2020 — a conundrum in black. This year, instead of nostalgic Christmas carols, we have songs like It’s the End of the World as We Know It buzzing around in our heads. But let’s not despair. Here is some fun stuff to think about.
The items on SANTA-CAT’S GOOD IDEA LIST for 2020 come from all over the board—books, art, jewelry, life hacks, and anything else I’ve recently found helpful or uplifting. Have fun, and feel free to add your own holiday faves in the comments.
Tyler’s Choice: the PetSafe Peek-A-Bird Electronic Cat Toy
If I hadn’t won this toy in a raffle benefiting Tabby’s Place extraordinary Cat Sanctuary, I might never have known the joy would bring to my senior cat Tyler. Tyler and I have a routine. Every morning after breakfast and every afternoon when he wakes up from his nap, he sits by the bird and meows for me to turn it on. Even though he usually flips it on its side, he loves watching the feathers tease in and out. He would rather play with his “chicken” than any other toy.
Ginchan’s Choice: Medline Softnit Washable Underpads
Is your cat one of those special kitties who consistently pees outside the box? Ginchan is, and at nearly 19, things aren’t about to change. For a while I was using “puppy pads” in the places Ginchan liked to go, but I cringed at the plastic-coated waste I was putting in the landfill. That, and the fact they never worked that well, and I was still cleaning up liquid that soaked around, over, or through, inspired me to look elsewhere. That’s when I discovered Medline Softnit Washable Underpads. They are big, soft, and durable. I’ve washed my set at least 60 times, and they are still good as new. Whether your kitty is old, arthritic, or has other issues that require pads, these are the ones.
Mollie’s Choice: Litter Lifter litter scoop
Is it possible to fall in love with a litter scoop? Maybe not, but after struggling with scoops the bend, break, pick up too much, don’t pick up enough, and otherwise fail their designated task, the discovery of the Litter Lifter litter scoop was a miracle. The big, brightly colored scoops are sturdy enough to lever stubborn stuck-ons and wide enough to get the whole thing in one pass. They are also sold at a reasonable price, so I can buy one for each box and a few to spare without breaking the bank.
Favorite Book for the Whole Family: Alfie, the Christmas Cat
Alfie, the Christmas Cat is a funny, witty, and insightful story told from the perspective of Alfie, the “doorstep cat.” If you’re missing the holidays as we know them (see note above), this book is exactly what you need. The hustle and bustle scenes of family life brings the smiles and nostalgia we are lacking during our pandemic isolation. This book can be read by any age or out loud around the fireplace (or on Zoom). A Hallmark movie of cats!
Favorite Etsy Store: houseofdreamspdx, Handcrafted goodies to support cat rescue!
Catnip Poptarts? Origami string lights? Fox-face coffee cozy? Hand-crocheted cat doll with detailed clothing and accessories and even a donut (also crocheted) or two? Look no further. At houseofdreamspdx you’ll find these and much more. New items added almost daily and all of them handmade! 100% of profits goes to the kitties at House of Dreams all volunteer, no-kill cat shelter in Portland, Oregon.
Favorite Tribute Item: Volana Kote’s Whisker Tributes
What a great idea, making beautiful wearable jewelry containing cat whiskers! If you’re like me, you save them. Now here is something you can do with your collection.
I’ve long respected Volana Kote’s Whisker Tributes jewelry but hadn’t thought of having one made for myself until the recent passing of my sweet cat Blaze. Before Blaze crossed, he shed one last whisker in his bed. And I knew exactly what I was going to do with it. I jumped on Volana’s Etsy page, but was devastated when I read the requirements, which calls for 3 to 4 whiskers to make a piece. I sulked for a while, then I emailed her. She was so sympathetic, and totally willing to work with that one precious whisker for me.
Favorite Christmas Artwork: El Gato Gomez
Cats, Christmas trees, and cats, painted in a compelling retro style, predominate this artist’s holiday selection of cards and prints. With titles like, PLAN X-MAS FROM OUTER SPACE and CATMAS, how can you not be intrigued? She also has many non-holiday items including a line of Star Trek themed prints which may or may not still be available.
Shameless Self Promotion: Cat Noel, a Crazy Cat Lady Cozy Christmas Novella
For a different take on the holidays, check out Cat Noel, my Christmas novella.
Lynley finds a new meaning of Christmas when a Wiccan’s familiar is catnapped, and Lynley is her only hope.
You can read the first chapter free on the NIWA website through December 31. To purchase, click here. Don’t forget to leave a review on your favorite social media sites. For an author, that’s the best Christmas present you can give!
I hope you have enjoyed my selection of ideas for the holiday. There are many, many more, so add your own holiday ideas in the comments, and we’ll work on a second list.