Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Lil' Soups Soothe the Soul #ChewyInfluencer

Meows from Mudpie!

It's been a couple months since I was able to sample something new from our friends at, but when my January email arrived and I saw the Friskies Lil' Soups with Tuna in a Velvety Chicken Broth Lickable Cat Treats listed, I demanded that Mommy order some for me. A few different times she saw them advertised in the Sunday paper's coupon section, but somehow always "forgot" to pick up a few cups when she went to the grocery store. She knows that I prefer my wet food as "soupy" as possible, so I just can't understand how she could forget such a thing!

Before I tell you my thoughts, here's what Chewy has to say about the Lil' Soups...

Key Benefits
  • Made with real tuna and real, wholesome ingredients you want to give your feline friend.
  • Velvety broth adds delicious flavor to every bite and entices even picky eaters.
  • Packaged in a convenient cup for effortless serving, so you can spend less time scooping and more quality time with your kitty.
  • Intended as a complement to your adult cat's complete and balanced diet or a delicious treat after mealtime.
  • This enticing snack is the purrfect way to get the attention of your adult cat.

Look at me slurping it up!

So what did this fussy little tortie think of the food? I love, love, loved it! As a matter of fact, it nearly made me a member of the clean plate club, which has pretty much never happened! It's super yummy and yes, soupy, just the way I like it, and Mommy loves that it adds extra moisture to my diet since I'm such a kibble addict. She also appreciates the completely mess-free cups. I can definitely see myself noshing on these long-term along with the other recipes of shrimp, sockeye salmon, and chicken and butternut squash.

The Lil' Soups are currently on sale at Chewy for $7.50 for 8 1.2 ounce cups.  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.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Happy Birthday, Grandpa!

Meows from Mudpie!

It's a very special day at my house because it's my Grandpa's birthday!!! I love my Grandpa SO much, and he loves me! His lap is one of my very favorite places to be.

As you may remember, he was never really a "cat guy" - he just accepted that cats would always be around because of my Mommy and grandma's love for us - until the tortie trio of Tara, Truffles and now me came into his life. Now he's even more protective of me than Mommy is! Just look at this collage of can clearly see that I adore my grandpa and the feeling is mutual!

Hope you have a purrfect day, Grandpa! I love you!!!

Monday, January 28, 2019

Book Review: Pet Loss Poems: To Heal Your Heart and Soul by Wendy Van de Poll

Pet Loss Poems: To Heal Your Heart and Soul is a collection of forty-one poems written for those who are suffering pet loss grief and need a soft place to land.

This kindhearted book of poetry offers sweet words for healing, a gentle place for inspiration, and a moment of solace.

Each poem connects you to the oneness you shared with your companion. They reveal the emotions of normal pet loss grief and the passage that you may be experiencing each day of your journey.

As you read these poems you will be able to find peace, joy, and compassion for your heart as you experience the stories that these poems tell.

Open your soul and take a heartfelt journey towards feeling blessed for the life you shared with your beloved companion.

Take a breath and consume the enchanting wisdom the animals share.

Their perceptions, instinctive skills and generosity make all of our lives better.

With this book, you never have to feel alone with your pet loss grief!

There's something about the art of poetry, both reading and writing it, that touches the heart more than other forms of literature. When it's about a subject matter as universal as the pain felt following the loss of a pet, even more so. The poems in this book took me from smiling as I remembered a special memory to tearing up with renewed heartache. Several I had to re-read a few times because the feelings they evoked hit so close to home.

Whether you've suffered a recent loss or not this is a collection to have on your bookshelf for quiet times when you want to feel connected to a beloved pet once again. Maybe it will even inspire you to write some poetry of your own - it'san amazingly therapeutic way to remember a special friend.

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!

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Snow Princess #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. So far, 2019 is going well enough. There have been some pretty crappy moments already but some really good ones too, so it all evens out in the end.

2. I will never tire of Conway's voice. We're not doing a music post next week so I just had to get that in there ;)

Mudpie's answers:

3. I get to sleep in as late as I want on Saturday and Sunday every week. Well, actually I can 7 days a week because I'm a cat but on the weekends I get to do it with Mommy!

4. Can you believe that I've never stepped foot outside in my yard?

Friday, January 25, 2019

Flashback Friday #PetPhotoFails

Meows from Mudpie!

Thank you for joining us for this month's Pet Fails Photo Hop! This time around we're combining a photo fail with Flashback Friday...

Mommy is in the process of getting a new smartphone. The one she has now is as basic as you can get and dates back to 2011 so it has more than earned it's retirement. It's so non-user friendly that she has to send any pictures she takes with it via text message to her PhotoBucket account, which needless to say has been taking a lot of time. She has been ruthless in deleting old, crappy photos, but many containing angels Tara and Truffles have tugged at her heartstrings big time.

These pictures of Truffles were taken through the back door which explains the horrible glare, but the reason I wanted to use them is to make a point. Mommy is always saying I'm the chattiest tortie she's ever met. Well it looks like Truffles had quite a bit to say too, doesn't it?

What do you think Truffles was going on about in this series of pictures?

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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Meeting Wiggles

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending our annual CFA cat show. It's something I look forward to every year and this one was no exception, but this particular show will always be especially memorable because of the extra special "Pet Me" cat in attendance.

Wiggles is a CH kitty. He has severe Cerebellar Hypoplasia, is unable to walk and gets around in a stroller. His tongue is always out, and his mom explained to me that on the rare occasion when he does pull his tongue in it's a clue to her that he's not feeling well.

Wiggles was rescued with and still lives with his sister, who has CH even more severely than he does. (Amazingly enough, his owner has 2 additional CH kitties!) It broke my heart to hear that when the pair was rescued they were found living under a dumpster. Wiggles was dragging himself back to his sister with some food for her in his mouth.

Wiggles travels everywhere with his beloved stuffed tiger. He even reaches out for it in his sleep. His mom told me a funny story about a recent large cat show they attended in New Jersey. A little girl ran off with the stuffie and his owner was petrified that he was going to wake up from his nap and find it missing! Thankfully crisis was averted and the catnapper was apprehended.

Wiggles is a cherished special needs pet living a good life in New York. I'm pretty sure he was the highlight of the cat show for many in attendance! I know he was for me.

He and the rest of his feline family can be found on Facebook.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

2019 Pet Blogger Challenge

Today we're excited to be participating in the 2019 Pet Blogger Challenge hosted by It's a great way to join fellow bloggers in reflecting on the past year while making plans for the one to come.

For those who may be visiting your blog for the first time, how long have you been blogging and what is your main topic?

I started blogging in August 2011. Mochas, Mysteries and Meows is the purr-fect destination for everyone who embraces a cozy, cat-centric lifestyle: curling up on the couch with a warm beverage, a great book, and a cat...or 3. It's primary focus is to chronicle my cat lady life with Mudpie alongside reviews of products for both cats and cat moms and sharing the knowledge I've accumulated in three decades of life with cats.

What was your proudest blogging moment of 2018?

I actually have 3 really proud moments to share. First, I won 5 Certificates of Excellence in the Cat Writers' Association Communications Contest. Two came in the Short Story and Column categories which I never thought I would have a shot at.

I also fulfilled my goal of this blog leading to freelance writing projects as I started writing two articles per month for the Canidae pet food blog.

Not directly related to the blog, but I also had two poems published in a book called The Whole Kitten Cat Boodle. (How cool is it to see your name on the cover of a book?!?!?!)

What was the biggest blogging challenge you faced in 2018, and how did/will you tackle it?

I'm embarrassed to say that in 2018 I lost my reading mojo. I don't know if I've been reading too much of the same thing for too long or what, but for much of the year continuing through today I'm not getting the enjoyment out of my reading time that I used to and have had to put it on the back burner. I don't really know what the solution is but to give it some time and hope it passes. I've always loved reading so much, I don't want to force myself into now and end up never wanting to go back.

Which of your 2018 blog posts was your favorite and why? (Please include a link.)

Our Purrfect 10 series as a whole was my favorite, especially the ones on Morris the 9Lives cat, Edgar Allan Poe's tortie Cattarina, and fascinating facts about white cats. I have so much fun researching these posts!

Which of your 2018 posts was most popular with your audience? Why do you think it does so well?

Our Tuft + Paw giveaway was tremendously popular, likely because our readers love to pampurr their fur babies with the kinds of goodies that only a company like Tuft + Paw can provide.

Did you implement a new series, feature, or practice on your blog in 2018 that you’re enjoying?

This spring I started participating in a blog hop that reflects another passion of mine that coincidentally also begins with an "M" - Melissa's mochas, mysteries, meows, and now music! The Mewsic Moves Me blog hop takes place each Monday and typically has a theme that you're supposed to choose songs around. The country music I grew up with in the 70s and 80s has always remained close to my heart, and joining this hop has reignited that spark. Regular readers know these posts typically end up revolving around Conway Twitty in some way, who I adore beyond words. (Some might argue beyond reason...LOL)

As the social media landscape changes, how are you promoting your blog posts and connecting with new readers?

I've done a terrible job at keeping up with the changes. I post to Facebook daily, sometimes Instagram, and that's about it. I also regularly join blog hops. My strategy is definitely something I need to work on.

Looking forward to 2019, if you accomplish only one thing through your blog, what do you hope it is?

I want to find new ways to grow our audience. I feel like there are so many pet blogs out there now that it's easy to get lost in the shuffle. Finding new ways to "stand out" is important to succeeding long term.

What steps are you planning to take to ensure you reach your goal?

No ideas at this time...but I'm taking suggestions!

Now it’s your turn! How can we help? Is there an area where you could use some advice, or an aspect of your blog that you’d like input on? Share it here, and we’ll answer you in comments!

I would love to ask our readers what they want to see more of on the blog. Do you have a favorite feature? A topic you would like us to cover? Please let us know!!!

Monday, January 21, 2019

Me & My Shadow #MewsicMovesMe

The theme of this week's Mewsic Moves Me blog hop is song titles with the word "shadow." I always joke that Mudpie is my shadow because she loves to follow me around the house wherever I go. I love that she always wants to be with me.

My Conway selection of the week was an album cut, never a single, but I love it because it's a prime example of how sultry his voice became in the later years.

A bit of trivia about our next "shadowy" song, Shadow of a Doubt by Earl Thomas was co-written by The Dukes of Hazzard's Tom Wopat (Luke Duke)!

Is your pet your shadow?

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Warm & Toasty #SundaySelfie

Meows from Mudpie!

Wanna know where I snapped my selfie this weekend? This is SO embarrassing...on the toilet!

Wanna know why? Because it's smack dab in front of a furnace vent!

Our brand new gas furnace is up and running and thankfully the installation on Wednesday was easy peasy. Mommy was very impressed by how I handled our home invasion. I even went into the basement a few times to snoopervise the whole process! I don't think they were cat guys though because I didn't get much attention.

The furnace has it's work cut out for it this week too. We're expecting sub zero weather and 18-24 inches of snow today! I'm so thankful to have a warm home in weather like this, because so many animals sadly don't. I wish I could invite them all inside to share my nice new furnace.

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

Saturday, January 19, 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. Me and cats go hand in hand.

2. Spending quiet one-on-one time with Mudpie makes my heart happy.

Mudpie's answers:

3. Don't be afraid to ask for what you want...loudly.

4. If zoomies was a sport, I would win hands down.

Friday, January 18, 2019

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

Meows from Mudpie!

Just like previous years Mommy wasn't planning on a Valentine's Day gift guide but I talked her into it by reminding her of all the cool things we find on Etsy! We've broken our picks into gifts for cats and gifts for cat moms, so there's a little something for everybody!

We hope you enjoy our picks, and don't forget, if you find something here you like and make a purchase using our affiliate links, I get a little money for my piggy bank so I can buy something special for Mommy on Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Today's the Day!

Meows from Mudpie!

Today's the big day...our oil furnace is coming out and the new gas furnace is going in! To say Mommy is a nervous wreck would be an understatement. She's even brought my carrier into the front hall just in case the house goes kaboom before the day is over. (If you hear on the news tonight about a crazy woman desperately throwing one little tortie and a large Conway collection out the window to safety, that'll be us.)

She's also worried about how I'll react to strange men going in and out of the house all day because that hasn't happened since I've been here. Not to mention it's January in Vermont and we'll be most of the day without heat so I'll likely be turning into a frozen Mudpie.

Wish us luck! Oh, and have we mentioned that now our hot water heater has developed a (thankfully small, so far) leak? So the home repair project nightmares continue...

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Book Review: Purrfect Secret (The Mysteries of Max Book 8) by Nic Saint

When Dick Dickerson, notorious editor of the National Star, is found drowned in duck dung, the investigation quickly gets mired down when trying to figure out who’s behind the attack on the tabloid kingpin. Politicians, movie stars and captains of industry consistently found themselves in Dickerson’s crosshairs, but who would stoop so low as murder?While Odelia Poole and Detective Chase Kingsley conduct their investigation, Odelia’s cat coterie is up in arms when a newcomer turns the peaceful town of Hampton Cove into a soap opera of gossip, scandal and secrets. Soon the ‘Fab Four’ (Max, Dooley, Harriet and Brutus) are duking it out, their friendship in ruins, Max’s reputation in tatters.It doesn’t help that Grandma Muffin is waging a personal vendetta against her son-in-law’s new receptionist Scarlett Canyon, determined to get rid of her long-time nemesis once and for all. Against the backdrop of all this bickering, backstabbing and strife, is it any wonder Max starts to wonder if Dickerson’s killer will be the one that got away?

Every time a new Mysteries of Max book is released I pretty much have to drop everything to read it. Purrfect Secret was the longest book yet in the series and I tried to make it last as long as I possibly could, but it still ended way too quickly! This is a cat cozy series that just keeps getting better and better as its feline characters get cuter and cuter. The mysteries are always fun and not overly complicated, but it's the mini soap opera of the cats' lives that steals the show. I've come to love Max, Dooley, Harriet and Brutus more than words can say. 

The murder in Purrfect Secret is more repulsive than you can possibly imagine - the editor of a trashy tabloid is drowned in duck poop. Needless to say, there's no shortage of suspects for Chase, Odelia, and her feline menagerie. The cats have a far bigger problem on their hands though. They have a temporary house guest, a cat named Milo who is staying with them while his owner is away. Milo is trouble with paws as he manages to turn all the cats against each other with his lies. At first it's hysterically funny, but things get out of hand very quickly. Why is Milo so desperate to harm those who have taken him in and treated him with nothing but kindness? The answer is surprising and really tugged at my heartstrings. 

There's a long winter ahead of us. Download the entire Mysteries of Max series and treat yourself to one of the most adorable cat cozy series available today. Purrsonally, I want to take little Dooley home with me. If you have read any of the books in this series, I would love to know who your favorite kitty character is!

This post contains affiliate links.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Mooning Over Mudpie #MewsicMovesMe

It's a freebie week in the Mewsic Moves Me blog hop, and talk of the upcoming Blood Moon led us to our theme of the songs about the moon!

"I Don't Know A Thing About Love (The Moon Song)" was a huge hit for Conway in 1984. It was written by one of country music's most prolific songwriters, Harlan Howard. 

(You've probably noticed that for most musical selections I post official music videos or generic YouTube posts, but when it comes to Conway I post live performances whenever possible. That's because while hearing him is absolute heaven to me, hearing him AND seeing him is almost more than my little heart can take. I have a CD box filled with DVDs and VHS tapes of his TV appearances and live concerts. I'm always on the lookout for more, and whenever something I don't have is posted to YouTube I immediately burn it to DVD for my collection.)

A few other favorite "moon" songs...

We hope you enjoyed our choices this week! 

Did anything catch your ear?

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Cat Show Blues #SundaySelfies

That look you give when Mommy tells you she's going to the cat show this afternoon to look at other kitties.

That look you give when Mommy says none of those other kitties hold a candle to you because you're #1 in her heart and always will be.

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

Saturday, January 12, 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!

Mudpie's answers:

1. Better to be a tortie than any other color or breed of cat. Just sayin'...

2. Don't get out of bed just because your human's alarm goes off and they have to start their day. You're a cat and can get up and get going whenever you feel like it!

Mommy's answers:

3. You couldn't pay me to go into the medical field. I'm way too squeamish when it comes to blood.

4. Pizza is my comfort food.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Unboxing January's CatLadyBox

The theme of January's CatLadyBox was "Absolutely Ameowzing"'s what was inside!

Featured Cat Lady Artist: Baby Room Art

MEOW Knit Cap: I have quite a few hats with cat ears that I no longer feel comfortable wearing since the "pussy hat" nonsense, so I'm so happy to have this warm winter hat with just the word "meow" emblazoned across it. I'm going to wear it for the first time this weekend at our local cat show and expect many comments about it. (Mudpie loves the pom-pom on top!)

MEOW Metal Wall Art: Once the Christmas decorations come down I plan to find the purrfect place to hang this.

Ameowzing Shirt: All words that describe cats and cat ladies!

Meow Catnip Kicker: A kitty can never have too many toys to bunny kick!

Eskimeow Catnip Toy: Yet another toy I've snitched from Mudpie! This little guy is so cute I tucked him in my Christmas tree among the ornaments.

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.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Book Review: Something Worth Saving by Sandi Ward

Sandi Ward’s shrewdly observed, funny, and wonderfully touching novel tells of a fractured family, a teenage boy, and a remarkable cat whose loyalty knows no bounds . . .

A boy and his cat. It’s an unconventional friendship, perhaps, but for Charlie and Lily, it works beautifully. It was Charlie who chose Lily from among all the cats in the shelter. He didn’t frown, the way other humans did, when he saw her injured back leg, the legacy of a cruel previous owner. Instead, Charlie insisted on rescuing her. Now Lily wants to do the same for Charlie.

She’s the only one who’s seen the bruises on Charlie’s body. If she knew who was hurting him, she’d scratch their eyes out. But she can’t fix this by herself. Lily needs to get the rest of the family to focus on Charlie—not easy when they’re wrapped up in their own problems. Charlie’s mother kicked his father out weeks ago and has a new boyfriend who seems charming, but is still a stranger. Oldest son Kevin misses his father desperately. Victoria, Charlie’s sister, also has someone new in her life, and Lily is decidedly suspicious. Even Charlie’s father, who Lily loves dearly, is behaving strangely.

Lily knows what it’s like to feel helpless. But she also knows that you don’t always have to be the biggest or the strongest to fight fiercely for the ones you love . . .

I thought it would be nearly impossible for Sandi Ward to beat her debut novel The Astonishing Thing, but she has done just that with Something Worth Saving

I don't read a lot of women's fiction, but when a story is told from the unique perspective of the family cat, count me in. Something Worth Saving takes readers inside the mind of Lily as she deals with a multitude of changes and drama in her family's home. She's most bonded to teenager Charlie who rescued her from the shelter in spite of her "imperfections". Now Lily realizes it's Charlie who needs saving when she sees the black and blue marks he's hiding under his clothes. But who in the family is going to take the time to figure out who's hurting Charlie when they are each dealing with problems of their own? Dad is no longer living at home because mom can't deal with his drinking, Mom has a new man in her life, as does sister Victoria, and older brother Kevin hasn't been the same since dad left. Lily's family is slowly unraveling, but what can one tiny cat do to put it back together again?

I found myself reading this book very slowly because I wanted to savor each and every word. I fell in love with Lily and found her to be at the same time pure and innocent yet wise beyond her years (and species). I think most of us have wondered what our pets must think about the goings on in our homes, and this book gives a likely interpretation of what might be going on inside their little heads. Not only is it a good read for adults, but I also think it would be meaningful for teens with it's themes of broken homes and bullying. Four paws up!

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, January 7, 2019

Happy 84th Birthday, Elvis! #MewsicMovesMe

The theme of this week's Mewsic Moves Me blog hop is "an Elvis song with a switch to another singer/group in the same era as Elvis" in honor of his birthday tomorrow. (I've never had any trouble remembering the King's birth and death dates because he was born the same year as my mom, January 8th is also my aunt's birthday, and he died the year I was born!)

For my Elvis selection portion of the challenge, I chose Mystery Train. Keep reading to find out why!

Now the switch to another singer from his era. My goodness, who will I choose? LOL. I've mentioned before that Conway decided to pursue a music career instead of baseball after being discharged from the Army in 1956 and hearing Elvis for the first time. (For that I am eternally grateful to Elvis!) The song he heard was Mystery Train.

Two short years later Conway was at the top of the charts himself with It's Only Make Believe, a hit in 22 different countries and selling over 8 million copies. This footage comes from the Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show, dated January 17, 1959.

Fast forward to the 1970s when both Elvis and Conway were the kings of their respective genres (although Conway had more than double the #1s on the country charts than Elvis did in rock!) One of my favorite songs from that period is 1976's Love Coming Down...

Conway recorded it in 1979. Not surprisingly, the spoken "I need you baby" he adds at the end (a trademark of his) makes me weak in the knees...

We hope you enjoyed our choices this week!
Who is your favorite singer/group from Elvis's era?