrum of their fascinating lives through four seasons. This book, the first of its kind to change negative black cat superstitions, is a welcome gift for cat lovers everywhere.
Tell us about the special black cat(s) in your life and how you're planning on celebrating today!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Handy Household Helper

Meows from Mudpie!

Last week I was helping Mommy sort through crap stuff in the office when she emptied this cool box. I hopped right in even though it was a vertical box and I had absolutely no room to turn around or lie down. That didn't stop me from trying though (and looking super cute doing it too)!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Is Your Cat Experiencing One of the Big 3 Cat Concerns?

With International Cat Day celebrated last week on August 8, and Happy Healthy Cat Month in September, now is the perfect time to address a topic many cat parents struggle with - your feline friend's diet. I'll be the first to admit Mudpie's diet isn't what I would like it to be. She is an extremely picky eater and a kibble addict while I would prefer that she eat primarily wet food. I'm thankful she's really good about drinking water though, and I plop her mug in front of her any chance I get. (Yes, her favorite place to drink is out of an over-sized pink coffee mug with cats on it.) I've struggled to understand how to address these issues, but then I realized I wasn't alone - Mudpie was just experiencing one of the three most common cat concerns: picky eating, weight gain, and urinary tract issues.

I learned about the Big 3 by partnering with Weruva - a luxurious, natural pet food dubbed "people food for cats" which has launched a full line of gluten, grain, and carrageenan-free cat food in honor of International Cat Day. It's called B.F.F. OMG! (that stands for Best Feline Friend, Oh My Gravy), and it's all about preventing these Big 3 Cat Concerns.

If your cat has any of these, you might want to consider changing their diet:

1)  Is your cat picky? Picky eating is usually a problem with texture, since cats are carnivores whose tongues and teeth are perfectly evolved for meat-eating. It's easy to see why a cat might dislike something without real shreds of meat—would you eat a steak with the texture of tapioca? Weruva's food features these shreds of real meat right off the bone, which is why Mudpie took to it like a duck to water (or a cat to gravy)!

2) Got a fat cat? The problem is in the kibble. It's filled with unnecessary carbs, which are almost impossible for cats to process (they don't produce amylase, an enzyme which helps humans digest their food). Weruva’s B.F.F. OMG! has no kibble to worry about because it’s 100% real meats in their true form.
3) UT-why? Urinary tract issues often stem from dehydration—even if you're giving your cat plenty of water. In the wild, cats stay hydrated through the food they eat instead of what they drink. Cats are used to 'eating' their water—but most wet foods don't have nearly enough hydration to keep them satisfied. All of the products in Weruva's B.F.F. OMG! line are over 85% hydration, which satisfies Mudpie's hydration needs.

I love Weruva products because they are considered "people food for pets". The new line of B.F.F. OMG! cans and pouches feature land proteins like boneless and skinless white chicken breast, salmon, beef, duck, lamb and more. All recipes are grain, gluten, and carrageenan free. And if you are a BPA-free home, check out the pouches because they are are BPA-free. Best of all, Mudpie loves it!

I kid you not - she ate it THREE DAYS IN A ROW and is coming perilously close to joining the clean plate club!!! For her to even *look* at wet food it must be practically soup, and I add extra water to her food to make it still mushier. These pouches were made for gravy hounds like her.

I'm so glad I had the opportunity to learn more about Weruva's new Oh My Gravy line because it helped me find a food that Mudpie is crazy about! Her favorite so far is the Chicken, Turkey & Salmon flavor, but I'm super excited for her to try the Lamb & Tuna because lamb is her favorite kibble flavor and it's really hard to find in wet food. (UPDATE: Since trying a pouch of the Lamb & Tuna I've ordered a case of it...she loves it that much!)

You can explore the whole B.F.F. OMG! lineup here, and find a flavor your cat will 'paw'sitively adore, at

Has your cat experienced one of the Big 3 Cat Concerns? Share your experience in the comments!

Disclaimer: We received a BFF OMG Bundle for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are our own and we never recommend a product we don’t fully believe in.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Tortie Shorties on Mystery Monday

Welcome to this week's edition of Tortie Shorties on Mystery Monday!

We hope you enjoy our choices.

From the publisher: A joyous New Year’s Eve in Historic Brooksford, Maryland, ends in tragedy when fireworks give way to murder during the tiny town’s inaugural First Night celebration, and once again Rory Roberts and her cat are right at the center of it all. This time, though, Rory is more in the center than she’s ever been, as she finds herself caught between her new boyfriend (who happens to be the county sheriff) and the prime suspect (who happens to be her neighbor and lifelong best friend). She may not want to choose sides, but friendship trumps romance as Rory is so sure her nice-guy best buddy could not have committed such a vicious crime. But will her loyalty leave her on the wrong side—and alone?

Meanwhile, Rory’s fluffy-tailed calico, Miss Cuddlywumps, is loyal only to the truth and to crime solving. A classically educated feline who is also well versed in mysteries, Miss C considers the slate of rather obvious suspects while trying to lead Rory in the right direction—hardly an easy task. As the cat sees it, she has only to follow the clues and her instincts to identify the killer, but as she soon learns, sometimes instincts can be wrong.

Tortie Shorties Review: I read a ton of cat mysteries. Honestly, I've gotten to the point where I don't read much else. As I get to meet so many fictional felines it's hard not to fall in love with each and every one of them, yet none has stolen my heart the way Miss Cuddlywumps has. She's adorable, she's hysterical, and she's brilliant. In this third book in the series Rory is at odds with her new beau (the sheriff) when he suspects her best friend of a murder during the town's New Year celebration. Life has been turned upside down in Miss C's home and she simply must help her human solve the murder so things can return to some semblance of normalcy...but is she in over her head this time around? Just as with the first two books in the series, the cozy little world that Rory and Miss C share is pure purrfection. It's a place I long to return to again and again.

From the publisher: As the bookmobile rolls along the hills of Chilson, Michigan, Minnie and Eddie spread good cheer and good reads. But when her faithful feline finds his way into the middle of a murder, Minnie is there, like any good librarian, to check it out.

Eddie turns a routine bookmobile stop into anything but when he makes a quick escape and hops into a pickup truck…with a dead body in the flatbed. The friendly local lawyer who was driving the pickup falls under suspicion. But Minnie and Eddie think there's more to this case than meets the eye, and the dynamic duo sets out to leave no page unturned.

Tortie Shorties Review: Loads of changes are afoot in Minnie's life in this sixth installment of the Bookmobile Cat mystery series, both in her personal and professional life. Her living arrangement is in question, her new boss at the library is a bigger nightmare than the last, and she comes to a startling revelation about her love life. The only constant in Minnie's day to day is darling little Eddie, who stumbles on yet another dead body while out making bookmobile rounds. The little guy's attempt at making Minnie run after him in a parking lot leads to the discovery of a dead body under a tarp in the back of a pickup truck. The victim is the father of Minnie's friend Leese, who has just returned to Chilson to open an elder law practice. When Leese falls under suspicion and her new business is about tank, Minnie and Eddie take on the case.

Each book in this series is like reuniting with old friends, and the mysteries aren't terribly complicated, making for fun little puzzles to be savored with each page. If you're like me and find your bliss in cats and books, this is a series that will make you purr with delight.

Disclaimer: As members of the Amazon Associates affiliate program, if you click on our links and buy something Mudpie gets a little money for her piggy bank!