Monday, August 31, 2015

Pet Tree Houses:"Purrveyors of Natural Feline Fun" Review and Discount Code!

Tomorrow, September 1st, is the beginning of Happy Cat Month. The mission of Happy Cat Month is:  "celebrating the month that is all about ensuring companion cats are happy, healthy, enriched, and valued." (From theCATalyst Council). To help keep YOUR cat happy, today I am pleased and honored to feature what are, in my opinion, the most SUPERB cat trees on the market: Pet Tree Houses.

Back in June I had the complete pleasure of speaking on the telephone with Joe DelRocco, one of the creators and  owners of Pet Tree Houses. After speaking with Joe on the telephone for approximately an hour, I learned so much about why these amazing trees were created, and the depth of study that went into their design, The knowledge that Joe and his wife Shelley (co-owner and co-designer of Pet Tree Houses), have about cats makes  the Pet Tree Houses stand out as superior in a sea of mediocre cat trees that are saturating the market.

Joe was previously a custom home builder of million dollar homes and he and his wife Shelley, share a passion for animals.   Joe and Shelley designed their first Pet Tree House for their own cats in 2008.  The premise was twofold:  to create an aesthetically pleasing feline tree house and a tree that the cats would actually use  and would be a realistic outdoor experience for them making them feel more at home in their natural environment. 

Joe wanted to change the culture of what people think of cat product manufacturers-
What does this mean? 
That many who produce items for cats:
 a) don't understand cats
 b) don't understand their owners.

Many cat product manufacturers don't do adequate research when creating their products, they don't design products that will sufficiently address what cats needs are. They design products that are not durable.

They also manufacture products that often aren't "human-friendly". Often this is portrayed by making difficult to put together items and items that are, for a lack of better verbage, SIMPLY BORING TO LOOK AT and are BORING for the pet.

THE PET TREE HOUSE MISSION: Pet Tree Houses – Real Cat Trees With Leaves

Our mission is simple. Offer the highest-quality handcrafted real cat trees so that your feline companion feels as if they are living in their true nature. 

Joe explained to me how "cats do nothing by chance", they are "calculating", he went on to say that "cats, REMEMBER, while dogs have a short term memory", and cats thrive in a "behavior based" environment. Cats pick up on organic scents, which is just one of many reasons why Pet Tree Houses are made with REAL TREES.

Joe and Shelley focused on the "instinctive needs" of cats when creating the Pet Tree Houses. The Pet Tree Houses allow cats to have their private hideaway. They can scratch and stretch on REAL TREE BARK that is crafted by HAND.

The leaves are designed to "mimic the wild" from the "rustling" sound they make when the cat is in the tree house. Joe explained that even a cat who was not feral instinctively knows what that sound is.
Also, while Cody is a chewer and I KNEW he would chew the leaves, the broad shape of the leaves deters chewing and the cat CANNOT CHEW THEM UP.

Cody keeps trying but he can't chew this up!

The foliage has been carefully selected by its shape to provide visual and audible stimulation while minimizing the possibility of cats chewing on the leaves for instinctive digestive needs.

Yes!! The trees are REAL!!!

They are harvested from sustainable forests found only in the Southeastern United States then are carefully dried to maximize their strength and durability. There is no need to water or maintain the tree.

Joe and Shelley have spent years perfecting the engineering of the tree house and continue to strive to exceed their customers’ expectations.  Each tree is hand crafted and takes up to 1,000 individual cuts to build.  The real trees are hand selected as is the cedar to provide the highest quality indoor habitats available today.



The KIT-TY Tree Deluxe has a canopy of leaves over the top platform that the standard KIT-TY Tree does not.
The KIT-TY tree is 4 levels of pure fun! Standing nearly 72" high, adorned with silk foliage; this tree is sure to bring out your cat's true nature!
Base is 21" x 21"
1st Platform is 16" x 21"
2nd Platform is 16" x 16"
3rd Platform is 16" x 16"

Let me tell you not only does Cody love it, but I cannot stop looking at it! It is a room enhancer, unlike most cat trees on the market.

Now back to set up:
When my tree arrived, I panicked.The tree that I received was a "do-it-yourself" tree. Uh-oh... I have never been known for my mechanical ability!

When Joe was talking to me on the phone he told me that his purpose in designing the DIY trees was to make it easy for owners to put together. He is fully aware that most trees on the market are difficult to put together.

Joe went on to say that his instructions are designed to be similar to the color-coded instructions of Grrranimals from back in the day! (Each part of my tree was clearly color-coded).

 Joe told me REPEATEDLY that I needed a CORDLESS SCREWDRIVER (and maybe pliers, but definitely the cordless screwdriver!!)  Stubborn cuss that I am,I  kept telling Joe that  I could put it together without one.

I COULDN'T. THIS WAS NOT THE FAULT OF JOE OR PET TREE HOUSES! I called Joe at least 3 times and HE COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MORE HELPFUL. He had me text him photos of what I was doing, he explained every step. HAD I HAD THE ITEMS HE SAID I NEEDED I COULD HAVE PUT THIS TOGETHER MYSELF.

IMPORTANT POINT: If you purchase a DIY kit you will NOT be left in a lurch alone and confused (and panicking like me!) There is help available on their toll free number (877-971-TREE (8733)  to answer any and all questions! The customer service that I received and the patience shown to me was superb!

 I did not have the items that I needed, so I was unable to put my tree together myself. As you will see in the collage below, Cody was moping (because his old tree was gone and he didn't understand the BEST TREE EVER would soon be taking its place.)

I called the office at the apt/condo complex where I live, and our buddy Edward who works maintenance here, (being the Angel and life-saver that he is),  agreed to come over, and I paid him to put the tree together:

A zillion thank yous to Edward!!!

Pet Tree Houses also offers
custom and unique 
"Branch Work"

Replacement branches
can be purchased if necessary

Their craftsmen are dedicated
to creating the 
most attractive, durable,
and unique pet habitats
available ANYWHERE 

The tree house is made out of natural wood, cedar and dragonwood tree. The carpet is attached using Velcro. If you need to remove it to clean it or vacuum it, simply pull the carpet up by its corners and put it back into place after you have cleaned it. The carpet can be hand washed and line dried.

simply wipe the leaves off using a damp cloth when necessary to eliminate dust. We have had our tree since the end of June and it has barely accumulated ANY dust, if at all.

Pet Tree Houses have received many
 industry awards for their habitats

 They received Cat Fancy Magazine's 'Editors Choice Award" 6 years in a row! They also hold the Guinness Book of World Records for The World's Tallest Cat Scratching Tree!

What Does Cody Think Of His Pet Tree House?

I would say his expression of pure bliss says it ALL!!!

It didn't take Cody more than a few days to designate his Pet Tree House as his new FAVORITE hangout. I think at first, it was so nice, that he thought he was not permitted to climb on it!  I put a few treats on each level and that was it!

Now that Cody and I have a Pet Tree House there is NO GOING BACK for us. How could we? There isn't a tree on the market that we could ever hope to have that has all of the features and benefits that our tree from Pet Tree Houses has. None would ever be as well-made or be made with the craftsmanship, love and study as the trees from Pet Tree Houses are. There simply is no comparison. Nothing else comes close. From customer service, to quality, to being good for my cat, to the aesthetics of this gorgeous tree, there isn't another tree we could ever want or need.

A Pet Tree House is the ONLY pet tree you will ever need. They are an investment,  but one that will bring far more years of joy than many of the inferior competitors on the market. These Tree Houses will not only enhance the lives of your cat, but they will make your home look fabulous too!

Cody and I not only give Pet Tree Houses FOUR paws up, our tails are up too!!!

Joe, Shelley and furbabies!!
Photo Courtesy of Twitter

Did I mention what a complete delight Joe and Shelley DelRocco are as people? Every communication I had with them, be it phone or email, was full of warmth. It's no wonder they have a superior product!

Joe and Shelley  are generously offering an exclusive discount code for our readers!!!! To receive a 15% DISCOUNT just enter CODY15 at checkout!

Visit Pet Tree Houses online

FTC Disclosure: I received this product for review at no charge. Receiving the free product did not influence my review. Cody and I never hesitate to give you our honest opinions!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day-Honoring My Angel Bobo

Today it is an honor to be a part of the first annual:

This special day was created by Deborah Barnes – author, award winning blogger, and cat advocate in tribute to her cat, Mr. Jazz, who she had to say goodbye to on August 28, 2013. She shared the journey of letting him go in her most recent book, “Purr Prints of – A Cat’s Tale of Life, Death,and Beyond,” a warm and heartfelt book that is written in the wise and comforting voice of Mr. Jazz himself as he shares his life and death journey to offer guidance and understanding through a cat’s perspective as to why sometimes letting a pet go can be the greatest gift you give them. 

On behalf of Deb Barnes, Purr Prints of the Heart, and the Zee/Zoey Gang – thank you all for your support. To share your post on Facebook, click here.

In order to not make this post overly "photo heavy" I have created three collages to honor my beloved Bobo whom I was blessed to share my life with from December 1989 until July 2, 2007.

Bobo was found as a stray in sub-zero temperatures when he was approximately six months old. He spent every day of his life showing me his gratitude for having rescued him, and more unconditional love and devotion than I ever thought could exist. His life cannot accurately be portrayed in a mere three collages, but that is all I can do for now. Many of the photos I am sharing with you today,  you have not seen, (I apologize for their poor quality, but they were taken before the days of cell phones and blogging), and I will offer some explanation of the photos. Please join me in remembering my beloved Bobo with all of my love and with a heart that still breaks and grieves when I gaze upon his photos and share these memories.

In this collage you will see in the top left some of Bobo's favorite toys that I cannot bring myself to part with, nor do I ever allow Cody to play with them. The photo on the top left shows them in the bag in which they are stored, in the bottom photo you see his "kitty" that he slept with every day, his stuffed woofie, a mouse, two balls and his catnip pillow with a picture of a kitty that looked so much like him.

In the photo on the top right, are his last bowls that are kept in a trunk for safe-keeping. I have never let Cody use them. They were Bobo's and as much as I love Cody, I never could bring myself to allow him to use these bowls.
This collage is rather eerie when you hear a story that accompanies it. First, why in the world I bought my mancat a PINK carrier is beyond me! For the life of me I have no idea why I did that!

The bottom left photo shows my maiden name with Bobo's name on top of the carrier, all ready for for trips to the vet. The photo on the right is my Bobo sitting on TOP of his carrier which he used to do ALL of the time!

The photo on the top left is a photo of the  carrier as it looks today.  I keep it in the closet of my office, everything in it is exactly as it was since the day he crossed the bridge.I haven't changed or touched a thing. I sometimes think I should dispose of it, but I can't. It will be with me always.

What is eerie is one day I couldn't find Cody. I searched everywhere, and when I finally found him I found him IN the closet, IN Bobo's carrier. He had opened the door, crept in, and it has now become  one of his favorite sleeping spots. He does this nearly EVERY DAY.  I like to think that on some level he and Bobo are communicating, and I am convinced that they are. How and why Cody ever discovered this in the closet, I have no idea. For some reason it brings Cody happiness and comfort to sleep there, and it makes me happy that he does it.

I leave you with a photo of Bobo on the top left in his eating area when we moved to Michigan in 2001. 

The other photos show him on the couch that was Lenny's before we were married. There is a photo on the top right of Lenny and Bobo. Lenny didn't meet Bobo until he was 12 years old and had already slowed down considerably, but they were blessed to have six years together. Sadly, that is the same couch that the Vet helped him cross the Bridge on and we no longer have it. I just couldn't keep it, it caused me enormous pain every time I looked at it.

I used to think Bobo's markings were so unique until I saw a number of cats in the blogosphere who looked so much like him it was uncanny! I adored his perfect four white paws and his "bib", he was such a handsome boy.

He wasn't a people cat as Cody is, I often wondered what Bobo experienced in the months before he found me. He didn't like strangers, he was a much more fearful cat than Cody (who is fearless), but he had a sensitivity and a remarkable way of being attuned to every nuance of my being that was something that isn't experienced often in ones' lifetime. When I hurt, he hurt, and vice versa.

The Rainbow Bridge poem was given to me by a friend when Bobo passed. I keep it in a frame in my office, where it still brings me comfort.

I didn't intend for this post to be quite this long, and I thank you for taking the time to read it. I also would like to thank Deb Barnes for creating this wonderful event.

I send my love to each and every one of you, and look forward to reading your stories and seeing your photos of those "who came before." May we all derive some comfort from these posts. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Kitty Couch Sofa Cat Scratcher by Feline Be Mine:Give-Away!

 Hi every furry!! It's Cody!

Today I am pleased to offer you a give-away from our new furiends at Feline Be Mine (isn't that name just the cutest?)

Meet Mango!!

photo courtesy of Feline be Mine

Mango is the kitty of the creators of the Kitty Couch Sofa Cat Scratcher by Feline Be Mine. This sofa was created because Mango was tearing up the furniture!! (YAY MANGO!! But I digress...)  the human who owned Mango didn't care for that, and had to think of a way to stop that unwanted behavior. He didn't have room for cat trees or condos in his small apartment and he had to think of something that would fit in his tiny space.

After much investigation and after becoming frustrated with the sub-par cat scratchers on the market. He created the Kitty Couch Sofa and the company known as Feline Be Mine.

My sofa has only been here about a week, so I haven't had much of a chance to really become acquainted with it to take tons of photos, but let me tell you, when it arrived and Mom opened the package of catnip that came with it. I fell in love!!! My apologies for the video being shot in the wrong direction, I think Mom had too much nip when she helped me record this.

Ok so my "nanner" helped a bit too, but what I love about this scratcher is that it LOOKS LIKE A COUCH! It's like a mini couch for kitties!! Now, when I entertain some pretty ladycat (Lucy, I'm talkin' to YOU!) I have a place to conduct my courting in style and comfort! And, because it is made out of super dense, corrugated cardboard, I don't have to worry about it falling apart when we get a little...shall I say...carried away? Hehehe!! (Hey Lucy, you're no kitten anymore, you aren't fooling ME!) Once again...I digress........people and kitties, I was talking about getting carried away SCRATCHING CARDBOARD! Get your mind out of the gutter!!! This scratcher will hold up much longer than other scratchers will because it is made out of such high quality cardboard! That is something that Mom pawticularly likes! As a result, we give the Kitty Couch Sofa Cat Scratcher FOUR PAWS UP!!

TO PURCHASE ON AMAZON CLICK HERE!!! And... we have a GIVE-AWAY!!! I am excited to be able to offer TWO LUCKY KITTIES WHO RESIDE IN THE U.S. the chance to win their own Kitty Couch Sofa Cat Scratcher by Feline Be Mine!!! (My apologies to my International readers but some of these things are out of my paws). Entering is easy-peasy! Just enter on the Rafflecopter below, complete the mandatory entry to open up more chances to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

In Full Disclosure:I was not compensated for this review/give-away. I decided to forego compensation because I did not charge another company for a review of their scratcher and I wanted to be able to give more than one scratcher away. I received one scratcher for myself in exchange for my always honest review!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Caturday Art-Dreamscope

Today I am featuring a photo from a blog post I did way back in the day of an orange kitty that was featured.

I took this photo:

and turned it into this:

From an app that I learned about on Tuesday from our friend Ann, at Pawsitively Pets called Dreamscope.   Check out Ann's amazing photos here.

I love the unusual creations that can be made with this app, but what I don't like is that it doesn't feature a cropping option or an option to add text. I had to go to to crop my old text out  and to add new text in.

In fairness, I used the app on my laptop and not the phone. I am going to see if there is a download available for the phone and see if it offers more editing options.

See more amazing Caturday Art here!

SPEAKING OF ART...sometimes it pays to follow a WOOFIE!!!! You can enter Dakota's CanvasPop give-away too, but HURRY, it's ending soon! NOTE:Exceptionally handsome woofie NOT included in give-away!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 21, 2015

$25,000 Up for Grabs in Tractor Supply Animal Rescue Contest

Top Shelter Will Win $10,000 Grand Prize

 Raise your hand—or paw—if your favorite animal rescue needs some help!  What rescue doesn't need at least SOME help? Rural lifestyle retailer Tractor Supply Co. is looking to “rescue” 10 deserving animal shelters, including a $10,000 grand prize.

As part of Tractor Supply’s annual Pet Appreciation Week, held Sept. 16-20 this year, Tractor Supply is awarding a total of $25,000 in grants to qualifying animal non-profits through its “Rescue Your Rescue” social media contest.

To get started, Tractor Supply is asking customers to nominate their favorite shelter by submitting a photo and brief statement of why the shelter is deserving. Nominations are open from Friday, Aug. 21 through Sunday, Aug. 30, and all details on how to enter will be found at

Tractor Supply will narrow down the nominations to 10 finalists, and the public will vote from Saturday, Sept. 5 through Sunday, Sept. 13 at to determine the final standings. The Rescue Your Rescue grand prize is a $10,000 grant. Second place is $5,000; third place: $3,500; fourth place: $2,000; fifth place: $1,500; sixth place: $1,000; seventh place: $800; eight place: $650; ninth place: $350; and tenth place: $200.

“This is the third year Tractor Supply has hosted the Rescue Your Rescue contest for Pet Appreciation Week, and the stories of hard work and compassion never cease to amaze us,” said Kevin Bryant, director of national marketing at Tractor Supply. “This contest is a great way for us to give back to the animal rescues that give their time, energy and often, own money, day in and day out, to save animals in need and find them forever homes.”

Tractor Supply’s Pet Appreciation Week, or PAW, is an event to celebrate pets and introduce families to the joy of owning animals. As part of the main event on Saturday, Sept. 19, every Tractor Supply store will feature pet adoptions, demonstrations on pet nutrition, discounts on pet food and supplies, free giveaways, and valuable in-store prize drawings.

All Pet Appreciation Week events are open to the public—and leashed, friendly pets—and will take place at local Tractor Supply stores. Find a local store and more information on Pet Appreciation Week and caring for pets at

About Tractor Supply Company: 
Tractor Supply Company (TSCO) is the largest operator of rural lifestyle retail stores in the United States, with 1,400 stores in 49 states. The company was founded in 1938 as a mail-order catalog business selling tractor parts to farmers, and continues to support its customers' rural lifestyle, offering workwear and clothing, livestock and pet supplies, tractor/trailer parts and accessories, lawn and garden supplies, sprinkler/irrigation parts, power tools, fencing, welding and pump supplies, riding mowers, and more. Learn more at

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Winners!! Book:Puffy & Blue:The Chronicles of Nine Lives Together By Kayla Fioravanti

Thanks to all who entered our give-away for:

(as chosen by


(Visit her blog by clicking here)

(Visit her blog by clicking here)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Cat Adoption Video: It's "CAT TANK!!!"



Michigan Humane Society video promotes the great investment of adopting a cat:

With five cats to impress, one family bravely presents their adoption proposal in the new hit adoption show, “Cat Tank.” “Cat Tank,” a lesser-known spinoff of the hit ABC show, “Shark Tank,” features a family looking for one of the five “Cats” to invest in becoming their new, furry family member. Just as in “Shark Tank,” the “Cats” are tough negotiators and even share similar names to their “Shark” counterparts: Kevin O’Meowy, Robert Purrjavec, Mark Kittan, Barbara Catcaran and Kitti Greiner. MHS hopes the video will help people realize the great value of adding a cat or kitten to their home.

“Our idea for ‘Cat Tank’ came about because we feel that, like the Sharks on ‘Shark Tank,’ cats at the Michigan Humane Society have significant value and can offer the companionship that adopters are looking for,” said CJ Bentley, MHS Senior Director of Operations. “Thankfully, the cats and kittens ‘negotiating’ at our adoption centers are much easier to impress than those in the video.”

Adoption is always a smart investment at the Michigan Humane Society. Invest in your own MHS cat for just one low payment of $75. Or, take advantage of a multi-cat investment of $111 for two MHS cats. MHS cats and kittens can be found at MHS adoption “tanks” in Detroit, Rochester Hills, Westland, Petco in Sterling Heights and PetSmart in Dearborn and Roseville. 

This deal is backed by the MHS 60-day Adoption Guarantee: If you are not completely satisfied, return the cat within 60 days for a full adoption fee refund. For MHS adoption locations and hours, visit

The Michigan Humane Society is the largest and oldest animal welfare organization in the state. MHS works to end companion animal homelessness, provide the highest quality service and compassion to the animals entrusted to our care, and to be a leader in promoting humane values. For more information, call 1-866-MHUMANE.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Book:Cat Naps & Doggie Snorts: The Joy of Sleeping with Critters by Francine Brevetti

Inspirational Stories Told by Pet Owners

There is nothing I loved more than having a pet who LOVED to share the bed or couch with me when I went to bed at night or took a nap.
My Angel Bobo was a fixture in my bed (or wherever I was for that matter), Cody, not nearly as much.
Cody will lay by my head if I fall asleep on the couch, but he refuses to EVER lay in our bed in the bedroom. It totally baffles me.
Many books and movies have observed our closeness with our domestic animals but Cat Naps & Doggie Snorts  concentrates on one phenomenon only—sharing the bed for sleep.

FROM THE AUTHOR:In 2012 my beloved Lola, a Cockapoo (Cocker-Poodle mix), had to be put down. A horrible decision for anyone and certainly for me who felt that Lola and I were teammates. She was demonstrative and affectionate. She lay by my side at night on the bed. A comforting, reassuring, warm presence that I could reach out to touch during the night. Waking up with Lola beside me was a loving way to start my day. So when I had to relieve Lola of the misery of her disabilities, her absence at night and in the morning grieved me. There was a hole in my heart.
Realizing her nightly nearness meant so much to me, I got the idea that others may feel the same. I started researching to write a book about sleeping with your pets, domestic animals, best friends, whatever-you-call-them. I couldn’t find any other book on the subject at the time. So I’m offering you this gift from Lola. We both hope you enjoy it.
In our industrialized world, human society has become so compartmentalized and individuals so alienated from each other that more and more people are welcoming primates, birds, ungulates and reptiles into their intimate spaces. Humans share DNA with every living creature from primates to yeast. But we don’t have to refer to biology to convince each other of the bond we share with the rest of the animal world, of how precious their presence is to us and vice versa. More people are living singly today. Nuclear families—already diminished from the multi-generational households experienced until the last century—are breaking up. While individualism and independence are the hallmarks of American values, they lead so often to loneliness, depression, frustration and hopelessness.
When you read these sketches of people’s experiences, you may find yourself among them. Please smile. You may even shed a tear occasionally. I hope these stories from real people like you and me lighten your heart.
Animal lovers will be able to relate  to many of the "mini-stories" in Cat Naps & Doggie Snorts. Being candid, it made me miss the days of when my beloved Bobo would insist on playing with my toes when I would try and sleep, or when he would swat at imaginary mice while jumping up and down on the bed as if it were a trampoline!!
One darling example that most of us can relate to in reference to a cat waking up her owner: "She is very persistent and taps me with her paw. No matter how many times I shoo her off the bed, she keeps coming back until I'm forced to get up. She's like a little alarm clock," her human remarked."
Cat Naps & Doggie Snorts has 20 Chapters full of snippets from people (and, I noticed a few bloggers who I know!) like you and I that share their heartfelt experiences about sharing a bed with their beloved pet.  You will find excerpts from people who view their pets as children, those who discuss having to banish the pet to another room (often due to the spouse), bedtime rituals and more! It is "Chicken Soup For The Soul, for those who love to sleep with their pets"
Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet---Colette
Probably my favorite quote listed in this book would be:
"Sometimes losing a pet is more painful than losing
a human because, in the case of the pet,
you were not pretending to love it."
-Amy Sedaris, Simple Times:Crafts for Poor People
Cat Naps & Doggie Snorts  reminds us if you are going to lose sleep or if you want to sleep BETTER, there is nothing better than sleeping with a furry, feathery, yappy  (or scaly!!) friend!

Author Bio: 
Francine Brevetti is a San Francisco native who has worked as a business journalist in New York City and Hong Kong. She was also a business reporter for the Oakland Tribune.
She wrote the definitive history of the Italian colony in San Francisco's North Beach with The Fabulous Fior - over 100 Years in an Italian Kitchen.
Journalist and author, she also ghost writes other people's books and coaches aspiring authors to write their own. People come to her for help writhing their memoirs, family histories, or books about their business.
Author Website: Francine Brevetti

In full disclosure: I received no compensation for this book feature. I received a complimentary copy.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

8 Photos of Happiness-Words On Wednesday

While making the rounds reading blogs Monday night, I was honored to find that I was tagged by Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them to post 8 Photos of Happiness! This fun blogging endeavor was created by:  Ariel's Little Corner Of The Internet.Because today is supposed to be "Wordless Wednesday" I am going to keep the words to a minimum...because some of these photos are old, I apologize for the quality!

 My Angel Bobo who I think about EVERY DAY.
He was deeply loved and is greatly missed.
I was blessed to have him in my life
for 18 wonderful years.

July 28, 2007
Cody and I on his adoption day!
I cannot believe how SMALL he was!
I had just lost my beloved Bobo a mere two weeks before
Cody brought the light back into my heart
Cody and his Dad soon after I brought Cody home for the first time.
Look at those paws and that Cody stare!
He knew he was one special kitty!!

 One of my favorite photos of Cody
Little did he know about the
HUGE number of books
that he would be helping to review!

 We are blessed that Cody and Dakota are the best of friends!

Cody was kissing his Dad, this photo always makes me smile!
 My handsome boys probably watching to see
if it is almost "snack time!!"
Cody and Dakota contemplating life.

I hope you enjoyed these photos!

Technically I am supposed to tag other bloggers to participate, but I don't like to accidentally omit anyone, so, if you would like to participate in this fun blogging event the instructions are below:

Guidelines to participate in the 8 Photos of Happiness tag:

1) Thank your nominator, and link to them in your post.
2) Link to the creator of the tag : Ariel's Little Corner Of The Internet. 
3) Post your 8 photos of happiness.
4) You can either write a brief description of the photo's, or let the photos talk for you.
5) Continue to spread the happiness tag, and tag up to 10 other bloggers.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Book Review:Puffy & Blue: The Chronicles of Nine Lives Together by Kayla Fioravanti

 FROM THE PUBLISHER:Puffy & Blue: The Chronicles of Nine Lives Together, an uplifting true story of the deep friendship between a cat and her girl. Their inspiring companionship overcomes the upheaval of growing up in three countries. Their adventure brings laughter and tears mixed generously with hope and loyalty. 

Fioravanti was raised with a nomadic lifestyle as her family was transferred every few years working for AAFES (Army Air Force Exchange Service). The only consistent parts of her life were her family and her pets, especially Puffy. 

“Puffy and I travelled the world together. We lived in Tachikawa, Japan; San Mateo, California; Desoto, Texas; Munich, Germany; Duncanville, Texas; San Antonio, Texas; Nieder Roden, Germany and finally Portland, Oregon together,” Fioravanti says. “My entire childhood was encapsulated by the years of her life.”     

Readers will agree that nine lives are never enough to spend with a four-legged best friend. Puffy has nine lives, as she survives signifcant trauma eight times in twenty-one years. Fioravanti is the character “Blue,” a nickname she picked up because of her rebellious blue eye shadow, blue eyeliner, blue mascara and bright blue boots. 

FROM CAT CHAT WITH CAREN AND CODY: While I found Puffy & Blue to be an enjoyable enough read, I found myself saying out loud, "So what about the cat? Where is the cat?"

 Author Fioravanti did a wonderful job of including Puffy in approximately the first half of the book, much of the second half, in my mind, required MORE CAT.

Puffy & Blue IS a book with heart, it shows the strength of a young woman struggling through the illness of her mother, multiple family moves both within the U.S. and outside of the U.S., the value and importance of family, finding your place in life, overcoming fears and all the rest that encompasses a young woman discovering life that is depicted from  pre-school to early adulthood. The book does convey to some extent, the unconditional love of pets, but in my opinion Puffy & Blue is predominantly about Fiorvanti's life experiences that did not center around Puffy.

While reading Puffy & Blue,  I felt that while Kayla Fioravanti kept mentioning how important Puffy was throughout her life, she never showed that enough throughout the book. Puffy seemed to play only a peripheral role in the story. Yes, Puffy licked her when she cried, slept with her every night, Puffy often waited for her outside of her elementary school and in later years joined her in her college classroom. Fiorvanti TOLD US that Puffy was a constant throughout her life, but never shared enough day-to-day experiences that would enable us to actually FEEL Puffy's soul, or experience Puffy's personality.

Where I found Puffy & Blue lacking was,  there were many detailed experiences  that Kayla superbly conveyed in reference to the many challenges SHE faced in HER life, and the emotions she experienced because of those life events that took place, but I longed for more detailed sharing of experiences with she and Puffy that would have allowed me to feel Puffy in my heart the way she was obviously in Kayla's.

Kayla does address traumas that occurred in Puffy's life, and labeled each one numerically as having been one of Puffy's nine lives that were lost. The traumas of Puffy (that were described too briefly, in my opinion), may be correlated to Kayla having experienced various traumas in HER life that if she were a cat, would also have used up a number of HER nine lives.

The publisher compares Puffy & Blue to some other books that I feel made me KNOW the animal "star" of the book. In those books I completely felt and was touched by the personality of the animals the books were written for. While Kayla Fioravanti wrote a book that portrayed some enormous life struggles and poignant lessons and is a worthwhile read, Puffy & Blue left me feeling as if I never truly found out the TRUE PERSONALITY of Puffy, who was supposed to be one of the "stars" of this book.

About Kayla Fioravanti:
Kayla Fioravanti is a wife, mother, author and speaker, and happily married to her entrepreneur  husband, Dennis. The couple live with their three children, four cats, six chickens and one dog in Franklin, Tenn. 

An expert in the natural cosmetic, aromatherapy and skin care industry, Kayla has published seven books and has contributed or been featured in scores of publications, including Real Simple, Self Magazine, Prevention Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Home Business Magazine, Women Entrepreneur, Elle, CCM Magazine, Redbook, InStyle Magazine, Woman’s World and GQ. Kayla was the managing editor and a contributor to 360 Degrees of Grief: Reflections of Hope. 

For more information about Fioravanti, visit

Puffy & Blue: The Chronicles of Nine Lives Together is available online through major retailers including, Barnes& in paperback and on Kindle.

GIVE-AWAY-Kayla Fioravanti has generously offered two of my readers who reside in the U.S. the chance to win a copy of Puffy & Blue: The Chronicles of Nine Lives Together. The give-away is open now and will end on Monday, August 17th at 5pm. Winners will be chosen by and will be announced on or around Wednesday, August 19th. If you would like to be entered, please leave a comment below stating CLEARLY that you wish to be entered.

 Good luck!

In full disclosure: I was not compensated for this review/give-away. I was sent a copy of Puffy & Blue in exchange for my honest review. It is important to note that while a book may not completely resonate with me, opinions about books are subjective and it is important to form your own opinion. I always feature books that no matter what I may think of them, I feature books that I feel will be of great interest to my readers and are worthwhile reads.