Merry Almost Christmas and Happy Holidays!
There’s no escaping it. Around the neighborhood, the lights are up. On Facebook, friends are posting pictures of their trees. Everyone is happy for a reason to celebrate, planning to be with loved ones in person this year.
Do cats care? I think they do. They certainly pick up on their cohabitors’ joy. And why shouldn’t they be enthusiastic? They won’t be forgotten in our celebrations!
Again this year, I’ve collected together a few items for cats and their people that stand out to me. None of these have solicited my endorsement, nor have I received any compensation for listing them.
Tyler’s Choice: CatAmazing Classic Interactive Food Puzzle
Tyler loves this toy. He wants to play it every morning and will tell us about it if his dad doesn’t fill it with treats for him to find. But this awesome interactive toy that gives your cat mental stimulation also is made sustainably of reinforced, durable cardboard, 100% recyclable, 30% post-consumer, and printed with metal-free ink. Tyler has had his for several years and only now has finally clawed the top into shreds. That doesn’t stop him from playing with it every day. Read my review here.
How this works: You stack the little round one inside the big round one and there you are! We call it the Princess bed, and Jaimz loves it! Poor Jaimz is a tiny old kitty that suffered some horrific accident when he was younger. I don’t know if this is why he likes his beds stacked in pairs, but he does.
Favorite Cat Mystery: Oh! Olivia: A Calico Cat Mystery, by Patricia Fry
Oh! Olivia is book 1 of Patricia Fry’s new Calico Cat Mystery Series. The cat Olivia is based on Fry’s own lovely, fluffy calico, though the fictitious Olivia tends to be much more adventurous than the real one (we hope!). Patricia Fry is the author of the Klepto Cat Series and continues her tradition of putting realistic cats into exciting situations.
Favorite Etsy Store: houseofdreamspdx, Handcrafted goodies to support cat rescue!
Catnip Poptarts? Fox-face coffee cozies? 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 weekly, 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: Custom Pet Memorial Votive, by Bernadette
Whether a gift for yourself to remember a beloved animal companion, or one to send to a friend to show you remember their companion too, artist Bernadette creates custom votives using images you provide. Bernadette is a true cat person (though the votives can honor any species) and understands from personal experience the very real grief we experience when one dies. She designed the first of these memorial votives as a gift to a friend, and it was so cherished that the project grew from there.
Favorite Christmas Artwork: Nutcracker, but Leslie Cobb
About Leslie :
“I have shared my life with cats since I was a child and cannot imagine living without them. I try to capture their unique qualities in my art. I use acrylic paint because it washes easily out of cat fur when some of my models choose to take a more active role in the artistic process.
I am mostly self-taught; my formal training was limited to high school art classes and a couple of drawing courses at a community college over 30 years ago. I began painting in 1998 after the death of my one-eyed cat, Esmeralda. She had been my friend for 19 years; my early paintings were an effort to honor her memory and cope with my grief. I like to think that my artistic ability is a gift she left for me when she had to go to the Rainbow Bridge.
One of my primary goals is to use my art to benefit animals in need. I support animal shelters and rescue groups by donating artwork or a percentage of my sales to their fundraising events.”
Favorite Other Cat Artist: Jenny Parks
Jenny Parks is a scientific illustrator that also happens to be a shameless nerd and cat lover. Jenny specializes in pop-culture characters as cats. Her published work includes a fully illustrated book: Star Trek Cats published by Chronicle Books; variant covers for Marvel; and variant covers for Action Lab’s Hero Cats comics.
I love the Star Trek and Doctor Who drawings, but my favorite is an obscure Firefly collage that I don’t see on her website anymore.
Favorite People Toy: Pusheen’s little brother, Pip Stuffed Plush, by GUND
I haven’t actually seen this little fellow in real life, but I love plush animals and this one’s about as plush as they get! GUND has been making quality soft and stuffed animals for generations, so I know it will be good.
What does a cat want for Christmas?
Who knows? The cats who are fortunate enough to have a home and a family who loves them are already getting most everything they want and need daily. Healthy meals, toys and treats, medical care when required. But what about the other cats, the ferals and strays, the ones lingering in shelters because someone deems them too old, too shy, too feisty, too much trouble or expense because of medical needs?
If Tyler could speak and was inclined to think of his less fortunate brothers and sisters, he would wish for them all the care and devotion he himself has gets every day. Toward that end, Tyler asks the following:
Jaimz’s Wishlist: Anti-Anxiety Fluffy Marshmallow Cat Bed
James would like to upgrade his Princess bed to a single bed model, and he thinks this pretty bolster is the cat’s meow.
Shameless self-promotion: Cat Poems, For the Love of Cats, Expanded and Illustrated Hardcover Edition
Cats are the purr-fect inspiration for this expanded collection of poems by cat writer Mollie Hunt. The collection includes “Tyler,” winner of the Cat Writers Association Muse Medallion Award. A thoughtful gift for poetry lovers and cat lovers alike.
Thanks, friends, for all your ongoing attention and support. I always enjoy your comments and would especially like to hear your cats’ favorite things for Christmas this year.