Wednesday, November 30, 2022

5 Wellness Tests Every Senior Cat Needs

Just like us, as our cats age extra testing is required at their annual (preferably semi-annual) check-ups to make sure they stay in tiptop shape throughout their golden years. The gradual onset of disease in seemingly healthy cats can often go unnoticed, and by the time symptoms appear the condition will be much more complex and expensive to treat. Diagnostic testing at your pet’s wellness exam is the best way for your veterinarian to find out information concerning their overall health as early as possible.

Complete Blood Count (CBC)

One of the most common diagnostic tests used in veterinary medicine, the CBC examines your cat’s white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets to test for anemia, infection, inflammation and overall healthiness of the blood cells. It also evaluates the number and type of cells in circulation. An important part of senior wellness exams, this may also be the first test your vet orders if a cat is not displaying any overt signs of illness, disease or injury, but are acting generally abnormal.

Chemistry Tests

The chemistry panel surveys many of the organ systems of the body to make sure they are working normally. Most veterinary chemistry panels check blood electrolytes and for diseases of the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. Chemical compounds used to evaluate liver function include alkaline phosphatase (ALP), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and bilirubin. These tests can detect decreased liver function, inflammation, infection and the abnormal growth of cells in the liver and gall bladder. Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine monitor the function and health of the kidneys, not only kidney disease but also urethral or ureteral obstructions or dehydration. Tests that evaluate the pancreas, such as glucose and triglycerides, can detect diabetes and pancreatitis. Tests of the muscle and bone can also be performed to determine the health of bone metabolism, to check for muscle damage, trauma or inflammation, and to monitor the electrical, water balance and cellular health of the body.

Many veterinarians can perform some small chemistry panels 'in house,' which means within the veterinary facility. For larger panels, the tests are often performed by a local laboratory, frequently within a human hospital. A chemistry panel can be used not only as your pet ages but in their earlier years in order to provide a baseline of what's normal for your cat.

Thyroid Function Tests

The measuring of thyroid hormones (usually T4) is performed when thyroid disease is suspected. Hyperthyroidism is a common disease, especially in middle aged and senior cats. It results in elevated thyroid hormone levels circulating in the blood stream.


Kidney disease is a leading cause of death for cats. Over 1 in 3 cats are likely to develop kidney disease in their lifetime, and as they age the likelihood of developing it increases. In fact, more than half of cats over 15 are afflicted. Since cats hide illness so well they typically show no symptoms (such as drinking and urinating more than normal) until their kidneys have lost most of their function - permanently.

Now IDEXX SDMA, a breakthrough test that screens for chronic kidney disease, can detect this serious disease months to years earlier, when there is still time to do something about it. This is great news for cats, as IDEXX SDMA can detect kidney disease when much of a pet's kidney function is still intact, giving you and your veterinarian the chance to take action and give your pet the best shot for a healthy, happy, long life - even with kidney disease.

The IDEXX SDMA test is available to all veterinarians in the U.S. and Canada. Even better, many veterinarians in the U.S. are already including IDEXX SDMA in their routine testing, almost always at no added cost. If your veterinary hospital is not doing so, just ask your veterinarian to send your pet’s samples to IDEXX’s Reference Laboratories.


A urinalysis assesses the health and function of the urinary system, an important test in the early detection of kidney disease, diabetes, or infections of the bladder or kidneys. While a chemistry panel can help evaluate kidney function, much more information can be obtained when a urinalysis is done at the same time. The urine sample is tested for several chemical components (glucose, protein, blood and more), as well as cells (white blood cells, red blood cells, epithelial) and crystals.

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) recommends that cats have a comprehensive set of lab tests performed once a year upon reaching middle age even if your pet appears to be healthy, including blood work and a urinalysis. For senior cats, AAHA recommends that this minimum database of lab work be performed every six months. Keeping on top of your cat’s changing health as they age is one of the easiest ways to help our furry friends lead longer, healthier lives.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Holiday Windows #CaturdayArt

Who would stop in for a slice of mud pie and hot cocoa at this chocolate shop???

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!

Mudpie's answers:

1. I would like a squeezie-making machine of my own.

2. On Black Friday, I slept in with Mommy.

Mommy's answers:

3. For me, the holiday season begins the day after Halloween.

4. If I won a large sum of money, a much bigger house would be the first thing I bought

Friday, November 25, 2022

Black Friday Flashback #PetPhotoFails

Meows from Mudpie!

Thank you for joining us for this Black Friday edition of the Pet Photo Fails Blog Hop!

Who's going shopping today? As you're reading this, Mommy and I are most likely still snuggling in bed.  Any Christmas shopping we do today will be online. As Mommy says, it's way too peopley out there!

Mommy snapped this picture last year on Thanksgiving morning. I had been looking over at her oh so pretty, but as soon as she grabbed the camera something distracted me outside.

Who knows what I saw...maybe it was a turkey was running for his life!

That's my photo fail...let's see yours!

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Thursday, November 24, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving 2022

Mudpie: I'm thankful for you, Mommy.

Mommy: I'm thankful for you too, precious!

Mudpie & Mommy: And we're BOTH thankful for all of YOU!

Happy Thanksgiving from our home to yours...

Monday, November 21, 2022

November Retro Country Rewind #MewsicMovesMe

It's been a few years since 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. In this new year we'll be delving into #1 hits from 1972, 1977, 1982, and so on. Let's take a look at November for this freebie week in the Mewsic Moves Me blog hop...

50 Years Ago - 1972, It's Not Love (But It's Not Bad), Merle Haggard


45 Years Ago - 1977, I'm Just a Country Boy, Don Williams

40 Years Ago - 1982, You're So Good When You're Bad, Charley Pride

40 Years Ago - 1982, War Is Hell (On the Homefront Too), T.G. Sheppard

40 Years Ago - 1982, It Ain't Easy Being Easy, Janie Fricke

We hope you enjoy our choices this month!

Let us know if you have a favorite...

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Watching Butterflies #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. On holidays, I usually have a second serving of pie.

2. I am thankful for Mudpiemy parents, and my health.

3. I would like to invite every homeless cat over for a feast.

4. My most recent bathroom plumbing issue was a blessing in disguise. It was the kick in the pants I needed to get some other much needed home improvements taken care of (after the holidays).

Friday, November 18, 2022

Sounds Like Love by Laura Ford: Blog Tour with Book Review & Giveaway


Wendy is a bright spark who wants to find love and travel the world, but she questions how her dreams can become a reality as her world changes around her.

When Wendy arrives at her beloved grandmother's house to collect a box of keepsakes, she picks up more than she bargained for - a green-eyed tabby cat with amazing qualities. This is just the start of a high-speed adventure, leading Wendy towards bright new horizons... if only she'll give the cat a chance...

This sweet book is geared towards young adults but all ages will appreciate its message. It tells the story of a young woman struggling with the loss of her beloved grandmother as well as a troublesome medical diagnosis of her own. She's not a cat person but has her grandmother's cat thrust upon her unexpectedly. Her parents have pedigree show cats and refuse to take the little tabby, and the local shelter is full, but Wendy soon learns her grandmother had her reasons for leaving the cat to her.

Sounds Like Love is a fairly short read that really packs a punch. I was drawn in from the cover alone as the cat seemingly invites the reader in with a wave of her paw. Inside its pages is a story of optimism and acceptance, perseverance and love, but most importantly, it shows the impact a special cat can have on your life.

About the author:

Laura Ford writes novels, short stories, and poems across a wide range of human and animal experiences. As Laura is an avid cat lover, a number of special felines tend to find their way into Laura’s stories as well.

Laura graduated with an honours degree in British law while also writing fiction in parallel. Now based in California with her husband and two beguiling Siamese cats, Laura most enjoys using her imagination and memories to paint vivid stories. An avid traveler and seeker, Laura is always exploring new concepts for more stories to come.

Author Link

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Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Wordy Wednesday: Weary of Water Woes

Meows from Mudpie!

You wouldn't believe the day I had on Monday.

My pizza box in the kitchen was picked up. My litter box in the bathroom was moved. My home was invaded.

It all started last week when Mommy fought with the bathroom sink for days. It alternated between being completely clogged and flowing freely but backing up into the bathtub. By Friday night she realized she needed help.

Saturday morning the plumber came and as soon as he saw the original pipes in our early 1950s house he was afraid everything was going to break, especially the pipes in the basement. He decided to try taking the pipe under the sink apart...which broke as soon as he applied a little pressure to it. Our sink was still standing but all the guts fell out.

The only thing we could do at that point was replace the sink, the pipes under the sink, and the pipes in the basement. At first the plumber didn't think he would be able to take on the project until the Monday after Thanksgiving (!!!) but he was able to shuffle his schedule around and come first thing Monday morning. It ended up taking most of the day, but we're now the proud owners of brand new PVC piping which will hopefully last until long after we're gone. (Inside the old pipes we found two clogs that started this whole mess. They were NASTY! Like two ginormous hairballs.)

This was not what Mommy needed on top of worrying about the main drain line likely having to be replaced in the spring! Things have gotten so bad with our constant plumbing issues that she jokes she needs to marry a plumber. 

It can't be this one though...he didn't seem to be a cat guy! He didn't pay any attention to me so I kept my distance until it was over.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Image of Loveliness #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. A veteran I would like to thank today is every single one of them.

2. I can't go a day without coffee.

3. Willie's Roadhouse is my most frequented SiriusXM channel.

4. This time of year, anything peppermint is my favorite flavor. I'm SO excited about Wendy's Peppermint Frosty!!!

Friday, November 11, 2022

Mudpie Interviews...Earl Grey from Victoria Tait's Dotty Sayers Antique Mystery Series


A charity ball. A dead guest. Can an amateur sleuth solve the case or will it ruin Christmas for ever?

Aspiring antiques expert, Dotty Sayers, is excited about organising a ball in a Cotswold country house. When a lecture on modern art leads to a kiss under the mistletoe she thinks all her Christmases have come at once. But her festive cheer turns sour when a partygoer is found dead on the dance floor.

The police ask Dotty to help wrap up the case of a stolen painting, but as the search continues she becomes entangled in the murder investigation. When this amateur detective realises the culprit could be a close friend, will she face the Yuletide music?

Can Dotty put aside her personal feelings and herald a murderer?

Gavels, Tinsel and Murder is the fourth book in the charming Dotty Sayers Antique Mystery series. If you like to eat, drink and be merry with a group of entertaining characters, then you’ll be entertained by Victoria Tait’s festive tale.

Christmas comes but once a year so buy Gavels, Tinsel and Murder today!

Mudpie was very excited to have the opportunity to interview Earl Grey, the feline star of this series. We hope you enjoy meeting him!

Welcome, Earl Grey! Thank you so much for chatting with me today. Could you start by telling us a little about yourself and how you came to live with Dotty?

Hi Mudpie. Thank you for speaking with me today. Most people ignore me but the things I’ve overheard … I could have solved a case or two.

I’m a pedigree British Blue cat, or Shorthair, as my breed has been renamed. I prefer blue as it matches my luxurious grey fur, which has a blueish tint. I cut an imposing figure, despite some people calling me fat and spoilt.

My first owner was the Duke of Ditchford and we lived peacefully together in Windrush Hall, in the British Cotswolds. It was his family’s house and had been passed down for generations. Unfortunately, the Duke closed off the main house and we only lived in two rooms. But I had the run of the hall where plenty of mice lurked.

After the Duke died, his man, Norman, kept an eye on me for a while until he was arrested. For a crime he was totally innocent of, I must point out. Oh, and I did enjoy annoying the Welsh police inspector when Norman took me with him to the police station.

That was where I met Dotty. She rescued me and took me back to her place, and then we moved to our current cottage. It’s not like the old hall, but I’m know I’m loved and I’m well fed.

What's a typical day like for you?

I wake early and potter down the stairs of our cottage and through the door to the adjoining farmhouse, which is always kept open for me.

Norman lives there now, and he likes cooking a good breakfast. He rarely gives me any, but Aunt Beanie, who owns the house, often feeds me tip bits of bacon or sausage. To give Norman his due, he always gives me my own breakfast.

I spend most of my day curled up by the Aga, a larger cooker which gives out lots of heat.

At some point I’ll wonder outside. I have the run of the farm buildings and there are usually mice hiding somewhere or voles trespassing.

In the summer I’ll find somewhere warm for a nap, but in the winter I’m soon back inside by the Aga.

I’m lucky. Dotty is a great cook and I can usually persuade her to share her meals with me. By the end of the day, I’m full and ready to curl up on her bed to sleep.

Is it true that you live with a pig?!?!?! How do you feel about that? And more importantly, how do you protect your food?

Agatha was a small, wirey bundle of bristles when I first met her, and she was very sorry for herself. She’s a pedigree Berkshire pig, but she lost her family to a nasty pig disease.

When she arrived at the farmhouse, she insisted on curling up with me, which was annoying at first, but then she grew on me. She’s always been very respectful, if rather boisterous, as her confidence grew, but she knows my food is mine. She gets a sharp tap on the snout if she tries to eat anything she shouldn’t.

But she’s so big now and still full of energy. She keeps knocking things over and I know Norman is worried she’ll hurt Uncle Cliff. He’s threatening to move her outside.

The latest mystery you star in, Gavels, Tinsel and Murder, takes place at Christmas. Do you have any special plans for Christmas this year? It must be beautiful there in the Cotswolds.

It’s cold. I like the sun, not the snow which is wet and covers everything. And worse still, the mice go to sleep. Christmas was nothing special with the old Duke.

I do like the sparkly Christmas decorations, which are an acceptable alternative to mice, although Norman and Dotty tell me off when I play with them.

The best thing about Christmas at the farmhouse is that everyone loves to cook and eat. So my plans are to take full advantage of this side of the festive season.

Do you assist Dotty in any way in solving the mysteries she finds herself entangled in?

Not anymore. You see, I was catnapped. They were a lovely old couple who fed me all sorts of wonderful French delicacies, but still, it was scary.

And then I had the visit to the police station with Norman, when he was arrested. One time is enough, although it would be fun to goad that Welsh police inspector again.

I do spend a lot of time listening in Dotty and her friends discuss their current cases around the kitchen table, but personally, I can’t understand why humans have to be so beastly to each other. And they call us animals.

And I do worry about them. Dotty has been hit on the head and shoved down a flight of wooden stairs, and a suspect broke Aunt Beanie’s leg a few months ago.

I prefer a peaceful life, curled up by the Aga.

Can you give us any clues as to what's next for you two?

My kitty senses tell me there’s danger ahead for Dotty. I wish she’d leave the detecting to the police, but I know she can’t, especially if she feels there’s an injustice. I just hope she doesn’t end up in jail, or worse.


About the Author: 

I was born and raised in Yorkshire, UK, and never expected to travel the world. But I fell for an Army Officer, and I’ve followed him from Northern Ireland, up to the Scottish Highlands, across to Africa and the Kenyan Savannah, back to the British Cotswolds, and we are now living in Sarajevo, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Southern Europe.

I never expected to be an author, but all this moving is not ideal for holding down a job. Instead, I’ve taken the experiences of the places I’ve lived to write vivid and evocative cozy mystery books with determined female sleuths.

I have two fast growing teenage boys, and together we’ve learnt to ski on the Bosnian mountains. I also enjoy horse riding, mountain biking and I’ve started running as a way to improve my physical fitness, mental well-being and shed some excess pounds.

For access to exclusive content, giveaways and freebies, sign up for my newsletter at my website:

Author Links:

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Damp Toys!!!

Meows from Mudpie!

You've all figured out by now that water is Mommy's nemesis, right? We're hoping to put our main drainage line project off until after the holidays, but now we're dealing with a troublesome bathroom sink clog too.

Things have gone too far when her water woes start rubbing off onto ME, though!

A couple weeks ago Mommy was looking for something in my toy bag to use for Halloween, and when she put her hand inside the bag she found one area to be slightly damp! She thinks what happened was we had some weird temperature fluctuations at around the same time, and a bit of condensation was on the door that my toy bag was in front of. 

Did a little trickle inside? It's the only thing that makes any sense, so she took everything out of the bag and laid it out to make sure nothing stayed wet. 

As you can see, I was VERY concerned and snoopervised the entire process.

Geez, I sure have a lotta toys, don't I?

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Caturday Art

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. My list of things to do in November includes taking down the Halloween decorations and putting up the Christmas ones.

2. A house is not a home without a pet.

3. I never would have guessed that I would prefer mowing the lawn to shoveling snow. I find it much easier.

4. It makes me happy seeing Halloween and Christmas merchandise hitting store shelves early is an unpopular opinion that I have. It must be an unpopular opinion because I'm constantly hearing people griping about it while I'm gleefully shopping. I typically respond by asking how it's any different than seeing summer lawn chairs and BBQ grills for sale when there's still snow on the ground!

Friday, November 4, 2022

Who's That Cute Kitty???

Meows from Mudpie!

The other afternoon Mommy and I were going through our emails, a never-ending task. Mommy ends up deleting more than she reads but we always open emails from KitNipBox because they use such cute kitty models, so imagine our surprise when we spotted...ME!!!

Several years we did a review for them and they reused one of our photos to advertise their Meowlloween box!

I was super excited. Imagine how many people all over the country opened their email and saw me!!! (Too bad this photo didn't have our website address on it so they could visit my blog!)

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Pretty In Pink

Meows from Mudpie!

Yesterday Mommy got a package in the mail with this pretty pink tissue paper inside, which I immediately commandeered.

Pink is totally my color, dontcha think?