Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Fun Feline Finds: Vintage Cat Mask

Last year around this time I was browsing Walmart's website for Halloween goodies when I ran across this vintage cat mask. I fell in love with it, but of course it wasn't available in my store, and it was sold out online too. I found a few listed on eBay for $50 paired with a vintage pumpkin mask that had also become scarce. Once the spooky season was over I gave up trying to find it.

Fast forward to last week when I was once again checking out this year's Halloween offerings at Walmart, and when I did a search for "Halloween cat" the very same vintage mask was at the top of my search results! Not only that, it said 2 were available at my local store! I was hoping to be able to order it online and then pick it up later in the day, but that wasn't an option. I was so eager to get my hands on the mask I nearly left work early, but I was a good girl and waited.

Finally at lunch I flew out the door and headed for Walmart, where both masks were still sitting on the shelf. (Which leads me to ask, with everyone so paranoid about COVID, why are Halloween costumes out in the open for anyone to try on, possibly contaminate, and then put back down?) 

But anyways, I finally had my vintage cat mask, which I plan to hang on the wall with my Halloween cat decor. Better still, Mudpie's squeezies were finally restocked after being unavailable all summer, so it was a very successful shopping day!

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Hand Over the Squeezies and Nobody Gets Hurt #SundaySelfies

Meows from Mudpie!

This week Mommy helped me snap my selfie from the coffee table where I eat my squeezies each day. If I look rather impatient it's because I am. I'm not a fan of lollygagging when it comes to serving up my favorite snack, and taking a picture of my desperation felt like she was mocking me!

(For anyone concerned about the abuse I endure, I'll admit that immediately after this was taken I got my half squeezie. Yes, I only get half at a time so I can have them more often, or so Mommy says...)

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

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Meow Like a Pirate Day #CaturdayArt

Ahoy! It is Mudpie, pillager of cat treats! 

Since Meow Like a Pirate Day falls on Caturday this year I decided to cartoonize my very first pirate post from 2015 as I guarded my pink treasure chest full of squeezies! 

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

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

1. If you are looking for unconditional love, try adopting a pet.

2. People who devote their lives to making the world a better place for animals fill me with hope.

3. It’s only a matter of time before things get back to the way they were pre-2020. I hope. Who would've thought "the good old days" were last year?

4. Cats and Conway are my favorite conversation topics.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Unboxing September's CatLadyBox

The theme of September's CatLadyBox was Cozy Cats...here's what was inside!

Featured Cat Lady Artist: Celeste Gagnon Smale "Fall Echo" The character Echo is based on the illustrator's late cat. Can you see the little mouse hiding in the leaves? I would love a larger print of this. One of the cutest cards yet.

Cozy Cats Shirt: Our blog is all about living a cozy life with cats, and this trio of cozy kitties is just the cat's pajamas. The autumnal color will go purrfect with my fall wardrobe.

Cozy Cat Rope Basket: I can honestly say I've never had a cat-shaped basket! Such a clever design. I'm going to use this to hold some of my favorite collectible cat dolls.

Counting Cats Pillowcase Set: Last spring Mudpie started sleeping on my pillow at night for the first time. I loved having her so close while I was sleeping and hoped she wouldn't forget doing it over the long, hot summer. She didn't! Over the past couple weeks she's been curling up on my pillow again, and now we have these cute new pillowcases to share pillow talk on!

Fuzzy Squirrel and Fall Leaf Toys: It seems like every month the accompanying tags on these toys are just as adorable as the toys themselves! CatLadyBox thinks of every detail, right down to the tag artwork. Once Mudpie is through bopping these around I just might snitch them for my fall decor!

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, September 16, 2020

Bag Ban Blues

Meows from Mudpie!

Ever since July Mommy has been griping about the plastic bag ban instituted here in Vermont. Retailers are no longer allowed to provide single-use plastic bags even though many people repurpose them as trash bags (not to mention for used kitty litter!) Stores can still provide paper bags but there's a ten cent fee now! Mommy says she refuses to pay for something that's always been free.

So now every time Mommy goes shopping she has to make sure she has enough reusable bags in the car. So you know what I started thinking? If I lay down on the reusable bag, she won't be able to leave me and go shopping!

What's that, Mommy? There are more bags in the car? Oh well, I tried. Bring me back some squeezies!

Monday, September 14, 2020

September Retro Country Rewind #MewsicMovesMe

Last year we premiered our 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 have so much fun gathering the songs for it and hope you enjoy our selections.

Let's take a look at September for this freebie week in the Mewsic Moves Me blog hop...

45 Years Ago - 1975, Feelins', Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn

If I told you that I loved you
Could we slip away where the lights are low
And if I put my arms around you
And held you close could you tell me no

Take me away, Conway...

40 Years Ago - 1980, Lookin' for Love, Johnny Lee

(From the Urban Cowboy soundtrack)

35 Years Ago - 1985, I Don't Know Why You Don't Want Me, Rosanne Cash

(I've selected 3 songs from 1985 because I couldn't choose a favorite. I love them all equally!)

35 Years Ago - 1985, Modern Day Romance, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

35 Years Ago - 1985, I Fell In Love Again Last Night, Forester Sisters

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

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Caturday Art

Meows from Mudpie!

I love creating autumnal art because of my beautiful tortie furs. We found this leafy template on Pho.to and couldn't decide which we liked best so we decided to use them both. Do you have a preference?

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

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

1. I wish I had been alive during the entirety of Conway's career. I've always wished I had grown up in the 50s. It was such a fun, innocent time, before the downward spiral of the 60s. I just know I would have discovered him as soon as he hit the scene in rock and then followed him to my/our first love, country music. To have witnessed his 35 year career as it happened would've been heaven.

2. My favorite way to have apples is straight out of the tote.

3. I was sad to find out that Kevin Dobson passed away last weekend. I loved the nighttime soaps like Dallas and Knots Landing growing up and he played one of my favorite characters on Knots.

4. Most things in life aren't rocket science. I think we're all guilty of making things harder than they really need to be.

Friday, September 11, 2020

We Remember


Feline Friday
is simple to join. All you have to do is:

Post a picture, drawing, cartoon or video of a cat (They may be silly or cute).

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Book Excerpt: French Stones, Meeting Minou

We recently received an email from author Ronald Peeleman asking if we would like to share an excerpt from his new book, French Stones: Life in a 12th Century Crusader's Castle, containing the "tail" of how he and his wife met their beloved cat Minou. Of course we were interested but when we also discovered that Minou is a beautiful tortie, the answer was even a more resounding yes! It's the story of a French village in the midst of a feral cat problem, and the challenges cats face who have been left on their own...

Chapter 51: Minou 

The mairie declared war on Saint Siffret’s cats soon after moving into their brand new offices. The announcement came in the form of a document placed in the display case at the side of the mairie where building permit applications were usually posted. Stamped with blue and red seals (so everyone would know it should be taken seriously) the announcement made public that the commune “once again” intended to combat the village’s feral cat population. Only this time, the document stressed, they meant business. 

It made for funny reading. The sternness with which the pronouncement was written suggested irritation on the mairie’s part, which was understandable, given what we’d heard had happened during the prior anti-feral cat campaign. 

Without question, Saint Siffret had a cat problem. We’d seen that for ourselves one day while taking a peaceful stroll through the village and, perhaps distracted by the beauty of the place or having become lost in conversation, we mindlessly turned a corner and found ourselves in a very bad cat place. 

Easily twenty feral cats loitered at the front of an unprepossessing house toward the end of the street. The cats louchely lay in the middle of the street, were strung across the home’s lower story window ledges, and clustered beneath a ragged-looking shrub across the way. They were an unattractive bunch. Ears had been chewed off in battles, eyes put out in brawls, and wide patches of fur had gone missing in kerfuffles. 

Twenty heads swiveled in our direction when we entered the street, and forty eyes (more or less) regarded us with suspicion as we approached. The cats, both in number and unattractiveness, were an intimidating sight, and brought us to a halt. We looked at them. They looked at us. 

“This feels weird,” Linda said. “Should we keep going?” 

“They’re cats,” I said dismissively and moved forward, but soon began to question the wisdom of my decision. The cats held their ground and glared at us as we approached, trying to bluff us into turning back...and it almost worked. But the tails of those hiding beneath the shrub began to flicker nervously as we drew closer, and they soon bolted. Others, in small pairings, followed. The oldest and toughest cats, however, stayed put. They clustered in tight groups near the house’s stoop and stared daggers at us as we approached, their elongated bodies kept low, heads even lower, the tips of their tails always slightly in motion. 

I took pains not to make eye contact with the last cats as we walked by, figuring it might only cause trouble. But I snuck a quick glance out of the corner of my eye at the last second, which proved that none of these cats were going hungry. They couldn’t possibly be, with all the food that had been set out for them by the old woman who lived there. Plastic bowls of various colors and sizes cluttered the house’s doorstep, ran along its window ledges, and were pushed up against the wall opposite. A bowl had even been put on top of the old wooden shed across the street. 

Unfortunately for us, the street soon dead-ended, and when we turned around we saw that the cats had regrouped, meaning we would once again have to run the feline gauntlet. It was only then that we began to understand how having a mob of cats ruling the neighborhood might lead someone to call the mairie and demand that something be done about the situation. 

But announcing a feral cat removal program—and having it succeed—are two entirely different things, and the villagers we spoke with seemed to think that the mairie’s latest initiative would fail, just like the prior one had. 

The first campaign, they said, had begun with a burst of optimism. The mairie posted flyers throughout the village which informed Saint Siffretians that the feral cats in the village were unsightly (everyone would have agreed); posed a potential health hazard (a definite possibility, given the cat’s mangy nature); and did not present a visitor-friendly image for one of the prettiest villages in the region (all heads would have nodded in approval). Further, the mairie assured, only humane traps would be used, and every cat that was caught would be taken to an animal shelter where it would be well treated. 

All this was entirely reasonable, and confident that the citizenry would support their effort, the mairie put out the traps. And a few days later, realized that most had been stolen. 

Afraid that the same thing might happen again, the mairie made pointed reference in their latest announcement to “some” in the village who had in the past taken it upon themselves to interfere with their “most necessary program,” and warned that stiff fines would be levied against anyone caught removing the traps. Everyone having been duly warned, the mairie put out the traps. 

And they disappeared again. 

This shouldn’t have surprised anyone. The well-meaning people at the mairie had simply failed to take into account their fellow French citizens who, deep within their genes, coupled a strong rebellious streak with an instinctive affinity for the downtrodden...the downtrodden in this case being the village’s wild cats. And when we took walks in the village during the campaign, it was almost laughable to see how many more people than usual had put out food for the cats. 

There wasn’t the slightest question that the people of Saint Siffret appreciated and supported their mayor. Something needed to be done, and almost everyone endorsed the mairie’s initiative...but people didn’t much like the idea of trapping animals either, and it didn’t take long before the mairie flew the white flag and focused their attention on less controversial items of business. 

One evening, as Linda and I took a post-pogrom walk through the village, a wisp of a kitten—more shadow than solid—slipped through the cracks of a pair of ancient, barely held-together wooden barn doors and bounded cheerfully up to us. It had jet-black fur, and a tiny brass bell on its red collar tinkled prettily as the kitten brushed against Linda’s legs. 

Linda was instantly won over and bent down to pet the singularly friendly cat. “You’re so pretty, but why are you out alone at night?” she cooed, using the tone of voice she normally reserved for young children. 

Then she shot upright and turned to me, and I could see she was troubled. “She’s starving,” Linda said, almost whispering. “Her ribs are showing. Feel them.” 

I bent down, and found it impossible not to be dismayed as I felt the sharp ridges of the kitten’s ribs as I petted it, each rib outlined in bold relief. Questions tumbled forth. She was such a pretty and friendly little thing. Why was no one feeding her? Especially in this village of cat lovers? 

Linda bent down again and continued petting the kitten, it reveling in the attention it was being given. “She has a collar on,” Linda observed. “So someone’s taking care of her. But I wonder why she’s so skinny.” 

“She’s been abandoned,” I blurted out, surprised at how quickly the words had come. And we instinctively knew it was true.

Credit: French Stones: Life in a 12th Century Crusaders' Castle

We hope you enjoyed meeting the lovely Minou, and please check out Ronald Peeleman's book if you'd like to read more about how she purred her way into his family's hearts and home. I'm told she ended up being quite a handful. She is a tortie, after all!

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Happy Birthday, Mommy!!!

Meows from Mudpie!

Please join me in wishing Mommy a purr-fect birthday today!

If anyone is so inclined, Facebook gave us the opportunity to create a fundraiser for her birthday, so why not take advantage? We chose Fox Foster Kittens, a wonderful kitten foster mom in Florida who we follow both on Facebook and Instagram. Thank you in advance to anyone who chooses to donate!

Lastly, Mommy would never forgive me if I didn't play this for her today, so here goes!

Sunday, September 6, 2020

In Case You Missed It #SundaySelfies

Meows from Mudpie!

While you're enjoying my selfie this week (taken while I was playing in the bathtub), I wanted to let you all know that my adoption story was featured this week on Lola the Rescue Cat's blog as part of their Rescue Stories series! Mommy and I love Lola, Lexy, and mom Dawn so much, and we were honored to have the chance to write for them about how I mended Mommy's broken heart after Angel Truffles' sudden passing. We hope you'll take a few minutes during this long holiday weekend to read it! 

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

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Mudpie Noir #CaturdayArt

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

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

1. To smother Mudpie with extra kisses while she's sleeping or not to disturb her? is a question I ask myself.

2. I wish everyone would calm down. Yes, our country is facing some serious issues right now, but tearing it down isn't going to solve them.

3. I'm on the fence about buying a color printer/scanner. I know I would use it a lot in the short term, but not sure about long term. 

4. If you don't try to do something, you won't know if you can. Earlier this week I mowed my lawn for the first time. The kid that had been doing for several years it went away to college. It's not a huge yard, but it's big enough, and my dad didn't think I could do it. I DID!!! 

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Thankful Thursday: Mewsings on a Muse (Medallion)

Four years ago I was stunned to win a Muse Medallion from the Cat Writers' Association on my very first try. I won in the Blog category, and my post submissions had been regarding Truffles' sudden passing. My experiences through that tragic time inspired some of my best writing, and to have it acknowledged by a group I respected so much and had wanted to be a part of for a very long time was one of the highlights of my life.

Over the past few years I've won several more Certificates of Excellence but in all honesty I didn't expect to ever win another Muse. The competition is incredibly stiff and just being a contender is an incredible honor.

This year the awards ceremony was held virtually. It was held the weekend before my mother's birthday and I had family things going on but I planned to dip in and out of the ceremony as time allowed. I wanted to catch the very beginning though and kept watching when the Written Article: Health & General Care categories were announced first since I had submitted three articles in those categories. 

I almost fell off the couch when my name was announced as the winner of a Muse for an article I wrote for Canidae, The Heartbreak of a Saddle Thrombus Blood Clot, chronicling not only my personal experience with Truffles, but going on further to explain what a saddle thrombus is, signs to look out for, treatment options and the fairly bleak outlook. 

While it was a shock to win another Muse I had to smile knowing that once again Truffles was the reason behind it. Even from the Rainbow Bridge she's touching hearts and making a difference in people's lives. I shared her story hoping it might help just one cat parent going through a similar situation. I'm sure I'm not the only one who had never even heard of a saddle thrombus before experiencing it firsthand, and it's terrifying beyond words when you don't know what's going on. My goal is to one day write another article on the subject filled with hope and medical advances that are saving cats' lives from such a hideous condition.

Unfortunately I don't have a link to the article because Canidae's blog shut down in January and they inexplicably removed the majority of their content. Thankfully I saved everything I wrote for the site and I plan to republish it in its entirety here very soon because it contains such valuable information.

Many thanks to the judges for honoring my beloved Truffles with another Muse Medallion. This award belongs to her and her alone. 

Visit Brian's Home for more thankful kitties and doggies!

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Mudpie Meowdels My Early Birthday Gift

We didn't do a mewsic post this week because I wanted to share a special addition to my Conway collection instead, and I enlisted Mudpie's assistance in helping to meowdel it. (She really just wanted to play with it.)

Anyone who has looked closely at a Conway video or photo may have noticed the ever present "CT" necklace he wore. It was given to him by a concert promoter in the late 70s and the intertwined letters became his symbol. (Thankfully it survived the estate sale that took place after his death and is now in the possession of his eldest son.)

Fans loved the necklace so much it was reproduced and sold at Twitty City. Many had jewelers make replicas too. It has become one of the most coveted of Conway collectibles because it's nearly impossible to find. My guess is there are two reasons: First, when someone today is cleaning out their mother's or grandmother's jewelry box and finds a "CT" necklace, more than likely they're not going to know it's significance or what it stands for. Second, try searching eBay for "CT" necklace...you get thousands and thousands of hits because obviously "CT" is the abbreviation for carat! It's like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Long story short, last week I found that needle in a haystack. I stumbled upon a seller who had bought a bunch of country music collectibles at an estate sale years ago, and she knew exactly what the necklace was. I was nearly in tears as I purchased it for a very reasonable price. She told me she has other Conway items to sell too because the lady she bought them from had also been a Conway fanatic.

It saddens me that so many of his original fans are passing away and their cherished collectibles sold, but that's what makes it all the more important for these things to end up in the hands of "younger" fans like myself that want to keep his legacy alive. 

Next Tuesday is my birthday, and this is my early birthday gift to myself. (Incidentally, today would've been Conway's 87th birthday. I will never understand why I couldn't have been born a week earlier so we could've shared the same day. I had to have been a fan from the womb, right???)