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.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Caturday Art: Happy New Year!

Today we join Athena's Caturday Art blog hop with this offering to carry us into 2017:


This card was created with Adobe Stock images and, of course, the Real Cats. Many thanks to Marie for hosting this blog hop. It is one of the most fun things we started doing in 2016, and we look forward to participating in the new year!


Friday, December 30, 2016

Words with Webster (Extinction) and Friendly Fill-Ins for December 30

Words with Webster: Extinction

Cheetah in profile
The iconic and majestic cheetah. Now that is a cat. But cheetahs could disappear
forever unless humans act to protect them.
Photo credit: Zoological Society of London.

Hello, all. Webster here, coming to you from near the Christmas tree.

Words with Webster badgeThe cat world got some shocking and upsetting news this week when Panthera revealed a study showing that just 7,100 cheetahs remain in the wild. The study’s authors want the cheetah’s status to be changed from “Vulnerable” to “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The cheetah has been driven out of 91% of its historic range, the study says. This is a big problem because cheetahs do not stay in one little place; they get around, and so they are often not in protected areas. In Zimbabwe, the cheetah population has plunged from 1,200 to no more than 170 in just 16 years. That means 85% of Zimbabwe’s cheetahs have been lost in that time.


This is a population headed in the wrong direction.

No more cheetahs means no more cheetah cubs.
Photo credit: Zoological Society of London.
And so, I choose “extinction” as our word for this week. It means
the act of making extinct or causing to be extinguished :  Quenching, Suppression, Extermination, Destruction, Annihilation.
Once a species is extinct, it is gone … forever. The thought of seeing this happen to a species as iconic as the cheetah is distressing. I hope the humans out there will work together to find a way to make sure this does not happen.

Read more about the study here, and check out this infographicfrom Panthera.


Friendly Fill-Ins

 And now, on a lighter note, 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, are from Ellen of 15andmeowing, and the next two, answered this week by Real Cat Paisley, are from Annie of McGuffy’s Reader.
Friendly Fill-Ins button

Old SoLT’s answers
1. The highlight of my Christmas was spending time with my family.

2. My New Year's resolution is … well, I don’t really do resolutions, but I am in the process of getting my office more organized and hope to keep it that way (stop laughing!). I also got myself a new guitar for Christmas and plan to learn to strum a few songs (again, stop laughing!).

Real Cat Paisley’s answers
3. This year, 2016, was a nice year, except there was too much politics among the humans. Cats don’t have politics, which is one reason we are superior. Also, somewhat unfortunately, our family got a new dog.

4. Next year, 2017, I promise to try to get along better with the dog (and if you believe that, I’ve got some oceanfront property in Arizona I’m looking to unload on the cheap!).


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Our 12 Pivotal Posts of 2016: The Year in Our Rear-View

Rear-view mirror graphic

A lot has happened this year at The Cuddlywumps Cat Chronicles. We’ve written 190 posts and counting. We reviewed almost 40 books. We’ve made a lot of new friends. We had our first giveaway. We started a publishing company… As I said, we did a lot.

Old SoLT wasn’t sure how we could possibly make sense out of just what happened in 2016, until I suggested we do a quick review to highlight our best and/or most memorable posts. Then she had to get all cute and change “review” to “rear-view.” Whatever. We hope you enjoy this brief trip down 2016’s memory lane.

January

Webster the cat on a desk
January: Webster went to work.
Hard to believe now, but in the early days of this blog, old SoLT did not include the Real Cats much. That changed in 2016, starting with “Webster the Office Cat Goes to Work.”

February

We started doing app reviews this year. The first one was for an app called Weather Cats. (BTW, if you want a really great cat weather app, try Weather Whiskers.)

March

June: We reviewed this
really fun book called
Breaking Cat News.
Toxoplasma gondii was big in the news in 2016, with click-bait headlines that blamed cats for all sorts of things. We covered this in  “Blaming Cats for Human Aggression.”

April

This year, we got serious about helping senior cats through adoption and/or sponsorship. Rikki’s Refuge wasn’t the first rescue we posted about, but it is one of our favorites.

May

We had great fun participating in the Pet Blogger Bloopers Round-Up in 2016, hosted by the Lazy Pit Bull. One of our favorites was this entry for May, featuring Real Cat Webster. I just love how old SoLT even managed to get her finger in the shot.

June

August: Webster revealed a new
word: pre-furred.
In 2016 we expanded our book-reviewing range to include subjects other than mysteries. The result? We got to review some really fun books like Breaking Cat News.

July

In July, we performed an important public service by offering “10 Cat Names from Greek Myth” to help those humans who can’t come up with a better cat name than “Kitty.”

August

September: Tortie Troublemaker
took on the Masked Avenger.
 This was a busy month, and it was hard to pick just one post to represent it. In the end, we went with Webster’s “Back to School Vocabulary Word: Pre-Furred.” (But “A Tribute to Jack, a Great Black Cat” was a very close second, so I am sneaking it in!)

September

We joined Athena’s Caturday Art blog hop in 2016, and we have had a lot of fun creating our own art and enjoying others’ creations. In September, Tortie Troublemaker made her first appearance.

October

October: Halloween!
We made more art in October, including this poster for Night of the Living Vacuum.

November

I enjoyed interviewing a few famous cats (and some humans, too) for my segment Miss Cuddlywumps Converses. One of my favorites was this chat with Oliver of the Oliver Poons Children’s Company.

December


Is it really December already? Well, one thing that happened this year is old SoLT and the other humans adopted Layla the dog. Layla even took over the blog one week for this Sunday Selfie.


And last...

To all of you who have read and commented on our posts and helped make 2016 such a memorable year...


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Cat of the Week: Maxy in Baltimore

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, we’d like to introduce a handsome orange tabby named Maxy. Maxy is an 8-year-old male who has been described as a lap cat. He is pretty laid back overall, but he can be talkative and he enjoys playing with toys. For the most part though, he enjoys lounging in a comfy bed or watching the bird action outside the window. Maxy can be easily frightened by loud noises, so he would prefer to be in a nice, quiet home.

Wouldn’t it be great to give Maxy a new home for the new year? 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!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Sunday Selfie: Fishing on Christmas

Today we join the Sunday Selfies blog hop hosted by our friends at The Cat on My Head. (Yes, we know it's actually Tuesday. Just go with it.)

This is a picture from Christmas Day, showing Real Cats Webster and Paisley checking out their new toy. It's a Go Fish cat toy from Jackson Galaxy. Old SoLT got them this toy to help cut back on the amount of dry food they eat. If they have to fish the food out from between the fishy tails, they will eat slower, eat less ... and maybe the dog will eat less too.



Early reviews on this toy are mixed so far. The Real Cats seemed to enjoy figuring out how to get the treats out of it, but when old SoLT replaced the treats with regular dry cat food, they reacted by looking up at her and basically saying, "What's wrong with you? You're supposed to just give us that, not make us work for it."

The Real Cats also got a wand toy with a "ground iguana," also by Jackson Galaxy (we all have a little crush on Jackson Galaxy right now. Don't tell anyone!) The iguana has been a pretty big hit with Paisley, who has enjoyed chasing it. Webster ... well, Webster likes to watch it go by. We like that the "string" is metallic, so somekitty (Paisley) can't chew through it.

The links on the pictures below are Amazon Associates links. If you purchase the product through the link, old SoLT and I could get a little coin for our kibble account. Thank you!





Monday, December 26, 2016

Book Review: Ruby Wishfingers: Skydancer’s Escape

Today we bring you a short review of a fun story by Deborah Kelly, illustrated by Leigh Hedstrom. Ruby Wishfingers: Skydancer’s Escape is the story of a girl and her stuffed toy, plus (and most importantly from our perspective) there’s a cat.

The girl with itchy fingers

Ruby Wishfingers is a nine-year-old girl who notices one day that her fingers feel … weird. Itchy. Only her granny will understand, and indeed, Granny reveals something amazing about Ruby’s great-great-great-grandfather: He was a magician. A real one, not like your one weird uncle who pretends to find quarters behind your ear. Anyway, it seems that Ruby has a gift. She can wish things into reality. This, of course, is a tremendous responsibility. Ruby could wish for anything. But, being a little girl, what she wishes is that her stuffed unicorn would become a real unicorn. And bing, bang, boom! Suddenly there’s an actual pink unicorn in her room.

This, as you can imagine, is a problem. Because you may not know this, but unicorns eat curtains and such things. Also there is an inordinate amount of glitter. And they poop … well, let’s not even go there.

Obviously Ruby has to do something to get rid of this unicorn before her parents realize what has happened. Lots of wishes come true along the way, one of which is that Granny’s Maine coon cat, Jupiter, becomes able to speak.

Our verdict


We thought this book was a lot of fun. The cat, Jupiter, only showed up in the story a couple of times, so don’t expect this to be a cat story. It is, in its essence, a unicorn story. Our big complaint is that the formatting on the Kindle edition we read was off, so that there were graphics that did not display correctly and some text was out of place, making the book hard to read in places. We imagine this would not be an issue with the print version, and we think this would be a great read-aloud book, perfect for little girls with stuffed unicorns.


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.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Caturday Art: The Real Cats Ride with Santa

This Christmas Eve, we join Athena's Caturday Art blog hop with the following scene:


This scene was created with stock images from Adobe Stock, and of course, with the Real Cats.


Merry Christmas to all our friends!


Friday, December 23, 2016

Words with Webster and Friendly Fill-Ins for December 23

Words with Webster: Kringle Kitty Kup

Words with Webster logo
Hello, all. Real Cat Webster here, and on this special holiday edition of Words with Me, I come to you from under the Christmas tree, where I have discovered a New Thing. What I have discovered is the cozy little nestlike area that is just perfect for catnapping. I am calling it the Kringle Kitty Kup, or K-3 if you want to sound cool like me.

Here we see a currently catless Kringle Kitty Kup.

In our house, the K-3 results from hours of catnaps on the quilty thing the people put around the bottom of the tree. It might be different in your house if you already have lots of presents under the tree or something, but I really hope all the kitties out there get to enjoy a K-3 this Christmas. Please let us know in the comments!

And here we see the ever-so-rare dual
Kringle Kitty Kups, meticulously created by
Real Cats Paisley and Webster.

Friendly Fill-Ins

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

Old SoLT's answers:
1. I still need to find that great baked French toast recipe before Christmas. I made it last year for Christmas breakfast, and it was really easy and really good, but now I can’t remember where I got the recipe.

2. My favorite episode of Seinfeld is … okay, I have seen Seinfeld, but not for quite a few years and not enough to remember a specific episode.

Real Cat Paisley's answers:
3. What I really would like for Christmas is any toy with catnip.

4.  My favourite part of Christmastime is getting a new toy. I also enjoy having the humans clear the presents out from under the Christmas tree so I have plenty of space to sleep under it again.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Announcing Cuddlywumps Publishing…and Night of the Furies, Plus a Giveaway!

Cuddlywumps Publishing logo

Night of the Furies coverHello, friends. We’re here today to announce our latest venture, a little something we call Cuddlywumps Publishing. This is the brand-spanking-new company old SoLT has started to maintain this blog and publish my mystery series, Miss Cuddlywumps Investigates (MCI). We are very proud to report that new editions of the first three books are now available for Kindle and … drum roll, please … the fourth book, Night of the Furies, in which I solve a mystery at an archaeology dig, is also now available for Kindle. Print editions are on the way! We have ideas for some shorter works that we hope to publish within the next year or two as well. And yes, old SoLT is working on book 5 of MCI, titled The Mythmakers.

Owning a publishing company has been a dream of mine for a long time, because I am a cat who has a lot to say, and much of what I say really should be set down in print. Old SoLT has mentioned publishing a few times too, but she is thinking more of the business end of things. I say, let her count the beans; I will just continue to be me.

Please visit our new Cuddlywumps Publishing page on this blog, and take a look at our books. I am the star in all of them, so you know they are good. And because we are so excited to share our books with you, we are doing a giveaway in which you can win an entire Miss Cuddlywumps Investigates print library! One US reader will win copies of all four books. Just go to the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

Miss Cuddlywumps Investigates Cover Banner

a Rafflecopter giveaway

P.S.—Today is old SoLT’s birthday. She did not want me to tell you, but too late now! I’m sure she would not mind if you wanted to drop her a happy birthday wish.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Cat of the Week: Tallulah in Washington, DC

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, please meet Tallulah, a 9-year-old girl who is truly a low-maintenance cat. Tallulah first came to the shelter about 4 years ago when her person could no longer care for her. She was adopted by a nice family, but they couldn’t keep her because of allergies, so she bounced back to the shelter. It’s time for this sweetie to find a permanent, loving home. Tallulah is quite happy to sleep all day in a nice, comfy spot, and she enjoys being petted. She has lived with kids and other cats before and has done fine with both.

Tallulah is currently at the Humane Rescue Alliance’s Oglethorpe Street adoption center. Stop by and meet her, or learn more about her 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.

Do you know an adoptable senior cat who’d make a great Cat of the Week? Let us know!


Monday, December 19, 2016

Book Review: Mrs. Odboddy: Hometown Patriot

On this Mysterious Monday, we are pleased to introduce to you “a WWII tale of chicks and chicanery, suspicion and spies,” by Elaine Faber. The book is called Mrs. Odboddy: Hometown Patriot, and it is the first in a series that promises to be a lot of fun.

Everything goes sideways for Agnes Odboddy

We first meet Agnes Odboddy in a Red Cross Knitting Class, where…well, let’s just say she’s not doing very well. But a few dropped stitches are the least of her worries. The nation is caught up in a world war, and Mrs. Odboddy, a 70-year-old widow whose adult granddaughter, Katherine, lives with her, is determined to do her part as a hometown patriot. We can’t fault her for that, but it seems that everything she does turns out pretty much like her knitting.

Determined be a warrior on the home front, Agnes volunteers to address ration books, she rolls bandages, she mans the coastal watch tower, she is ever vigilant, on the lookout for spies and such … and she sees them everywhere. Strange activity on the coast? Agnes Odboddy doesn’t hesitate to check it out. And surely that new woman in the knitting circle is a Nazi spy. Why, Agnes even discovers a black market ration book scheme and goes on a stakeout to track the crooks down.

But somehow nothing works out quite right. Even her plan to raise hens so she and her granddaughter can have free eggs goes a little sideways. Okay, more than a little, and Agnes ends up keeping the birds in the house for a few days, until the chicken coop can be built. Let’s just say this does not go well. Hilarious for us, but uncomfortable for Agnes and Katherine.

Agnes is getting a reputation as a delusional nut, and even she has to wonder if she’s losing it.

But, you know what they say: just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean someone’s not out to get you.

A glimpse of World War II–era California, plus a cat

You know we love the history here, and there is plenty of it in Mrs. Odboddy: Hometown Patriot.  The book has a nice flavor of the past and gives us an idea of what life might have been like for people on the California coast during the war, when an attack by Japan was a real possibility. Eleanor Roosevelt herself even makes an appearance. We also see Agnes struggle over what to do about Godfrey, the long-lost love who reenters her life. They apparently had a rather torrid affair years ago, but what will their relationship be now?

And yes, there is a cat. Agnes acquires a cross-eyed Siamese cat named Ling-Ling when the cat’s person, who is of Japanese descent, is suddenly sent to an internment camp. That episode raises the question of just what happened to people’s pets and homes and everything else when they were summarily rounded up and sent away. Anyway, Ling-Ling makes several appearances in the book (just imagine how well a cat and several chickens would get along) but is not a big player in the mystery. Agnes does talk to Ling-Ling, which of course is what humans do when they need to sort things out in their lives. She also talks to the chickens, but I still don’t understand why anyone would talk to a chicken when there’s a perfectly good cat in the house.

Thoroughly entertaining

We enjoyed the story and the WWII-era atmosphere of this book. In many places, Faber’s writing put us tangibly in the scene, right next to Agnes as she did something that was, well, nuts. We found Agnes Odboddy very, very entertaining. She is, as they say, a character. We admire her willingness to step up and do what seems to need doing to defend the homeland. You can always depend on Agnes to do what she thinks is the right thing.

I have to hold back a paw only because the cat didn’t play a major role in the mystery, but Mrs. Odboddy: Hometown Patriot is an enjoyable read that we think will bring you a lot of chuckles.


Recommended!


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.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Sunday Selfie: Real Cat Paisley Takes a Catnap

Today we join the Sunday Selfies blog hop hosted by our friends at The Cat on My Head. Real Cat Paisley was finally still enough for long enough in a good enough place that old SoLT could get a good picture of her with her Christmas flower from Barks a lot Bowtique. Paisley is ready for Christmas!

Paisley sleeping wearing her Christmas flower



Saturday, December 17, 2016

Friday, December 16, 2016

App Review: Mimitos! Plus Friendly Fill-Ins

Mimitos screenshot. You can dress your cat in
different hats, shirts, and jackets.
They even have earrings.
So cute!

Mimitos review

Today’s app review would have come to you weeks ago, but old SoLT has been so busy playing the game, she hasn’t had time to help me write this post. Finally I have torn her away from it long enough to set down some of our thoughts on the app Mimitos.

The main game

Your task in Mimitos is to care for an adorable little cat. The game includes several rooms—kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and living room—and you move the cat from room to room to feed her, bathe her, have her take a nap, and so on. You can also change her outfit and buy new furniture and so on for the rooms.

The minigames

A hungry, slightly dirty cat is an unhappy cat.
Remember that!
 Obviously, buying stuff for this cat takes money, and you earn coins and bells by playing several minigames. There’s a bubble-bursting game, a pairs card-matching game, several racing-type games (running, jumping, traffic, space), smashing bugs, a slot machine, catch, avoiding obstacles… There’s one called “Stack,” where you catch plates that are being thrown at you, sort them into clean and dirty stacks, and avoid trash that is also being tossed at you. Old SoLT enjoys that one. She also enjoys the traffic game, though she keeps (accidentally) throwing the poor cat in front of a train.

Don’t forget the cat!

It’s easy to get so involved in playing these games that you forget about the cat. Don’t do this! If you forget her, she will become … unpleasant at best, and sick at worst.

As you play, your cat will get tired, hungry, and very, very dirty. You have to stop periodically to feed her, wash her (with a sponge!), and either let her take a nap or give her an energy potion. If you go too long without taking care of her, she will have flies buzzing around her, and she will wave her little arms in fury (she’s really cute but also slightly terrifying when she’s angry).

All nice and sparkly clean after a sponge bath!

But wait… There’s more!

Mimitos also has some features we haven’t even tried yet, like growing a garden and making friends. You can sell the produce from your garden to earn more coins. To use these features, you have to create an account, and old SoLT is suffering from “account fatigue” right now, so she’s avoiding this part of the game. You can have plenty of fun without creating an account, so don’t let that aspect put you off.

Our verdict

We've decorated the bedroom for Christmas and
dressed our cat in a festive holiday sweater.
In case you can’t tell, we love Mimitos. Love it. It’s fun, it’s cute, it’s got enough variety to keep you interested for a long time. Also, we like that the cat needs to nap after a while … reminding you to take a break from your device and, you know, go play with your real cat.

Mimitos is available from iTunes and Google Play. It's free to download if you get the version with ads. We gladly paid $1.99 to remove the ads. Given the time we’ve spent and the fun we’ve had playing Mimitos, the price is absolutely reasonable. You can also buy more coins to spend in the game, but so far we have not been even a little bit tempted to do that because we’re earning plenty just from playing the minigames. We’ve found this game to be a great value.


Highly recommended!


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


Friendly Fill-Ins

And now to 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, are from Ellen of 15andmeowing, and the next two, answered by Real Cat Paisley, are from Annie of McGuffy’s Reader.

Old SoLT’s answers:
1. My favorite Christmas Song(s) is/are “O Holy Night,” but I could do without hearing _____________________ever again—well, I can’t really think of one I’d literally never want to hear again, though I am a little tired of “Jingle Bell Rock” right now.

2.My most meaningful Christmas ornament/decoration is a crushed red bell made from part of an egg carton, because I made it in school 40-odd years ago and it’s been on our tree every Christmas I remember. It’s not exactly “red” anymore, and it hasn’t actually looked like a bell for maybe a decade, but that doesn’t matter.

Real Cat Paisley’s answers:
3. My favourite holiday treat is a little piece of turkey, but I’ll take chicken if that’s all you’ve got.

4. A holiday tradition in my house is installing a tree for us cats to sleep under.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Review: Music for Cats

Ever wondered what kind of music cats would listen to if only you’d let them work the radio dial? (And by the way, remember radio dials?) Well, composer David Teie did. In fact, Teie has a whole theory about how different animals can appreciate music. It all has to do with the sounds each animal would have heard when they were babies. For cats, that means purrs, suckling sounds, perhaps birds chirping… What Teie has done is take some of those sounds and add them to music. The result is the CD Music for Cats.

Relaxing, new-agey music

Music for Cats includes five tracks, each of which is an atmospheric, new-agey piece that old SoLT finds perfect for those times when she wants music on but doesn’t want to be distracted by it. It is great for reading or editing, she says. There’s a lot of cello, some harp. Also purring. Yes, it is rather wonderful.

But do the cats like it?

Old SoLT enjoys this CD, but that is sort of irrelevant, because after all it’s not for her—it’s for the cats. So the real question is, do the cats like it? And the answer is…

We’re not sure.

Have you ever tried to get a cat to listen to a CD? This is not an easy task. Especially when you’ve got this awesome CD but then realize you don’t actually have a CD player anymore. (Remember CD players? They have gone the way of radio dials, we guess.) Old SoLT realized she could play it on her computer, and Real Cat Paisley did come in for a short time. Here are Paisley’s remarks:

video


We’d like to play this music some more for the Real Cats before we give our final word, but early reviews are good. And again, old SoLT likes it a lot and finds it really relaxing. She may have been a cat in a previous life.

Music for Cats is available on CD and for streaming through Amazon (it's on Spotify too).

To learn more about Music for Cats, visit their website.

Amazon buy link: 

Music for Cats

(This is an Amazon Associates link. If you buy through this link, old SoLT and I could get some coin for our kibble account.)

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Cat of the Week: Henry in Baltimore

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, we’d like to introduce an awesome kitty named Henry. Henry is a male who is 8 years old and is front declawed. He used to live with a family with children, but they had allergies and could not keep him anymore. It takes him a while to warm up to new people. We understand he enjoys being petted, but he’ll let you know when he’s had enough (hey, Real Cat Webster does that too!). Henry enjoys a comfy bed and watching the Little Red Dot, and he really, really likes food.

Wouldn’t it be great to give Henry a new, loving home? Find out 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, December 12, 2016

Our 6 Favorite Cat Cozy Mysteries of 2016

Before we actually sat down to put this post together, old SoLT actually said, “Oh, this post will be so easy! We just pick our favorite books!” What a fool she is. It’s so hard to choose favorites when we have gotten to read so many good books. We have done our best though, and so we present to you, in no particular order, our six favorites from among the cat cozies we read in 2016. We're sure you'll find something to like among the books in this list! (And if you don't, you are clearly reading the wrong blog!)

A Deadly Tail, by Dixie Lyle

This book is part of the Whiskey, Tango & Foxtrot series, which we think is simply one of the most entertaining series ever. Ectoplasmic ghost dog, reincarnated tuxedo cat, great plot, plenty of humor, a re-imagination of that famous Rainbow Bridge that makes us go all gooey inside… If you haven’t sampled this series yet, we really do not know what is stopping you!






Crime and Poetry, by Amanda Flower
This is the first book in the Magical Bookshop series, in which Violet Waverly drops work on her dissertation to rush home to Cascade Springs, New York, because she thinks her grandmother is gravely ill. But Violet is in for a few surprises, the first of which is that Grandma Daisy is healthy as can be. This book has just enough complexity to be really interesting without being confusing, it has a great cat named Emerson, and then there’s that whole “magical bookshop” thing going on…





The Crepes of Wrath, by Sarah Fox
The Crepes of Wrath is the start of another new series, this one set on Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula. Marley McKinney has moved temporarily to Wildwood Cove to run her cousin’s pancake house while he’s in the hospital, but when Cousin Jimmy is murdered, Marley’s life changes forever. Rich setting, great characters, page-turning excitement towards the end, plus an orange tabby named, appropriately, Flapjack. A yummy mystery!






Till Death Do Us Tart, by H. Y. Hanna
If you like your cozies a little more British, this fourth book in the Oxford Tearoom series is for you. A rude, snooty woman drops dead in the middle of a cat show, whereupon main character Gemma Rose’s mother jumps in to solve the crime. In our review, we described this book as sort of like Midsomer Murders meets Inspector Lewis, only with tea and cats. In other words, very entertaining!






Probable Paws, by Leighann Dobbs
This book returns us to one of our favorite fictional places: Mystic Notch, New Hampshire. Willa Chance owns a bookstore in this town where the cats are…different. Willa is visited regularly by ghosts, and at the start of this book she meets a ghost who wants her to find a book called Betty’s Recipes (hint: it’s not an ordinary recipe book). This is an enthralling and thoroughly entertaining series perfect for you talking-cat lovers.






Into the Grey, by Clea Simon
Into the Grey is part of the Dulcie Schwartz feline mystery series, which we have been dying to get into. When a gross, handsy academic is murdered, grad student Dulcie Schwartz sets off to find out who killed him. Dulcie is guided by the spirit of her deceased cat, Mr. Grey. There is also a living cat, Esmé. This is a book full of uncertainty—not much in Dulcie’s life is black and white. Plus there’s an academic quest that we think you’ll find intriguing if you’re a nerd like old SoLT.



Bonus! Our favorite non-cozy mystery

Just before Christmas, 12-year-old Flavia de Luce is home from the horrible-sounding Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy and has the great good fortune to discover a corpse. Fortunately, Flavia is rather good at solving mysteries, and she gets right in the middle of this one in short order. Yes, there is a cat—a tortoiseshell that is important to the plot but not a major character. Beautifully written, somewhat creepy, intensely atmospheric.


Did you have a favorite cat cozy this year? Let us know in the comments!


See something you like?

Buy it through one of the links below! (These are Amazon Associate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, old SoLT and I could earn a little coin for our kibble account.)


A Deadly Tail: A Whiskey, Tango & Foxtrot Mystery

Crime and Poetry (A Magical Bookshop Mystery)

The Crêpes of Wrath: A Pancake House Mystery

Probable Paws (Mystic Notch Cozy Mystery Series) (Volume 5)

Into The Grey: A feline-filled academic mystery (A Dulcie Schwartz Cat Mystery)

Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd: A Flavia de Luce Novel