NEW RELEASE: Cupid’s Cat

When widow Rachel Blair lets a stray cat into her used bookstore, she never expected the feline to turn her life upside down. Puck seems to have an uncanny knack for fixing up couples, a reputation that quickly spreads through town, and soon business is booming with patrons curious about “Cupid’s cat.” But the last thing Rachel wants is to be reminded of her own tragic love life. Can the feline scamp and a handsome veterinarian help her open her heart again?

This was a really fun story for me to write, especially since it’s outside my normal fantasy realm. (Though I’ll let you read and decide whether the cat is truly magical or not.) But I quite enjoyed playing with a romantic comedy, and I hope you all enjoy it too.

Cupid’s Cat is available on Amazon, but I’m offering free e-book copies to anyone who writes a review for one of my other books. Simply post a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble and then email me the link at angelawallaceauthor (at) gmail (dot) com. I’ll email you an e-copy of Cupid’s Cat in return. 🙂


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Adventures in Homemade Cat Food

While I was on my quest for health through diet change these past few months, I decided my cats’ diet needed a complete makeover as well. I’d thought about making my own cat food in the past, but it always seemed like a daunting task. And dry food was so *easy*. I guess my brain needed a challenge though, during my writing/blogging/life hiatus, so I dove into research and found a recipe written by a veterinarian. (Dr. Lisa Pierson’s website has very detailed info on the subject.)

So I bought a meat grinder and the handful of necessary vitamin supplements, and proceeded to make a batch of homemade cat food. Mhm, doesn’t that look appetizing…

Making cat food Making cat food2

I thought my eldest kitty would be the picky one who would refuse to transition, but it turned out the younger one—who had up until this point consumed everything with vigor—downright refused to eat the new food. I tried various tricks to entice her, but she was stubborn.

One recommended trick for picky eaters is to sprinkle some ground up kitty kibble on the new food. So I tried grinding up my cat’s normal dry food…with a full plastic bottle, then with a hammer, and finally I resorted to sticking the food in a baggie and running over it with my car. Can you believe it took four times back and forth before that stuff was 70% crushed?! Oh my god, how is that digestible for my poor kitties? If I’d had any second thoughts about sticking with this diet change, seeing how resilient those pieces of cat kibble are banished them.

And, as it turned out, little Nika only required about two weeks of tricks and bribery consisting of treats waved in front of her nose and then jammed into the meat before she willingly gobbled up her entire meal. Now she can’t wait to eat her food…

Say 'yum'

Say ‘yum’

My darlings have been on their new diet for a month and a half now and are still happy and energetic as ever. Actually, even a little more so. My older cat’s fur, which used to be so coarse and brittle it could stab through skin and clothes like a javelin (no joke), is beginning to soften. And knowing I’m no longer feeding them byproducts and nasty chemicals gives me a little more peace of mind.

Anyone else thought of going homemade when it comes to pet food?


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Should Your Pet Go Gluten Free?

I want to start by saying that I am not trying to advocate an answer to this question. I am not an expert and there’s a lot of research one should do before making a decision about whether to put your pet on a gluten free diet. I just want to share my experience because if I had known some of these things beforehand, I would have gone about this process differently.

I’ve been celiac for ten years. For the first eight, I was in denial. Sure, I had cut out all wheat foods from my personal kitchen, but that didn’t stop me from eating gluten infested food from restaurants every week. After a health scare back in 2011, I finally got my act together and went 100% gluten free. Then I got to thinking: I know what consuming gluten does to the human body. Not everyone is severely allergic to it, but cases have skyrocketed in the past decade. Genetic manipulation of wheat in order to increase production has resulted in gluten toxicity; we weren’t meant to ingest the concentration we have been, compared to sixty years ago.

So, knowing what gluten does to me, why was I content to feed it to my cat? I decided to switch her food, and read the labels of several different “grain free” brands before settling on one. I thought I was taking care of my beloved cat. Two months after being on this gluten free dry food, my cat gained two whole pounds. She was already on the border of her recommended weight because of her build, and now she was overweight. More research revealed that most gluten free pet food brands substitute the gluten with potatoes, peas, and other starchy foods. Those high carb ingredients lead to pet obesity.

I was crushed. Here I thought I was doing the best for my cat, and I had put her health at even more risk. Was there no healthy course? Was I doomed to pick the lesser of two evils? (I read up on homecooking your pet’s food, but that’s a very complicated matter that I just didn’t have the time to learn.) Thankfully, after more research, I found a cat food brand that did not use gluten or the high starch ingredients. Right now I’m feeding my cat Nature’s Variety, Instinct. It has 78% protein (compare to 30% of most well-known brands). (Disclaimer, I’m not saying it’s the best; it’s the only one I could find in my local pet store, but it was ranked highly by experts.)

Buying grain-free pet foods is more expensive than the other brands. On the other hand, the better quality of food, the less quantity your pet needs to get sufficient nutrients. My cat eats much less than she used to and even though it’s taken two months, she’s lost one pound. I’m strongly hoping that in another two she will be back to a healthy weight.

I love my little girl and want her to live a long and healthy life. I’m not a fan of gluten, but I’m not preaching we should throw it all out. (Though if we did, restaurants might carry more options for me.) Not everyone gets sick from it, but we can’t predict who will and who won’t. The decision is yours. I only hope sharing my experience will give you something to think about, and help you avoid some of the mistakes I made should you choose to go this road with your pets.


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Our Coffee LOL Cats

Monday I gave you guys some cute cat pictures and asked you to put the looks on those mischievous cats’ faces into words. Here is the result, via Tameri Etherton and Alina Sayre. Thanks for playing!

Must haz more coffee

Don't touch my coffeez

If you missed out playing this round, I’ll post another one in the future.


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“What’s That Face?”

I hope you are all familiar with LOL Cats, and if you are not, then you MUST check them out. They’re funny cat pictures with captions. So today on the blog I thought we’d make our own. I’ll provide the cat pic and you guys tell me what mischievous thoughts are running through their minds. Poor English is accepted, as per the LOL cats standard. Thursday night I’ll put everyone’s suggestions in a box and draw the winners. Check back Friday when I’ll post the pictures with the winning captions!

I’ll give you a prompt if you want: that’s a box of coffee. 😉

What's in the coffee box?

My coffee


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The Guardian

It’s Move Me Monday.  Do you love amazing pet stories?  The kind where a pet’s love for its owner leads them to strange and sometimes miraculous acts of heroism?  Well I’ve got a personal one to share with you.  I wrote this article in college as part of a class assignment.  Part of the assignment was to query magazines for each article we wrote (talk about a scary class!).  Anyway, I Love Cats magazine decided to print it in 2006.  Here’s the story.

Mom awoke in the middle of the night to an unfamiliar noise: a loud meowing.  Until that moment, my longhaired cat, Ashley, had never made a sound—not a howl, not a hiss, not a mewl. We had assumed she was mute.

That night, however, my mother found Ashley pacing and yowling in the hallway.  My mom knew cats were smart–there had to be some reason silent Ashley was suddenly crying.  Worried, Mom came into my room where the cat usually slept.   She found me, her diabetic daughter, suffering from a severe drop in blood sugar, too weak to call for help.  Had Mom not checked on me, I might have had a seizure, slipped into a coma, or died.

I found Ashley through an ad in the Mercury News; a family had taken in a cat, not knowing it was pregnant.  Ashley was the shyest of the three kittens needing a home. I felt drawn to her, being shy myself.  Her fur was beautifully brindled: ash gray, wood tan, and cloud white.

Ashley loved freshly baked bread.  The sound of the can-opener didn’t do a thing for her, but the sweet aroma of bread in the bread machine did. Ashley was also the only cat I’ve ever seen who liked to play with water.  We couldn’t convince her that her water dish was strictly for drinking.  Spritzing her only encouraged these shenanigans.

Ashley never used her voice for herself—even when she was stepped on or accidentally locked in a closet—but she was my voice on multiple nights when my blood sugar dropped to dangerous levels, and I was either too weak to call out or too deep in sleep to wake.  She was an ordinary house cat, napping on pillows, lounging on the windowsill, and chasing flies through the house.  Nobody knew about her nighttime heroics unless I told them, and nobody will ever convince me that cats are useless, lazy pets.

In 2004, Ashley took her turn to fall asleep and didn’t wake up.  I still miss her, but my family will always remember her as the heroine who saved my life several times.  She was more than just a house pet, more than a child’s best friend.  Ashley was my guardian angel.

Losing a pet is always hard.  It took me several years before I could open my heart again.  As most of you probably know, I now have a beautiful tortie whom I absolutely adore.  With time comes healing, and the heart is big enough to make room for additions.

Do you have any amazing pet stories?  Have you lost a beloved pet?  How long did you wait before opening your heart and home again?  I love hearing from you!


For the rest of September, everyone who leaves a comment will be entered into a drawing to win a free e-book copy of Elemental Magic when it releases.  Five winners will be selected.

Aileen Donovan wants nothing more than recognition as an elemental scientist by her supernatural community.  What better way to do that than to solve a mystery involving a power-hungry alchemist, hallucinogenic coral, and a homicidal sea dragon?  The hardest part will be working with Coast Guard officer Colin Benson—until the tides turn, and Aileen realizes that love and duty may not have to be mutually exclusive.

Tying Knots of Love

Welcome to Imagine That on Wednesdays.

Thank you everyone for your comments Monday about community service.  Continuing with that theme–

Have you ever thought of turning a hobby into a way to give back?  A lot of people may think that community service involves donating money or joining a volunteer organization.  Not everyone feels inclined to go that route, however.  And if they don’t feel that they quite fit in with those avenues, they might believe they just have nothing to offer.

With a little creativity, though, people can find lots of different ways to give back to their community.

Those with pets probably know that any furniture in the house doesn’t really belong to the humans, but to the animals.  That’s how it is with my cat, Teagan, anyway.  She believes my big fleece blanket is meant to serve as her bed.  I made her a cat-sized one for herself, but she still insists on napping with the bright green, My Little Pony blanket.

I was really impressed with the rescue organization where we got Teagan, and would have loved to volunteer some hours at the shelter playing with the kitties, but their headquarters are a 30-minute drive away and my schedule just doesn’t allow for me to commit regularly.  I still wanted to give back in some way, though.  Then it hit me–why not make some cat blankets for the kitties?  Shelters are always in need of blankets, and not only was it something I could set an afternoon aside for, I could make a party out of it and invite my friends.

Do you want to know the best part about making fleece blankets?  No sewing.  That is right, my friends.  This is perhaps the easiest fabric craft there is.

You’ll need two pieces of fabric, a nice design for the front and a complementary solid for the back.  Trim the edges so the two pieces are lined up evenly.  Then you cut the edges into 3-inch strips about the width of a Popsicle stick.  You’ll need to cut the corners off, 3″x3″.  Then you simply tie the strips together.  The blankets look best if you tie it so the bottom strip is on top; that way you get to see the color scheme.

Last weekend, some friends came over to help me with this project.  There were five of us, and in three hours we took 12 yards of fabric and made 24 blankets.  We also took all the scraps–the lengthy trimmings–and braided them into 36 cat toys.  We still haven’t found a use for all those extra square patches.  (Remember, the reason I like this is there is no sewing! 😉 )

I’ve been making cat blankets for two years now.  It’s not a constant activity, only something we do maybe two to three times a year when the fabric store has a huge sale.  In October, one of my friends will be doing the same for Project Linus, making fleece blankets for kids in the hospital.  (1 yard of fabric will make 4 cat blankets; 1 1/2 yards will make a person-sized blanket.  Though that’s actually double because remember there is a front and back.)

Have you made these tie-knot fleece blankets before?  Are you going to try making one now?  They make great Christmas gifts.  😉  Are there any hobbies you think could become a way to serve your community?  I love hearing from you!

Klepto Kitty

Hey guys, it’s time for Friday Fancies.

San Mateo, California has a cat burglar.  Dusty has apparently stolen over 600 items from neighbors over the past three years.  This kitty clearly has an addiction, but is there a 12-step program for felines?  Check out this video.  Towards the end, they even catch the rascal in the act with a hidden camera.

What would you do if your pet brought you stolen goods?  Try to return them?  Keep them?  Hold a garage sale?

Check out yesterday’s flash fiction where my kitty steals cough drops.

David and Goliath Moments

I saw this video on another blog a little while ago and thought I’d re-share it because it’s awesome.  There’s a cat.  Enough said.

Mugsy the Cat Attacks Alligators

David and Goliath of the animal kingdom.  Is Mugsy acting out of a desire to protect his loved ones, or is he confronting the big bad beast because Mugsy is the mighty Puss In Boots?  Either way, it just goes to show size doesn’t matter.  Whether you’ve got God on your side, or just plain bravado, you can tackle anything bigger than you.

What have been the Goliath moments in your life?