Showing posts with label cats. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cats. Show all posts

Monday, June 18, 2018

Reviewing Chewy.com

I have just received my first order from Chewy.com and I have to say that I think I could get used to having nearly 20 lbs. of pet supplies delivered to my 3rd floor apartment door. 


About Chewy.com


Chewy.com is an online source for pet supplies. A large variety of pets. You can choose to "shop by pet" and that includes: dogs, cats, fish, birds, reptiles, small pets, and horses. 

Their mission statement is:

"We're working to become the largest pet retailer in the world with the most satisfied customers. Our success is measured by the happiness of the people and pets we serve, not simply by the amount of pet supplies we deliver." 

After my experience, I believe that they are working hard to complete that mission.

I found the site to be easy to navigate and super easy to find the items and brands I was shopping for. 

With a coupon I received in the mail, I took the plunge and ordered four cases Willy and Daisy's canned dog food. With the coupon and free shipping combined that dog food cost less than it would have if I had purchased it at Wal-Mart. 


I like to buy my dog and cat supplies in bulk - cutting down on trips to the store. But loading, unloading, and carrying all that up three flights of stairs becomes annoying. Imagine 2 large bags of dog food, a 5 lb. bag of cat food, a container of cat litter, and a case of canned dog food in a typical stock-up shopping trip. That translates to multiple heavy-duty trips up and down the stairs.

Finally, I have browsed the site several times and confirmed that they offer every brand of dog food, dog treat, cat food, and cat litter that I buy. Including one of the dog food brands I purchase that is regularly out-of-stock at my local stores. 


The Reason I'd Give My Experience 4 out of 5 Stars


If I were giving a starred review, I'd give 4 out of 5 stars - subtracting one star for our local delivery service. 

I've learned that in the Baltimore area we have a delivery service in addition to UPS, FedEx, and the postal service. It is called LaserShip. I'm not at all pleased with LaserShip.

LaserShip listed an expected delivery date. Two days after that date, I contacted them. Their response was that there was a delay and I'd receive my shipment in 1-2 days. Those additional days passed and suddenly my tracking information showed that my delivery was "left at door" on the original delivery date that was listed. 

Only problem was... it wasn't left at my door. I happened to be home that evening (and ironically, receiving a delivery of curtains and curtain rods from one of the other delivery services). So I contacted LaserShip again.  After another couple of days their response was that my delivery was lost and I should contact "the seller.".  It was only then that I realized I was not communicating with Chewy.com customer service.

I contacted Chewy.com customer service. They were professional, quick, and shipped my items a second time. For free. With no run around or misinformation whatsoever.

I received that order on the promised date. 

Related to Chewy.com only, I could imagine myself becoming a regular client. I'm totally sold on the savings and convenience. However, I'm planning on learning more about this LaserShip company to learn if I can receive my Chewy.com orders without LaserShip's "help". 

I highly recommend Chewy.com to other pet owners.


photos courtesy of Pixabay under CC0 license. 






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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Catnip by Valerie Tate: A Book Review

Catnip: A Hilarious Cat Mystery


What happens when a cat does really run the house? If, in fact, the cat owns the house? Find out in this first book of the Dunbarton Mystery series that stars the orange cat named, of course, Marmalade.

 Catnip by Valerie Tate:  A Book Review
Photo Courtesy of Pixabay, Text Added in PicMonkey
Though the title of this book is not unique, the book is.

The Characters 


Lawyer Christopher Mallory narrates the story, which begins in his office in the fictional city of Dunbarton on the shores of Lake Huron, as he reads a will. The family of longtime widow Amanda Dunbar has gathered to see how rich they will become. All that remains of the family are son James, daughter-in-law Alice, and granddaughter Alicia.The one most concerned about the inheritance is Alice. She had pressured Mallory to read the will right after Amanda's burial.

The deceased, Amanda Dunbar, had been widowed for twenty-six years. Her husband had been a prominent citizen and financier, descended from the town's founder. Among other assets, he had owned a furniture factory. Robert Allen Dunbar had been very wealthy and had left everything to Amanda. When he died, he had meant for his sons James and Robert to take over the factory.

Robert was as talented as his father in handling finances and James loved creating the fine furniture. Then Robert died in an auto accident and James had to handle everything. He was not good at business and the factory was not in good financial shape. James was hoping his inheritance would help save it.

James had married Alice against the  wishes of his mother, who couldn't stand  her. Alice dominated him, but James still adored her. Their daughter Alicia had gone off to college as a strong independent woman and came home broken, a shadow of her former self. We later find this was because of unrequited love.

The family had lived with Amanda and her cat Marmalade for twenty-six years. When she became crippled and confined to a wheelchair, they had to help out with her care. From Alice's point of view, she had waited on Amanda hand and foot while Amanda made Alice's life miserable. There was definitely no love lost between the two. Alice also hated Marmalade. Alicia loved Marmalade, and Marmalade at least tolerated her.

Those are the major characters, all of whom will suddenly find their lives changing after the will is read.

The Plot (without spoilers)  

The Reading of the Will


Amanda knew her family well. Christopher (henceforth called Chris) described Amanda this way as he remembered the day she called him to her home to witness her signing a new will she had written. He sized her up as "an autocratic lady with a shrewd expression and an underlying core of steel... a person not to be trifled with."  She had insisted her new will must be kept secret from everyone -- especially her family.

At the beginning of the book when Chris describes the family members entering his office, he recalls that James "seemed to fade into the wallpaper beside his more flamboyant spouse." He recalls that Alicia "drifted in behind her parents, gazed around with a disinterested air, and melted gracefully into a chair by the wall." Alice had "sailed into his office...with the assurance of the flagship of the fleet...about as warm as a Huron January....A gleam in her Ice Queen eyes...said she was about to get everything she had been waiting for." She showed no signs of grief.

 Catnip by Valerie Tate:  A Book Review


Chris knew an emotional storm was about to break in his office when he read the will. The old lady had made him executor and trustee and explained what his duties would be when she died. She had made her intentions very clear. He knew she was using the will to tell her family what she really thought of them. She admits in the will that living together had been uncomfortable for all of them.  She stated it was a wonder "That I have chosen to tolerate the chronic irritability of my daughter-in-law, the infuriating ineptitude of my son, and the vague placidity of my grand-daughter (sic)."

Chris proceeded to read the will. Here's what each got:

  • Alice: two gallons of vinegar with the hope it would sweeten her disposition
  • James: a can of starch to stiffen his backbone that hadn't been firm since he married Alice
  • Alicia: her jewelry "in the hope that one day she may prick her finger and awaken from that perennial slumber she now enjoys."
 Alice had then turned purple with rage and exclaimed with fury: "That old witch!...She made our lives a living hell for almost thirty years and now this...outrage!....When I think of how I waited on her!"

At this point, Chris called his secretary to bring in the last beneficiary -- Marmalade, who immediately spat at Alice, scratched his way out of the secretary's arms, and proceeded to rub against Alicia's leg. She stroked his head. He seemed totally in command of the proceedings. And he actually was. After all, he, as Amanda's "only true friend," was inheriting the entire estate.

 From the will: "since I know my family only too well, should anything happen to Marmalade that even suggests foul play" that anyone in the family had a part in, the estate will go to the Animal Protection Society. The will further stipulates that if Marmalade should die of natural causes, the estate would revert to Alicia "the only member of my family I have any use for."

Amanda appointed Chris as executor and Marmalade's trustee. The family would be allowed to continue to live in the house and care for Marmalade (who would have full run of the house) with all house expenses paid. Each person would get  a monthly allowance which Chris would determine. Chris would check on Marmalade at both scheduled and unscheduled times to make sure he was being cared for properly. If anyone mistreated him, they would lose their allowance and have to leave the house. Then Chris would hire a new caregiver and companion.

Living With Marmalade

 Catnip by Valerie Tate:  A Book Review
Photo Courtesy of Pixabay


As you can imagine, the Dunbar household was very tense living with a cat who was the boss. Nowhere in the house was off limits for him. He seemed to delight in destroying things Alice valued. The last straw was reached when she was carrying a family heirloom tea service that had belonged to her grandmother to the table during one of Chris's visits. Marmalade tripped her, and the china broke spilling tea all over Alice's gown. She grabbed him, intent on doing him violence when Chris shouted a warning to remember the will. She told Chris to get the cat out of her sight for a while.

Before the death of Amanda, Marmalade had been a cat-about-town visiting his neighbors at night as he pleased. He had usually let himself in and out through the window in Amanda's room.

When Amanda died Chris took Marmalade to the vet to get a microchip inserted and obtain a DNA sample from him.  For obvious reasons the family and Chris were reluctant  to let him start roaming free again.  But the cat was getting into so much mischief indoors, they decided his confinement in the house might be a contributing factor. So they began to let him roam when he wanted to again. That seemed to help calm things down in the household.

Marmalade Goes Missing

Once the information got out to the public that Marmalade was rich, he was in danger. Although he was pretty good at defending himself, he finally was abducted. This put the family into a panic, since family members were the first suspects. And if Marmalade wasn't found safe and sound, they would lose their home and their allowances. Chris did not believe they were guilty, and he and Alicia began to search for him with help from some of their friends. You will have to read the book to see what happens to Marmalade and all of them. 


My Review and Recommendation


I loved this book! It's not just about solving a mystery. It's about how people can change when they are motivated. Amanda's strange will was intended to help her son become all he could be by motivating him to take leadership. Amanda also hoped it would help Alicia regain her spirit and independence. And Alice? I don't know if Amanda had any hope that she would ever be good for James. But even she changed for the better by the end of the book.

I laughed all the way through this book as the characters interacted with each other and the cat. I enjoyed watching the romance begin to develop between Chris and Alicia. Although the book is a mystery, I felt the development of the characters was the heart of the book. And, of course, Marmalade behaved as you might expect a pampered cat to behave. He seemed to know he was in control and flaunted it.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves cats or mysteries and likes to laugh. I was glad I was able to discern who kidnapped Marmalade by using the author's clues. This was just the book I needed to read when I didn't feel up to working and wanted to completely relax. I think you will find it a fun, relaxing read, as well. Why not get it now?







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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Laxanip For Cats Reviewed

When Kitty Struggles With Elimination

Laxanip works well for your cat when struggling with hairball elimination or if he or she has a constipation problem. Our older cat has begun to have some issues with relieving her bowels. So, I have begun giving her this product with her meals. 

I know this is a bit of a yucky topic but when your feline companion struggles you want to do something to relieve their discomfort. Laxanip is easy to use and has helped our cat with her problem. She is an icky, picky little thing when it comes to eating but she does not seem to mind having this added to her food bowl. 

The first time I added a little squeeze of this to her food, I held my breath. I didn't notice any sort of smell at all but I don't have the enhanced ability of smelling that a cat does. She sniffed around the food and the bowl, turned and looked at me and then started licking the product. I was relieved! She was going to eat it! It probably helps that this hairball/constipation remedy has catnip in it. She does love her catnip!

It took about a week before I noticed that her stools didn't look as hard and she wasn't yowling when she used the litter box. She seems to be feeling some relief and I am so thrilled that I was able to offer her some comfort.

The substance is pretty thick and a little hard to squeeze out of the tube but it isn't too awfully bad on that count. The ingredients are not anything that will hurt you or your feline. Petroleum, corn syrup, malt syrup, molasses, soybean oil, mineral oil and catnip. It must taste pretty sweet but I am not going to taste it to find out! She seems to like it and it does appear to be working and that is what matters.

So, if you have a cat or cats that seem to have a problem getting rid of their hairballs or are struggling in the litter box; try some of this Laxanip for cats. I think you will be pleased with the results and your cat will feel better. 



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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Probable Paws Mystic Notch Series Reviewed

Revisiting A Favored Cozy Mystery Series

A guardian of magic, perhaps?
A few years ago, I reviewed the Mystic Notch series of cozy mysteries here on Review This. At the time of that article there were only four books in this delightful series. While looking for something new to read, I discovered that more books have been written since then. 

I had forgotten just how delightful the humans and cats were in this entertaining series of mysteries! Willa and her cat Pandora are still as fun to read about as in the other books of this Cozy Mystery Series. 

If you recall, Willa has inherited a bookstore from her Grandmother in the quaint and magical little town of Mystic Notch. Along with the shop, she also inherited her grandmother's Victorian house and of course the very intelligent cat, Pandora. In the 5th book, Willa is beginning to realize that there just might be something very special about her cat. Of course, Pandora is trying to be patient with this human of hers while trying to teach her the ways of communication. 

Willa still sees ghosts which is an ability that she acquired after a terrible accident a few years ago. The ghosts aren't anything to fear, they are actually pretty friendly. Willa would say they are more annoying than frightening. In Probable Paws, the visiting spirit is Adelaide Hamilton who doesn't ask Willa to find the person who took her life as most of the ghosts do. Adelaide is more concerned that Willa find a certain recipe book and make sure that it gets to Elspeth. Willa remembers that her Grandmother had mentioned this same book in her will and also wanted to make sure that Elspeth got it. What could be so special about a cookbook? Well, perhaps the recipes contained it might be a clue but I won't spoil it for you.

I will tell you that Willa is not the only person in town who is searching for that book. If you remember there has been a struggle in the little town for generations between the people who know good magic and the dark ones who want to exert their evil magic into the town. So, obviously some bad people are also looking for the book known as Betty's Recipes. There is another searcher for the book that Willa is unaware of. Are they one of the good ones or a bad one? Well, you will have to read the book to find out. Will the cats of Mystic Notch be able to help the humans?

If you read the other books in this series, I think you will want to read the fifth book. I enjoyed it immensely. If you have not read any of these books, I highly recommend that you get started. You will not be disappointed if you are a cozy mystery fan, a lover of cats and don't mind a friendly ghost or two.





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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Fancy Feast Wet Cat Food Reviewed

Convenient Way To Purchase Food For Your Cat

tabby cat
Cat image courtesy of Pixabay.com
Let's talk about an option to feed our cats today by reviewing Fancy Feast wet cat food. My older kitty is kind of persnickety about what she will eat and what she will not. Why is it that cats seem more finicky about their food than dogs do? Every cat that has ever owned me, has had a definite opinion about what they want to eat. 

For many years, I fed my cat dry cat food and it was just fine. As she has aged, she started having problems with constipation and it was suggested that I switch her to wet food. That switch has helped tremendously! 

In the wild, cats love to dine on mice, bless their souls! It turns out that they instinctively know that a mouse provides a pretty balanced diet when it comes to a cat's health. As disgusting as it might sound to us humans, the mouse provides the right amount of meat, liquid and calcium for the feline digestive system. House cats (our pets) don't usually get to control their diets with mouse morsels like their feral cousins do. Our giving them only dry food may not meet their moisture requirements in their diets.

In my attempt to ease my own kitty's digestive troubles, I tried a few different kinds of wet cat food. She seemed to like the Fancy Feast meals the best. Once I had determined that, I started ordering it online because it is so darned convenient!


I love that there is a nice variety to choose from and that I can offer her something different each day. Typically, I will order a box like the one above and then the next time choose maybe the seafood collection or a different collection. My kitty seems to prefer the classic pate meals but there are options of grilled and ones with gravy, too.

The ability of having the cat food delivered to my door is wonderful! I find that I shop more and more that way for all sorts of products, not just my cat food. It is convenient, economical and I don't have to worry about having run out of food for my cat or the humans in the house. Don't you just love it?




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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Doctor 4 Paws Liquid Joint Support For Cats

When Your Cat Starts To Show Stiffness In The Joints

resting cat
Cat resting image from Pixabay.com
Recently I purchased a liquid joint support supplement for my older kitty cat. She is not as active as she once was and was starting to show signs of arthritis in her back leg. So, I decided to try a non-prescription glucosamine and chondroitin product to see if I could ease her discomfort a little. 

I needed to find one that cats did not seem to shy away from because of taste or smell. My old kitty is pretty picky about food. I knew a tablet was out of the question for her (and me!) so, a product that could be mixed in her food was going to work the best. I read the reviews carefully looking for people who also had a picky eater to see if their cats would take the supplement fairly well. 

I finally found one that people seemed to be pleased with and ordered it for my kitty cat. I'm pleased to say that she takes it very well when mixed in her food. It does seem to be helping her a little. She doesn't seem quite so stiff and she has become a little more active than before I started giving her the supplement. 

This Liquid Joint Support comes in a bottle with a pump that actually gives you 1 dose per pump. I liked that idea a lot! No guessing as to whether I had the correct amount or not. Well, that sounded good anyway. The pump worked for about a week before it seemed to freeze up and wouldn't pump anymore. Oh bummer!

The pump issue seems to be something many people encounter with this product when you look at the reviews. In my humble opinion, the company needs to come up with a better design for the pump or come up with a solution or directions for the amount that should be given each day. I will say that the pump not working has not deterred my giving her the daily dose. By the time the pump stopped working, I had a pretty good feel for how much to put into her food. Now, I just "eyeball" it each morning and go on. I can do that because the top of the bottle screws off and I can just pour the amount on top of her food and mix it up.

I do like the product and most importantly my cat will take it. She has shown improvement in her flexibility. I will continue to use the product but do wish that the company would come up with a better plan for measuring the doses from the bottle.

If you have a dog instead of a cat that is showing signs of arthritis in their joints, Doctor 4 Paws also has a product with the same ingredients for your canine friend. 




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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Reviewing Earthbath Totally Natural Pet Shampoo

What do I believe is the best shampoo for dogs with dry, itchy skin? Earthbath Totally Natural Pet Shampoo with oatmeal and aloe. Here's my review.
When our dog, Daisy, was just a young pup, she suffered terribly from itchy skin. While she scratched, we researched and consulted with friends, as well as the vet, searching for a solution. Eventually, we found help for that dryness, itching, and irritation from scratching in the form of a product that we still use today, eight years later. What do we believe is the best shampoo for dogs with dry, itchy skin? Earthbath Totally Natural Pet Shampoo with oatmeal and aloe. Oh, what a difference and what a relief!

Daisy likes to sit in the grass, observing nature all around her, and we think the combination of bugs and grass, along with summer heat, tend to trigger her occasional episodes of excessive licking and scratching. As I write this it's early July and, just recently, the symptoms occurred once again. So this past weekend we hooked up the hose, grabbed the trusty bottle of Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe and put it to work.

Besides the fact that the shampoo does such a great job at relieving her itching, we love using it because it smells wonderful and, while it's softening her skin and coat, it makes our hands soft, too. Today, almost a week after her recent bath, her coat still feels soft and she still smells good, too.

When we bathe Daisy we're liberal with the shampoo, but a 16-ounce bottle of Earthbath Totally Natural Pet Shampoo goes a long way and lasts a long time. Earthbath makes a variety of shampoos, even a version for cats and one for puppies, and you can choose based on your favorite scent or ingredients. Oatmeal baths are known for relieving itchy skin and aloe, of course, helps skin heal, so this version is perfect for our dog's needs. The ingredients are all natural, as the name implies, including the almond and vanilla essences that give it such a wonderful fragrance.

While I can't promise that the same shampoo will heal your dog's skin issues, the makers claim that it is safe, gentle, and effective. Based on our experiences, I have to agree with them 100 percent. This is a top-rated product, awarded 4.6 stars overall by over 1500 users on Amazon.com.

I hope Earthbath products are around forever because I plan on being a customer for life. That's how much I love this pet shampoo.

Where To Buy Earthbath Products


If you're an Amazon Prime customer, you'll find the best price for Earthbath's products on Amazon. If you don't have Prime, then order your Earthbath shampoo on eBay to save money on shipping. Look for more Earthbath products here, including conditioners and grooming wipes for dogs and cats.

~ Susan
Read more of my reviews

Photo above property of the author.


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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Reviewing Seresto Flea Collar For Cats

Have A Flea Problem?

Cat Image From Pixabay.com
In my neck of the woods we are in the full swing of flea and tick season. I have just placed a new flea collar on my cat, the Seresto Flea Collar for cats. I haven't used a collar for many years, mainly because they became hard to find. We had switched to the topical type of flea prevention which was fine but rather on the expensive side when you had to apply it once per month. 

The old type of flea collars for cats were taken off of the market because of the problem of causing neurological problems for our little feline buddies. So, most of us had to find other ways to protect not only our kitty cats but our homes as well. 

Bayer, the aspirin people, have come out with a line of products for cats and dogs and they are making a flea collar that seems promising. I'm giving it a try, anyway. So, far so good.


I really like the convenience of not having to apply any topical stuff once a month. This collar is supposed to work for 8 months. I have been watching carefully and there have been no indications of fleas on my cat and she has not had any adverse effects from wearing the collar. She was not very happy when I first put it on her but she was never very excited when I applied the topical medication on her either.

I also liked that the flea collar comes in a tin can with a nice little pamphlet that tells you how to apply the collar and possible reactions to watch for in your cat. It also has some little clips that you can apply to the collar that will reflect light at night if your cat wanders around the neighborhood. Our cat doesn't go outside at night but it is nice to have them to use if we feel the need. There is also a sticker that you can apply to your calendar to remind you when the 8 months is up.

At first, I thought the pricing was a little high but when I figured it lasts for 8 months it is quite a bit less costly than the monthly topicals that I had to purchase. All in all, we are happy with the flea collar from Bayer.



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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Action Movies for Bored Cats (A Review)

Is your Siamese sad? Tabby troubled? Burmese bored? If your cat needs entertainment, check out these action movies for bored cats, made just for them!
Dandy and Oreo, my cats watching
their favorite action movie.
Is your Siamese sad? Tabby troubled? Burmese bored? If your cat needs entertainment, it's time to check out these action movies for bored cats, made just for them!

Believe it or not, cats love action movies. Specifically, they enjoy watching DVD's starring birds, squirrels, mice, gerbils, chipmunks, butterflies, and more, all in their natural habitat. At our house we call these DVD's "bird movies."

Meet Oreo and Dandy, our (now dearly departed) sibling cats, inside cats who never had the pleasure of partaking in the pursuit of winged prey. They were certainly attracted to birds, though; that was obvious whenever they watched them through the window. So we bought them a bird movie - and they loved it!

I laughed when I read the warning on the DVD label advising you to make certain that your TV set is secure because your cat may try to get inside the TV to get to the birds and squirrels. As you can see in the picture below, that was good advice.

My cats loved the video at first and would watch it every day, but then they figured out that they weren't going to catch those birds and tired of it. That's why I recommend that you choose a couple of different movies, to provide some variety for your precious feline friends.

Yes, even cats eventually tire of reruns.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Beware! Bored cats will try to capture the birds and other animals they see on these action movies made just for them!
Try as she might, and she did try, Oreo never caught
any of the birds in her "bird movie."
The DVD that I bought for our cats is no longer in print, but there are some great, highly-rated alternatives. The "Cat Dreams" DVD has received great feedback from cat owners. The video is on a 90-minute loop, shot from a cat's perspective, and includes lots of movement, definitely an action movie that cats enjoy.

"Cat Sitter" is a trifecta of action movies for cats, available three in a package or singly if you just want to try one to see if your felines are interested (I'm betting they will be). All of these action movies include nature sounds which, actually, provide enjoyable background sounds for humans who are stuck inside and would rather be out, too.

EBay has an excellent selection of DVD's for cats, quite a few different titles, with great prices. Or try Amazon if you're interested in checking out more customer reviews of cat movies.

If you have a cat that lives indoors, I highly recommend trying one of these "bird movies" to bring a taste of outside action inside. The cats will have fun and you'll be entertained just watching them watch it!

P.S. Don't own a cat? Bet you know a cat lover who would love to have a movie for their bored cats. Why not share this information with them?

~ Susan
Read more of my reviews.

Related Link: 
Like cats? Check out My Cat Sylvia, a fantasy website/wish list for cat owners and cat lovers.

Action Movies for Bored Cats: How to keep your finicky felines entertained.




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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Reviewing Second Chance Mysteries by Sofie Ryan

Looking for a good mystery?

Our regular readers know by now that I love to read, mysteries are one of my favorite genres and I am a cat person. Imagine my joy when I found another mystery series to read that has a cat involved in the plots! The series is called Second Chance Mysteries and they are really fun to read. 

Sofie Ryan, the author, has written three books so far in the series that I am reviewing for you today. One of my favorite characters is Elvis, a black rescue cat that has been adopted by Sarah the owner of a shop called Second Chance. Actually, I should correct myself, Elvis clearly picked Sarah to come live with! The picture at the left could be Elvis but probably isn't, I found it at pixabay.com

The shop, Second Chance, is a combination thrift shop and antique store. Sarah finds castaway items and figures out a way to repurpose or give new life to the pieces and then sells them in her store. She is helped by Rose, Liz, and Charlotte who happen to be friends of her grandmother and have known Sarah since she was a little girl. Avery also helps in the shop and is the grand-daughter of Liz. I absolutely love the interaction between these three generations of women! Ryan, the author, has given each of them some pretty humorous lines throughout the books but she also shows how close women can be no matter their ages. 

The first book in the series is called The Whole Cat and Caboodle. You would not have to read it first but I recommend doing so because this first book gives a good background of each of the characters as the plot begins to form. You are reminded a little in the other books about a little of the history of the characters but the first one gives the best description of how these ladies know each other.

Each book finds someone in the small Maine town dead as one would expect with a mystery book. What is clever is the way that the characters of Sarah, Rose, Liz and Charlotte work together to solve the case. They are not part of the police force in the community but take it upon themselves to find out "who done it". In the case of the first book, they become involved because another friend, Maddie, has been arrested for the dirty deed. Now, the ladies know in their hearts that she could not have possibly harmed the deceased man and they do not feel that the local law enforcement is doing a good enough job in finding the real killer. Maddie, an avid gardener, will not even kill the insects that invade her garden so the women know that if she won't harm a bug, she certainly won't harm a human. The way the women look for clues and find out information is funny at times and really cleverly written. I do not want to spoil the story so I will just tell you that the ending surprised me. The killer was not someone that I suspected at all. It was refreshing to read a mystery that was not predictable.

I mentioned Elvis the cat earlier. Now, one can not really say that he helps the ladies solve the crime but his interactions with the humans are just a wonderful addition to each of the books. Elvis is one smart kitty cat and I love that Sarah talks to him and it seems that he not only understands her but tries to answer her back with specific meows. Ms. Ryan has definitely shared her life with at least one cat because she describes the antics of Elvis so very well. I love my cat but I have to admit that I would really love to have a cat like Elvis. Wait until you find out what his favorite television show is! Oh yes, this cat watches tv and when riding in the car with Sarah appears to be watching the traffic and gives Sarah a stern meow when she runs a yellow light. The stories in all three books could be told without Elvis the cat but the addition of him just makes the stories more endearing and enjoyable to read.

The other two books that have been published as of the date that I am writing this review are:


I have thoroughly enjoyed each of the three books by Sofie Ryan and look forward to her releasing new books in the future. If you love to read mystery novels and have a special love for cats, I just know that you will enjoy these books, too.



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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Reviewing Into The Wild Book One in a Cat Series

A Series For Cat Lovers

I just finished reading the book Into The Wild which is book number 1 in the Warriors: The Prophecies Begin series of books. These books are actually written for 8 to 12 year olds but I have to tell you they are just as enjoyable for us old adults to read, too; especially if you happen to love cats.

I plan to read through the rest of the series and then the additional series that were written after this one began in 2009. Erin Hunter intrigued me with her descriptions of cat behavior throughout this book. She made me giggle, saw "Ahhh" and become attached to several of the cats in the story.

The story begins with Rusty a pet cat in an undetermined neighborhood. Rusty is dreaming of catching a mouse in the woods and then is disappointed when he awakes to find that he is still in the home of his owners and is forced to eat the dry kibble and drink the bitter tasting water in his food and water bowl. He much prefers the taste of the water found outdoors in the puddles and has never caught a mouse in his young life.

Rusty goes through the cat door and visits with the neighbor cat, Smudge. They sit on the fence and look toward the woods and wonder what life would be like out there. Smudge has no desire to go to those woods because he has heard there are wild cats out there that would just as soon beat you up as to look at you. Rusty is yearning for adventure, though. He jumps from the fence and walks toward the woods and there is where the adventure begins.

He sees something moving in the darkness and begins to stalk it. He knows it is too big for a mouse and it has a red tail. As he goes further into the forest, he gets attacked by a very large and very strong cat. Rusty holds his own in the fight and finally the fight stops. He discovers that he is surrounded by a group of wild cats. One voices his distaste for the stench of "kittypet" he is throwing off while another makes fun of his small size. The cat who fought with him tells Rusty that he should be proud of his fighting skills, although they are still undeveloped he did have some interesting moves. In the course of the conversation, Rusty is invited to come join the ThunderClan of wild cats and has until the next day at noon to give his answer.

As you might have already guessed from the title, Rusty decides to leave his comfortable home with the Twolegs (what the wild cats call humans) and live with the forest cats and become a warrior.

This is a book that I would recommend for a child to read along with my adult friends who love to read. What I love about it is that there are such wonderful messages given to children about courage and social skills. Just as with humans, the cats have a system of authority which is sometimes not respected very well. There are bullies and there are heroes. There is even one part where the message is that we should respect the wisdom of our elders and that just because one is old does not mean that they can't offer valuable assistance to the group. The messages are disguised in the adventures of the cats but they are there just the same.

I love how Erin Hunter describes the body language of the cats in such perfect detail. She has obviously lived with more than one cat in her lifetime!

This was a sweet book, an exciting read and an enjoyable way to spend a few days of my time. I think that any child would love to have it read to them or to read it themselves. It is a book that I would have loved to read to my daughters at our nightly reading ritual when they were small. It is a book that I will most certainly give to my oldest grandchild and will enjoy reading to my youngest. 



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Thursday, December 3, 2015

ID Tags for Dogs and Cats

Reviewing the Importance of ID Tags for Pets


Would you freak out if your pet went missing? Get one of these customizable dog or cat ID tags!
Is your pet missing? Never underestimate the
importance of having an ID tag for each of your dogs and cats.
We've all heard the amazing stories of dogs and cats that travel for miles, sometimes over months, to get back to their old homes.

It happens and the science behind how it happens is fascinating. But if it's your dog or cat that's gone missing, it can be a heartbreaking time of waiting, watching, and hoping that he or she will be returned to the family.

The least we can do as pet owners is to make it as easy as possible on someone who might find our missing pet. That's why I want to talk today about the importance of ID tags for pets, both dogs and cats.

Dogs are slippery and cunning and some are "rovers" by nature. We had a neighbor dog who loved to run away just to see how far he could get, or so it seemed. Fortunately, he was returned several times before he finally disappeared for good. How did the pet lovers who found him get him home? They checked his ID tag and called his owners. Having the phone number right on the tag was the key to reuniting the family with their much-loved pet.

A cat I knew also had an interesting adventure that was rather amazing. When his family moved to a new home several miles away and across a very busy highway, within two days that cat was back at his old house. How he found his way through the countryside, across the highway, then through town to get to his house only his Creator will ever know for sure. In this case the cat didn't have a tag, but a neighbor recognized him and called his owners who happily came back to get him and secure him for good. Fortunately, that story had a happy ending, but many do not.

I've seen plenty of "lost dog" or "lost cat" ads with the statement that the animal "needs his medicine." Knowing that time may be running out quickly for a cat or dog with a medical condition only makes the ordeal worse.

So now you know the background and the reason why you might want to choose one of these ID tags for your pet.

(Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.)

I love the "freak out" dog tag at the top of the page because I'm a dog mom who certainly would freak out if our Daisy were to go missing. It's a beautiful tag, perfect for anyone with a sense of humor.  Consider ordering one for a friend's dog or cat. It's a great gift idea.

Have a diabetic dog or one who needs medication for seizures or another condition? Customize this tag, currently featuring our grand-pup Adrian (who is not diabetic but is an adorable model), with your own medical and contact information. It's also available in a dog bone shape.

Dog ID tag for a pet with a medical condition. Customizable from Zazzle.
Or choose this tag without a photo but with a brightly colored center that's very visible even at a distance. Very simple to customize with your message and contact information.

Cat ID Tag - Cat on the Moon - Customizable from Etsy
If you're a cat owner, then you know he or she deserves demands pampering. If I were a cat I'd choose this Cat on the Moon ID tag and I think your cat would like it, too. It's beautiful and should suit even the most finicky feline. Customizable with a name and phone number on the back.


I hope you never have a lost pet but, given the odds that any pet can get away at any time, your dogs and cats need to have an ID tag. Please take care of that little detail right away.

Just in case.

Before it's too late.




~ Susan Deppner
Read more of my reviews.

P.S. Click here to see more cat ID tags that we love.

Missing pet? Never underestimate the importance of ID tags for dogs and cats.
This is important information for all pet owners.
Thanks for pinning and sharing!




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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Realistic Cat Tree With Leaves

Today (October 29th) is Cat Day and I'm missing my cats. Oreo's been gone over a year now, so our household has been cat-less for some time. I'm not sure when we'll be ready to add a feline to the family, but I have decided that when that time comes, the new kitty will be treated like royalty, as no doubt she (or he) will demand. First order, buy kitty a deluxe cat tree and I've found the one I want. Take a look.
Treat your cat with this amazing realistic cat tree with leaves!

Is this not an awesome accessory for a household with a cat? Frankly, the picture doesn't do it justice so let me describe this for you in more detail.

This realistic cat tree with leaves is approximately 5 feet high with a nice heavy base that's 26 inches in diameter. Hidden among its silk leaves are three platforms on which my future cat (or yours) can sit, recline, play, sleep, or, most importantly, hide as he keeps a close eye on his surroundings. Isn't that awesome?

I already have a spot picked out for our cat's cat tree, next to the window in my office. The room could use a green plant there anyway, even a silk one. It's certainly prettier than a carpeted cat tree or wooden cat condo, but what I like best is that cats can feel hidden and safe as they nestle in the "branches," exercising their instinct for spying.

People who own this tree say that it looks nice in their homes and their cats love it. The cats quickly learn how to go from one platform to the next and they use the bottom of the trunk for scratching, which is definitely a good thing.

The tree arrives in four pieces and assembles quickly and easily. The entire piece weighs 40 pounds, so it should be quite stable even for larger cats.

The tree is a bit on the pricey side but mid-range in the selection of cat trees with leaves that I found and that you can see, too, on the CatsPlay.com site. I would encourage you to check out this page for other alternatives both to fit your budget and your lifestyle. In fact, if you have both more space and a bigger budget than mine, don't miss this large Sapling Cat Tree that is hand crafted from real trees and includes multiple levels, silk leaves, plus a cat-sized covered house at the bottom. Wow, it's amazing!
Spoil your cat with a realistic cat tree with leaves.

If you have a cat, be sure to give it some special attention today even if it isn't officially Cat Day when you read this. All pets deserve special treatment every day. Do let me know if you'll be treating yours to one of these fabulous cat trees and which one you like best.

~ Susan Deppner

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Sunday, October 4, 2015

Train Your Cat to Use the Toilet

Kitty Toilet Training Kit!
They actually have Training Tools for this!

Back in the 1970's we had a very smart Siamese cat who learned to do this, but believe it or not we DID NOT train him!

True Story

In the middle of the night my dad, the jokster teaser type, woke up to use the washroom in the master bedroom ... before he could do his business, he sees our Cat squatting on the toilet taking a pee-poop (cause the cat did both on the toilet!) .... I can just imagine dad's expression!

The next morning he told Mom and the rest of us about it, and NONE of us believed him, we just thought he was joking as usual.

Well, mom was the next person to see our Cat do his magic, then I was the third.

Our cat learned this simply by watching people in the bathroom. WOW - Now that should scare the heck out all of us.  He was so incredibly smart!

When our neighbor would watch our cat, she only had to flush the toilets. Can you imagine telling your cat sitter, 'there's no litter to change, just freshen up the food dishes and flush the toilets' ... and be sure the lids are always up! When I think back, I can hardly believe it.

I've read online about these kitty toilet training kits featured above, but if your cat is smart enough to learn by watching like ours was, then save the money and just let them in to observe on a regular basis!

Here's a video from YouTube that shows you how to train your cat to use the toilet

I like to think my Cat was a Pioneer, after all, he didn't require training, and mastered this in the 70's before Kitty knew he could get famous on YouTube.

I should add, although we've had many pet cats since this little genius, not one of them was able to duplicate this ... and we've never attempted a training. He still holds the record in our house for the 'most outstanding cat of his and many generations'.







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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Reviewing The Mystic Notch Cozy Mystery Series

A Fun Series For Fans Of Mysteries, Cats and Ghosts

I am an avid reader and love to read mystery novels and if they come in a series then I am even happier. I recently read the Mystic Notch Cozy Mystery Series by Leighan Dobbs and enjoyed it immensely. It was pretty easy to get attached to the characters (human, feline and ghostly)! I think that is why I like reading series books, you become fond of the characters and want to follow them through their different stories, at least I do.


A Little About The Books In This Mystery Series

The main premise of the the 4 books that have been published, so far, in this series is that Willa Chance has moved back to her childhood home after having inherited her Grandmother's home and bookstore. The name of the bookstore is Last Chance Books. She also becomes the guardian of her Grandmother's cat, Pandora. Just before her Grandmother passed away, Willa was involved in an accident that permanently damaged her leg but there seems to be another complication. She now sees ghosts that, of course, no one else sees. 

Willa discovers this new ability shortly after she moves back home when she finds the librarian dead in the local library. The ghost of the now deceased librarian insists that her death was murder and Willa must help find the killer so that she can go on into the next realm. It makes some sense that the ghosts seek Willa's help because before her accident she was an investigative reporter specializing in crime. She has the skills to look for clues and suspicious behavior. Her snooping doesn't usually sit well with her sister, Augusta, who happens to be the County Sheriff. The interactions with sisters are so realistic it isn't even funny.

Mystic Notch has a lot of history with many of the inhabitants celebrating generations of ancestors from the area. This includes the cats of Mystic Notch. There are the felines who have humans to keep an eye on and there are the feral cats that are supported by some of the town's people. The cats whether tame or feral have a special mission and have had for hundreds of years. It is the responsibility of these very special cats to keep the humans safe and to maintain the balance of good and evil with an emphasis of good having the advantage. 

I found these books very entertaining! I loved the mysteries in each of the books that the humans were trying to solve. I also loved the interaction and conversations with the cats! Pandora is considered a young cat since she is only on her first life but she meets with cats who are much older. Pandora wants to do things in the new ways and in one of the books even searches the internet for information on some suspects. The older cats often want to assist the humans in the old ways and get a little aggravated with the younger cats with their new ideas. It is hysterical when the cats often refer to the humans as rather inept and inferior to their own species. These cats are pretty clever!

The rest of the series

The great thing about these books is that you can get them in printed form if you prefer holding a book in your hands as you read or you can read them in digital form. I have linked to the books available on Amazon for downloads to your reader but you can also use your Nook and download from Barnes & Noble, if you wish. 

These books are light reads and are usually around 200 pages or less. I am sure that Leighann Dobbs must share her life with at least one cat because she describes their actions so well. I've caught myself looking at my own cat a little differently after having been introduced to the cats of Mystic Notch, that is for sure. 

If you love a good mystery, love cats and don't mind a friendly ghost or two then you will love this series of books that take place in the fictional town of Mystic Notch. 



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Review This is Dedicated to the Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor
We may be apart, but You Are Not Forgotten

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