Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Making Do With What You Have

Mudpie: Surprise, surprise! Mommy got another package in the mail and it's not for me. She even crushed the box before I could sit in it!

Mommy: Sweetie, that box was hardly big enough for your cute little tushie.

Mudpie: It's ok, Mommy. This is actually kinda comfy.

(Note from Mommy: She proceeded to lay among the crushed box and crumpled papers on the kitchen floor for a solid hour!)

Monday, September 16, 2019

Felines For Farm Aid #MewsicMovesMe

Farm Aid started as a benefit concert held September 22, 1985, in Champaign, Illinois, to raise money for family farmers in the United States. The concert was organized by Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young, spurred on by Bob Dylan's comments at Live Aid earlier in that year that he hoped some of the money would help American farmers in danger of losing their farms through mortgage debt. Decades later Farm Aid is still working to increase awareness of the importance of family farms, and puts on an annual concert of country, blues and rock music with a variety of music artists.

In honor of Farm Aid, the theme of this week's Mewsic Moves Me blog hop is to build a playlist featuring artists that have performed at the annual event.

I'm sad to say it's a Conway-free zone this time around because he never performed at Farm Aid. Instead I've selected another of my favorites, John Schneider. While John is best known for his role as Bo Duke in The Dukes of Hazzard, he was also a successful country singer back in the 80s. I would go so far as to say his voice is my favorite after Conway's.

This performance comes from the 1986 Farm Aid and it epitomizes what the event is all about. 

Instead of building a playlist we chose to go with a single song this week because this one really says it all. As the daughter of a former dairy farmer (with the farm still in the family) I know what a difficult life it is. We thank those who make Farm Aid possible each and every year.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

The Prettiest Leaf #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. Cuddling with Mudpie never fails to improve my bad mood.

2. I feel out of place in most social situations. Have you seen that cartoon online where the girl is in another room at a party socializing with the cat? That's me.

3. I would like to find a treasure chest filled with rare Conway memorabilia. That would be more priceless to me than a treasure chest filled with money.

4. If you ask me, pets keep the doctor away. There are all kinds of studies about the health benefits our cats and dogs provide and I firmly believe it to be true.

Friday, September 13, 2019

The Purrfect 10: Signs Your Cat Is In Pain

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.

None of us can stand the thought of our beloved pets being in any sort of pain or discomfort, and since cats are notorious for masking signs of illness, it's up to us as pet parents to pick up on any subtle clues they may be giving us that all is not well. In honor of Animal Pain Awareness Month, here's a list of 10 things to be on the lookout for...

1) Biting and scratching: When you're in pain and not feeling well, you're not at your best. The least little thing grates on your nerves and you're prone to lashing out, even at those your love. Our pets are no different than we are, and in their case they may react by biting or scratching, especially if you touch the area that hurts.

2) Excessive purring: Cats purr when they're content, but they also purr when they get hurt or are in pain. It may simply be a way to soothe themselves, but research suggests the low frequency of purrs causes a series of vibrations within their body that can act as a healing mechanism. It requires energy to purr, so why would a cat do it if it wasn't beneficial in some way?

3) Breathing pattern changes: A cat in pain may breathe faster or more shallow than usual. Be on the lookout for abdominal breathing (movement of the stomach and chest muscles) and panting, neither of which are normal in cats.

4) Changes in eating and drinking: Pain can make cats lose their appetite. Refusal to eat or drink can indicate problems with their teeth or gums. A cat with a painful mouth may drop their food and water when trying to eat or drink.

5) Changes in grooming habits: A cat who doesn't feel well is likely to neglect regular grooming duties. On the other hand, they may over-groom a wounded area or if they're experiencing a skin irritation.

6) Hiding & acting withdrawn: Cats in pain tend to want to hide and withdraw from everyday activities. If you notice kitty hiding out in closets or under couches and beds, it's a very telling sign that something is wrong. Cats instinctively know that in the wild, a sick animal is a target, so they are likely trying to protect themselves by “hiding” from any threat that might take advantage of them in their compromised state.

7) Lack of energy and mobility changes: If a cat is in pain they may be less active and sleep more. Depending on where the pain is they might walk with a limp, go up and down the stairs more slowly, and be less likely to run around the house, jump and play the way they normally would.

8) It's all in the eyes: You can learn a tremendous amount about how your cat is feeling by looking in their eyes. Painful eyes can cause smaller (constricted) pupils, squinting and a bloodshot appearance. Pain in other parts of the body will result in larger (dilated) pupils.

9) Changes in litter box habits: Older cats who are arthritic may find it painful to defecate in the box regularly, thus holding their stool longer, drying it out, and causing constipation. They may also have a hard time getting in and out of their litter box and start going outside the box.

10) Lumps and bumps: Always keep an eye out for signs of swelling on your cat's body that may indicate a painful abscess, inflammation, or even cancer.

Anytime you believe your feline friend may be in pain it's important to have them checked out by a veterinarian. The sooner you realize something may be amiss, the sooner you can get them the help they need to start feeling better!

Monday, September 9, 2019

September Retro Country Rewind #MewsicMovesMe

This spring we premiered our new mewsic feature "Retro Country Rewind," a look back at favorite songs that hit #1 during that month from 30, 35, 40 plus years ago. We were so happy that you guys seemed to enjoy it! Now let's take a look at September for this freebie week in the Mewsic Moves Me blog hop...

40 Years Ago - 1979, I May Never Get to Heaven, Conway Twitty

It's no secret this is my all-time favorite song of Conway's, and it went to the top of the charts 40 years ago yesterday (on my birthday!).

This song was recorded by numerous artists, even Aretha Franklin, but ONLY Conway took it to #1...

35 Years Ago - 1984, Let's Fall To Pieces Together, George Strait

35 Years Ago - 1984, You're Gettin' To Me Again, Jim Glaser

30 Years Ago - 1989, I Wonder Do You Think Of Me, Keith Whitley

The first of two posthumous number ones for Whitley, who died on May 9, 1989.

We hope you enjoyed our choices this week!
Let us know if you have a favorite...

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Happy Birthday, Mommy!!! #SundaySelfies

Meows from Mudpie!

If anyone is so inclined, Facebook gave Mommy the opportunity to create a fundraiser for her birthday, so why not take advantage?

We chose a rescue group that does amazing work for cats in desperate need of help in the toughest areas of NYC, Little Wanderers NYC. We follow them both on Facebook and Instagram, and the volunteers of this grassroots group are truly angels on earth. Thank you in advance to anyone who chooses to donate!

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

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Caturday Art

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 joined the Cat Writers' Association in 2013. Something I'm still extremely proud of!

2. I wish I'd asked my uncles about their experiences during World War 2. One was stationed in England, the other in Japan, and neither one of them ever wanted to talk about that time.

3. All the cats I've lived with have had the biggest impact on who I am today.

Mudpie's answer:

4. My forever home is the most beautiful place I have ever been.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Book Review: Catch Cat by Claire Grace, Illustrations by Andy Council

Spot the elusive world-traveling cat hiding in 7 intricately illustrated continent maps, paired with explanatory spreads featuring a selection of the fascinating creatures, people, iconic buildings, and geological features that make each continent unique.

Geography has never been more fun! Travel the world, from North America to Antarctica and every continent in between, in search of cat while you discover myriad natural and man-made wonders—all packed cleverly into the colorful maps.

Did you spot the pink dolphins frolicking in the Amazon River? Or Bran Castle, Romania’s national monument and the setting for Bram Stoker’s Dracula? How about the rockhopper penguins of Antarctica, sporting their distinctive yellow-streaked hairdos? And the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, thought to be built from 2.3 million blocks?

To discover these cool places and more, pack your bags and get ready to explore.

This is one of the most visually stunning books I've ever had the pleasure of being asked to review. Catch Cat is described as "Where's Waldo with a purr-fect feline twist" and will completely captivate anyone who opens the cover. I found myself in awe of the incredible amount of detail in every single illustration, not to mention the fact that's it's packed with information about specific things unique to that particular continent.

Picking out the adorable cat in each layout was SO much fun and more challenging than I expected! It's a good thing there's an answer page in the back of the book because one was driving me crazy and I had to cheat a bit. Cat isn't just standing around being a tourist either - he's right in there tackling adventures on all four paws! If you're an armchair traveler like me who prefers to stay home with your cat, this book will have a permanent place on your coffee table. You'll discover something new each time you pick it up!

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Unboxing August's CatLadyBox

The theme of August's CatLadyBox was "Save the Purrlanet"'s what was inside!

Featured Cat Lady Artist: Heidi Moreno is a Los Angeles illustrator whose art is filled with bright colors, whimsical scenery and cats. Her cat Peanut runs the show!

"Cats Make the World a Better Place" Shirt: Truer words were never spoken!

Glass Water Bottle with Cat Sleeve: Environmentally friendly and eye catching with a beautiful mint green sleeve.

Cattastic Stainless Steel Straws, Set of 4: Packaged in the cutest little drawstring bag, purrfect for tucking inside your purse or tote bag.

Manny the Meownatee Catnip Toy & Buzz the Bee Wand Toy: A catnip toy and a wand toy...something for every kitty's taste! Mudpie is holding buzz the bee hostage in this picture...


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.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Aren't There Tortie Labor Laws? #MewsicMovesMe

The theme of this week's Mewsic Moves Me blog hop is a playlist in which the first letters of the songs spell out LABOR DAY. In honor of the holiday I told Mudpie she could set aside her dust mopping duties to help me put together our playlist. We think you might notice a few all-time classics here!

L- Lonely Blue Boy, Conway Twitty

Yesterday would've been Conway's 86th birthday, so of course we're starting with him as always.

Lonely Blue Boy was his second biggest hit on the pop charts (after It's Only Make Believe), reaching #6 in 1960. The song led him to name his band the Lonely Blue Boys (they later became the Twitty Birds). This footage comes from an Oklahoma City TV show called Country Social in 1965, just as he was making the transition from rock to country.

A- A Lady Like You, Glen Campbell

B- Behind Closed Doors, Charlie Rich

O- Ode to Billy Joe, Bobby Gentry

R- Ridin' My Thumb to Mexico, Johnny Rodriguez

D- Dance Little Jean, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

A- Always On My Mind, Willie Nelson

Y- You Could've Heard A Heart Break, Johnny Lee

We hope you enjoy our choices this week!
Let us know if you have a favorite!

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Mommy, Come Back! #SundaySelfie

Meows from Mudpie!

The other day after work Mommy brought some trash out to the garage, only to come back to the house and find me climbing the door waiting for her to come back in. Her phone was in her pocket so we figured it was the perfect time for her to help me take a couple selfies.

Honestly now, could you ever leave this face?

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

Saturday, August 31, 2019

A Hint of Fall #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. My favorite Peanuts character is Pig Pen. I know I should say Snoopy but there's just something about that perpetual cloud of dirt around Pig Pen that gets me.

2. I knew I was no longer a child when I stopped looking forward to birthdays. My birthday falls during fair season around here (next week) and growing up that's when I would get to go to a bunch of concerts. I used to joke that my birthday would last about 10 days. Now there are no concerts I'm interested in going to, and birthdays just mean you're another year older.

Mudpie's answers:

3. I was shocked when I learned that Mommy has been keeping something from me. You know those squeezable cat treats that are so popular? Since I hate wet food, Mommy claims she thought I wouldn't be interested in them. A few weeks ago she picked up a package on a whim only to find out I'm totally obsessed with them! Now she tells me they've been available for a couple years. I'm shocked at the deception and wondering what else she's been keeping from me!

4. I always feel frustrated when I try to look out the front door. Our house is close to the sidewalk so Mommy has the bottom part blocked off so people passing by can't look in when the door is open. Since I'm height challenged this means I can't look out, so every now and then Mommy lifts me up so I can see (we call it a "butts up"). Then a dog or jogger goes by, I freak out, and it's all over...

Friday, August 30, 2019

Him Again #PetPhotoFails

Meows from Mudpie!

Another month has flown by and thank Cod we're finally at the end of August, making it time once again for the Pet Photo Fails Blog Hop!

Now that it's getting a little cooler, I have started sleeping in my cat bed in Mommy's bedroom (the big bed *with* Mommy won't happen until it's much cooler). Last weekend I thought it might be a good place to take my selfie, but I had a few problems. First, we didn't have the bedroom light on so my pictures kept coming out way too dark. And don't even ask me what happened to my right eye in this first picture. Plus no matter which way I turned, HE kept photo bombing me. I just can't get away from him...

Mommy recently connected with a lady online whose grandmother has had to go into assisted living because of dementia. Her house is being sold and she was a HUGE Conway fan and collector. Long story shot, Mommy is buying much of her collection so there's more of him around here than ever before. My disgust is clearly showing in this picture...

I keep picturing myself out on the street corner one day with all my toys, food, beds and scratchers packed because there's no room left for me...

Let's see your bloopers!

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Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day 2019

I've sort of been at a loss over what to write about for this year's Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day. After all, just last month we honored Tara and Truffles on the anniversary of their journey to the Bridge, and last week saw the celebration of what was Truffles' Gotcha Day. Besides, everyone knows their stories by now.

In the past 4 years on this special day we've featured poetry, a short story, and a Purrfect 10 post. I finally decided to focus this year's post on the cat that started it all for me, my best friend throughout my childhood, Patch.

As I've often said, as a little girl in my playpen I had a cat in one corner and a stack of books in another. Patch was that cat. He was my parents' "first child," as he came into their lives a year and a half before I was born. He was abandoned as a three month old kitten on my father's family dairy farm and my grandmother, knowing how much my mom loved cats, asked if she'd like to take him home. Prior to Patch my mom had been over a decade without a cat in her life! Once I came into the picture, Patch wasn't about to give up his spot on mom's lap without a fight, so when she would hold me in her arms, she would have to put her feet up so he could nap on her legs.

Patch was the only cat I've ever taken outside on a leash. Back in those days it was quite a novelty, and my family was likely the talk of the neighborhood, but I loved taking him out in the backyard, enjoying quality time with my best friend.

We lost Patch to a brain tumor at age 15. Other than when his own parents died a few years before, the night we lost Patch was the first time I saw my father cry, I think because he knew our hearts were breaking. I know for a fact that Patch was my mom's "heart cat," and I've always felt that she never again let herself love a cat as deeply as she did him, knowing how much it would hurt at the end.

I've experienced a lot of loss since that first heartbreak, just as anyone does who can't imagine life without cats, but no matter how many times you say goodbye it doesn't get any easier. In ways I think it gets harder. But as the saying goes, grief is the price we pay for love. 

“We who choose to surround ourselves
with lives even more temporary than our
own, live within a fragile circle;
easily and often breached.
Unable to accept its awful gaps,
we would still live no other way.
We cherish memory as the only
certain immortality, never fully
understanding the necessary plan.”

― Irving Townsend


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

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

Monday, August 26, 2019

Paws Off My Radio #MewsicMovesMe

When I was in my early to mid teens a portable radio was practically an extension of my arm. I carried it around with me obsessively. Much to my parents chagrin I would even have it on down low next to me when everyone was trying to watch TV. And Heaven forbid anyone disturb me when the American Country Countdown was on for 3 hours each Sunday night - I was glued to it.

Radio has always played an important part in American history. My mom has told me so many stories about when she was a little girl and her family would sit around the radio listening to the news during World War 2. She had 2 brothers overseas (who thankfully both came home safe) so these are very vivid memories for her.

Today most of our momentous news comes from TV and the internet, but I clearly remember the one piece of breaking news I got from radio so many years ago - the Saturday morning Conway's death was announced on my local country station. Believe it or not, I still have the portable radio I was listening to that day. I think I subconsciously held onto it for that very reason.

Since this is a freebie week in the Mewsic Moves Me blog hop, we chose songs with the word "radio" in the title after reading that this past Tuesday, August 20, was National Radio Day. To start, this is one of my all-time favorite songs...

Do you have a special memory radio-related memory?
Tell us about it!

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Deep in Thought #SundaySelfie

Mudpie, what's going on in that sweet little head of yours?

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

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Pretty as a Posey #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. I am a stickler for obeying the rules of the road. Let's just say I use my horn liberally when I witness foolish behavior behind the wheel.

2. By the end of August, I plan to be able to hold Mudpie on my lap again. During the winter she never wants to leave my lap, and in the summer she won't come near it. Usually by late August we start to have some cooler nights, so I hope we can reconnect soon.

3. My love for animals is my favorite thing about myself. It's my favorite quality in any person. I'll never understand or be able to get close to anyone who doesn't love animals, as they are the most innocent among us.

4. These days, my biggest priority is catching up on all the household chores I let slide while it was too hot to do anything.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Fun Feline Finds: Mudpie's Customized Socksery Socks

Meows from Mudpie!

A couple months ago Mommy got an email from a nice lady at Socksery offering us a free pair of customized socks with MY face on them!

How could she say no? And when they arrived we were just blown away by how fantastic they turned out. (Of course, why wouldn't they with my precious face to work with!)

It's super easy to upload a photo of your pet's face to the Socksery website, and the socks will be in your hands on your feet in a couple weeks. You can choose from a wide variety of colors, and even put up to three pets' faces on a single pair of socks.

With Christmas right around the corner we can't think of a better purrsonalized gift for the cat or dog parent in your life. Use the coupon code SOCK20 at checkout for 20% off your order!

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