Black Cats Tell All Book Awarded Certificate of Excellence

Black Cats Tell All Book Awarded Certificate of Excellence by feline editor Clyde and other Monday Mews.

What’s this? Sniff sniff.  Fancy paper for me from the Cat Writers’ Association? Who knew such an organization existed, but it does and there are many best-selling and notable members.My mom and fellow writer/editor has been a member since 2011 and has won numerous certificates of excellence and their top prize, the Muse Medallion, three times. I might only be a cat but but why isn’t my name on it?


It’s a victory for panther power. Layla wrote an amusing post for Cole And Marmalade about black cats and it’s been already shared over 5000 times. Go Panfurs!

My furbro, Odin meowdeling one of our past Muse awards. He’s not black but we are colorblind around here. We also don’t need awards since we live for instant gratification in the now.

CWA muse medallion

Hello, catnip, my reward. It tastes so much better than paper.


I’m proud to be a part of this labor of love to benefit black cats. It’s ironic that my story in our nonprofit book is called, “The Catnip Made Me Do It” since I wasn’t really into catnip then. You might say, I’m a late adopter, having acquired a taste for catnip as an old man of 17!

I must also acknowledge my fur angel in crime, the late, great Merlin. He was and continues to be our Muse-in-residence. Layla has known many cats in her life but Merlin was her everything for twenty-one years.  Black Cats Tell All: True Tales And Inspiring Images is dedicated to Merlin. After our dear Gris Gris died in 2014, a beautiful burial mound in our garden was created. Odin and Domino  but especially Merlin, adored Gris Gris and would visit. The plan was to expand the mound but the root ball of the tree flattened and other locations were considered.  As it turned out, the very spot Merlin in buried is under his name in this photo taken two years before he died.

Merlin at cat grave

Last week, I shared the horrible state of his grave. It did not winter well. The angel cat sculpture was missing an ear and a part of a wing. Broken ceramics, empty votives, cracked terracotta and dried debris littered the mossy memorial mound and graves of all our cats. A spring cleaning was needed and to honor Merlin’s death anniversary on May 11, I will post weekly updates of the changes. Yesterday, a nasty storm blew in and this was as far as we got in phase one of the clean up. Mother Nature will pitch in soon I hope. Everything is in a continual cycle of transition and there is beauty in every season. Make your days and dashes count.

“It isn’t the date on either end that counts,
but how they used their dash for that dash between the dates
represents all the time  they spent alive on earth
and now only those who loved them know what that little line is worth.”

Should you feel like purchasing our book in memory a beloved cat, please order directly and message Layla with their name.

If it’s Monday, it must mean coffee for many folks.

cat art coffee latte

Other news or mews. Check out our NEW Cat Cafe Directory tab in our menu/header. It’s an updated directory of cat cafes in the U.S. Canada,U.K. Australia,NZ and Europe. If you know of a new cafe in the works or would like us to post sponsored images of an existing cafe, please email Layla at

Lots of furry, glossy, black cat love,

Clyde and the rest of the gang.

We love you, no matter what color your fur is.

Are you following all our furry news and fun on Instagram or Pinterest? There is always something new and not seen here. We are @catwisdom101 across all social including Facebook and Twitter and my personal favorite place @blackcatsofIG where there is a cat art feature every Monday, featured cat videos,  adorable adoptables and daily shout outs in our stories.

lucky 18th bithday

Why 18 is a Lucky Number and Clyde’s 18th Cat Birthday Celebration


Oh hello, cat lovers, it’s your feline friend and host, Clyde with some furry good news. We’re celebrating all week because I’m turning 18 on January 18th in 2018. It’s a triple whammy of auspiciousness. I remain steadfast in my disdain for cameras but relented for a birthday portrait, ha!


Frankly, given my health issues of CKD, diabetes, hearing loss and arthritis, it’s a miracle I’m still alive at age 18! Not just alive but doing pretty darn well. Please join me in celebrating my birthday all week with a giveaway and more.


It’s not just me in my feline wisdom spouting about lucky 18 but also in the following traditions.

In Judaism, the number 18 – is Chai or the symbol of Life. It’s a Hebrew symbol not to be confused with chai, the spicy Indian tea. It’s considered lucky to wear the Chai symbol or give gifts of money or charitable contributions i.e. $18.00 or double chai  36. It’s common to give cash or checks at Jewish weddings, Bar or Bat Mitzahs for $180 or $360 or if you’re really lucky $1800 or $3600. A popular toast and Hebrew blessings “L’chaim!” literally meaning is “to life!”,  and often accompanies toasting at weddings and other celebrations.


In China the number 18 is considered a very auspicious and lucky number associated with success and good fortune.  The reason is that when 18 is pronounced 幺八 (yāo bā) n Mandarin. it strongly resembles the words “going to prosper”. Also considered lucky is adding up 1+8=9. Nine has the same pronunciation with 久 Jiu, meaning everlasting. Nine lives anyone?
Are you seeing the # 18 pop up repeatedly at random times or places?  A door, the time i.e. 8:18, a license plate? It could be your guardian angels sending you a message of hope.
We all know black cats are lucky. Whaaaaat? You’re not sure? Read our book Black Cats Tell All. This is the Amazon affiliate link   but if you’re not a fan of Amazon you can purchase at Barnes & Noble or if you’re feeling lucky, enter our giveaway. More good news below! I will randomly select from comments from this post. The winner will receive a copy of our book purrsonally signed my Layla and me, bookmark, catnip and who knows what else. This was our last winner @arlingtonanimalclinic. Monica is a vet with ten cats and posted a bunch of pics on Instagram. I’m serious about keeping our special stash of ‘nip locked up. One of her cats found it and stashed it away for her private paradise!



To be honest, as a nonprofit fundraising project it does not make us happy to give Amazon a lion’s share of the profit. Of the $19.99 price, we only make about $2.00 for the print version. It’s a bit higher for Barnes & Noble. If we sell via other platforms it reflects in our Amazon rankings but who cares? It would be nice to sell strongly on all platforms but we’d I’d rather be able to donate more money.


Yes, it’s more convenient not to worry about the hassle of packing up books and shipping but have decided to sell BLACK CATS TELL ALL at our SHOP. For 24.95 we will offer a limited amount of autographed copies to our U.S. readers with a book mark and free catnip (while quantities last. This catnip is not available for sale) plus FREE shipping.




How do I feel about turning 18 this week? Very, very lucky indeed. My dear fursibs gave me a card. Odin’s and Domino’s cold is getting better but Nou Nou vomited on the electronic TV thingy so the remote won’t work. It’s always something. Stay well and thank you!


Much love and black velvet purrs,


I wonder if the catty card means I have to aim for the Guinness record for oldest cat?





We are honoring Martin Luther King Day as we always do, feline style. This recent post from Raw Story sums up our views. Our fave quote is: Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.’, ‘I have decided to stick to love…Hate is too great a burden to bear.’, and ‘Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.’


Diane Irvine Armitage Cat Art Giveaway Plus Surprise Bonus

We’re making it easy to enter our cat art giveaway. Be a subscriber and leave a comment. For details about the bonus prize, scroll down.

The cat art giveaway is open internationally and ends 11:59 pm Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017. This giveaway is not sponsored but FTC rules require disclaimers. We received art work and catnip which did not influence our views (well maybe a feline’s). Sharing would be extra helpful this week. We’ll announce the winner next week.

Hello, Gorgeous!

I’m talking to you. And to this gorgeous creature and truth be told, I think I’m gorgeous too. Art does that ya know. It makes life more beautiful and bearable.


Last week we had a gorgeous, original watercolor pet portrait giveaway. Congratulations to our winner, Jennifer! She has three cats with classic Greek names: Minos, Achilles and Atticus who share their wild escapades on Instagram at @minos_achilles_atticus

Don’t fret darlings if you didn’t win. We have another giveaway from the amazing Diane Irvine Armitage, but first I want to share a little secret.


We can all agree what a great job Mi-Ha did with my portrait BUT what I didn’t mention is just how young our talented portrait artist is. I’m 17 and older than her.  Layla was surprised given her professionalism and brilliant communications skills that Mi-Ha is still a student. They’ve kept in touch on Instagram and both the artist and the winner have all been communicating about which cat to paint and a spontaneous mentoring is blossoming. Art and cat lovers seem to bring out the best in us.  So, if you still want to see you furbaby immortalized in an original watercolor for a bargain, like $25 message Mi-Ha on Instagram @amber_blackberry. Her new Etsy shop is open.


Which brings us full circle to another artist, Diane Irvine Armitage, a gifted and seasoned professional who specializes in cats.  Life has a way of sprinkling gifts when good vibes and kindness are shared. And I just had to share about the last image in our book. Our fab designer, Jennifer Markley @antonioandfrankie asked Layla if she wanted to add a photo on the author page and she balked. There already is a small one in the intro and who needs another photo of a human when there could be more cats?

Then, like magic, Layla spots a drawing on Instagram at @Pandorasparlor and shares it with her designer who says, “That reminds me of you and Clyde.” I had to admit it did capture our magical relationship and whimsical nature. The artist was none other than Diane Irvine Armitage who painted the amazing portrait of Cole of Cole and Marmalade and is the first cat featured in the book. You can see the painting in their testimonial video in our sidebar. It was a last minute decision to add the portrait and really last minute to get permission to publish the drawing. It turned out to be the perfect way to end the book. You won’t know how perfect until you read my story in the book. See that little eye necklace? It’s a clue. But wait, there’s more!


It’s been a mad house finally getting the final, final, final version of the PDF uploaded to Amazon. The print proof arrives tomorrow. The review flipbook was completed yesterday and on Saturday, a box arrived from Diane. A few gorgeous prints of her latest exquisite cat drawings from Pandora’s Parlor Etsy shop including the drawing in the book. Happy dance of gratitude. Layla goes on working in a whirling Dervish frenzy and misses the letter.  Much later, Layla takes a closer look at the prints and marvels at the fine details of the pencil drawing and squints, THAT’S NOT A PRINT! It’s the original drawing. No wonder it was packaged with extra care. The brain foggy blonde rummages in the box and finds a letter from Diane confirming the obvious and thanking her for helping cats. Hello, what about me? I’m a cat who helps cats. Okay, Layla maybe helps cats a little more than me. But what can say: catnip, cat nap, executive privilege.

You can help cats too by buying our book.  We will have a link up everywhere this week and will update this post. You can also win a very special giveaway prize. Layla will personally pack up a couple of Diane’s prints, a surprise gift, and a bag of the best catnip that you cannot buy anywhere. It’s from a small catnip farm and donated. Seriously, we have tested every kind of catnip over the years and lucked out when Picardo sent us some from Picardo of Palm Beach Island and Palm Beach Island Cats the awesome TNVR program for the 550 homeless cats living and working on Palm Beach Island, FL. Bonus gift: We’ll also send you a digital copy of our Black Cats Tell All book.

Thanks for entering our giveaway and good luck! And Happy International Cat Day on August 8!

Love Clyde,

P.S. I’ll have vet news next week and maybe something from my lazy fursibs. If you love black cat art as much as I do, you’ll love this selection. Diane painted 100 portraits last year! She is not currently available for commissions but do snap up a print if you can.




Meowloween Magic Cats and Prizes


Meowloween Magic Cats and Prizes on Halloween. Oooooh, ready? Let’s get to it right meow!

We’ve created all kinds of new Halloween or Meowloween card designs to be shared. Shared on Facebook, Pinterest etc. but not stolen please or Merlin will put a spell on you. He’s communing with ancestral spirits and will return next Monday for his usual brand of cat wisdom at Mondays With Merlin. Our blogging friend Nellie made us a special pumpkin for their ginormous pumpkin patch.


halloween-fortune teller-cat-humor

We have winners for our awesome giveaway prizes:

All winners will be contacted by email or on social media. If we can’t reach you within 48 hours, another winner will be selected. We can always be reached at Congratulations to all our winners, some of whom are cats, meWOW! Excuse me, all of them all cats. Welcome to our cat crazy world.

  1. The winner of a custom pet portrait from Kayla @PetPortraits.KE  are the cats from Mickey’s Musings. They are Canadian cat bloggers and have their Halloween post up. Go take a peek at their fun costumes. Kayla has a new Twitter page. Do Follow.

black cat luck

2) The winner of a customized art nouveau style print from Pania Brown  is Summer from SparkleCat. Follow Pania Brown on Instagram @Buzzington_ (also new Twitter account at @Buzzingtonbee


3) The winner of the art print by Yasaar Nakchbendi of is Panther of @Panther_the_black_cat


4) The winner of catnip toys from Bewitched Cat Toys Follow them on Instagram @bewitchedcattoys is a black cat named _Kittysunshine_


5) The winner of a one-hour consult of their choice with me, Layla is a tabby named @princessrascalbabywintermelon. I’ll assume it will be with their human.


Our Cat Costume Contest winner from our Black Cats Tell All Facebook page is Jacqueline Yeung and her black cat Seraph. Black cats get a bad rap for being hard to photograph and they sometimes are BUT it’s very easy to edit these days. We’re happy to announce a new treat for our BCTA tribe members: Weekly makeover contests. If you’d like one, follow us at Black Cats Tell All

cat makeover magic

Thank you to everyone who gave thoughtful comments and useful critiques about our book cover and publishing options. We’re mulling them over for a few days but feeling the love and clarity. Here are a few early revisions you might enjoy seeing (sorry, it’s a poor screenshot.) Ilsa over cover girl is looking adorbs but the plain, borderless edge is attractive suddenly. Oh dear. The other designs feature another kitten who is sweet but didn’t make the cut.


Ready for our new Halloween cards? Enjoy and may your Halloween be safe and sweet, sacred or spooky. Let us know if there are any you’d like to see for sale at our BCTA nonprofit shop (coming in November). These are only a few examples. You can see others from previous posts or some exclusively on our @CatWisdom101 instagram account. The text can be customized or removed.

magical cats Halloween







Can you tell we’re a little obsessed with Halloween? If you’d like to know more about the real holiday without tricks or treats, visit our other blog, Boomer Muse. It’s languished for the past month but the new post As Above, So Below Finding The Real Magic of Halloween is hopefully worth the wait.