Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Mudpie's Cat Petting Preference Chart

Meows from Mudpie!

This fun graphic has been making it's way around the Instagram cat world lately and our sweet friends Olive, Rye and Fig invited us to participate. After filling it out we decided to post it here too and invite our friends to play.

Image Credit: Darien MacSweeney

Just to be clear, even in the spots I've filled out "Eh" and "Maybe" I never try to lash out or bite. As far as my tummy, I actually prefer my grandma's tummy rubs to Mommy's! (You'll see more of that on Friday.) And with my hip area and my cute little bottom, Mommy can't help herself from squeezing me down there and giving me "love spankings". It makes me yell at her!

Don't you think it would be cool if shelters started filling these out and putting them on all the dog and cat cages? It sure would prevent a lot of problems by showing grabby humans where and where not to touch!

We'd love to hear about your petting preferences, either below in the comments or by filling out the form on your own blogs!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Worst Day Possible for Cat Litter Delivery #ChewyInfluencer

Meows from Mudpie!

Last week I told you that this month I got to try out a couple different things as a Chewy Influencer. The first was some yummy food I'm enjoying, and the second was, well, a product kitties need when your food comes out the other end. I'm trying to be ladylike, but of course I'm talking about kitty litter!

Did you know that has their own exclusive line of pet products that goes by the name Frisco? The Frisco line features all kinds of stuff like pet beds, dog crates, amazing cat trees, leashes, potty pads, and litter!

We've been hearing a lot of good things about their litter so I was excited to try it out, but as the title of my blog post today states, it arrived at our door on the worst possible day! Do you remember the arctic blast that the northeast was hit by earlier this month? The FedEx man delivered my Frisco litter on a Saturday afternoon when the actual air temperature was around -20 degrees, and the wind chill was -40. Not only that - there was snow and ice on the ground, and Mommy had to haul the 40+ pound box all the way up our loooooong driveway into the garage! Why, to hear her tell the story you would think it was your grandparents telling you about the days they had to walk for miles in the snow uphill both ways to school each day!

Anyways, back to the litter! We received a 40 pound bag of the Frisco Scented Multi-Cat Clumping Cat Litter. Because of my asthma we're hesitant to use scented litter (even though it's never bothered me) but we're happy to say that the scent is very light and fresh, and it's really quite minimal. We've been using it for a couple weeks now and have been very pleased with it's performance. I started using it right away with no issues, it clumps really well, and so far there's no noticeable dust or tracking. In short, it's a product that delivers on it's promises, and I would expect no less from our good friends at Chewy! Really our only complaint would be the packaging. 40 pounds is very, very heavy in a plastic bag. Ours arrived with some tiny holes in it that we had to cover up with packing tape to contain the spillage (which is why we're mainly using Chewy photos in our post).

I almost forgot to mention the best part - the incredible price! It's currently $12.19 (with an additional 5% off if you add it to your autoship order), but as a trial offer your very first bag will be only $5.99! (Limit one per customer, discount applied at checkout.) This offer works on both the Frisco scented and unscented litter (which also comes in 20 pound bags) so you can choose whichever you prefer.

Chewy offers FREE 1-2 day shipping for orders over $49, and with over 500 brands in stock they have something sure to make every cat or dog happy. Tell them Mudpie sent you!

Disclaimer: We received product compensation from as part of their Blogger Outreach Program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are our own and we never recommend a product we don’t fully believe in.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Tortie Shorties on Mystery Monday: Foodie Edition

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

We hope you enjoy our choices.

From the publisher: In an old Victorian in the heart of Pennsylvania’s Amish country, Daisy Swanson and her aunt Iris serve soups, scones, and soothing teas to tourists and locals—but a murder in their garden has them in hot water...

Daisy, a widowed mom of two teenagers, is used to feeling protective—so when Iris started dating the wealthy and not-quite-divorced Harvey Fitz, she worried . . . especially after his bitter ex stormed in and caused a scene at the party Daisy’s Tea Garden was catering. Then there was the gossip she overheard about Harvey’s grown children being cut out of his will. Daisy didn’t want her aunt to wind up with a broken heart—but she never expected Iris to wind up a suspect in Harvey’s murder.

Now the apple bread and orange pekoe is on the back burner while the cops treat the shop like a crime scene—and Daisy hopes that Jonas Groft, a former detective from Philadelphia, can help her clear her aunt’s name and bag the real killer before things boil over . . .

Tortie Shorties Review: From the very first scene Daisy’s Tea Garden, owned by Daisy Swanson and her aunt Iris in an old Victorian in Willow Creek, Pennsylvania, came alive for me. Preparations are underway for the tea shop to cater a party honoring the 25th anniversary of Men's Trends, a shop owned by Iris's beau Harvey. The event is going off without a hitch until Harvey's soon-to-be ex Monica crashes the party, making accusations that Harvey is hiding assets in their divorce negotiations. Before long Harvey is found dead in the herb garden, whacked over the head with a statue, and Iris finds herself at the top of the suspect list. Daisy gets involved in clearing her aunt's name and it doesn't take long to discover that Harvey had a knack for angering people both in his personal and business lives, and the list of possible suspects isn't short. I liked that the resolution is tied up neatly at the end with no unanswered questions or confusion.

Secondary story lines feature Daisy's adopted daughter Jazzi who has decided to track down her birth mother, and the sparks of a romance between Daisy and Jonas, furniture store owner and former detective from Philadelphia. Oh, there are cats too! Marjoram the tortie and Pepper the tuxie don't play a large role in the story, but it's obvious they are Daisy's beloved companions. With mouth-watering recipes at the end, don't read this book while you're hungry!

From the publisher: Allie Larkin was living her dream as a ballet dancer when a bad fall put her out of business. Now she’s back home in Mystic Bay to heal a broken ankle while also helping her dear Aunt Gully get her Lazy Mermaid Lobster Shack off the ground. Nothing would help Gully more than winning the local food festival’s Best Lobster Roll contest. The competition is sure to be killer—especially after one of the contest judges dies after eating a roll from one of Gully’s biggest rivals.

Soon, all eyes fall on Gully as the prime suspect. Allie may only have one good leg to stand on, but she’s not going to let her aunt go down for a crime she never could have cooked up. Can Allie, along with her devoted crew of friends, family, and customers, find a way to trap the killer and claw herself out of this hard-boiled murder case?

Tortie Shorties Review: I'm not sure why I've been looking forward to this book so much since I've never eaten anything lobster-related in my life and find myself kind of creeped out by the little guys while feeling sorry for them at the same time. (I'd probably be a "Lobster Libber" as this book refers to lobster liberation activists!) Anyways, I fell in love with the cover and couldn't wait to dive in. The descriptions of the various lobster rolls actually made me quite hungry in spite of the fact that one of the recipes ended up causing the death of actress Contessa Wells. I enjoyed following along as protagonist Allie and her eccentric Aunt Gully hunted for a killer while trying to keep their business afloat, especially the scenes at the murder victim's mansion with her disturbed sister. I suspected the twist at the end but was still quite surprised when it was revealed. My only complaint is that this is the rare cozy without a pet :( Fun mystery that will transport you to the ocean on a cold winter day!

Disclaimer: I received free copies of these books from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. 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!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Dark Shadows #SundaySelfies

Meows from Mudpie!

My selfie today is quite dark and shadowy but it actually fits with what we want to chat about!

Are you familiar with the gothic soap Dark Shadows? Mommy has always wanted to see it but since it ran from 1966 to 1971 it came and went before she was even born. She's pretty excited because we just read that the entire series of 1,225 episodes is now available on Amazon Prime to stream for free!!!

Whoa, that's gonna be a lot of couch cuddling time! SCORE!!!

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

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Caturday Art

(Created with Photo Lab & PicMonkey)

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. The flu shot isn't for me. Honestly, I've never gotten one and so far (knock on wood) I've been lucky.

2. I think everyone should take at least one cat cuddle daily.

3. I (almost) always sleep late on the weekends, because I'm not a morning person *at all* and weekday mornings are brutal.

4. I (almost) never make a phone call when I can text or email someone instead because I'm just anti-social that way :) One of the best parts of electronic communication is not having to talk to so many people!!!

Friday, January 26, 2018

20 More Amazing Facts About Mudpie

Meows from Mudpie!

I was super excited when my good friend CK over at Stunning Keisha provided a new round of questions for her blogging pals. These are more cat-centric questions making it a pawsome way to learn more about one of your favorite kitties...ME!

1. What was the last thing you put in your mouth?

A spoon of Mommy's Greek yogurt

2. Where was your header pic taken?

The graphic represents all the torties that have been a part of this blog - Tara, Truffles, and now me.

3. Worst pain you ever felt? 

Probably when I was spayed a couple weeks before I met Mommy. Thankfully I don't really remember.

4. Favorite place you've traveled? 

My forever home!

5. How late did you stay up last night?

1AM is usually around the time Mommy & I go to bed.

6. If you could move, where to? 

It wouldn't really matter as long as Mommy was with me.

7. What do you collect?

Toys! Specifically, candy wrappers. I love when Mommy wads up a wrapper and flicks it across the room to me. I have a small Halloween pail full of wrappers that I paw at when I want to play. Anyone visiting our house must think Mommy eats a piece of candy and just tosses the wrapper on the floor instead of throwing it away! MOL

8. Which of your blogging friends lives the closest? 

Probably the Chirpy Cats

9. Amusement park or concert? 

Amusement park. I don't care for music.

10. When was the last time you cried? 

Last week when I had some potty troubles. Every now and then I get constipated and crampy and it makes me cry :(

11. Who took your header photo? 

Glogirly did the tortie cartoon of Angel Tara at the time, then Truffles, now me!

12. Who's the last person you took a picture with? 


13. What's your favorite season? 

Fall. Chilly enough at night to cuddle with Mommy but warm enough during the day to still have the windows open.

14. If you could have any career, what would it be? 

I'm very happy being a cat blogger. I just wish it could bring in enough green papers so Mommy could stay home with me every day!

15. Do you think relationships are ever worth it?

Yes, especially the one you share with your forever human. There's nothing better.

16. If you could talk to anyone right now who would it be?

I'm a tortie...I'll chat with anyone!

17. Are you a good influence? 

Absolutely! I'm an angel. Mommy says so.

18. Does pineapple belong on pizza? 

Not in our house!

19. You have the remote, what are you watching? 

Investigation Discovery. It keeps Mommy glued to the couch with me.

20. Whom do you think will play along? 

Hopefully lots of my blogging friends!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

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

Meows from Mudpie!

Just like last year Mommy wasn't planning on a Valentine's Day gift guide but I talked her into it by reminding her of all the cool things we find 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 so I can buy something special for Mommy on Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Post-Christmas Blues

If I lay in this box looking super sad I bet Mommy won't finish packing away the Christmas decorations.

Oh, that's cruel.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Mudpie Had A Little Lamb #ChewyInfluencer

Meows from Mudpie!

This month I got to try out a couple different things as a Chewy Influencer. First up is the Weruva Cats in the Kitchen Variety Pack. I know you're probably thinking, "But Mudpie, you HATE wet food!" You know me too well, but Weruva is actually a brand I enjoy, especially the pouches that have loads of gravy in them!

Weruva is known as "people food for pets" because they use only the best ingredients that are high in protein and low in carbs with no grains, gluten, potatoes, GMO ingredients, MSG or carrageenan, making it great for cats with allergies.

Variety packs are great for us fussy felines because they allow us to try new flavors we might otherwise miss out on. This one contains 3 cans each of 4 different recipes: Funk in the Trunk (chicken in pumpkin consomme), Kitty Gone Wild (wild salmon au jus), Lamb Burger-ini (lamb au jus), and Chicken Frick 'a Zee (chicken au jus). Aren't those fun names???

The flavor I was most excited to try was the Lamb Burger-ini. Lamb is one of my favorite proteins when it comes to dry food and treats, but it's pretty hard to find in wet food. Last year I reviewed the new Weruva B.F.F. OMG! (that stands for Best Feline Friend, Oh My Gravy) pouches and I loved the Lamb & Tuna flavor so much that Mommy ended up ordering a whole case of it! The au jus cans in this variety pack aren't as "juicy" as the pouches, but Mommy just mashes it up with some water to make it more gravy-like for me.

So here's how the taste test went...

I was served half a can of Lamb Burger-ini and I approached my bowl like I usually do - with great trepidation. I started picking at it while still standing up in preparation of sticking my nose up at it and walking away. Then slowly but surely I started squatting in front of the bowl. Maybe I planned to stick around for awhile! Mommy was watching me from the living room and she refused to let anyone walk through the kitchen while I was eating. (Wait!!! Mudpie's eating her wet food!!!) I nibbled for a good 5 minutes, and by the time I finished more than half of the serving was gone! I then proceeded to wash my face for awhile looking very satisfied with myself. Even more shocking, later that day when Mommy was cooking dinner I started crying at the shelf for more...and I ate it again!!!

If you've been following my eating adventures here on the blog you know what a big deal this is! I'll probably never be an exclusively wet food-fed kitty, but every time we find something that I will eat, even if I don't clean my bowl (which I never do), is a win in Mommy's book!

The Weruva Cats in the Kitchen Variety Pack is currently on sale for $13.92. Chewy offers FREE 1-2 day shipping for orders over $49, and with over 500 brands in stock they have something sure to make every cat or dog happy. Tell them Mudpie sent you!

Which fun flavor do you think will be your favorite?

Disclaimer: We received product compensation from as part of their Blogger Outreach Program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are our own and we never recommend a product we don’t fully believe in.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Review/Interview/Giveaway: Survival of the Fritters by Ginger Bolton

Emily Westhill runs the best donut shop in Fallingbrook, Wisconsin, alongside her retired police chief father-in-law and her tabby Deputy Donut. But after murder claims a favorite customer, Emily can’t rely on a sidekick to solve the crime—or stay alive.

If Emily has learned anything from her past as a 911 operator, it’s to stay calm during stressful situations. But that’s a tall order when one of her regulars, Georgia Treetor, goes missing. Georgia never skips morning cappuccinos with her knitting circle. Her pals fear the worst—especially Lois, a close friend who recently moved to town. As evening creeps in, Emily and the ladies search for Georgia at home. And they find her—murdered among a scattering of stale donuts . . .

Disturbingly, Georgia’s demise coincides with the five-year anniversary of her son’s murder, a case Emily’s late detective husband failed to solve before his own sudden death. With Lois hiding secrets and an innocent man’s life at stake, Emily’s forced to revisit painful memories on her quest for answers. Though someone’s alibi is full of holes, only a sprinkling of clues have been left behind. And if Emily can’t trace them back to a killer in time, her donut shop will end up permanently closed for business . . .

This was the first cozy mystery I read in 2018, and I can't help but think it might end up at the head of my top 10 list by the time the year is through.

Protagonist Emily Westhill is a character I immediately came to care about, a former 911 operator who had to give up her career following the murder of her police officer husband. She's now building a new life for herself as the co-owner of a donut shop that caters to cops, Deputy Donut, alongside her father-in-law (also the retired police chief) and the cutest little torbie you'll ever meet, Dep. Murder comes to their peaceful little world when knitting club member Georgia Treetor is found dead in her home, and the nephew of her best friend and Emily's neighbor Lois Unterlaw becomes the main suspect. Investigating comes second nature to Emily and it isn't long before she connects the dots to the murder of Georgia's son 5 years prior.

I loved everything about this mystery and found myself guessing until the very end. I found the secondary plot of Emily's complicated relationship with Detective Brent Fyne, her husband's former partner, to be riveting, and I can only hope they manage to see what is obvious to Dep (and readers). So excited to find out what comes next for these characters!

Mudpie purred with excitement when I told her she could ask Deputy Donut a pawful of questions. She hopes you enjoy the interview!

Welcome, Deputy Donut! Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today. Could you start by telling us a little about yourself and how you came to live with Emily? 

Thank you, Mudpie, for inviting me to talk to you!

Emily and her really nice man, Alec, found me at a kitten rescue facility when I was just a baby. Alec was a detective. He took one look at the circles on my sides, said they looked like donuts, and named me Deputy Donut. Emily and Alec took me home. I was one lucky kitty! But Alec went away one night and never came back. I knew it was very sad, because Alec’s friend, another detective who is also a really nice man, came to tell Emily what happened to Alec. After that nice detective left, Emily cried and cried and hugged me tight. That was three years ago. I still miss Alec. Emily does too. At least we have each other.

You are the mascot of a donut shop, hence your name, and you're lucky enough to get to go to work with your mom every day! Please tell us about the cool ways she "catified" her office for you...

Excuse me, but I had the name first. I let Alec’s father and Emily borrow my name for their shop, well, really our shop. I don’t mind being called Dep, though.

Alec’s father—his name’s Tom, but the way—and Emily designed the office in one corner of our donut shop with windows on all four sides—big windows. They knew that I would like to look outside, but also that I would need to supervise what goes on in the kitchen and dining room.

Can you believe it? Some ill-informed folks in our town, Fallingbrook, Wisconsin, have decreed that pets are not clean enough to be in public kitchens and dining rooms. Not clean enough!?! Cats? Despite your name, you have to know how fastidious we are. Mudpie? That’s probably a joke, right?

Okay, back to my kitty playground. Emily and Tom made certain that I had comfy windowsills and the back of a couch to sit on while I peer out my windows. They also put in an electric fireplace to keep me warm and comfy. But the best part is my play space.

Emily and Tom are clever at building things, so they put catwalks all around the walls above the windows, just below the ceiling. They gave me staircases, ramps, and carpeted pillars to climb up and trot down. I have a BIG basket of toys on the floor of the room, but I also have lots of places to stash my favorite toys up on the catwalks. And tunnels! Did I tell you about the tunnels? I have lots of fun hiding in my tunnels or racing around the catwalks while Tom and Emily make those weird things that humans like to eat and drink. Donuts? Coffee? Give me a sardine, any time.

What's a typical day like for you?

Emily sets her alarm for five-fifteen. I have no idea why she bothers. Usually, I make sure she’s awake before her alarm makes that ruckus, but sometimes, just to show her who is actually boss, I sleep in. We both have breakfast, and then, if the weather’s nice, we walk to Deputy Donut. She makes me wear a leash and halter, and I put up with that, usually, but, you know, I’m the one who leads the way. If the weather isn’t nice, she puts me into a cat carrier and then into a car and drives me to work. Being inside a cat carrier is entirely beneath my dignity, and I make certain she knows how I feel about it. I should be riding on top of her head or on the dashboard. She stares so intently out the windshield that I should be in front of her face so I can see exactly what she’s seeing. We cats are very good at staring, don’t you agree?

At work, I spend my days in that nice room I just told you about. Emily, Tom, and sometimes their customers, come in to recharge their batteries by cuddling me and listening to me purr. I do like my job! After work, Emily and I go home to a nice dinner, and I help her organize our house and our life.

I must admit I'm a bit jealous of you because back at home you also discovered a fun way to visit your nice neighbor and score some extra treats. How did that come about?

It was the most amazing thing. I thought I knew my back yard perfectly. It’s walled in with smooth bricks, and there is absolutely no way out unless you can fly. I sniffed around the base of the wall and knew that it was also solid, except for this one kitty-sized cave that I liked to back into so I could watch bugs and other crawly things. Imagine my surprise when a new lady moved in behind our yard, and did some digging around (humans have a fancy name for it—“gardening”) and removed a stone in the rear of my cave. My cave became a tunnel into the new lady’s yard! I backed through it and tried to look pathetically underfed, which is hard when your human takes excellent care of you, but the new lady fell for it. She let me into her house, opened a can of sardines, and gave me one. After that, I visited her every night after work. I toured the inside of her house, just checking, you know, in case there were any other treats, and she always gave me a sardine. Then I went home to Emily. Yes, I’m a very clever kitty. But, all of us are, right? Mudpie, I recommend exploring even after you think you know all there is to know about a place. There’s no telling what fantastic things you might find.

What will readers find in the debut of the new mystery series you star in, Survival of the Fritters?

Thank you for understanding that we cats are always the stars. Readers will find a donut shop that caters to cops. Did I tell you that Tom used to be Fallingbrook’s police chief? Also, one of Emily’s best friends is a policewoman. I love the detective who was Alec’s friend, but Emily keeps her distance from him. He knows how to make me purr. But although he just started visiting Emily and me at home again, he never comes to Deputy Donut, so he’s obviously a little peculiar. But he’s not bad.

Mudpie, I hate to tell you this, and maybe you already know: there are bad people who hurt other people, like the bad person who made Alec never come back. A nice lady who came to Deputy Donut disappeared, and Emily had to figure out where she went and who made her disappear. Because our shop, the one named after me, is so popular, Emily was able to talk to lots of people and figure out who the bad person was. That person will never return to Deputy Donut. This pleases me.

Did I neglect to point out the fact that you're a tortie just like me??? (Technically you're a torbie, but still...) Do you use your tortitude to help Emily solve the mystery or just to get into mischief? 

I could help Emily solve the mystery if I wanted to, but I’m not sure that cats really get into mischief, even though people say we do. It’s just cattitude, and yours and mine is special, tortitude, as you say. In my case, it might be even more refined--torbitude.

Actually, I do help, but Emily doesn’t always recognize it. If someone I don’t like or don’t trust comes into Deputy Donut, I glare at them. Sometimes I puff myself up into a fierce ball of fur. And if they come into my special playroom, well, I might just go up to my catwalks and throw things, even my very favorite toys, at them. If Emily paid attention to my signals, she would know who the bad people are. But instead of doing that, she talks to people while they’re eating their donuts and drinking their coffee. Maybe she wants to distract them so they won’t notice that she didn’t give them any sardines.

Can you give us any clues as to what's next for you and Emily?

I would really like that nice detective to visit us at home more often, and maybe just stay with us, but Emily hasn’t figured out how wonderful that would be.

Meanwhile, Emily and Tom are making donuts for a wedding reception. The bride has a shop, Dressed to Kill, across the alley from Deputy Donut. Emily and Tom built a small plywood “wall” (anyone, even a human, can walk around it, so I don’t think it’s much of a wall.) They are going to hang donuts and crullers on dowels fastened to the wall, and the reception guests will help themselves. Can you believe this, Mudpie? Emily is not taking me to the reception! I’d like to go along. Removing all those donuts from the wall and batting them around the dance floor would be great fun, and maybe I could even try climbing on those dowels after all the donuts were removed. Now, that would be torbitude.

Thanks so much for the fun answers to my questions, Deputy Donut!

Thank you for talking to me, Mudpie. And I wouldn’t say this to many cats, but I’d like you to come visit me in my kitty playground at Deputy Donut. We could chase each other up to the catwalks and through the tunnels and back down. I’d even show you where to let go of my favorite catnip donut so that it lands smack dab on Emily’s keyboard. Then we could roll around on the keyboard. More tortitude.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Sunday, January 21, 2018

What'chu Talkin' 'bout, Mommy? #SundaySelfie

Somekitty has been watching too many Diff'rent Strokes reruns with her Mommy...

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

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Flower Tortie #CaturdayArt

(Created with PhotoLab)

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...

Mommy's answers:

1. I have never been able to drive a stick shift. When I first got my permit my dad was determined I was going to learn to drive on his truck which had a standard transmission, and it so completely overwhelmed me that it ruined the whole learning to drive experience for me. Which is probably why I didn't get my license until I was 30.

2. I wish I could still roller skate. We used to have skating parties in elementary school and I was so clumsy on them I refused to leave the rug. LOL By the time I finally mastered the skates and felt super comfortable on the rink the parties stopped. Now I wonder if I would be able to pick it back up again.

Mudpie's answers:

3. Curled up on the couch with my blankies and Mommy is my ideal winter night.

4. Adopt a cat this winter and you'll always be warm and cozy.

Friday, January 19, 2018

The Purrfect 10: Meet Cattarina, Edgar Allan Poe's Feline Muse

We love reading and researching anything and everything about cats, and wanted to find a fun and unique way to share the interesting facts we learn with you! Since top 10 lists are very popular in the blogosphere, we created The Purrfect 10 as a way to present 10 educational or fascinating tidbits about a wide variety of cat-related topics, everything from health issues to cat breeds to famous felines.

One of Edgar Allan Poe's most famous works is the short story The Black Cat, but in real life he was owned by a beautiful tortoiseshell cat named Cattarina. Unfortunately cats weren't celebrated two centuries ago as they are today so facts about her life are few, but when I found out that one of my all-time favorite authors was owned by a tortie I started doing some digging. Today is Edgar Allan Poe's birthday, but the subject of this month's edition of The Purrfect 10 is the one and only Cattarina...

1) Historians believe Cattarina became a part of the Poe family (Edgar, his wife Virginia, and her mother Maria Clemm) in late 1839/early 1840 while they were living on Coates Street in Philadelphia.

2) Nicknames were popular in their home - Edgar was simply Eddie, he called his wife Sissy, and his mother-in-law was referred to as Muddy. Cattarina herself was sometimes called Catters or Kate, and her name has been spelled both with one T or two.

Drawing by Chas. Sheldon, image courtesy Poe Museum.

3) Edgar and Cattarina formed a very close bond. She reportedly preferred to eat from his hand, was depressed when he traveled, and enjoyed perching on his shoulder while he wrote, "purring as if in complacent approval of the work proceeding under [her] supervision,” according to one observation. (Hopefully she took lots of cat naps while he was writing The Black Cat!)

4) Poe's wife suffered from tuberculosis for 5 years and during the winter of 1846, when Poe was destitute and Virginia was dying, Cattarina would curl up on the bed with her to provide much needed comfort. One visitor to their home during this time described how Virginia had no source of warmth other than her husband's coat and the cat. He wrote: "The wonderful cat seemed conscious of her great usefulness." Virginia passed away in January 1847 at only 24 years old.

5) In 1840 Poe write an essay titled Instinct vs. Reason - A Black Cat in which he writes, "The writer of this article is the owner of one of the most remarkable black cats in the world..." and proceeds to tell the story of how she (presumably Cattarina) had figured out how to open a latched door using a series of perfectly timed movements.

6) In 1844 the Poes traveled to New York City, leaving Muddy and Cattarina behind while Edgar chased success in the American literary world. They stayed at a boarding house in Greenwich Village where the landlady provided such an impressive feast that he wrote home, "I wish Kate could see it - she would faint. You can't imagine how much we both do miss you. Sissy had a hearty cry last night, because you and Cattarina weren't here." Within the week he wrote a piece for the New York Sun about a transatlantic trip in a gas balloon titled "The Balloon Hoax" that earned him enough money to send for Muddy and Cattarina.

7) Poe died at the age of 40 on October 7, 1849. Cattarina joined him in death within weeks, discovered by Muddy upon returning to the family cottage at Fordham for a last load of boxes. Her death is every bit as mysterious as that of her beloved owner.

8) Poe's cause of death continues to be debated to this day, with one theory being that he died of rabies. Since Cattarina passed so shortly after, some wonder if he could he have contracted it from her. It's worth noting that there was no available vaccine for pets at the time.

9) Cattarina is the star of her very own cozy mystery series by Monica Shaughnessy, and also the subject of a short biography, Poe's Uncanny House Cat by Ed Sams.

10) Cattarina's legacy lives on! In November 2012 a trio of kittens were found on the grounds of the Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia. Museum staff named them Edgar, Pluto (after the cat in The Black Cat), and Cattarina. Cattarina was adopted by a museum staffer, but Edgar and Pluto have become official mascots of the Poe Museum and can be visited there today. A fun interview with Edgar and Pluto can be found here.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

25 Amazing Facts About Mudpie

Meows from Mudpie!

Today I'm answering questions from the FB meme started over at Stunning Keisha that so many kitties in the cat blogosphere have taken part in. Not really sure these are amazing facts about me, but it has been a fun way to get to know my blogging friends a little better...

1. Where is your cell phone? Mommy
2. Your hair? Tortoiseshell
3. Your dad? Unknown. I have a pawsome Grandpa though!
4. Your mom? Mommy
5. Your favorite food? Pro Plan kibble
6. Your dream last night? Spending time with Mommy
7. Your favorite drink? Water
8. Fear? Being away from Mommy
9. Favorite shoes? Paws don't need shoes!
10. Favorite way to relax? Nap with Mommy
11. Your mood? Playful
12. Your home away from home? Home
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. Something that you aren't? Boring
15. Muffins? Paw biscuits
16. Wish list item? Catio
17. Where you grew up? Western NY...I think!
18. Last thing you did? Play
19. Favorite thing to do? Play and nap
20. Your TV? Always on
21. Your pets? No way!
22. Friends? Lots thanks to my blog
23. Your life? Happy
24. Missing someone? Mommy when she's at work
25. Something that you are? Deeply loved

Do any of my answers surprise you?
Is there anything else you'd like to know about me? 
My life is an open

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Rescued Interviews: Mr. Jazz

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. January's spotlight is Mr. Jazz who is telling the story of his sister Jazmine, a cat he led his humans to from his home at the Rainbow Bridge...

Welcome Mr. Jazz! 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? 

Sure thing! I’m a handsome and distinguished bi-color Ragdoll cat, or I should say, I was a handsome and distinguished bi-color Ragdoll cat. Right now I’m an angel cat with the prestigious distinction of narrating the meow memoir, Purr Prints of the Heart – A Cat’s Tale of Life, Death, and Beyond. After the heartbreaking decision from my humans to help me, I went to the Rainbow Bridge at 15-years of age on August 28, 2013. That’s why my story for the Rescued anthology was such a good fit… I knew I had a unique story to tell by sharing the journey of how I, as an angel, came to guide my heartbroken humans to finding Jazmine – a sweet and sassy rescue kitten (and my namesake) they weren’t looking for that ended up rescuing them instead by bringing love and joy back into their lives.

For a while after you left for the Rainbow Bridge you "visited" your mom. Do you think that helped you both cope with your physical separation?

I visited my mom several times and when it first happened it was really weird and awkward. Being a spirit was new to me and I wasn’t sure if I was helping her, or scaring her. But ultimately, yes, once she got over the shock of it, I think my visitations brought her comfort and she looked forward to them. I had already made peace with my journey to the Bridge. I was very tired and sick before that and I wanted to go. I had lived a wonderful life with my mom and my coming back to her, especially by bringing her to ultimately finding Jazmine, was my way of letting her know I would always be a part of her heart and never far from her memory.

The story you wrote for Rescued 2 is actually the story of how your sister Jazmine came into your humans' lives, with your help. How did you know Jazmine was the kitty meant to fill the empty space in their hearts that you left behind?

Just like my mom, I’m a firm believer in things like fate, destiny, and kismet. I can’t say I immediately knew Jazmine was the key to filling the empty space in my humans’ hearts, but once the clues started to fall in place, I knew she was the one. It all started with me communicating with my mom during one of my spirit visits that she had to go to the Global Pet Expo, a trip she was planning on cancelling because she was still so depressed after losing me. I didn’t understand why it seemed so imperative she go, but my intuition was telling me it was and I pulled out all the stops to convince her, even making direct eye contact with her for the first time and gently letting her feel my presence on her lap. She and I always shared a special bond and it was like she understood I was leading her on a journey she had to fulfil.

My Mommy is convinced that Angel Truffles sent me to her as well. Has Jazmine proven herself to be the perfect fit for your family as you knew she would? 

Oh my gosh! If there was ever a cat meant to be with my family, it’s her! Honestly, it’s like she was custom-created from the heavens above with the pure objective of being put on this earth to make my humans happy! There is not a single day that goes by that she doesn’t do something to cause them to laugh or smile and it gives me tremendous joy to see how much she has enriched their lives. As a matter of fact, just this past week, my mom had a procedure for a serious eye injury. Just like I used to do, Jazmine is sticking to her like glue to help her get better. She’s got so much of me in her that sometimes my mom swears it’s me she’s seeing or hearing, and not Jazmine. Jazmine carries toys in her mouth to bring to mom, and with nearly the exact same meow I had, she drops them at her feet. Plus, even though she can kinda be a spoiled brat (it’s nearly impossible for the humans not to spoil her) all of the other cats in my family love her, too and it’s like she’s been a part of the family her whole life.

What's life like for all of you now, both at the Bridge and here on earth?

Well, for me, I’m quite content at the Bridge. Yes, there have been some sad moments. Like when my sister cat Harley had to come to the Rainbow Bridge at far too young an age. Or so many cats from the blogosphere that are so beloved that have also joined me over the years. But we make the best of it – we watch over our humans and it makes us happy when our humans can open their hearts to other rescues that need a good home. On earth, well, there seems to be so much strife lately and I know it’s a stressful time. I see so many kitties working overtime, trying to bring some calm, peace, and happiness into their human’s life. And honestly, why not? We kitties are great at that and it’s all the more reason every household should adopt a rescue cat or two, because we’re awesome, we deserve a good home, and we make incredible companions! Purr therapy does wonders for the heart and soul!

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

I chose Riverfront Cats Miami because they are near and dear to my mom’s heart. Riverfront Cats is a small, grass roots organization from Miami, Florida and is always in need of donations to help take care of local outdoor neighborhood cats and fostering efforts. With temperatures warm nearly year-round, kitten season rarely lets up, so there are always cats in need of help. Gorgeous lady and Founder of Riverfront Cats, Christine Michaels, devotes her time, heart, and pocketbook to helping the community cats in her area, especially the black cats that are most often abused or overlooked for adoptions. Between TNR, food, veterinary costs, and more, it’s an expensive endeavor and they really, really could use some help!

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

I hope that people learn that sometimes you have to look beyond what you think you’re supposed to do. After my death, my mom wasn’t looking for another cat. Quite the contrary, she was certain she didn’t want another cat, but meeting Jazmine changed all that. Opening your heart and home to a rescue not only changes the life of the cat, it changes the life of the human. As far as my lasting legacy, it’s the one I share in Purr Prints and it’s the purr-fect sentiment for the Rescued series – for those that have loved and lost a cat, we know we will always be special in your hearts and you are not looking to replace us if you chose to adopt again. Quite the opposite – we take great pleasure in knowing another cat in this world will have a life filled with love, comfort, and happiness the way we did. Rescued is all about that and I am so honored to be a part of a book that shares that special message.

BIO: Deborah Barnes is the author of the award-winning book, Makin’ Biscuits – Weird Cat Habits and the Even Weirder Habits of the Humans Who Love Them; as well as Purr Prints of the Heart – A Cat’s Tale of Life, Death, and Beyond; The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey – A Journey of the Extraordinarily Ordinary; and contributor to Rescued Volume 2 – The Healing Stories of 12 Cats, Through Their Eyes. She is the publisher and editor of the award winning blog, Zee & Zoey’s Cat Chronicles and is the Vice-President of the Cat Writers’ Association. She was awarded 2013 “Writer of the Year” by Friskies Purina and is the Secretary of the nonprofit, Pawsitively Humane, Inc. of Miami, Florida. Her freelance work has been featured in Cat Fancy magazine, Kittens 101,,, and the American Association of Human-Animal Bond Veterinarians newsletter.

This post contains affiliate links. Photos used with permission: Deborah Barnes

Monday, January 15, 2018

Tortie Shorties on Mystery Monday: Christmas in January

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

We hope you enjoy our choices.

From the publisher: Sheriff Jeff McQuede finds pampered cat King Henry in the midst of a crime scene. The cat, who belongs to Sammy Ratone, is the only witness to a burglary. McQuede, unable to locate Sammy, takes King Henry home with him where the cat creates endless mischief.

Tortie Shorties Review: This is a series I wasn't familiar with and most likely not one I would gravitate towards if not for the cat on the cover and in the description. I found it to be a fun, short read and enjoyed the mystery as Sheriff McQuede attempts to solve a string of robberies at Christmastime, but the best part is when he takes home the big orange tabby belonging to one of the victims. King Henry is a hoot and the only witness to the crime...will he lead the sheriff to the culprit or just cause him more trouble?

From the publisher: When Holly White’s fiancé cancels their Christmas Eve wedding with less than two weeks to go, Holly heads home with a broken heart. Lucky for her, home in historic Mistletoe, Maine is magical during Christmastime—exactly what the doctor prescribed. Except her plan to drown her troubles in peppermints and snickerdoodles is upended when local grouch and president of the Mistletoe Historical Society Margaret Fenwick is bludgeoned and left in the sleigh display at Reindeer Games, Holly’s family tree farm.

When the murder weapon is revealed as one of the wooden stakes used to identify trees on the farm, Sheriff Evan Grey turns to Holly’s father, Bud, and the Reindeer Games staff. And it doesn’t help that Bud and the reindeer keeper were each seen arguing with Margaret just before her death. But Holly knows her father, and is determined to exonerate him.The jingle bells are ringing, the clock is ticking, and if Holly doesn't watch out, she'll end up on Santa's naughty list in Twelve Slays of Christmas, Jacqueline Frost’s jolly series debut.

Tortie Shorties Review: For Christmas crazy people like me this series is a dream come true with a farm called Reindeer Games (with real reindeer) in the town of Mistletoe and a protagonist named Holly with her cat Cindy Lou Who. It's simply everything a Christmas cozy should be. As a matter of fact, I think you could read it on the 4th of July and instantly find yourself in the holiday spirit! The mystery of how the local historical society Scrooge is found dead, clobbered with a wooden stake from the tree farm and left in a sleigh on the grounds, is complex and suspenseful. The characters are well-developed and I especially enjoyed Holly's close knit family and the descriptions of the fun Christmas activities they've created for the tree farm. Could someone book me one-way ticket to Mistletoe, please?

I received a free copy of Twelve Slays of Christmas from the publisher for review. This post contains affiliate links.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Stuffie Snuggling Sunday Selfie

Meows from Mudpie!

You may be wondering why I'm looking quite sad today and why I'm snuggling with stuffies instead of Mommy. That's because she plans to leave me to go to a silly cat show this afternoon and she'll probably come home reeking of other cats!!! Do you think it's too cold to ask her to change her clothes out in the garage when she gets home?

Okay, I guess I'm being kind of dramatic, but she had better buy me something! In the meantime, anyone wanna come over to paw-ty?

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