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, November 21, 2017

Cat of the Week: Gabby 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.



This week, please meet Gabby. She is a very sweet 9-year-old lady who would be so thankful to find her new forever home! Gabby likes to rub up against people and meow, and she is also really into making biscuits and just spending time in a nice, soft cat bed. Oh, and let’s not forget the treats. Gabby loves treats!

Gabby is currently at the Baltimore Humane Society. Learn more about her 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, November 20, 2017

Book Review: Potions and Pastries

Mysterious Monday

On this Mysterious Monday, we bring you our review of a bewitchingly good tale from Bailey Cates. Potions and Pastries is book 7 in the Magical Bakery mystery series, and it is the first book in this series that we have read.

The plot

Potions and Pastries, by Bailey Cates
Potions and Pastries  is set in Savannah, Georgia, where Katie Lightfoot is a witch, a hedgewitch, actually; she does her magic in the kitchen, using herbs and such to help and heal. She’s also a lightwitch, meaning she is a seeker of justice (this is one of our favorite things about her).  Of course, as a witch, she has a familiar—in this case, a Cairn terrier named Mungo. Yes, we were hoping for a feline familiar, but Katie is unfortunately allergic to cats (I know—I couldn’t believe it either!). Mungo is a good companion though; he takes good care of Katie. Plus, Katie’s boyfriend, Declan, is sometimes taken over by the spirit of an ancestor who might be—get this—a leprechaun. 

Much of the book centers on the Honeybee Bakery, where the pastries might have something a little extra added—because, you know, it’s basically run by witches. This is where the cat comes in, because the bakery is named after a cat, Honeybee, an orange striped beauty who is the familiar of Katie's aunt Lucy. Unfortunately, we see a very little bit of Honeybee herself because of that allergy thing.

The mystery really gets going when one day Katie is standing outside with Orla Black, a fortune teller who is part of the secretive Black clan. Katie suddenly gets a message to help Orla (she gets these messages from her departed grandmother sometimes), and in the next second, Orla, seemingly under some sort of spell, steps into the street right in front of an oncoming car. She is killed instantly, and Katie suspects she was murdered. Just try convincing the local police of that though.

So it’s going to be up to Katie to tease out the clues that will lead to who killed Orla—and how. Could it have been a disgruntled customer who didn’t like how their fortune turned out, or perhaps some member of the Black clan? Clan leader John Black was known to be upset with Orla, but how can Katie possibly get any information out of this tight-knit family that is known for not welcoming outsiders? And will the murderer stand for her meddling or try to silence her forever?

Our verdict

I will admit I was disappointed that there wasn’t more cat in this book. That said, we thought the story in Potions and Pastries was terrific. We liked Katie right away, and we even liked Mungo. He proved pretty useful to have around. You know, for a dog. Katie has just enough going on in her life to make for a really interesting read, but it isn’t so much that the mystery gets lost among the personal stuff. There are a few heart-stopping scenes that we just loved. The end wasn’t a complete surprise, but the way things were revealed and the way the story was resolved was surprising (and part of it was heart stopping too!). Call us 91% surprised and 100% pleased.

Yes, I do have to withhold a paw for the relative lack of cat (this is a cat blog, after all), but we loved this book so much, old SoLT asked the Resident Dog to step in and add a couple of woofs to make up for it.


Recommended!

One Paw & Two Woofs--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!


Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sunday Selfie: Paisley Found a Sock

Yesterday, after old SoLT put away her clean laundry, Real Cat Paisley happened upon a sock that got left behind. She took this selfie to commemorate the event:



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

Sunday Selfies blog hop

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Caturday Art: Polaroid Paisley

Today's Caturday Art features the lovely Real Cat Paisley. Old SoLT took an older photo of her and tried the Nebula effect in Lunapic, followed by a lens flare and Polaroid frame in PicMonkey. Her furs (Paisley's, not old SoLT's) came out so pretty!



We're pleased to be joining Athena's Caturday Art blog hop!

Caturday Art blog hop

Friday, November 17, 2017

Friendly Fill-Ins for November 17

Real Cat Webster has suddenly decided to take the week off (i.e., he had a word all picked out, but old SoLT had too much work to do to help him with it). He will return next week with Words with Webster.

Friendly Fill-Ins
That means we have just one fun Friday feature for you, 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 can't wait to eat turkey on Thanksgiving. Someone always sneaks me a little piece.

2. My favorite kind of pie is—Are you kidding? I don’t care for pie. Webster, on the other paw, will clean up the crumbs from anything. That’s probably why I am nice and trim, while he is—not.

Old SoLT’s answers:

3. This year, I am particularly thankful for getting to see my grandmother a couple weeks ago. It was a good visit, and I’m so glad I could make time to go.


4. A funny holiday tradition in my/our house isGee, I can’t think of anything funny that we do. Maybe we should start something!

Roby Sweet with her Mom and Grandma--November 2017
Old SoLT (L) with her grandma and mom. They took this selfie outside the building that used to be
a school that old SoLT's great-grandfather attended. It was in the early 20th century when he was
in this school one day and they all heard a strange noise outside. They went out to see  what it was,
and coming down the road was the very first car they ever saw.

Roby Sweet's mom and grandmother, November 2017
Bonus shot of old SoLT's mother explaining an iPad to Grandma.
They're pretty sure Grandma was mostly bewildered, but at least now
she has seen an iPad up close!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

First Cat in Space to Get Well-Deserved Memorial

Cats in History

Not many people know that, before any human dared venture into space, a cat was sent to test things out. Now, this brave cat who did not have any say in whether she got sent into space may finally be getting a memorial.

The first and only feline in space

Felicette, space cat
Félicette was a black-and-white tuxedo cat who was found living on the streets in Paris (or was purchased from a dealer; the accounts are apparently inconsistent) and, along with 13 other cats, was put into France’s space program. She went through training similar to what the human astronauts did, including being put in a compression chamber and in a centrifuge and going round and round and round. One thing that was done to the cats but not the humans was the implantation of electrodes in their brains to keep an eye on activity there.

The tuxie was selected to be “the one” either because she could remain calm in a crisis or because the other trainees got too plump.

And so, on October 18, 1963, Félicette was put into a capsule on a Véronique AG1 rocket. At 8:09 a.m., the rocket blasted off, and the cat was sent nearly 100 miles above Earth. She traveled at speeds reaching up to Mach 6 (which we are pretty sure makes her the fastest cat ever), and she pulled up to 9 g’s. Her non-orbital flight lasted 15 minutes, and she returned safely to Earth by parachuting down in her capsule.

Righting some wrongs with a crowdfunded memorial

We’ve already mentioned how Félicette did not get to decide whether she wanted to do all that she did. That’s the first wrong, in our opinion. The second wrong is that Félicette was euthanized three months after her flight so her brain implant could be tested some more. The third wrong is that not many people even know about Félicette, perhaps partly because she has never been memorialized (except on a postage stamp, where she was wrongly identified as “Felix”).

But now Félicette might be posthumously getting her due, as there is a Kickstarter campaign to create a bronze statue of her. The statue is to be created by sculptor Gill Parker and is expected to include a representation of Félicette and a rocket. When we checked, the campaign had raised just over $44,000. Its goal is $52,576, and the campaign ends TOMORROW, November 17, at 3:01 a.m. EST. That means you have very little time left if you wish to contribute and help send the campaign over the top. We pledged about $37 for the reward of two enamel badges and a replica postcard because we think it is important that this brave cat be recognized.


Click here to learn more about the campaign and to contribute!


Sources

Félicette,” Wikipedia.

Hanneke Weitering, “FirstCat in Space to Receive a Proper Memorial,” Live Science, November 8, 2017

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Release of The Mythmakers!

We are beyond thrilled that today is the release of book 5 in the Miss Cuddlywumps Investigates series!

New Release from Cuddlywumps Publishing! The Mythmakers.


In "The Mythmakers," I, Miss Cuddlywumps, am the hero, obviously, as I match wits with some people who are making myths the modern way, on YouTube. Too bad at least one of these mythmakers is apparently not above killing, for reasons that are not entirely clear until the very end of the book. Also, my Rory person spends a little time being held at the sheriff's department as a "person of interest." Sort of makes you wonder what's going to happen between her and her boyfriend, the sheriff, doesn't it?

For a limited time, "The Mythmakers" Kindle edition is available for just 99 cents from Amazon.

Also for a limited time, "The Mythmakers" print edition is available for $8.00--that's 20% off our regular price and nearly 40% off the Amazon price, and it's available only if you buy directly from Cuddlywumps Publishing. Don't forget to ask for my pawtograph!