Friday, November 30, 2018

For Sarah #PetPhotoFails

As members of the cat blogosphere we sadly say goodbye to feline friends on a regular basis, but earlier this month we suffered the shocking loss of the human behind one of our favorite blogs.

Many of you know how much I adored the Miss Cuddlywumps cozy mystery series and blog written by Roby Sweet (pen name for Sarah Andrews). Through reviewing her books and reading her blog Sarah became a good friend over the past couple years. It meant the world to me that she once said our blog inspired her to start writing her own.

Sarah passed away on November 5th at only 49 years old. In her memory we plan to keep alive the Pet Photo Fails blog hop she started on the last Friday of each month. We welcome everyone to join us.

Sarah never failed to visit and leave a comment on our blog each day because she said a day without Mudpie felt incomplete. Mudpie is quite proud of her photo fail this month and would like to dedicate it to our dear friend. We'll miss you, Sarah.

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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Yes, Carol...It's Christmas! Blog Tour: Meet Norwegian Forest Cats Dancer & Blitzen

About the Book:

As the top salesperson for Pfunn Party Supplies, Carol Frost doesn’t exactly know how to have fun herself these days. Though she wasn’t always such a humbug. Once upon a time, she was famous for hosting Christmas parties that were filled with everything from laughing guests and luscious hors d’oeuvres, to artfully iced sugar cookies and creatively decorated Christmas trees. To top it off, she even wrote a bestselling book that became the authoritative tome on Christmas party entertaining at the time—The Complete, Total, Ultimate, Everything-You-Might-Possibly-Want-to-Know Guide to Hosting the Best Christmas Parties Ever.

Yet that was long ago, before her life changed and she stashed her tinsel and twinkle lights away once and for all. And while Carol soon learned to settle for her boring but comfortable existence, an old friend knows that Carol isn’t really living up to her potential. An old friend who . . . well . . . now enjoys her eggnog in the afterlife, you might say. To goad Carol into going back to her former party-hosting ways, said friend sends three of her specter pals to pester Carol. Then, much to Carol’s annoyance, she is visited by the Ghost Hosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future on a plane filled with plenty of holiday revelers. And though Carol only wants to be left alone, the Ghost Hosts have other plans. Instead, they take her on an adventure that wasn’t exactly on her itinerary . . . or printed on her ticket stub. From that moment on, Carol’s life will never be the same. Provided, of course, she survives the jingle-bell rollercoaster of a ride and makes it home in time for Christmas . . .

About the Author: CINDY VINCENT, M.A. Ed., was born in Calgary, Alberta, and has lived all around the US and Canada. She is the creator of the Mysteries by Vincent murder mystery party games and the Daisy Diamond Detective Series games for girls. She is also the award-winning author of the Buckley and Bogey Cat Detective Caper novels and the Daisy Diamond Detective series. She lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and an assortment of fantastic felines.

’Twas the Night Before . . . Well, You Know . . .
Guest post by Cindy Vincent

If Santa had a cat, I’m pretty sure he’d have a Norwegian Forest Cat. Or two. At least, that’s what my brother, Blitzen, and I, Dancer, decided. Probably because we are Norwegian Forest cats. Rescued Norwegian Forest Cats, that is. I’m a calico and he’s a Mackerel tabby. Not only do we have that long, double-layered coat that’s perfect in the snow, but we also like heights, which could certainly come in handy for a middle-of-the-night sleigh run. And to top it off, we’re pretty partial to Santa.

Then again, what cat isn’t?

And no doubt, the question of what kind of cat would accompany Santa is a pretty hotly debated topic among philosophical felines. Especially on Christmas Eve, when everyone is waiting for the big guy in the red suit to show up. Just like Blitzen and I were now. We were both sitting in our beds next to the fireplace mantel, while the last embers of the fire glowed brightly, making the place feel nice and toasty. Meanwhile, our human Mom, Carol, was fast asleep in a wingback chair, the very place she had flopped down about twenty minutes ago, right after her big Christmas party. And our human brother, Joey, was snoring on the couch, with his broken leg propped up on a pillow. Unlike us, Joey wasn’t exactly good with heights, which was probably why he’d fallen off the ladder and broken his leg. While he was trying to decorate the Christmas tree.

Of course, that meant a trip to the Emergency Room, just as our Mom was trying to pull off her very first Christmas party in years. You’ve probably heard of our Mom, Carol Frost? A long, long, long time ago—before Blitzen and I entered the picture—she wrote a book about hosting Christmas parties. She even has a few copies on her shelf in her home office. It’s called The Complete, Total, Ultimate, Everything-You-Might-Possibly-Want-to-Know Guide to Hosting the Best Christmas Parties Ever. Catchy title, huh? Just kind of rolls off the tongue. Apparently her book sold about a gazillion copies and she was on TV and in the paper and all kinds of stuff. I guess she was pretty famous for giving people advice on how to host Christmas parties.

But then she quit hosting those parties, for some reason. From what Blitzen and I could piece together, it sounds like she quit doing what she loved to do and instead went to work for a party-supply company that sold stuff to stores. She traveled a bunch and she really didn’t seem very happy.

Until last night, when our Mom came home from her latest trip, and she was completely determined to host a Christmas party. For the first time in years. Blitzen and I had no idea why. Maybe it had something to do with her wild plane ride she kept talking about. She’d come in mumbling something about “Ghost Hosts.” And she’d also come in loaded with bags of groceries and party things. But let me tell you, it wasn’t easy to pull off a huge Christmas party like that at the last minute. And just when it looked like the whole thing was about to turn into a huge disaster, that’s when our Mom learned how much her book had touched people over the years. In fact, before then, I’m not sure she really knew how much her readers had taken her book to heart.

Just like we had no idea why there was suddenly such a commotion outside. Because out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, that we got off our fuzzy duffs to see what was the matter. Okay, maybe it wasn’t an actual “clatter,” per se. Maybe it was more like a few jingling sleigh bells followed by a sliding sound. But Blitzen and I ran to the door and opened it, since we’re pretty good at that.

And sure enough, there was Santa in all his glory. His white hair and his red suit kind of glowed, and his teeth sparkled when he smiled.

“Ho-ho-ho!” he said to us. “It looks like you’ve had a pretty big party here. Someone’s gone to great fuss!”

“Our Mom did,” Blitzen explained. “So please come on in. There’s decorated sugar cookies and turkey sandwiches and punch and plenty of other treats left.”

“That’s something that I’m very happy to hear,” Santa said with a smile. “Since your Mom made it to the top of my ‘Nice List’ this year.”

“She did?” Blitzen and I both asked at once.

“Oh, yes! She brought holiday cheer to those I hold dear. She’s spread the Spirit of Christmas, from far and wide, and I must admit, that makes me happy inside.” He took a bite of one of our Mom’s artistically decorated sugar cookies. “And so do these!”

When he finished his snacks, he got down to business. He filled all the stockings and left catnip toys with us. Then he headed back for the door, but before he left, I asked him the question that had been there before.

“Santa,” I said. “If you had a cat, what kind would it be?”

He smiled his bright smile and looked right at me. “Why, it would be a cat with long hair, just like both of you there.”

That made me sit up tall, so proud to hear.

But Santa wasn’t finished, and he made himself clear. “Or it might be a tortie who lives down the street. Or it could be a Maine Coon, one who’s so sweet. Or it might be a fat cat, or one who’s petite. Because, you see, I like all cats I meet.”

And with those words he left us and went back to his sleigh. He hollered “Merry Christmas!” as his reindeer flew him up, up and away.

Thank you, Melissa, for hosting me and my Yes, Carol . . . It’s Christmas! book here today. It’s been a lot of fun. Let me be the first to wish you and Mudpie a very merry Christmas! From Buckley, Bogey, Amelia, and me, we hope you have a high-spirited holiday season that’s filled with excitement and joy!


Put together your own best-ever Christmas party with this fun “party in a box” giveaway! 

Enter for a chance to win a package with the following prizes: a signed copy of Yes, Carol…It’s Christmas! by Cindy Vincent, two Betty Crocker sugar cookie mixes, two cookie cutters, a four-pack of sprinkles, a strand of Christmas lights, and two glass ornaments. Due to shipping costs and varying international laws, this giveaway is open to US residents (age 18 or older) only. Void where prohibited. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Holiday Memory Angels

Today we'd like to thank the talented Ann at Zoolatry for the Holiday Memory Angels she created for us of both Tara and Truffles. Christmas is a time to remember those who are no longer with us, and while my Christmas tree is full of ornaments honoring my angels who now reside at the Rainbow Bridge, as a blogger it's nice to have digital ornaments too.

Ann also designed our Christmas card again this year, which we'll be unveiling soon!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Blog Tour: Tammy the Little Cat with a Big Attitude by Liane Carter

Book Details:

Book Title: Tammy The Little Cat With a Big Attitude by Liane Carter

Category: Adult Non-fiction, 140 pages

Genre: Pets / Memoir (told from cat's perspective)

Publisher: Independently published

Release date: September 28, 2018

Tour dates: Nov 26 to Dec 21, 2018

Content Rating: PG (mild language - "hell", "bloody")

Book Description:

I was snatched from my mum when I was only two weeks old, and what happened next was bigger than any kitten could imagine.

"A gently witty and charming story which draws the reader in from the word 'go' to a truly entrancing feline perspective on human well-intentioned but frequently misguided behaviour when taking on a new pet."

- Mary Ashton, retired veterinary surgeon

"A heart-warming story that really has unique perspective on the ever-important animal-human bond (and how our pets really feel about us)."

- Sommer Pari, licensed veterinary technician

To read more reviews, please visit Liane Carter's page on iRead Book Tours.

Tammy the Little Cat with a Big Attitude is the story of a cat and her girl, from the day they met when the author was only 16, through the years they shared together as she left home and married. Written alternately from both human and cat point of view, their experiences are at times humorous, yet always heartwarming. Tammy is a cat who knows her own mind, and from her love of music to her fondness for participating in a rousing game of Scrabble, she leaves her mark on every life she touches. I especially loved how Tammy didn't appreciate visitors to "her" house and what she would do to them should they dare visit the bathroom, and just wait until you see how she manages to nearly scare the poor window cleaner to death!

As is typical for cat stories, the end will bring a lump to your throat, but Tammy's purrsonality makes her a cat you won't soon forget!

Buy the Book:

Meet the Author:

Devoted to giving her readers smiles, tears and tension in both her poignant non-fiction and fast-paced fantasy adventures, Liane Carter bares her soul. Author of The Chronicles of Joya, The Dream Devils, Darcy: The Dog Who Talked and Tammy: The Little Cat With A Big Attitude, she has written features and a weekly column for Costa Blanca News, articles for Writing Magazine, and has taught over 150 writing workshops. She pours her innate joy into her books and also expresses it in nature, playing instruments, creating art and dancing.

Connect with Liane: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest

Enter the Giveaway!

Ends Dec 29, 2018

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Heart Melting #SundaySelfie

Meows from Mudpie!

I asked Mommy to help me take this selfie the other night while I was curled up on her lap. She says the way I was gazing at her melted her heart into a puddle...

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

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Christmas Star #CaturdayArt

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

And now our weekly answers (all answered by Mommy this week) for the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge, hosted by 15andmeowing and Four-Legged Furballs!

1. Black Friday is a quiet day off for me.

2. A pet peeve of mine at this time of year is the hordes of people everywhere. I know it comes with the season, but I'm not a people person (at all) and I find it very stressful.

3. 'Tis the season for peppermint mochas. My favorite drink!

4. I never jumped on the Black Friday shopping bandwagon. (See #2)

Friday, November 23, 2018

Personalized Ornaments Make Purrfect Gifts

It's the day after Thanksgiving and many of you will be decorating your Christmas tree this weekend. If you're anything like me, your tree is full of ornaments that hold special memories. I've mentioned before that my entire tree is exclusively cat ornaments (I'm sure no one is surprised), and my favorites are the personalized ones, the ones that honor both the precious pet I'm currently sharing my life with as well as those who live forever in my heart.

Through the years I've bought a good number of personalized ornaments and made quite a few as well, so when Personalized Ornaments For You contacted us asking if we would like to design a few ornaments in the hopes we would review them on our blog, I wondered if I would be able to come up with anything completely unique.

I did, and the ornaments I created are now among my favorites, and are hung over my Angel Truffles memorial table.

First I chose the Snowman with Cat ornament. It's simply Mudpie and I (I'm the snow girl!), with each of our names, and "World's Best Cat Mom" written underneath.

Then I went with the Angel on Cloud ornament to represent Angel Truffles and the years we spent together. (I've given up hope of ever having a tortie as one of the personalization options anywhere, so I went with a black cat for Truffles since she was primarily black, and the calico colors for Mudpie and Tara.)

And then there's my favorite, the Three Cats on Wreath ornament. It features all 3 of my tortie ladies with "We've Got Tortitude" written on the bottom.

The ornament and personalization options are endless, and besides pets you can also create ornaments for a multitude of other life events. The ordering process is easy as pie, and amazingly enough, I ordered my ornaments on Tuesday and they arrived on Friday, so you'll have plenty of time to enjoy them on your tree. In addition to making something special for yourself, I can't think of a more meaningful and unique gift idea for anyone you have to shop for. I can guarantee I'll be ordering more ornaments, both for myself and for gifts!

Do you have personalized ornaments on your tree?

Disclaimer: We received product compensation from Personalized Ornaments for You in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are our own and we never recommend a product we don’t fully believe in.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The Scent of a Christmas Tree...In Your Cat's Litter Box! #ChewyInfluencer

Meows from Mudpie!

Once your humans have awakened from their turkey stupor later this weekend, many will be bringing home a Christmas tree. Ours has been up since early last week, which is good because we get to enjoy it longer, but Mommy is such an early bird when it comes to Christmas that we can never have a real tree. We don't really feel like we're missing anything though because a live tree is just too much work and too messy, but the scent is really nice (for however long it lasts.)

We have a solution that will bring the smell of a Christmas tree into your home for the holidays, and it's in a place you'd never expect...your cat's litter box, thanks to Tidy Cats Tough Odor Solutions Glade Winter Pine Clumping Cat Litter!

Chewy's Key Benefits:
  • TidyLock Protection locks away odors in a snap and leaves your home smelling fresh and ready for company.
  • With the power of Glade, this Winter Pine litter provides a warm, woodsy scent reminiscent of snowy cabin vacations.
  • Neutralizes strong ammonia, urine and fecal odors to trap odor in the litter box.
  • Forms tight, strong clumps for easy cleanup—just scoop it and forget it!
  • Locks in moisture to keep cats dry and comfortable when they visit their litter box.

So does this litter make me feel like I'm walking in a winter wonderland each time I visit the little girl's room? In all honesty, I'm not very picky when it comes to what's in my potty. As long as my boxes are where I expect them to be when I need to use them and they're clean, I'm a happy tortie. And since I'm an only child things typically don't get very stinky around here. (Stifle, Mommy...)

With that caveat, Mommy and I are both very pleased with how this litter performs. It smells nice when you first pour it but the scent isn't overpowering, which is good because Mommy always worries about my asthma whenever we use scented litter. The clumps are nice and tight and easy to remove. We haven't even noticed a litter cloud in the air when we pour it from the jug! I give it 4 dust-free litter pan paws up!

Tidy Cats Tough Odor Solutions Glade Winter Pine Clumping Cat Litter is currently on sale at Chewy for $18.49 for a case of two 20-lb jugs. 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, November 19, 2018

2018 Holiday Gift Guide for Tortie Lovers

For the past two years I've created gift guides for tortie lovers which have ended up being some of our most viewed posts ever! Seems there are lots of tortie fanatics out there like me upset by the lack of our favorite cats on wearables, jewelry and home decor.

Since I'm always on the hunt for anything tortie-related I decided to make a holiday gift guide exclusively for tortie lovers an annual tradition to help make your shopping a little easier. I hope you find something that will make that special tortie-holic in your life purr (or to treat yourself with!)

Do you have any tortie lovers on your shopping list this year?

This post contains affiliate links.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Championship #SundaySelfie

Meows from Mudpie!

We're recycling a preciously seen selfie this week, but it's in honor of a very special day at our house!

It's NASCAR's Championship Sunday and once again our guy Kevin Harvick is one of only 4 drivers eligible to win the big trophy. In 2014 he won it (before I moved in), in 2015 he finished 2nd, and in 2017 he ended up 3rd. He's had the most unbelievable season of his career, winning 8 races and the non-points All-Star Race, so winning the Championship would be the icing on the cake.

Mommy is super excited but so nervous she can hardly stand it. Me, I'll be hiding out until the race is over. Whichever way it goes I have a feeling things will get very, very loud. Send help. And cross all your fingers and paws that the 4 car wins the Cup!

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

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Ice Tortie #CaturdayArt

Meows from Mudpie!

Winter has come early to my little neck of the woods...we got 6" of snow yesterday! I always enjoy using winter effects on my Caturday Art projects, so this premature dose of the white stuff inspired me to get a little frosty...

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

And now our weekly answers (all answered by Mommy this week) for the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge, hosted by 15andmeowing and Four-Legged Furballs!

1. I can't wait to have stuffing on Thanksgiving. It's my favorite part of the meal.

2. I am thankful for my family, both of the 2-legged and 4-legged variety.

3. When it comes to pie, Mudpie, what else??? (Pecan is my favorite non-furry pie though.)

4. A feast is not a feast without someone you love to share it with.

Friday, November 16, 2018

2018 Holiday Gift Guide for Cats & Cat Ladies from Etsy

Meows from Mudpie!

Can you believe Christmas is less than 6 weeks away??? While browing Etsy for the purrfect gift for Mommy, I found several things that any cat mom (and the cats that love them) would love to find under the tree on Christmas morning...

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 for Christmas!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Savoring the Pro Plan Experience #ChewyInfluencer

Meows from Mudpie!

It's been a couple months since I've done a review for - something about Mommy being too busy to help me - but when I got our email this month I knew this was a review I could take the reins on all by myself without any assistance from her. (Well, except for the whole typing and editing photos thing...)

You all remember how much of a Pro Plan girl I am, right? Awhile back they introduced a new line of kibble mixed with pieces of shredded meat. I received a sample bag of the chicken flavor and didn't care for it, but now they've added turkey to the lineup, which is my favorite Pro Plan kibble flavor, so I was very excited to give it a try.

Before I give my verdict, here are the key benefits according to

Key Benefits
  • Protein-rich formula features real turkey as the very first ingredient to help maintain lean muscles and an ideal body condition.
  • Unique combination of crunchy kibble and tender, shredded bits creates taste and texture variety that helps prevent food boredom.
  • Formulated for the indoor cat with natural fiber to help prevent hairballs and natural prebiotic fiber from chicory root to support healthy digestion.
  • Fortified with a comprehensive array of essential vitamins and minerals for complete and balanced nutrition that performs.
  • Proudly produced in the USA in a Purina-owned facility using high-quality ingredients for quality and safety.

Drum roll please...I pawsitively love this food! Mommy was skeptical that I would like it even though it's now available in my favorite flavor since I don't like anything freeze-dried, but I've gobbled it down every day since it arrived. Since I have a bit of a sensitive tummy we love the addition of prebiotic fiber, and we credit my shiny furs and muscular bod to my Pro Plan diet too!

The Purina Pro Plan Savor Shredded Blend Indoor Turkey & Rice Formula Dry Cat Food is currently on sale at Chewy for only $8.99 for a 3 pound bag! 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, November 12, 2018

Veterans Day Weekend #MewsicMovesMe

It's a freebie week for the Mewsic Moves Me blog hop so we decided to create a short Veterans Day playlist...

You're not imagining things, there are no Conway songs on my list! That's only because I'm saving the best for last. 

Even though it's not Veterans Day related, I have to mention his classic It's Only Make Believe, which was the number one song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart 60 years ago this week, on November 10, 1958. It was a monster record, becoming a hit in 22 different countries and selling over 8 million copies. This is a song I could listen to on "repeat" for hours on end...

Do any of our choices catch your ear?

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Gazing at the Stars #CaturdayArt

Meows from Mudpie!

Mommy and I found this template on Photo Lab and fell in love with it. Notice how the kitty couple is gazing up at the stars, and what do they see but moi

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 Four-Legged Furballs!

Mommy's answers:

1. I just can't believe Christmas is less than 50 days away. Why does this time of the year have to go by so fast while summer just drags on and on?

2. My next cat will be named Conway Kitty. Mudpie has been warned that one day she will have a brother, and that will be his name. I've seen it so often lately on Instagram and at the cat cafe in Nashville, and I can't think of a better way to honor a man who means so much to me.

Mudpie's answers:

3. The sound of kids screaming and babies crying on TV makes me cringe. It wakes me up from peaceful naps on Mommy's lap.

4. Right now, I am craving a nap on Mommy's lap. Hope she turns the TV off!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Unboxing November's CatLadyBox

The theme of November's CatLadyBox was Cats in the's what was inside!

Featured Cat Lady Art "Pesto Dreams of Sushi" by Amy Payne": Known for her Highly Professional Business Cats portrait series, Amy works out of her home studio with kitties Pinky Pistachio and Pimento Cheese.

Cat Kitchen Utensils Set: This adorable 5-piece silicone set with cat heads on top is going to be used as decorative items in our kitchen because I don't trust myself to use them. I have a nasty habit of leaving kitchen utensils in the oven (while it's on) and just a few weeks I melted a plastic bowl after turning on the wrong burner on the stove top. I really am a fire hazard so I can't put anything this cute in jeopardy.

Mod Cats Dish Towel Set: I'm tempted to hang these in the kitchen as decoration, or maybe find some other nicer use for them than drying dishes.

Cat Spoon Rest: Okay, so I'm not using anything in this box as it was intended. This is going on a bureau to hold knick knacks!

Chef Hat & Bread Slice Catnip Toys: Mudpie loves these toys and has used them each in different ways: the chef hat gets bopped around the house, the bread slice makes a cozy pillow in her KatKabin.

Not a subscriber yet? Visit CatLadyBox today!

Interested in purchasing individual items from past boxes? You can do that too!

Disclosure: I receive a discount on my CatLadyBox subscription as a thank you for my monthly review. Regardless of compensation received, we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Chewy Box Love

Mommy nearly gave herself a hernia hauling this box containing 40 pounds of litter and 3 pounds of kibble into the kitchen, but it ROCKS! Why is she saying it's too big to stay in the house???

(Wait a "Box May be Heavy" a crack about my weight?)

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Book Review: My Life in a Cat House: True Tales of Love, Laughter, and Living with Five Felines by Gwen Cooper

Celebrate the human-feline bond with all its joys, mysteries, and life-changing moments.

Gwen Cooper—author of the blockbuster bestseller Homer’s Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned About Love and Life With a Blind Wonder Cat—returns with the ongoing adventures of her much-beloved, world-famous fur family. Ideal for new readers and longtime fans alike, this memoir told in eight purr-fect cat stories is filled with all the humor and heart Gwen’s devoted readership has come to know and love.

Raised in a dog-loving family, Gwen never pictured herself as a “cat person.” But from the very first feline she adopted—an adorable five-week-old rescue kitten, slow to learn how to trust after life on the streets—Gwen was smitten. Eventually one rescue kitten became five, and all the ups and downs of a life with cats are lovingly depicted here: From the obsessive cat who teaches himself to play fetch and demands it morning, noon, and night from his hapless human mom; to the crafty white beauty who raises outside-the-litter-box thinking to the level of an art form; to the routine vet trip that turns into a hijinks-filled misadventure on the streets of Manhattan with three (VERY cranky!) felines in tow. And Homer, the Blind Wonder Cat himself, returns triumphant in new tales of life and love after worldwide fame.

Sure to be treasured by cat lovers everywhere, My Life in a Cat House will leave you laughing out loud, shedding an occasional tear, and hugging your own cat a little bit closer. Read and rejoice!

There's something about Gwen Cooper's cat books that touch my heart like few others, and My Life in a Cat House is no exception. I savored this compilation of her Curl Up with a Cat Tale essays, reading one per night. Each night while reading I would think to myself, "this one is my favorite"...until the next night when *that* story became my favorite. Each one is just that special, and with each story I felt Gwen's love for her cats, and cats in general, bursting off the page. 

There were moments that left me in hysterics, such as the conversation between Gwen and her husband where they debate who is going to clean up the cat vomit in the kitchen. (Hubby figures she should do since she's so much better at it - well, practice makes purrfect - and what if someone is sick? Well, short of calling in a CSI team, how is she supposed to know who the culprit was if no one saw it happen?) Other moments left me in awe, like when one of her cats who loved playing with crumpled up paper would start bringing her whole sheets of paper to crumple up and toss! Balls of paper are one of Mudpie's favorite toys too, and while I think I have the most brilliant cat in the world, even she hasn't figured out that paper balls start out as flat sheets!

Of course being as emotional as I am about cats, many moments left me in tears, both happy and sad. One passage rang so true for me, and is such an important reminder for all pet parents, that it needs special mention here. Gwen's cat Clayton loves nothing more than playing fetch with his toys, to the point of obsession. While at first Gwen finds this behavior quite irritating, she has come to the following conclusion:
These days, I'm more apt to appreciate the fleeting nature of a cat's obsessions-of a cat's life. Clayton is still young, but time moves much faster than it used to. Just yesterday, Clayton was a kitten. Today he's five. Tomorrow he'll be a little old man struggling to lug himself around on his three legs. His days of flying up and down the stairs like greased lightning in pursuit of a toy mouse will be a distant, cherished memory. Much sooner than I'm ready for it, I know, a time will come when I'll think, What wouldn't I give to play fetch with Clayton just once more! 
I can't tell you the profound impact that passage had on me as I stopped to think about all the times Mudpie wants to play and I'm too absorbed in what I'm doing to participate or simply stop and watch the joy it brings her. I know all too well that a beloved cat can be gone in the blink of an eye and that every moment we have with these precious little gifts should be cherished. 

Whether you've enjoyed every one of Gwen's cat books or this is your first, snuggle up with a cat or two while you're reading. I guarantee with each turn of the page you'll pull them just a little bit closer as you realize just how empty your life would be without their unconditional love. 

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!

Monday, November 5, 2018

An Unconventional & Unforgettable Duet #MewsicMovesMe

The theme of this week's Mewsic Moves Me blog hop is "unconventional duets," such as country-pop crossover duets, or duets by artists from different genres you wouldn't expect to collaborate together. My choice couldn't have been any easier.

Conway did a lot of duets - of course his partnership with Loretta Lynn is legendary, and he also sang with both of his daughters and a number of other country artists - but only once did he step outside of country music in one of the most powerful musical moments of his long career.

Rhythm, Country & Blues was an album released in 1994 which brought contemporary country and R&B stars together to sing duets on songs from the two genres. Conway was paired up with Sam Moore from the soul duo Sam and Dave to cover Brook Benton’s ”Rainy Night in Georgia.”

It was recorded, and its accompanying video shot, on May 3, 1993, while ironically it was pouring rain outside. No one could have guessed that it would end up being Conway's last time in the studio. He passed away on June 5th.

Listening to this song and watching the video - even after all these years - still gives me chills and brings tears to my eyes. He looked and sounded so amazing right up until the end. I've read that Sam Moore was completely enamored by Conway and honored by the opportunity to work with such a legend (just watch his facial expressions while Conway is singing). The two hit it off immediately like they'd known each other for years and even discussed working together again in the future.

If only...

If anyone is interested in learning more about the project as a whole, PBS produced a documentary featuring interviews and the history behind everyone involved. (Conway & Sam Moore's segment begins at 33 minutes in...)

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Half Awake #SundaySelfie

Do you need some coffee to help get you going, Mudpie?

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

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Radiant Beauty #CaturdayArt

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

And now our weekly answers for the Friendly Fill-Ins challenge (all answered by Mudpie this week), hosted by 15andmeowing and Four-Legged Furballs!

1. One can never give too much love to a cat.

2. Given the choice of playing or eating, I would pick playing every time. I eat to live, I don't live to eat!

3. Cooler weather makes me feel cozy.

4. I never go a day without being ridiculously adorable.