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. Comments or complaints should be addressed to Miss C rather than to author Roby Sweet. Ms. Sweet accepts no responsibility for Miss C's opinions.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Cat of the Week: Buttons in DC

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Each week in this space, we feature a senior cat in need of adoption or sponsorship. Please remember all the older cats in shelters. They make great companions, and unlike kittens, they (probably) won’t climb the curtains! Adopt a senior cat, and help him or her enjoy the best years of their life.

Today, please meet this handsome tabby named Buttons. Buttons is a 7-year-old male, and we are told he is very social and likes to have a  good time. He likes to play, but he’s also easy-going and enjoys just napping in a sun puddle. Buttons gets along with other cats and could be a good companion for another cat.

Buttons is currently at the New York Avenue NE Adoption Center of the Humane Rescue Alliance. Find out more about him here.

Can’t adopt but still want to help? Learn how you can sponsor an animal at the Humane Rescue Alliance, or check out this page to learn other ways to donate.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Book Review: Mrs. Pargeter’s Public Relations

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This book is the eighth in a series by Simon Brett, and it is the first one we have read. In fact, this is the first we have heard of the series, but now that we’ve read book 8, we wish we had time to go back and read the series from the start.

Mrs. Pargeter's Public Relations, by Simon BrettThe action takes place in England and Greece. The titular Mrs. Pargeter is a wealthy widow whose husband had many associates who…well, let’s say they’re a little shady and perhaps not always on the right side of the law. They are fiercely loyal to Mrs. Pargeter though, and that is what really matters. Also, they are not the mean and evil sort of criminals—or reformed criminals, or whatever they are. They are actually rather nice.

You’ll be wondering where the cats come in. Well, being wealthy, Mrs. Pargeter gets invited by various people in various ways to give up bits and pieces of her money in support of various causes. One such cause is the cat charity—PhilliPussies—run by a sort of friend of hers. The charity takes feral cats from Greece, spruces them up, and “repatriates” them to England for adoption. It is at a fundraiser for this charity that Mrs. Pargeter is accosted by the sister-in-law she never met and whose existence she had been 100 percent unaware of. In ensuing days the sister-in-law, who is really not a very nice sort of person, begins making veiled threats.

And then…the body of an old woman associated with the cat charity is discovered in a shallow grave in Epping Forest (“London’s go-to destination for burying bodies in shallow graves”). Mrs. Pargeter and her, um, associates do some investigating on their own, including taking a trip to the Greek island where the cats are collected from. Just what is the deal with this charity?

Which brings me back to the cats. We don’t really get to know any cats in this story. We see a lot of cats in  cages, either being transported or waiting to be transported, but they are not major players. So if you read this book, just don’t expect there to be cats on every page. We did not find this disappointing though, as the story is excellently told. The climactic scenes are gripping, and there is something James Bond-ish about the way Mrs. Pargeter’s associates use their various skills to get out of tense situations. And Mrs. Pargeter…well, I can’t say we liked her, exactly. But we did respect her. She is the best Mrs. Pargeter we can imagine.

Mrs. Pargeter’s Public Relations is a very entertaining book, well worth a read. Recommended!

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!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sunday Selfie: Talk Like Shakespeare Day

We're doing something a little different for today's Sunday Selfie blog hop, hosted by The Cat on My Head. Today is also Talk Like Shakespeare Day, and Real Cat Webster has prepared a little something special. We hope you enjoy it!

(We used this Shakespearean Insult Kit for Paisley's line.)

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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Caturday Art: Webster in Oils

We join Athena's Caturday Art blog hop with this picture of Real Cat Webster resting atop the cat tree:

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Old SoLT kept it simple this week. She just applied a Landscape filter in Lunapic and then added a frame in PicMonkey. Here's the original:

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Friday, April 21, 2017

Words with Webster (Kneazle), Plus Friendly Fill-Ins

We have two fun features for you today. First up is Real Cat Webster, who has a new cat-related word for you. And then it’s on to Friendly Fill-Ins. Webs, take it away!

Words with Webster

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Hi, friends! Today on Words with Me, I have a really neat word for you: kneazle. Kneazles are creatures from Harry Potter. They look like big cats with spotted fur, large ears, and a lion’s tail. They can be aggressive. They are also very intelligent and can guide their owners home. You need a license to legally own a kneazle, so keep that in mind if you're thinking of getting one!

Cat/kneazle hybrids are possible, and it has been suggested that Crookshanks, Hermione Granger’s cat, is part kneazle. Please enjoy this video of an animatronic kneazle at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park:

Friendly Fill-Ins

Friendly Fill-Ins badgeAnd 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 old SoLT this week,  are from Ellen of 15andmeowing, and the next two, answered by Real Cat Paisley,  are from Annie of McGuffy’s Reader.

1. The most interesting museum I have been to is the Freer|Sackler Galleries, part of the Smithsonian. They’re undergoing renovation now, and I look forward to visiting in the fall when everything is open again.

2. The most interesting historical place I have been to is the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul. This is a 6th-century cistern near the Hagia Sophia. Part of Dan Brown’s Inferno takes place there.

3. Pollen is back! Mommy is sneezing a lot.

4. I was surprised that my family has kept the dog they brought home last year. I was sure they would listen to me and take it back.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Cat News Brief: Look Into Cat Mummy Reveals Something…Smaller Than Expected

Researchers at Scotland’s University of Aberdeen got a small surprise when they used a CAT scan to take a peek at what was inside an ancient Egyptian cat mummy in their collection. Instead of a full-grown cat, what was inside the mummy’s wrappings was actually just a kitten. Its neck had been broken. While we may think of the Egyptians mummifying their dear, departed pets, there also existed an industry that bred cats specifically to be mummified and sold to worshipers as temple offerings, possibly to Bastet. In this case, the seller might have made more money from a large cat than a kitten, so he likely bulked up the mummy to charge a higher price.

However, Jaromir Malek* has written that, judging from the evidence of other cat mummies, it wasn’t unusual for young cats to be killed and mummified, most likely for sale. So it isn’t clear to us that the seller was cheating the buyer in this case (though he may well have been).

*The Cat in Ancient Egpyt. Revised edition. London: British Museum Press, 2006.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Cat of the Week: Carmella in Baltimore

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Each week in this space, we feature a senior cat in need of adoption or sponsorship. Please remember all the older cats in shelters. They make great companions, and unlike kittens, they (probably) won’t climb the curtains! Adopt a senior cat, and help him or her enjoy the best years of their life.

This week we’re pleased to introduce Carmella, a really sweet, laid-back girl with lovely long fur. Carmella is 8 years old and is medium-sized. She loves to have her beautiful fur brushed every day. She also enjoys being held and just spending quiet time with her special person. Carmella has recently been diagnosed with diabetes. She is getting insulin shots and has special food to eat. She needs to find a new person who will be diligent about continuing her care so she stays healthy and happy.

Wouldn’t it be great to give Carmella the loving home she’s looking for? 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!