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, August 22, 2017

Cat of the Week: Cinnamon in Baltimore

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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!


Adopt Cinnamon! 7-yr-old female Maine Coon/Mix, Baltimore


Today we’d like you to meet Cinnamon, a 7-year-old female Maine Coon/Mix. As you can see, Cinnamon is a lovely orange and white tabby. She enjoys getting attention, and she is known to be talkative. She’s also quite easy going and loves being held and cuddled (sounds great, doesn’t it?). She has lived with kids and another cat before.


Cinnamon 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!



Are you a dog lover? (It’s okay; we understand if you are—sort of.) Well, if you love dogs and are in the Baltimore area, make plans now to attend DogFest 2017 on Saturday, September 16. You can get discounted tickets online through September 14.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Book Review: Cat About Town


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On this Mysterious Monday, we bring you our review of a page-turning series debut by Cate Conte, whom you may also know as Liz Mugavero, author of the Pawsitively Organic mysteries. The new series, Cat Café mysteries, begins with Cat About Town, a book with an excellent cat, a solid mystery, and some pretty good laughs.

The plot

Cat About Town, a Cat Cafe Mystery by Cate Conte
First, I have to tell you that the description of the book on Amazon is not quite accurate. Wethinks whoever wrote it was more interested in slipping in cutesies like “frisky,” “purrfect,” and “cat’s pajamas” than in finding out what is actually in the book. Second, I will tell you that what is actually in the book is a lot more interesting than the description would indicate.

And now we begin, with one Maddie James, who has come home to New England and the small, touristy Daybreak Island to mourn the death of her grandmother. Maddie has a life on the other side of the country now, in San Francisco, where she and a business partner own a successful juice bar. So she’ll be on the island for just a little while. Only, she meets this cat, and then she finds out her grandfather is in some kind of trouble, and then she and he become suspects in a murder…

But I should back up a bit.

Maddie’s grandfather was once the chief of police. Now he’s retired, and times are not so easy. The old house needs major repairs that he can’t afford. A slimeball named Frank O’Malley wants to buy the house—or rather, wants to force Grandpa to sell. Maddie, good granddaughter that she is, gets riled up about this and arranges a lunch meeting with Frank, during which she says some angry things to him. Next thing you know, her new cat runs off among the tents of the town’s annual Food Stroll while the vendors are still setting up. Maddie chases after him, and he leads her into one particular tent … and right to Frank O’Malley’s extremely dead body.

Not bad for a cat who doesn’t even have a name yet, right? (See “The Cat,” below, for more on this.)

Anyway, finding the body of a person you had sort of a little bit threatened earlier is one sure way to make yourself a murder suspect. That is what Maddie becomes, putting her in close contact with her old flame Craig, who is now on the police force. Perhaps not the best way to rekindle an old romance. Having another hot guy potentially in the picture (one who loves animals, is in a band, is hot—oh, did I mention that one already?) also complicates things. Plus the fact that Maddie doesn’t even plan on sticking around. She’ll be back to San Fran as soon as all this mess is cleared up, right? The fact that someone keeps leaving her articles about cat cafés is just some weird, random thing, right?

The Cat

The cat is an orange tabby whom Maddie first meets in the cemetery during her grandmother’s funeral. He seems to be seeking Maddie out, as though knowing she will care for him. She does not name him right away, choosing instead to call him Orange Guy. (“Orange Guy”? Really, Maddie? That’s like calling me “Splotchy Girl.” Not a good name for a cat of quality.) But she does eventually name him JJ (better—much better). JJ actually becomes something of a celebrity, as he is called a “hero cat” for finding the body, thus alerting authorities to the murder. JJ takes right away to walking on a harness and leash, and he becomes a wonderful companion for Maddie. We love how, instead of having the robust meow one might expect, JJ squeaks. How endearing! (The orange cat whom JJ is based on was interviewed by our friend Mudpie. Check it out if you haven’t already!)

Our verdict

We have tried really hard, and we cannot think of anything about Cat About Town that we did not like. Maddie is a fun character to get to know, and we fell in love with JJ right away (that squeak!). The mystery kept us guessing with plenty of potentially guilty people, and the book’s climax is appropriately thrilling. We can’t wait to see how the cat café turns out in future installments.

Two paws way up!

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, August 20, 2017

Sunday Selfie: Real Cat Webster Plays Bridge

Yesterday, Real Cat Webster pretended to be a puma for our eclipse Caturday Art; today in his Sunday Selfie, he is playing bridge. Not the card game--he's pretending to be an actual bridge:

Real Cat Webster Plays Bridge

He is in the living room, bridging Side Table Gorge. Very brave, Webster!

Webs thought you might not be able to tell from the first selfie that he is actually a bridge, so he asked old SoLT to take this profile shot too:

Real Cat Webster Playing Bridge, profile


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

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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Caturday Art: Webster Eats the Sun

For this week's Caturday Art, we chose to provide a cultural and educational message in our art. It is about the coming eclipse, or any eclipse really, as you can see:

Real Cat Webster Eats the Sun--eclipse 2017

Earlier this week, old SoLT learned that some people who lived in the Andes region of South America had a totally different name for the constellation we know as Gemini, or the Twins. They called it Puma Yunta, or Two Pumas. They said that sometimes, one of these pumas would jump up and try to eat the sun (many cultures explained solar eclipses by saying an animal was eating the sun). So we thought it would be fun to have Real Cat Webster play the puma in our illustration.

The "constellation" we made is not meant to illustrate the actual Puma Yunta. We just thought it would be fun to put some stars on Webster.

The source for the Puma Yunta story is Art, Nature, and Religion in the Central Andes, by Mary Strong.

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


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Friday, August 18, 2017

Words with Webster: Eclipse, Plus Friendly Fill-Ins

We have two fun Friday features for you today. First up is Real Cat Webster, who has a sunny word (or should I say, sunny with a chance of sudden darkness?). And then we have Friendly Fill-Ins.

Words with Webster: Eclipse


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Hi, everybody. It’s me, Real Cat Webster. Welcome to Words with Me. Today’s word is “eclipse.” If you live in the United States like I do, then I bet you have heard this word a lot lately. That’s because next Monday, August 21, there will be a total solar eclipse that crosses the country from Oregon to South Carolina. Mommy is disappointed that we won’t get a total eclipse where we live. I told her she could probably see it on YouTube, and she said that’s not the same.

Now about the word. “Eclipse” means “the obscuration of one celestial body by another,” according to my favorite dictionary, Webster’s. This means that one thing out in space gets in the way of our view of another one. This word has been around for a very long time, since at least 1374 or thereabouts, when Chaucer included this sentence in his translation of Boethius’s De consolation philosophiae:
When the moon is in the eclips.
Later, in 1608, Shakespeare wrote in King Lear,
These late eclipses in the Sunne and Moone portend no good to us. (ii.103)
Let’s hope that the coming eclipse portends something good, like people getting along with each other and not being mean.

2017 Solar Eclipse Across America--Adobe Stock image
The path the eclipse will take across the continental US.
Adobe Stock image.
Anyway, our English word comes from Old French eclipse, which comes from the Latin eclpīsis, and ultimately from Greek εκλείπειν, which means literally “to forsake its accustomed place, fail to appear.”

That is all very interesting, but I’ll bet you’re wondering what eclipses have to do with cats, right? Well, according to what Mommy and I found online, not a lot (but come back tomorrow for our Caturday Art to see one thing we did find!). Your cat probably won’t even notice that anything is different, other than the humans are acting all weird, putting on funny glasses and going outside to stare up at the sky. (Seriously, your cats will probably be fine; they’ll just think that you have finally gone off the deep end.) BUT … (cue ominous music) … during the 2015 eclipse across the UK, at least one person tweeted that the animals, including her cats, were “going nuts.” Other people reported their dogs acting weird (as if that’s news, right?). Those reports seemed isolated though, but we’d be interested to know if any of you cats out there get any strange feelings or urges during the eclipse.

Friendly Fill-Ins

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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. If someone were visiting my area, I would recommend a visit to the cat tree in our sunroom. It is really neat and provides a perfect view of the backyard. (Old SoLT adds, You must see the monuments in Washington, DC, if you have never been, whichever parts of the Smithsonian most interest you, and in Baltimore, the Inner Harbor and National Aquarium.)

2. My favorite room in my home is the sunroom, obviously.


Old SoLT's answers:

3. Back-to-school time makes me think of getting spiral notebooks and office supplies on sale.

4. My favourite year of school was none of them, because, oddly, although I’m really curious and love learning new things, I never enjoyed school much. Fourth-grade recess was pretty fun, I think. I remember playing basketball a lot and also running through the middle of the boys' dodge ball game. Good times!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Black Cat Appreciation Day 2017

Today, August 17, is Black Cat Appreciation Day, and we wanted to take a moment to remind you why black cats are terrific. We have written a fair amount about black cats in the past, so we'll be sharing links to some of those posts.

Black is beautiful--Black Cat Appreciation Day 2017First off, a black cat is really just a cat who happens to have a black coat. We don't know why some people have such a "thing" about them. Oh, sure, there's the old "black cats bring bad luck" issue, but in plenty of places around the world, black cats are believed to bring good luck. See our posts on Black Cat Superstitions and A Guide to Cats, Colors, and Luck for more on black cats and luck.

We think black cats are some of the most beautiful cats around. Their dark coats complement any decor and go with any outfit. Also, holding a black cat is very slimming (note: this is a made-up "fact" that may or may not be true). The basic beauty of black cats makes us wonder why they get passed over at animal shelters. We wrote about that in Black Cat Syndrome May Be Real.

Finally, old SoLT has known one black cat whom she thought was pretty extraordinary. We wrote about Jack last year for Black Cat Appreciation Day.



Let's all take some time today to cherish the black cats in our lives, remember those black cats we've known in the past, and celebrate black cats everywhere!


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Cat of the Week: Midnight Moon in Baltimore

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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: Midnight Moon in Baltimore
Today, please meet Midnight Moon. He is nice, quiet guy who is 7 years old. Midnight Moon is a Maine Coon mix, but he is not one of those giant Maine Coons you see on the internet; he’s described as a medium-sized cat. He is a brown tabby with a stylish white ruff on his chest (he even has some ear furnishings!), and he enjoys getting head and neck rubs. He also enjoys gazing out the window. Midnight Moon (we love that name!) has lived with kids before. He also lived with his sister Cinnamon, a 7-year-old orange & white tabby also available for adoption. Seriously, if old SoLT’s home wasn’t already at maximum cat capacity, she would drive over to meet these guys today!


Midnight Moon 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!


Are you a dog lover? (It’s okay; we understand if you are—sort of.) Well, if you love dogs and are in the Baltimore area, make plans now to attend DogFest 2017 on Saturday, September 16. You can get discounted tickets online through September 14.