[Note from Frolic: We’re so excited to welcome author Jennifer J. Chow to the site today. She’s talking all things cute and cuddly. Take it away, Jennifer!]
I want to thank Frolic for featuring me today as I talk about virtual cuddles! The warm and fuzzy side about being on lockdown is the high number of pets that are being adopted by people during this time. There’s been a boom in pet adoptions, and waiting lists have even formed for those wanting to foster animals for a more temporary time period. On a recent visit to my dentist’s office, the staff there told me that some patients were also adopting “quarantine hamsters” for extra furry friendship.
Besides the chance to enjoy a loving animal companion, having a pet provides constant pick-me-ups and promises of sweet snuggles. Not everyone is fortunate enough to own a pet, though, whether because of allergies, monetary considerations, or other personal factors.
As a pet groomer, my protagonist, Mimi Lee, gets to experience all the cuddles. In Mimi Lee Reads Between the Lines, though, Mimi’s sister Alice lives in an apartment complex that doesn’t allow pets. What’s a gal to do to curb her fur cravings? I’m glad you asked! Through technology, we’re not only able to connect with people, but we can also connect with animals virtually. The following sites might boost Alice’s spirits—and yours!
For Kitty Connoisseurs:
The Purr Sisters
Want cute cat pics? Look no further than the Instagram account for @ThePurrSisters. Nora Page, author of the Bookmobile Mysteries, has devoted a page to her adorable kittens. The account was so popular that it attracted almost 300 followers within two weeks of its launch—and if you take a peek at their adorable kitten faces, you’ll totally understand why.
On YouTube, if you search for videos by using the hashtag #FunnyCats, you’ll find some hilarious footage. One that I enjoyed viewing was “Funny Cat Interrupts Interviews,” which is a montage of silly feline situations that interviewees and reporters have endured. Although this video features clips recorded in the outside world, cats will often make candid cameos on Zoom and other online platforms nowadays.
For Doggie Delighters:
Ella Bean the Dog
Not to be outdone by a cat, another wonderful Instagram account is @ellabeanthedog. Ella Bean the Dog is a puppy mill survivor, and that critical theme plays a role in the first book in A Sassy Cat Mystery Series, Mimi Lee Gets A Clue. Don’t miss out on all the fun poses and furstyles from Ella and her siblings in the Bean family!
Doug the Pug
Of course, Instagram isn’t the only social media source to provide certified pet fun. Even though he also has an IG account, please check out the Twitter feed of @itsdougthepug. This special dog even holds the title of People’s Choice Award for Animal Star. Not only that, but he exudes Hollywood star quality. Doug the Pug even voiced a role in the recent animated film, Connected. Even without the celebrity pizzazz, though, you can’t help but fall in love with those charming pug rolls and folds.
For Exotic Enthusiasts:
Tian Tian and Mei Xiang
Moving on to other animals, how about seeing some amazing giant pandas? This pair doesn’t have a social media account, but they do have webcams trained on them. Tian Tian and Mei Xiang are giant pandas who are cared for at the Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. There have been a long line of giant pandas at this facility, all the way back to the first pair of pandas given as a gift in 1972. Tian Tian and Mei Xiang can be viewed through the zoo’s Panda Cam 1 and Panda Cam 2. Make sure to toggle between both cameras to get live footage of the giant pandas.
Monterey Bay Jellies
Let’s not have furry creatures steal all of the limelight. Although lacking in fuzzy cuddles, some animals are just pure joy to watch doing their usual activities. One such sea animal is the elegant jellyfish. Monterey Bay Aquarium operates a YouTube channel, where you can watch jellyfish swimming around in a tank. Their languid movements offer calmness no matter what’s going on in the world. A plus is that you won’t have to get anywhere near their tentacles, which are covered in fierce stinging cells. These creatures are best watched through a protective screen, which you can now do from the comfort of your own home.
When all else fails, you can browse Petfinder, reported to be the largest online animal adoption website to serve North America. They even offer an interactive quiz to determine the perfect dog breed customized to your preferences. On the website, there are also articles filled with pet care tips. Plus, their database of animals doesn’t offer only the usual cat and dog suspects, but also provides other interesting pet categories: rabbits; small and furry; scales, fins, and other; birds; horses; and barnyard. Talk about a cornucopia of adopting options! You can view all these beautiful animals to your heart’s content and get your virtual cuddles in. Additionally, if you’re willing to wait, you can apply and add a real-life animal member to your household in the near future.
About the Author:
Jennifer J. Chow is the author of the hiss-terical A Sassy Cat Mystery Series, along with other Asian-American novels. She lives in Los Angeles, where she hunts for all things matcha. Connect with her online and sign up for her newsletter at www.jenniferjchow.com.
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Mimi Lee Reads Between the Lines by Jennifer J. Chow, out now!
When a local teacher is found dead, LA’s newest pet groomer Mimi Lee finds herself in a pawful predicament—with her younger sister’s livelihood on the line.
Mimi Lee is on top of the world. She has a thriving pet grooming business, the sweetest boyfriend, and a talking cat to boot. When she arrives at the elementary school where her sister Alice works, she’s expecting a fun girls’ night out—but instead finds a teacher slumped over in her car, dead.
Alice was the last one to see Helen Reed, which instantly marks her as the prime suspect. Unable to sit quietly and let the authorities walk all over her sister, Mimi starts snooping and talks to Helen’s closest contacts, including one jumpy principal, a two-faced fiancé, and three sketchy teachers. With the help of her sassy but savvy cat, Marshmallow, and a cute kitten named Nimbus, the clock’s ticking for Mimi to get to the bottom of yet another case before her sister gets schooled.