Monday, December 31, 2018

Secret Paws 2018 Revealed

Meows from Mudpie!

The wait has been nearly unbearable but I *finally* get to tell you about my Secret Paws package which arrived 10 full days before Christmas, but Mommy made me wait until Christmas morning to open it! Multiple times per day I would walk by the box and nuzzle it, but it didn't do any good. I bet many of you have been thinking I'm a spoiled rotten tortie who gets everything her little heart desires. Think again!

Okay, enough of my griping and on to the prezzies! I'm one lucky girl because my Secret Paws were the kitties of Three Chatty Cats, and as soon as the box was opened I dove right in. Here I am reading my name on the envelope.

We thought it was the cutest thing in the world that each of the kitties picked something out for me. The first gift out of the box was Woodrow's. That handsome mancat got me a new nip nanner! I won't even tell you how nasty my old one looks, so it was desperately needed. I couldn't wait to get my paws on it and it almost rendered me unable to keep opening my gifts! Well, almost...

Harley and Dexter have kept me supplied in Temptations treats for many months ahead. I got a nice big bin of both tuna and chicken flavored treats, which both got opened on the spot. YUM!


But wait! There was more! Fellow tortie Olive sent me a fun and versatile Jackson Galaxy Air Prey wand toy, and Sophie sent me wand toys from Patch Cat Wood & Fibers. Two of the toys are mice with feathers, and the other set of two have a great scratching material I can sink my claws into with raffia hanging from them. Lots of crazy pants antics will be had thanks to these toys!

Even the wrapping paper was fun!

Can't pose with the shirt, Mommy...distracted by feathers.

The last package in the box was from the Three Chatty Cats' Mom Rachel to Mom Melissa. When Mommy opened it she gasped out loud. You know how often she complains that it's impossible to find anything tortie-related in the stores? Rachel found a darling purple t-shirt with a little tortie popping out of the pocket! It was one of the highlights of Mommy's Christmas and she can hardly wait to wear it out and spread the tortie love!

After every thing was opened I had to take a rest in the pawsome box everything came in and just take it all in.

Mommy and I both want to thank the Three Chatty Cats kitties so very much for their purrfectly wonderful gifts. We couldn't have asked for a better Secret Paws!


Now would also be a good time to reveal that we sent our Secret Paws gifts to the Farm Cats of Broken Teepee. They wrote about their package here and we're so happy to see how much everyone loved what we picked out.

Many thanks as well to Truffle and Brulee's mom Paula from Sweet Purrfections for organizing this wonderful event that makes many blogging kitties very, very happy.

Now I have a very important many days until Secret Paws 2019???

Saturday, December 29, 2018

More Mudpie For Your Money #CaturdayArt

It's not one, not two, not three, but FOUR Mudpies!!! Hope you can handle it!

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

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

1. On New Year's Eve, I stay home.

2. A goal that I have for 2019 is to continue with my massive decluttering project. It has sort of fallen by the wayside during the second half of this year.

3. If I had to choose a guide word for 2019, it would be calm.

4. New beginnings can be scary, but exciting.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Out Of Control #PetPhotoFails

Meows from Mudpie!

We'd like to begin with a big thank you to anyone joining us for this second month of our hosting the Pet Fails Photo Hop in memory of the original host, Roby Sweet at The Cuddlywumps Cat Chronicles. One of these days Mommy will get her act together and actually start reminding our fellow bloggers in advance that it's coming up on the last Friday of each month!

The bloopers we have for you this month were taken over the summer when I won a Kitty Kick Stix from our friends at Three Chatty Cats (who also happened to be our Secret Paws this year, but more about that next week!) The tissue paper was just as pawsome as the toy itself, and I sort of lost control. Needless to say, the camera and Mommy's clicker finger couldn't keep up with me.

Blurry tortie alert!!!

Let's see your bloopers!

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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Our Nightmare Before Christmas, Part 2

Meows from Mudpie!

A couple weeks ago we posted about how we went through our own Nightmare Before Christmas this month thanks to our house falling apart piece by piece. (For those keeping track, the cable box, toaster oven, and kitchen counter lighting have all been replaced. The gas furnace gets installed in the new year.)

At around the same time our sweet friend Valentine at the Noir Kitty Mews blog ran a Nightmare Before Christmas giveaway with an amazing assortment of prizes to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the classic movie. Mommy still remembers seeing it for the first time in the theater back in 1993 and it's one of her all-time favorites. We were beyond excited to learn that we WON the giveaway, and our prizes arrived last week! 

We got a special 25th anniversary edition of the book, a Jack Skellington & Sally catnip kicker toy from FreddysCatToyz, a Santa Hat Crinkle Cat Sack, Jack & Zero crocheted by Miss Ellen at 15 and Meowing, a Candy Cane Party Collar from Pampered Whiskers, and a plush Scary Teddy. Absolutely pawsome prize package, right???

Obviously all the toys have been a huge hit with me, and I've never had a kitty sack before and haven't gotten inside it yet, but I love lounging on top! It's super soft and cozy. My own purrsonal red carpet! (My nails need some work, don't you think?)

Who thinks I wore the candy cane collar? It's cute and festive, but I don't wear clothes, so we're using it to decorate my Kat Kabin and it's fun to play with too!

Thank you SO much for the amazing giveaway, Valentine! This Nightmare Before Christmas couldn't have been any better!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Meowy Christmas from Melissa & Mudpie!

This is the fifth year we've had our Christmas card designed by the amazing Ann at Zoolatry. I didn't have any "big ideas" this time around, the only thing I had in mind was Mudpie on a sled in a snowy scene. I absolutely adore the vintage sled and plaid theme Ann came up's SO Vermont-y and a very popular print this season. Plus, there's nothing Mudpie loves more than a good blankie!

We'd like to wish each and every one of our dear friends the happiest of holidays, whatever you'll be celebrating. You make our days so much brighter with your kind comments and support. Thank you for being a part of our online family...we cherish your friendship more than we could ever express.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Christmas #CaturdayArt

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. Every Christmas, I try not to get so busy that I forget to take time and enjoy the season. I can't say that I've ever accomplished this goal.

2. The day after Christmas, I get incredibly depressed. For all the build up to the big holiday it should last more than one day.

Mudpie's answers:

3. 'Twas the night before Christmas, and I'm tucked into bed with Mommy. I might try to sneak a peek at Santa though!

4. All I want for Christmas is for every homeless kitty to find a loving forever home.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Book Review: Claws for Celebration (A Cat Lady Mystery Book 3) by Linda Reilly

Whisker Jog, New Hampshire, celebrates all things Christmas, and few things are more beloved than the town’s annual holiday cookie competition. Lara Caphart, who runs the High Cliff Shelter for Cats with her Aunt Fran, is waiting for the green light for a brand-new category: pet-friendly cookies. But when the woman filling in as a last-minute judge dies after sampling someone’s Santa-themed treat, Lara’s recipe for healthy cat snacks will have to be put on the back burner.

The victim, Gladys Plouffe, was the town’s roundly despised former home economics teacher. The chief suspect is the mother of Lara’s best friend, who was hellbent on walking away with the bake-off’s cash prize. Cryptic clues from beyond the grave only deepen the mystery, pointing to a cat with striking blue eyes—a cat who bears an uncanny resemblance to Lara’s mysterious Ragdoll. As Lara begins a dangerous game of cat and mouse, not even her significant other may be able to stop a perfectly clawful killer from getting away with the purr-fect crime . . .

If you have a little quiet time over the upcoming holidays I recommend cozying up with a mug of cocoa and a copy of Claws for Celebration. It's easily my favorite entry so far in one of the very best cat mystery series on store shelves today.

It's Christmas in Whisker Jog and the tiny New Hampshire town is abuzz with excitement over the annual holiday cookie competition. Lara has proposed adding pet-friendly cookies to the contest but when she's rejected she decides to sell her homemade cat treats to raise money for the cat shelter. Lara's aunt Daisy does enter the competition, as does the mother of her best friend Sherry, but excitement turns to horror when despised home ec teacher Gladys Plouffe, one of the judges, dies from an allergic reaction to something in one of the cookies. At the same time Lara finds a letter in a library book written by someone who witnessed a murder that took place the week Lara was born, 28 years ago! I always love when mysteries have both a modern day murder and one from the past, and the way the two crimes are linked is a real puzzle and page turner.

Just as in previous books, the star of the show is Blue, a ghostly Ragdoll cat only Lara can see. Claws for Celebration finally gives us some answers about Blue's past, and Lara is forced to admit some truths to her loved ones about the mysterious feline. This series is a dream come true for cat-loving mystery readers, and I hope it enjoys a long and happy nine lives!

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!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Remembering My Christmas Angel

Christmas is a time to remember those who are no longer with us, and this year will be my fourth Christmas without Truffles, double the holidays we got to spend together.

Since her portrait, paw print, and ashes rest on a table in the living room that gets moved to make room for the Christmas tree, I have to find a new spot of honor for her during the holiday season and create a special Christmas memorial area. Each year I've changed it a bit and this year I did a "winter wonderland" theme with an assortment of trees arranged around some favorite cat items. My favorite new additions are the "tortie print" trees I found at Christmas Tree Shop. They almost look like I shaved Mudpie and glued her fur to the wooden trees!

We're excited to say that our Secret Paws package has already arrived at it's destination to the Farm Cats at the Broken Teepee blog, and Mudpie received hers on Sunday from our friends at Three Chatty Cats! This mean Mommy has told her she has to wait until closer to Christmas to open it though :) 

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Previewing Catfest 2019 & Strays Book Giveaway

Catfest returns bigger and better at Beckenham Place, a Georgian mansion in a leafy south London park. The day-and-night festival for cat lovers will bring together buzz-worthy cat accessories with 50+ exhibitors and feature films, live music, books, art, vegan street food and cat-themed cocktails, along with feline superstar meet-and-greets and talks from international bestselling authors and feline experts.

Part of the proceeds will benefit ERHAM RESCUE and FRESHFIELDS ANIMAL RESCUE WALES to help cats and kittens in need.

• Gwen Cooper (Homer’s Odyssey)

• Tom Cox (Close Encounters of the Fur Kind; the Good, the Bad, the Furry)

• Giles Clark, star BBC's Big Cats About the House

• Britta Jaschinski, European wildlife photographer of the year

• James Bowen (A Street Cat Named Bob) and street cat Bob

• Shawn Simons, Kitty Bungalow founder and animal advocate

• Anna Kogan, Forgotten Animals founder




ROAR, Tippi Hendren’s cult classic about big cats, the most dangerous film ever made


KEDI, the enchanting documentary about Istanbul's street cats, inside the mansion (6.30pm; and 8.15pm showings)






• Swell Cat Art Show

• Bookshop/storytelling tent

• Face painting + arts and crafts workshop

• Fab vegan street food and kitty-inspired cakes

• Cat-themed cocktails


• Meet street cat Bob and other feline superstars, Maine coon adventure cats Artemis & Apollo and kitty supermodel Starina and others

• Fall in love with adoptable rescue kittens at the Meow Parlour (£5 donation at the door)


CATFEST WILL DONATE PART OF THE PROCEEDS TO ERHAM CAT RESCUE to sterilize and improve the lives of vulnerable Moroccan street cats and kittens.



Catfest is organized by Britt Collins, author of the amazing book amazing book Strays: A Lost Cat, a Homeless Man and Their Journey Across America. Thanks to Britt and her publisher we have THREE trade paperback copies of Strays to give away! To enter, simply leave a comment below with your email address. Winners will be selected by on Christmas Eve at noon eastern.

Monday, December 17, 2018

It's a Conway Christmas #MewsicMovesMe

Over the past 2 weeks I've presented 10 of my all-time favorite Christmas songs for the Mewsic Moves Me blog hop, but I saved the best for last.

My Conway Christmas display. Yes, that's a Conway doll. I have several.

Conway LOVED Christmas. (Seriously, he was the perfect man in every way.) After his home/tourist attraction Twitty City opened in 1982, it became known for the magical fantasy world he created at Christmastime. "Christmas at Twitty City" featured over a quarter million lights and 40 major displays including a live nativity.

He waited until well into his career to release the obligatory Christmas album (1983's Merry Twismas), but instead of simply recording 10 holiday songs he produced an elaborate, one-of-a-kind storybook album for children of all ages, one that is still treasured in millions of homes around the world. It tells the tale of Conway and his beloved mascot the Twitty Bird as they visit Santa in Toyland Towne. At the time it was the most expensive Christmas album ever produced and took over 9 months of studio time to record. The album is a musical adventure, and when it was reissued a few years ago, his granddaughter Christi, who was only 11 when he passed away, became the voice of the Twitty Bird.

The entire album is on YouTube...

A few of my favorite songs on the album...

My treasured autographed White Christmas single...

I'm not a huge fan of Silent Night, but his voice on the song gives me chills...

I've been fortunate to collect a bunch of the publicity shots Conway did for A Twismas Story. I think they're so cute.

I love that this album is still so popular today, and that a new generation of children are getting to enjoy it. I hope it inspires them to one day delve deeper into the music of one of the greatest legends the world has ever known.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Country Christmas #CaturdayArt

Meows from Mudpie!

My Caturday Art this week fits with the country Christmas theme we've been presenting over the past 2 weeks' Mewsic Moves Me blog hops. We found it on Photo Lab and love how primitive and rustic it looks.

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 really need to get our Secret Paws gifts in the mail. I've never been so late! (Shortly after typing this I finally made it to the post office!)

2. My favorite Christmas decoration is my kitty Nativity scene.

3. It's beginning to look a lot like we'll be getting a new gas furnace in the new year. (An update from this past Wednesday's post.)

4. This time of year, I eat my fair share of party mix. I start making batches before Thanksgiving and am getting pretty sick of it right about now LOL