A note about The Cuddlywumps Chronicles

This blog is written and maintained by Miss Cuddlywumps, a fluffy-tailed calico cat who is both classically educated and familiar with mysteries. She receives creative input from the Real Cats and clerical assistance from She of Little Talent (old SoLT, a.k.a. Roby Sweet). Comments or complaints should be addressed to Miss C rather than to old SoLt (Ms. Sweet). Ms. Sweet accepts no responsibility for Miss C's opinions.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Cat of the Week: Sox

Cat of the Week
Each week in this space, we feature an older adult or senior cat (7 years +) in need of adoption or sponsorship. Mature cats make great companions, and unlike kittens, they (probably) won’t climb the curtains! Adopt an older cat, and help them enjoy the best years of their life.

Our cat this week is Sox. He is an 11-year-old gentleman wearing a fancy gray-and-white tuxedo. Sox is very affectionate and loves getting attention. He also enjoys taking naps on comfy beds. He has lived with kids and other cats before, so he is a very experienced cat. Sox will make an excellent companion for someone!

Sox is currently at the Baltimore Humane Society. Learn more about him here.

Can’t adopt? You can still help! Check out Sammy’s Cat Necessities Fund, which provides money for everyday and medical needs of cats at the Baltimore Humane Society. You can also make a general donation or sponsor a particular animal on this page. Every little bit helps!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Book Review: The Mutts Spring Diaries

The Mutts Spring Diaries, by Patrick McDonnell
We received The Mutts Spring Diaries right in the middle of a serious cold spell that sent temperatures into the single digits (and just so you know, that is not what winters in our part of the world are usually like). It came like a gust of warm air … happy air … the kind that brings the promise of new life. In other words, it was just exactly what we needed.

In case you are not familiar with it, Mutts is a daily comic strip created by Patrick McDonnell. It features the adventures of a dog named Earl and a cat named Mooch, and it is the one strip we make sure we read every single day. Others we can catch up with at the end of the week, but we just have to see Mutts every day.

The Mutts Spring Diaries is a collection of daily strips from springtime. In them, birds return from hibernation, a bear awakes from his winter’s sleep, spring showers fall, Mooch sheds (in an entertaining way), Mooch follows the example of a caterpillar friend and tries to become a butterfly. We found a chuckle or warm smile on every page. There is also some fun bird-related content at the back of the book: instructions for building a bird feeder from a plastic bottle, a checklist for a bird-watching scavenger hunt, and facts about birds’ eggs and calls.

The book is designed to look like a composition notebook—the kind you might keep a diary in if you happened to be a 7- to 12-year-old (the target audience for this Mutts Kids book). But no animal lover is ever too old for Mutts. The art is delightful, as McDonnell’s seemingly simple pen strokes make Earl, Mooch, and their friends come alive on the page. And the underlying message is always one of kindness and compassion, friendship and love. That is something we will always support.


Two Paws Up--A Great Read!

A note on the "Paws Up" system: Miss C gives either one or two paws up. One paw is for a good read; two paws is for a great read. She never gives three or four paws because that would require her to lie on her back...and Miss C does not do that!

We received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. We wouldn’t tell you it was good unless we really liked it!

The link below is an Amazon Associates link. If you purchase the book through this link, old SoLT and I could get some coin for our kibble account. Thank you!

You might also like:

the Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABCs, by Patrick McDonnell

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sunday Selfie: Webster's Friday Night, Plus 25 Amazing Facts

Real Cat Webster took this Sunday Selfie on Friday evening. He was sitting on old SoLT so she wouldn't be able to get up and do that thing she needed to do (whatever it was; obviously it was not important, since she can't remember it now). Good job, Webster!

Real Cat Webster's Friday Night Selfie Jan. 2018

And this week we have a special bonus. It's 25 Amazing Facts about Webster. CK over at Stunning Keisha got this started, and it's been a lot of fun learning new things about our online friends, so Webs wanted to give it a go. The questions are supposed to be answered with one word. Webs made some adjustments to follow the rules!

1. Where is your cell phone? Huh?
2. Your hair? Gingerandwhite
3. Your dad? Unknown
4. Your mom? Mommy
5. Your favorite food? Food
6. Your dream last night? Food
7. Your favorite drink? Fountainwater
8. Fear? LoudStuff
9. Favorite shoes? Huh?
10. Favorite way to relax? SitonMommy
11. Your mood? Relaxed
12. Your home away from home? Home
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. Something that you aren't? Mean
15. Muffins? YesPlease!
16. Wish list item? Muffin.
17. Where you grew up? Maryland
18. Last thing you did? Napped
19. Favorite thing to do? Nap
20. Your TV? Mommy’siPad
21. Your pets? None
22. Friends? Paisley
23. Your life? SoGreat!
24. Missing someone? JacktheBlackCat
25. Something that you are? Friendly

We're joining the Sunday Selfies blog hop, hosted by The Cat on My Head!

Sunday Selfies blog hop

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Caturday Art: Paisley with an Acid Boost

For this week's Caturday Art, old SoLT found an old photo of Real Cat Paisley sitting in her Thinking Bowl and tried some different effects with it. First was Acid in LunaPic, followed by Boost in PicMonkey:

Real Cat Paisley_Acid Boost Jan 2018 #CaturdayArt

Then, not able to leave well enough alone, she tried adding Super B&W, trying to get the etching look she likes:

Real Cat Paisley_Acid Boost Super B&W_Jan 2018 #CaturdayArt

This is the original:

Real Cat Paisley in her Thinking Bowl

We're joining the Caturday Art blog hop, hosted by Athena and Marie!

Caturday Art blog hop

Friday, January 12, 2018

Words with Webster: Ginger, Plus Friendly Fill-Ins

Words with Webster #catwords #wordhistories
We have two fun Friday features for you today. First up is Real Cat Webster, who has a colorful word to share. After that, it’s on to Friendly Fill-Ins!

Words with Webster

Hi, everybody! It’s me, Real Cat Webster. Welcome to Words with Me. Today’s word is “ginger.” I was having a lot of trouble picking a word for today, but then I found out that this is International Kiss a Ginger Day, and there was my word! Anyway, I looked in my favorite dictionary, Merriam-Webster’s, and found out that ginger is “a light reddish or reddish-brown color.” It didn’t say anything about cats specifically, which was kind of disappointing.

But then I went to the Oxford English Dictionary, which did say that “ginger” can mean “a cat with primarily orange-coloured fur, typically marked with stripes.” This meaning has been around since the 1870s, as we can see from this quote:
There is a grey tabby.., a jet black, and a ginger. (Once a Week, May 2, 1874, 396/2)
That’s fine, but the word “ginger” actually goes back a lot further, just with different meanings. Of course originally it referred to the root of the ginger plant. That meaning (with a different spelling) goes waaaay back. Like, to at least 1150:
Nim hwytne stor and senep and gingiber. (Peri Didaxeon 11)
I didn’t understand what that sentence meant, so I found this other quote from Shakespeare:
Yes by S. Anne, and Ginger shall bee hotte y' th mouth too. (Twelfth Night II.iii.112, a.1626 [1623])
Next, it was on to the Online Etymology Dictionary. Turns out “ginger” has traveled a long road, coming to English from Late Latin “gingiber,” Latin “zingiberi,” Greek “zingiberis,” Prakrit “singabera,” and Sanskrit “srngaveram,” a word that seems to refer to the root’s shape. Or, as the Oxford English Dictionary says, maybe “ginger” ultimately came from an unidentified southeast Asian language from a very long time ago.

One thing that still confuses me is why “ginger” refers to orange cats, when all the ginger I’ve ever seen has been sort of creamy-yellow. Oh well.
Ginger cat with book and glasses. via Storyblocks.
This ginger cat is probably looking up "ginger."
Photo via Storyblocks.com.

Friendly Fill-Ins

Friendly Fill-Ins

And now it’s time for Friendly Fill-Ins, from 15andmeowing and McGuffy’s Reader. They are a fun way to learn a little bit about the authors of the blogs you read. The first two questions, answered by Real Cat Paisley this week, are from Ellen of 15andmeowing, and the next two, answered by old SoLT, are from Annie of McGuffy’s Reader.

Real Cat Paisley’s answers:

1. I would like to ask Mommy why do we have to have a dog? Life was purrfect with just us cats!

2. My favorite fast food restaurant is … Eww. I don’t eat fast food because it’s not good for me. (Okay, don’t tell Mommy, but I like to lick French fries, and I don’t care where they’re from!)

Old SoLT’s answers:

3. If I could go to any concert of someone still performing, it would be Willie Nelson.

4. My Winter pastime is usually staying inside and drinking warm beverages, because so far this winter has just been too cold for me!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Case of Cat Torture in Maryland Shows Need for Protections for Animals

Hardy the cat recovering in a safe place. Photo via Alley Cat Rescue.
Hardy is getting better and recovering in a
safe place now. Remarkably, he still trusts people!
Photo from Alley Cat Rescue.

Earlier this week the good people at Alley Cat Rescue contacted us with a disturbing story. A wounded gray cat had been brought in to the Prince George’s County (Maryland) Animal Shelter, but this cat’s injuries were not the result of an accident. It was determined that the wounds to his ears, limbs, and tail had been inflicted intentionally. Alley Cat Rescue took over the cat’s care and named him Hardy, meaning “courageous and capable of enduring difficult conditions. This certainly describes Hardy’s brave yet gentle personality,” ACR said in a news update.

What happened to Hardy?

After veterinary examination, it was determined that Hardy suffered for weeks at the hands of a person who, for reasons we may never understand, put rubber bands on his tail and limbs and cut his ears. By the time Hardy was rescued, his tail was necrotic and had to be surgically removed. On three of his legs, the toes were “hanging by threads,” so those toes were also amputated.
Hardy's damaged rear legs and tail. Photo via Alley Cat Rescue.
Hardy's tail and parts of three of his feet
had to be removed because of the damage
caused by his abuser.
Photo via Alley Cat Rescue.

Hardy is recovering now that he is getting good care. The remarkable thing is, despite his tattered ears and damaged limbs and tail, Hardy still trusts people. He will even nudge up against people to ask for some pets.

Hardy is not the only one

Sadly, Hardy’s case is far from unique. According to data cited by the Humane Society of the United States, in 2011 over 1,400 cruelty cases were reported in which the species was given—and remember that is just the tip of the iceberg, because who knows how many cases either weren’t reported at all or did not specify the species. Abuse was most commonly reported for dogs, cats, horses, and livestock.

Cruelty toward animals must be taken seriously

We don’t know exactly what kind of situation Hardy came from, but we can say that animal cruelty does not just affect the animal victim. Alley Cat Rescue says, “Animal cruelty is often an indicator of a violent personality.” This means that those who start out being violent toward animals can later turn that violence on humans. Also, animal abuse and domestic violence often occur together. In one study at a domestic violence shelter, 71% of the women there who had pets said that their abusive partner had threatened, harmed, or killed their pet.

The federal Pet and Women Safety Act would, among other things, change the definition of stalking to include “conduct that causes a person to experience a reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury to his or her pet.” It would also provide grants so domestic violence shelters could create housing for victims with pets. We think it is important to support this legislation to protect all victims of domestic violence—including pets.

Meanwhile, Hardy is looking for a new, loving home

Alley Cat Rescue is looking for someone to ultimately adopt Hardy and give him the loving home he deserves. Please contact them through their website to learn more.

Prince George’s County Animal Control is investigating Hardy’s case. Anyone who has information on what happened to Hardy should contact them.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Cat of the Week: Smudge in Baltimore

Cat of the Week
Each week in this space, we feature an older adult or senior cat (7 years +) in need of adoption or sponsorship. Mature cats make great companions, and unlike kittens, they (probably) won’t climb the curtains! Adopt an older cat, and help them enjoy the best years of their life.

Cat of the Week: Smudge #baltimorehumane #catadoption #adoptme

This week, say hello to Smudge. Smudge is 7 years old, and some people say he looks just like a lion! He has medium-length fur, and he enjoys being brushed. He also likes to play with toys, and of course he enjoys tasty treats. Smudge is a sweet gentleman looking for a new family in this new year.

Smudge is currently at the Baltimore Humane Society. Learn more about him here.

Can’t adopt? You can still help! Check out Sammy’s Cat Necessities Fund, which provides money for everyday and medical needs of cats at the Baltimore Humane Society. You can also make a general donation or sponsor a particular animal on this page. Every little bit helps!