Wednesday, February 28, 2018

18 Extra-Amazing Facts About Mudpie

Meows from Mudpie!

Today I'm answering the latest round of "getting to know you" questions from my good friend CK over at Stunning Keisha!

1. Favorite smell— 

Window it spring yet?

2. Last time I hissed— 

I can't even remember! I think Mommy has only heard me hiss once when there was a neighbor cat at the door.

3. Favorite pizza— 

A fruit pizza with greek yogurt on it sounds yummy! Mommy and I *love* greek yogurt.

4. Favorite Flower— 

I think it's mandatory that all cats say catnip.

5. Favorite dog breed— 

No opinion - they're all noisy and stinky.

6. Favorite ice cream— 

Maple walnut. I am a Vermont kitty, after all!

7. Pet peeve— 

When Mommy leaves the house and it feels like she's never coming home again.

8. Shorts or jeans— 

Jeans are easier to nap on. When Mommy wears shorts and I'm on her lap she does a lot of squealing for some reason.

9. Color of your PTU— 

I have 3 (is that weird?): a purple hard-sided carrier, a gray sleeper carrier, and a pink Sleepypod.

10. Color of your eyes— 


11. Favorite food— 

Pro Plan turkey dry food

12. Least favorite food— 

Most wet foods

13. Favorite Holiday— 

Christmas! One word - prezzies.

14. Night owl or morning person— 

A little of both. I don't mind staying up late with Mommy but I'm also raring to go in the morning. Of course I also take lots of naps in between ;)

15. Favorite day of the week— 

Sunday. Mommy stays home to watch her race and we get to cuddle all afternoon.

16. Do you have a nick name?— 

Lots! Sweet pea, Precious, Peanut, Mudpie Mash, Mudster, Muddy Macaroni.

17. Favorite music— 

The sound of my own voice :)

18. Tattoos— 

Do tortie colors count?

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Delighting In Delectables Deliciousness #ChewyInfluencer

Meows from Mudpie!

This month when my Chewy influencer email arrived, I did things different and requested something I already know that I love and have been eating for some time now!

Delectables Stew Lickable Cat Treats come packaged in single-serve pouches in a variety of yummy flavors. My favorite is the Chicken & Tuna, but that was unavailable the day I ordered so I chose the Tuna & Whitefish. I've loved these pouches since the first time Mommy brought them home because they're loaded with yummy gravy goodness. And yes, even though I love this food, I still lick the gravy clean and leave the meaty chunks behind!!! They are called "lickable" cat treats, after all!

The only problem many cat moms will have is that some (not all) of these pouches contain carrageenan, an additive in many pet foods containing gravy that has been linked to digestion issues. Now I completely sympathize with kitties that have tummy troubles as I just got over a bout myself, but this food has never bothered me. Delectables aren't really meant to be a daily meal anyways, but a treat, so I only get it once a week or two. Not nearly enough, in my opinion!

In addition to the stews, Delectables are also available as chowder and bisque. As much as I enjoy the stews, I loved the bisque even more, but strangely enough it was the bisque that upset my tummy, and it doesn't even contain carrageenan!

Delectables pouches are currently on sale at in cases of 12, generally around $10-$12 depending on the flavor you choose. If avoiding carrageenan is important to your human, go with the chowder and bisque varieties. Purrsonally, I've enjoyed every pouch I've tried!

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, February 26, 2018

Book Review: Clowders by Vanessa Morgan

Clervaux, Luxembourg. This secluded, picturesque town in the middle of Europe is home to more cats than people. For years, tourists have flocked to this place – also known as “cat haven” - to meet the cats and buy cat-related souvenirs.

When Aidan, Jess and their five-year-old daughter, Eleonore, move from America to Clervaux, it seems as if they've arrived in paradise. It soon becomes evident, though, that the inhabitants' adoration of their cats is unhealthy. According to a local legend, each time a cat dies, nine human lives are taken as a punishment. To tourists, these tales are supernatural folklore, created to frighten children on cold winter nights. But for the inhabitants of Clervaux, the danger is horrifyingly real.

Initially, Aidan and Jess regard this as local superstition, but when Jess runs over a cat after a night on the town, people start dying, one by one, and each time it happens, a clowder of cats can be seen roaming the premises.

Are they falling victim to the collective paranoia infecting the entire town? Or is something unspeakably evil waiting for them?

Their move to Europe may just have been the worst decision they ever made.

I've often heard people say that a book was so good it kept them reading long past their bedtime, if not all night long. Now while I love reading, I love sleeping too, so I typically have a set number of pages that I plan to read each night before calling it quits. That all went out the window with Clowders. Over a 3-night period I found myself furiously swiping my Kindle as I just had to find out what was going to happen next before turning out the lights. It's riveting and chilling and unlike anything I've ever read. I can already see it as a movie and can only hope it's produced one day as many of the author's previous works have been. If you can, don't even read the publisher's blurb, just dive right in. I guarantee you'll be pulled in from the first page and find it impossible to put down. And for anyone who hesitates to read it because of cats dying (only one scene), don't worry - they get even. Oh, do they ever get even!

Author Bio:
Vanessa Morgan is an author, screenwriter, and blogger. Three of her stories (The Strangers Outside, A Good Man, and Next to Her) have become movies. When she's not working on her latest book, you can find her reading, watching horror movies, digging through flea markets, or photographing felines for her blog, Traveling Cats. She lives in Belgium.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author 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, February 25, 2018

Peanut Butter Foot #SundaySelfie

Meows from Mudpie!

My tortie friends Rye and Fig on Instagram are always showing off their peanut butter feet, and mine wanted to get in on the action too, so I helped it snap a couple selfies! (Is this the first foot selfie ever in the Sunday Selfies blog hop?)

Actually, at my house there seems to always be a peanut buttery knife beside an open jar on the kitchen shelf when I jump up there so I wouldn't be surprised if one day I end up with a peanut butter foot for realz!!!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Kitty Heart #CaturdayArt

Meows from Mudpie!

A couple weeks ago one of our Facebook friends who works in cat rescue was offering Kitty Heart Commissions as a thank you to anyone who donated to her rescue, Furry Friends Country Kitties. Ours arrived this week and it's too stinkin' cute! (In other words, it looks just like me...)

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. My favorite president is Abraham Lincoln because he loved cats so much. Also Vermont's own Calvin Coolidge, who turned the White House into a zoo!

2. This weekend, I have plans to sleep late, go grocery shopping, watch NASCAR and cuddle a tortie.

Mudpie's answers:

3. I love my life.

4. I believe all cats should know the love, comfort and safety of a forever home.

Friday, February 23, 2018

The Purrfect 10: Fascinating Facts About White Cats

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.

We chose white cats as the subject of February's edition of The Purrfect 10 because of their pristine beauty, so similar to this snowy-white month during which we celebrate love. Simple enough topic, right? What I didn't count on was the incredibly scientific explanations behind these magnificent creatures, and my brain has never been geared towards science! Nevertheless, I found the research to be quite fascinating, and we think you will too!

1) While many cats will be born white and then develop their colors as they mature (this is generally the case with colorpoint breeds like the Siamese and Himalayan), 5% of the general cat population is pure white and stays that way. Persians, Siberians, the Devon and Cornish Rex, the Turkish Van and Angora, Scottish Fold, American and British Shorthairs, Maine Coon, and Norwegian Forest Cats are some of the breeds that produce pure white cats.

2) White cats are masters of disguise! They aren’t genetically white—the gene that makes cats appear white actually masks the TRUE color of the cat. It's very possible that a white Persian is actually genetically a dilute calico! The white cat can either pass their true color to their young, or their true color and the masking gene, making them white as well. Many white kittens are born with a small spot on their heads which shows their true color, and the spot may fade over time.

3) One of the most striking features of white cats are their eyes. They can be blue, green, gold, or even two different colors! Blue eyes are much more common in white cats than other colored felines, with 15% to 40% of them having one or two blue eyes.

Image: Jan-Erik Finnberg via Flickr

4) Hereditary deafness is a major concern in white cats, especially those with blue eyes. This is because of a genetics coupling that occurs only with the dominant white gene. (This pawsome post contains more information as to the scientific reasons why.) Research has shown that up to 80% of pure white cats with two blue eyes are hearing impaired, dropping to 40% for those with only one blue eye (with the highest chance of deafness in the ear closest to the blue eye), and 10-20% if neither eye is blue.

5) Decades ago feline geneticist Patricia Turner saw an overexposed photo of a lilac point Siamese, inspiring her to produce a completely white Oriental cat with blue eyes, with the ultimate goal that these cats wouldn't be deaf. The breeding program began in England in 1962 by crossing seal point Siamese with white British Shorthairs, resulting in the Foreign White breed, or the white Siamese. These cats share personality and physical traits of the Siamese, but they remain completely white and never develop the color points that typical Siamese do.

6) Cochlear implants, a surgically implanted electronic device that provides a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing in both ears, have been implanted in cats that were born deaf in order to study congenital deafness. With the implant, cats would come when called and demonstrate behaviorally that they can hear. After 3 months of use, synapses of auditory nerve fibers in these cats were indistinguishable from those of normal hearing cats.

7) Because they lack protective pigment, white cats are at greater risk of developing skin cancer, especially in areas where the fur is thin such as the ears, eyelids and nose.

Image: notoriousxl via Flickr

8) There are important scientific differences between white cats and albino cats. Albinism is a genetic condition which results in a complete lack of pigmentation due to their inability to produce melanin (the pigment that gives the eyes, skin, and coat their color). For a kitten to be considered a true albino both parents must carry the genetic marker for albinism, making them very rare. So how do you tell the difference? While white cats are known for their colorful eyes, an albino's eyes are likely to appear pale blue, pink, red, or pinkish blue, and their skin, most noticeably the nose and inner ears, will also be pink or pale pink. Because of this they are highly light-sensitive and direct sunlight can be harmful to their eyes and skin.

9) Superstition surrounds white cats, just as it does their black brothers and sisters. Folklore states that to dream of a white cat is good luck, but to see one at night is bad. In some countries they represent purity, but in others they bring bad luck depending on the circumstances, such as spotting one on your way to work predicting unemployment or job problems. A North American superstition states that a white cat may be jealous of a baby's innocence and place a curse on it, but in some Mediterranean countries a white cat forming a bond with a child signals greatness when they grow up. In Russia white cats are believed to bring money and prosperity, but in England they signal tough times ahead. The British also believe it unwise to offend or annoy a white cat because they can hold a grudge for years, and Albanians think if you touch a long-haired white cat you'll get fat...or pregnant!

10) White cats have long been a staple of children's movies, especially the Disney classics, from the mother/daughter due of Duchess and Marie in The Aristocats to Frankenweenie’s Mr. Whiskers. There's also Mr. Tinkles in Cats and Dogs, Snowbell in Stuart Little, Simon's Cat, and the iconic Hello Kitty who will be starring in her own feature film in 2019!

Have you ever been owned by a white cat? 
What do you think makes them so special?

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Tortie Shorties Book Reviews

Meows from Mudpie!

Today we're reviewing two pawsome new cat cozies. We hope you enjoy our choices!

From the publisher: Charlie Harris is busy enjoying his new grandson when a mysterious man with a connection to Charlie's family starts visiting the library, bringing with him troubling questions about an unsolved murder...

Charlie may be a proud new grandfather, but he and Diesel still have work to do at Athena College and the small Mississippi town's public library. He's too busy to deal with true-crime writer Jack Pemberton, who wants Charlie as the subject of his latest book--and who won't take no for an answer.

A more appealing proposition for Charlie is spending time helping a kind, elderly man navigate the library's genealogical database. But he's shocked when he learns that the visitor's search is focused on a member of his own family: his late aunt's husband.

Charlie befriends the man and considers inviting him to stay in his home, but he's soon given reason to question that notion. Jack is certain that Charlie's new houseguest was involved in a shocking homicide that took place years ago in a small town near Athena. As this cold case heats up, Charlie and Diesel have to uncover a killer who may already be too close to home...

Tortie Shorties Review: It's hard to believe this series is 9 books old now and has even inspired a spinoff. It's every bit as fresh and enjoyable as the one that started it all, and the characters - both human and feline - have become treasured friends.

In this book Charlie and Diesel team up with a true crime writer to solve a horrific quadruple murder from two decades ago only to learn the main suspect is a cousin that just showed up in Charlie's life. There's no present day murder this time around, but it's not even missed because the facts surrounding the cold case are so riveting, yet the unsolved mystery is still recent enough that the killer can be brought to justice even though it ends up being a very sad "tail". The bond between Charlie and Diesel is as deep as ever, and Diesel even has a new best friend - Charlie's very first grandchild! If you aren't familiar with this series we highly recommend a binge read to meet this very special cast of characters!

From the publisher: Valentine's Day is set to be a very special day indeed for new couple Beatrice and Matthew, in their mid-sixties and back together after forty years apart. And it's going to be magical for their small town of Ashbrook, New Hampshire, too. A massive skating party is planned and the whole town is excited!

But, then a traveling medium predicts that the party will end in disaster. A scary editorial is printed in the local newspaper. And there's a rash break-in involving arson. The whole town is on edge and it seems that the town's heroic effort to rebuild is going to, perhaps literally, go up in smoke.

Beatrice has to put aside managing the Cozy Cat Cafe, dodging rumors of an upcoming run for mayor, and planning her wedding to put her amateur detective hat back on. Thankfully, her four crime-fighting cats are always there to back her up. And this time, the most underrated of Beatrice's feline troupe might just be the one to save the day.

Tortie Shorties Review: There's never a dull moment in Beatrice's little world, but this Valentine's Day all she wants is to enjoy life as a newly-engaged woman to her one and only love Matthew. They soon realize that's unlikely to happen when they attend a good old-fashioned seance (arranged by their prior mayor who got the town into a bit of financial trouble), and the medium announces that chaos will reign at the town's upcoming holiday skating party. Once again it falls on Beatrice and her four fabulous felines to save the day, and this time around they're in for the ride of their lives! Every visit to Ashbrook is a frolicking adventure and pure escapist fun!

Disclaimer: I received free copies of these books from the publishers or authors 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!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

9 Things I Love About Mudpie #LoveYourPetDay

Oh, how I love Mudpie! Let me count the ways...

1) That face. It just kills me. She's at the same time the most beautiful, yet ridiculously adorable cat ever. And the head tilt? Heart melting.

2) Her joy. From the moment she wakes up she's ready to go, go, go, and play, play, play. Her pure innocence and love of life brings me joy in return.

3) She's my own purrsonal sleeping pill. When she climbs into my lap and I lay my head back for quick nap, I'll probably be out for the next hour! She's so warm and cozy, it's like she ends up sedating me.

4) Her sweet voice. She's a tortie so she loves to chat, and I love to listen.

5) Her vibrant tortie colors, especially when her fur has been kissed by the sun.

6) Her mischievous side. Can't you see "trouble" written all over that precious little face?

7) How kissable she is. I tell her that one day I'm going to go overboard and a chunk of her will go missing! Let's just say if she were an actual pie we'd have been down to the empty pie plate long ago. She always smells so yummy too!

8) She's my therapist. Mudpie magic can fix just about anything. Whenever I'm stressed, sad, or just feeling blah, she's there. Sometimes it feels like while I'm trying to take care of everyone, she's the one taking care of me.

9) Our bond. Whether I'm working from home, reading or watching TV on the couch, cooking in the kitchen or decluttering the basement, no matter what I'm doing or where I'm doing it, she wants to be with me. As long as we're together, we're both happy. The very best moments of my day are when it's just "us".

Happy National Love Your Pet Day! 
How are you celebrating? 
What do you love about your pet? 

Monday, February 19, 2018

The Rescued Interviews: Sparky

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. February's spotlight is Sparky, a cat who was the victim of an unspeakable act of cruelty, yet somehow she managed to beat the odds stacked against her and live to tell her story...

Welcome Sparky! 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?

Hi Mudpie.

Thank you for having me on your blog today. I’m very shy, and I’ve never been interviewed before so please bear with me if I’m a little nervous. My name is Sparky, short for Sparkles. I’m also called Scrat sometimes but mostly, my humans refer to me as Your Majestic Splendiferousness: The Master Cat of Planet Cat and All of the Universe. Tee, hee. Ignorant humans! They don’t know that every cat is the master cat and we cats are all equal but infinitely superior to all other species.

I’m from Africa but I now live in New Zealand. My kitty mother is known as The Elusive Butterfly because nobody has managed to capture her yet despite their best efforts. If by some miracle I had managed to escape the box of death on my own, I would have been exactly like her. As it turns out, I was very lucky to have been rescued as a tiny kitten, in the nick of time and my story is one of hope and healing.

You were the victim of horrific, unthinkable abuse as a teeny tiny baby. How did you manage to ever trust humans again?

I don’t trust humans. The only people who ever get to see or touch me are my human “parents”. If I hear a knock at the door I’m still overcome by terrible fear and I immediately run and hide under the bed. I don’t come out again until I can sense the strangers have left. It has gotten worse as I’ve gotten older. As a tiny kitten, just after my rescue and before I fully understood the enormity of what had happened to me, I used to allow humans to see and touch me, but no longer. I’m not sure I will ever be healed completely.

The title of your story in the Rescued anthology is "It's Not Over Until the Cat Lady Sings". What do you want animal abusers to know about the power of us cat ladies?

Don’t mess with a cat lady on a mission. Cat ladies are very special people and when they encounter cruelty to animals, it unleashes their superpowers. They are very determined people and they will stop at nothing and leave no stone unturned in their pursuit of justice. Hurting an animal in any way flips a switch in their brains.

You now share an extra special bond with the lady you call Gentle Hands. Tell us how you found each other and the life you have together.

Hmmm, I think I’ll leave your subscribers to find out for themselves how we ended up together. Our story is in the Rescued anthology but I’ve had a very, very eventful life since the telling of my story in Rescued Vol 2.

As the political situation in my home country, South Africa, deteriorated, my humans felt we would all have a brighter future in a more stable country. They sold up everything and we all, feline and human, went through a very rigorous immigration process before we were accepted as residents of New Zealand. After the long quarantine and accompanying medical tests and injections to ensure we were fit and healthy enough to travel, early on the morning of 15 February 2017, we cats were each locked up in a wooden crate which was secured by the seal of the State Vet. This seal was to remain unbroken if we were to be granted entry into New Zealand. In our crates, all we had was a water bowl attached to the mesh door and a blanket. My blanket was my only link with home and security. I immediately crawled right under it in an attempt to shut out the terrible ordeal. I thought it was the box all over again. I was sick with fear The three weeks at the quarantine facility without the comforts of home and the warm laps to sit on, were bad enough but nothing compared to the arduous journey ahead.

From the quarantine station we were transported by road to OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg. There we had to wait in the cargo warehouse with nothing but water - no food and no litter box. My wooden crate was so uncomfortable and I was starving. The time passed so slowly as our crates were loaded onto a wooden pallet and secured with a cargo net. By 6pm we were loaded into the cargo hold of the plane. I cannot find words to express how terrifying this experience was but the worst was yet to come. As the engines of the huge jet roared into life at around 7pm, I thought the end of the world had come. We cats are all very clean creatures by nature but we soiled ourselves in our crates and had to sit in our own filth for at least another 20 hours.

For me, the worst of it was the take off. My ears hurt, not just from the noise in the cargo hold but with a deep ache. I don’t remember much after the take off. I think I must have slept or perhaps I passed out but we were airborne for nearly 12 hours before we began the descent into Sydney, Australia. My ears began to hurt again as we descended. Then suddenly we began to ascend again. Our plane couldn’t land in Sydney as planned because of the weather conditions. We were redirected to Canberra. It took another hour to Get to Canberra but our ordeal was still far from over. While the human passengers were allowed to disembark and stretch their legs while the plane was refuelled and we waited for the weather to improve, we were left in the stuffy hold of the plane. It was now more than 24 hours since we had last eaten anything. After several hours of waiting, the plane finally roared into life and we flew to Sydney. Our connecting flight to Wellington had long since departed without us. After we were unloaded from the plane we had to spend the night in a draughty warehouse at Sydney Airport.

Luckily the veterinarians in charge decided to unseal our crates at this point and I ravenously devoured the food they provided. I barely noticed them pulling my soiled blanket out of my crate past me. I think I slept a few hours on the bare planks of my crate because the next thing I recall was the sensation of being lifted as the forklift loaded the pallet into the plane. We took off again and headed across the Tasman Sea to Wellington, New Zealand. By this point, I was simply numb. When our plane began to descend and then incredibly, ascended again, I felt nothing but de ja vu; no fear, just resigned acceptance of my fate, whatever that may be. It was the box experience all over again. The weather in Wellington was too windy for the plane to land. My companions and I were on our way to Auckland for another lengthy layover.

After several hours of waiting in the plane, we finally took off again and were on our way to Wellington at last. Not even the bumpy landing in windy Wellington registered any emotion in me. I was drained. We were jolted and jiggled around some more, made to wait while the paperwork was completed and the New Zealand state vet signed off and then we were loaded onto another vehicle for the two hour road trip to the quarantine station in Levin.

Our journey from the South African quarantine station to the New Zealand one took longer than 48 hours, more than double the time it should have.

It was with very shaky legs that I finally stepped out of my crate into the spacious and comfortable enclosure at the facility in Levin. I didn’t even mind the staff bathing me. It was so good to feel clean again and to have a soft, comfortable bed to settle into. It wasn’t home but I was very grateful to be on terra firma.

The next day our humans were allowed to visit. I was very disappointed when they left. I didn’t understand they would come back for us. Over the next 11 days, we gradually got used to the new smells and sensations of a country so far from where we had been born. At the end of the quarantine period I had a new home to get used to but at least my people were there.

I’ve been a kiwi kitty for a year now. We’ve all settled in well here and I love my new home. At the end of December my first kiwi born brother and sister were adopted and joined our family. Maddie and Vlad are adorable but I don’t like the way they hog my human “parents’” attention.

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

The Foundation for Homeless Cats in Arizona is my choice. They work very hard to make the lives of the cats in their community better. I had to single out one charity but I wish I could have given my support to all of them.

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

I hope my story (and that of all the cats in the anthology) has made people aware of how important it is to be responsible about pet “ownership”. Our lives are in the hands of humans. Treat us with the love and respect we deserve as fellow citizens of this planet.

As for my legacy, I’m about to launch a new project with my humans. We know just how difficult it is for animal shelters to survive and we’d like to ensure there is always money available to rescue and rehabilitate homeless, abandoned and abused cats. Perhaps I could tell you about Fantail Fundraisers some time in the future but I think I’ve taken up enough of your time today.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to tell my tale Mudpie.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Frozen Fridge Capers #SundaySelfie

Meows from Mudpie!

We had a bit of drama at our house this week. (What else is new?) Late Wednesday night Mommy opened the fridge to take out a snack only to notice that everything on the top shelf was freezing - even the cat food!!! The setting hadn't been changed but she lowered it anyways, but by Thursday morrning the rest of the fridge was freezing too!

She called the repairman who couldn't come until Friday afternoon, but he suggested that she turn the setting down as low as possible. That started to thaw things out so she turned it back up a little and since then it's been perfectly normal. The repairman couldn't find anything wrong and thinks the door may have been left open a bit. If it happens again we'll have to change the thermostat.

Mommy cleaned off the small shelf next to the fridge before he came, so I thought that would be the purrfect spot to keep an eye on the ailing fridge...and to take my selfie for the week!

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

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Blue Beauty #CaturdayArt

(Created with Painnt)

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. My Chinese zodiac animal sign is the snake.

2. My zodiac sign is Virgo.

Mudpie's answers:

3. Income tax season gives Mommy one more thing to stress out about!

4. In hindsight, I'm so happy I got to go home with Mommy instead of the other person interested in me at the shelter.. At the time I only wanted a home, and I'm sure she was a very nice lady, but I bet she wouldn't love me like Mommy does!

Friday, February 16, 2018

What I Learned From Mudpie's Wisdom Message

We hope you enjoyed part one of our two part series on animal wisdom messages yesterday and that you're as eager to hear what Mudpie had to tell me as I was!

The first thing you'll notice - because it's the first thing I noticed - is that Mudpie is referred to as "he" throughout the message. When I let Wendy know that Mudpie is a little girl, she told me that throughout their conversation Mudpie's energy was all male, and that it actually happens a lot with animal communication! Since she is working in energy the actual sex of the animal is not what's important, it's more the energy of how they present themselves to her and the message they are giving. In Mudpie's case, it may have happened because she's such a boisterous little tomboy, or she may be telling me that I  need to embrace my masculine side more with the wisdom she presented!

Intuitive Conversation with Wendy 

As I connect with Mudpie he is ready to talk! He hardly could wait. As I make my telepathic connection with him he literally crawls into my lap, up my chest, and gazes at me eye-to-eye. His face is about 2 inches from mine. 

He expresses to me with seriousness--there is no time to waste--you and Melissa must listen to me with full attention. Minds cannot wander. If they do my wisdom will not be understood to its fullest. Melissa may miss out. 

As you can see he tells me that he has things to share that are important for you to hear. They are things that you must listen to. It is very important for him to be understood. 

What I love about Mudpie is his personality. He is direct, strong, willed, personable, and literally adorable in regards to his serious side. He is right on point with his delivery. 

It is important for him for you to recognize his high level of intelligence. His pride is strong and he asks that you celebrate this a lot. 

Mudpie is ready to speak to you directly. 

Intuitive Wisdom Message from Mudpie to Melissa 

You must pay attention—Now and always. My words are important. 

I am a fair and strong feline, as you know. I can see the emotions of those around me. I am a caretaker of your soul and heart. I am here to guide you with my wisdom. 

I want you to know that I love my family and I appreciate all that you have provided me. You are an angel for everything you allow me to perceive and develop. Being with you is a feline dream. 

Since I come from stock of high intelligence you can consider me as a guru, guide, sage or even Zen Master. When you do it will become easy for you to hear my words and desires—not only for myself but for you as well. 

My soul promise to you is to always have your heart in mind and to keep reminding you of the incredible gifts that you share and give to the animal kingdom. 

Since I am keeper of your heart I would like to suggest that you slow down a little. Here is what I see happening. You have many things going on in your mind that keep you from feeling centered in your soul, namely your heart soul. 

It is almost as if there are two of you. One that is thinking, thinking, thinking, and the other part is calm, serene, and grounded. 

The one that is thinking all the time is the one that gets you away from your true purpose in life. It takes away from the part of you who is calm, serene, and grounded. Keep this in mind as you progress with developing our combined breathing. And remember even though many great things happen in your mind it will become even better with my suggestion. 

My job is to help you bring you together with mindfulness. Pay attention to when your mind chaos is speeding ahead. 

My suggestion is to seek me out and invite me to be with you. Look into my eyes and breathe along with me. For now, mindfulness is about being in the present with me. 

Once you learn this simple breathing technique with me you will then be able to re-create this without my direct presence. But for now I am here and willing to help. 

Please do not force this and allow your breathing to gently come into tempo with mine. 

I must stress how important this is for you. Once you learn to be more in the present time with your life--your creations and success will increase to even more amazingness. 

That is a great description for you. AMAZING! Keep this in mind as you do our work and your work. 

There are many things, people, events, and discoveries for you. Stay present and focused on listening to your heart…the rest will follow. When your mind wanders and you begin to lose the connection to yourself…remember our breathing. 

Thank you for your desire to talk today. I have wanted to share my words for a while now. Thank you for allowing me to teach you as this is the promise you made to me a long time ago…even before I was born. 

Your Soul Feline, Mudpie


My Thoughts

From the very first paragraph my heart stopped because this is exactly the way Mudpie crawls up onto my lap and gets in my face like she has something very important to tell me. Wendy nailed her personality to a "t" - my sweet girl is incredibly strong-willed, and of course we all know how adorable she is! Knowing that she feels the emotions of those around her touches my heart, because as I've gone through the stresses of caring for my parents, she has been the one taking care of me. There's nothing better than Mudpie therapy! She tells me to slow down in her message, and that's the feeling I get from her every single day when all she wants to do is cuddle when we're finally home together. She's so right in saying that I think too much, and that my mind is always in total chaos, speeding from one thing to another. From start to finish, Mudpie's wisdom message is nothing but spot-on and has given me so much to think about. 

I was delighted when Wendy told me that she absolutely adored chatting with Mudpie - that she was direct, clear, and concise, extremely interesting and intelligent. She loved her so much that she wishes she had had the chance to communicate with her sooner so she could be included in her upcoming book!

Well, she might have the chance to chat with her again because now Wendy is offering Intuitive Animal Love Messages where we can find out our pets' special words of love for us! For the month of February and in celebration of love and our pets she's offering this new service for $35 (regular price $97). If you would like an Animal Wisdom or Love Message from your beloved companion please click here to send Wendy an email.

What do you think your pet(s) would like to communicate to you?

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Wisdom of Our Animals - A Guest Post by Wendy Van de Poll

The one gift I always wish I had is the ability to communicate with animals, so when I meet someone who can I'm endlessly fascinated by it and want to learn all I can.

Today we are so very honored to have Wendy Van de Poll as our guest blogger. She's a Certified End of Life and Pet Grief Support Coach, Certified Pet Funeral Celebrant, Animal Medium, and Communicator. She's also the founder of The Center for Pet Loss Grief and an international best-selling and award-winning author and speaker.

Late last year Wendy started offering a new service, Wisdom From the Heart Intuitive Pet Messages, where she relays our pets' special words of comfort, wisdom, and healing for us. Today Wendy will be discussing how it all works, and tomorrow I'll be sharing Mudpie's message to me! (I'll tell you right now that sweet little girl of mine is wise beyond her years!!!)

The Wisdom of Our Animals
By Wendy Van de Poll, MS, CEOL
Bestselling Author, Pet Loss Grief Coach, Animal Communicator

Did you know that all animals in your life are here to guide you and their wisdom can provide limitless possibilities for you? Are you wondering how you can receive their wisdom?

As an animal lover you already know the impact your animal has on your life. Your partnership is unique, profound and downright perfect. Right?

Then imagine for a moment that every animal you come in contact with has a deep and reflective lesson for you that can help change your life and theirs.

Even consider that some of those new irrational behaviors that are potentially driving YOU crazy are really special messages from them to YOU!

How Can This Happen?

If you believe in energy and the spiritual nature of the universe you already understand that your animal is connected to your spirit, health, well-being and more!

If you believe in the power of intuition, creative inspiration, and telepathy you probably already hear what your companion is sharing with you.

Learning and spending time with your animal can assist you in having a deeper and soul purpose relationship with them. Our beloved companions have mastered unconditional love. They are the perfect models for us humans to becoming better at being human and humane—even those creepy crawling insects.

They all want to talk to us and we just need to listen! How can we listen? Through Animal Communication or Animal Wisdom Messages!

What is Animal Communication?

Basic Animal Communication involves the direct transmission of feelings, intentions, thoughts, mental images, emotions, impressions between a people and animals using telepathy.

Animal communication doesn’t require special powers and it is available for everyone. If you start with an open heart, soul, and trusting your intuition, you too will hear what your animal knows.

I use my ability as a soul-level animal communicator or interspecies conversationalist to talk with many wonderful and beloved companions and their people via energy every day.

Here are some of the most common things people find out about their companion with a basic Animal Communication session:

1. Why their companion is feeling ill, lethargic, or not themselves.

2. Details on what foods are appropriate for their pet.

3. Why their animal is behaving they way they are.

What is an Animal Wisdom Message?

Another type of Animal Communication is called Animal Wisdom. These conversations are based on soul level agreements you made with your companion based on a spiritual relationship or connection. These types of messages are deeper and insightfully established. They go beyond the physical needs of your pet.

I wrote a book called Animal Wisdom: Conversations of the Heart between Animals and Their People where you can read the stories of 30 different soul level conversations between people and their pets.

Here are some of the life changing reasons why animals are guides into your soul awareness through their wisdom.

They will help you with…

1. Becoming aware of your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being.

2. Developing your intuition in a unique and life changing way.

3. Learning, listening, receiving, and accepting pure and clear messages about how best to be a better human and have better relationships.

4. Discovering your life purpose.

5. Mastering happiness, health, and joy.

In fact, my dog Marley taught me the necessary details on how to pay attention to the choices I made for my continued happiness. Her compassion never let me down. Marley with her words of wisdom stressed the importance of always choosing happiness. You can download an audio here to listen to our story.

Remember, all animals are your guides into your soul awareness! That is why we have the amazing relationships that we do! And they are just bursting with desire and passion to help you!

If you would like an Animal Wisdom Message from your beloved companion please click here to send me an email.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Artsy Messages of Love

Mudpie left me this heart-shaped litter box deposit last week...isn't she the sweetest???

Hope you have a purrfect Valentine's Day!!!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Mudpie's Mardi Gras Limerick

A tortie named Mudpie was certain
She was safely concealed by a curtain
She wanted some beads
But dreaded the deeds
Does flashing your tush count as flirtin'?


In case you were wondering, this is the adorable meme that inspired our limerick...

Monday, February 12, 2018

Death By A Whisker by T.C. LoTempio: Blog Tour & Book Review

Getting used to life back home in Deer Park, North Carolina, Sydney McCall and her right-hand tabby, Toby, are helping her sister Kat run the local animal shelter. Syd and Kat are all excited about the prospect of the shelter’s newest fundraiser: shopping channel queen Ulla Townsend. Shelter admin Maggie Shayne vehemently refuses to have anything to do with the woman, but the fundraiser ensues as planned. That is, until Ulla turns up dead in the middle of the event.

The cause of death is determined to be an allergic reaction, but Syd and Toby are sniffing out something fishy. When Syd met Ulla, it was clear she was distasteful and rude. And right before the event, Syd spotted some behind-the-scenes drama between Ulla and her manager. As they begin to investigate, they realize there is no shortage of suspects, and Maggie is at the top of the list.

Now Syd and Toby must claw their way to the truth before everything goes paws up at their animal shelter.

Preparations are underway for Friendly Paws Animal Shelter's next fundraiser, but when the original celebrity guest is injured in a car accident, shopping channel host and former Deer Park resident Ulla Townsend is pegged to appear. Those who knew her back when don't have a whole lot of good things to say, but she loves cats and has agreed to donate a percentage of her book sales to the shelter. On the day of the big event Ulla has a lot going on in her life besides the book signing, and before the day is done she's dead from anaphylactic shock. She hadn't eaten anything, and no one seems to know what she was allergic to, but suspicion falls on shelter assistant Maggie who had such horrid memories of Ulla in high school that she refused to attend the fundraiser, but then is spotted in video of the chaotic scene.

I figured out the how (but not the who) of Ulla's death long before Syd did, and I loved the role that precious tabby Toby and his adoptable kitty friend Annie Reilly (named after a historical figure!) played in solving the case. The opening scene alone will pull cat loving mystery readers right into the book as Syd discovers yet another headless Melvin the Marvelous Mouse toy on the kitchen floor and she threatens to stop buying the expensive toy for Toby if he doesn't stop mutilating them! Syd and Toby are an unbeatable crime-solving team and I'm looking forward to their many more adventures together.

Character Guest Post
Toby: Cat Rescue Mysteries

Hello, my name is Toby. Up until a little while ago I was a resident at Friendly Paws Animal Shelter in Deer Park, North Carolina. I liked it there, but I yearned for the day when I’d find my perfect human – the yin to my yang, so to speak. I think that’s the main reason I developed a knack for being able to slip out of my cage and out of the shelter and wander around the streets of Deer Park at night. I’ve always considered myself a pretty independent fellow, but let’s face it, there’s a lot to be said for a nice soft fleece bed, toys to play with and three squares a day! I’d pretty much given up on finding that perfect human to share my catly life with…and then Syd walked into my life!

Syd is Sydney McCall. She’s the sister of Katherine “Kat” McCall, the director of Friendly Paws. The shelter was in trouble, and Kat called upon her sister who’d recently left her j ob in NY, to help. Syd has a lot of savvy marketing experience that Kat thought would come in handy with fundraising. The minute Syd looked at me, hunkered down in my cage, I just knew…and so did she.

The fact that we share a love of mysteries doesn’t hurt, either. I admit to having a yen to be like other feline detectives, Nick and Midnight Louie for example. And Syd’s been a closet detective since she read her first Nancy Drew! So when she and Kat stumbled across that dead body, I couldn’t help but toss her a clue…or two. It was the beginning of a beautiful partnership.

Our mystery solving relationship continues in our latest adventure, DEATH BY A WHISKER. When shopping channel queen Ulla Townsend comes to Deer Park to do a benefit, Syd and I can’t help but sense trouble, particularly when Maggie Shayne, who’d never hurt a fly, pitches a fit and flat out refuses to help! The plot thickens when Ulla has an attack at the signing and drops dead. Someone put an untimely end to her life, but whodunit? There are tons of suspects but unfortunately Maggie heads the list. Can Syd and I get her out of this jam?

I guess you’ll have to read DEATH BY A WHISKER to find out, meow!


About the author: While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic. She (and ROCCO, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime – and in Spring 2017, the new CAT RESCUE mysteries from Crooked Lane! She, Rocco and company make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York. Catch up with them at and

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, February 11, 2018

3rd Annual Mudpie 500 Zoomies Event

WOOHOO today I'm taking my Sunday Selfie
from behind the wheel of a moving race car!!!

(And the 2014 Sprint Cup Champion's car at that...just sayin'.)

It's no secret that Mommy is serious about her NASCAR. The Daytona 500 is next Sunday and she is ecstatic.

Since she always calls my zoomies the "running of the Mudpie 500" I decided to start hosting an annual giveaway to celebrate this national holiday in our house and to make it fun for me and my friends too!

My grandpa was in the hospital last week and Mommy didn't get a chance to go shopping for a prize package, so this year we're giving away a $15 PetSmart gift card! Since we typically pick out cat-related stuff this way my pals of all species can purr-ticipate! 

For a chance to win, simply leave a comment predicting the winning driver by midnight eastern on Sunday, February 18th. Don't forget to leave your email address too!

In the event that more than one of you pick the winning driver, we will draw a name from a hat. If no one picks the winning driver, we will move on to second place, etc., until a winner is chosen. Last year no one chose the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place driver, but our sweet friends The Florida Furkids picked 4th place driver Aric Almirola, and they won the prize!

Here are your driver choices:
(click to enlarge)

Here's the thing about the Daytona 500: it's a total crap shoot so you don't need to know a thing about racing in order to predict a winner. It's known as a "restrictor plate race" which limits speed and increases safety, to provide an equal level of competition. The cars all run in crazy scary packs and winning is more a matter of luck than anything.

Back in 2007 our driver Kevin Harvick won the race. My grandpa's boss at the time stood to win $1,000 if Mark Martin won, and Martin was leading until the last turn of the last lap when Kevin came from 7th place to win by fractions of a second. It was a thrilling finish, but grandpa never told his boss that Kevin was our driver! Check it out:

Good luck, have fun, and may the best man Kevin Harvick win!!!