By Jenny Kalahar
Ah, the holiday season! A time for family gatherings, too much food, football, decorations, walking through snowy woods with the kids or grandkids or dogs, and shopping. Some families make homemade gifts or give the gift of their time as volunteers, but there seems to be no way to avoid shopping entirely. And that’s what your pet is counting on, of course.
Here’s a look at some of the fun things your cat or dog is hoping to find under the tree or in their stocking, since, naturally, they’ve been mostly very good.
1. The cat-pouch hoodie. Want to stay with your human all through the day, but you don’t want their arms to get tired from holding and carrying you? Here’s the answer! A hooded sweatshirt with a built-in kangaroo-style pouch in front. Now you can go everywhere they go, and you’ll stay warm and comfortable the whole day through. Bonus: it comes with adorable cat-type ears on the hood and battable pom-pom end hood ties.
2. DJ cat scratching pad. Love to scratch? Love to play DJ at your human’s dance parties? Well, then, here’s the perfect present to ask Santa for this year. It looks like a turntable, complete with tone arm and band stickers. Where the record should be is a durable scratching pad. They’ll be calling you Purr Mix-A-Lot when you scratch up some fun with this funky piece!
3. Dog-peek window. Ever go crazy when you hear an intriguing noise coming from over the fence, but you just can’t see anything because now even the spaces between the slats have annoying vines covering them? Ever wonder what’s cooking on your neighbor’s barbecue? Want a look at the new dog that just moved in next door? Here’s what to ask for this year. This snooper’s delight is a dome window that your human installs at just the right height for your curious eyes. No more wondering what you’re barking at. Now you’ll know!
4. Steps up to the big bed. Getting on in years? Or, do you have really short legs? Want to get up in the big bed with your people when they turn in for the night? Ask for a mini staircase. Sure, your humans may act like they want the bed all to themselves, but after you’ve tossed and turned, circled and sneezed, scratched your ears and wiggled around on your back for a few dozen minutes, they’ll be glad to have you there, snuggled in between them under the covers.
5. Cat stroller. Indoors is a lovely way to stay safe and healthy, but sometimes you long to have a better view than just what you can see from the living room or bedroom window. How about asking your generous humans for a cat stroller? Why should human babies have all the strolling fun? You’ll stay protected by a see-through mesh and solid canopy top, and ride in comfort and style on your human’s next walk or jog around the town or park. There are even compartments for snacks and water in case either you or your person wants to stop along the way to enjoy the birds and squirrels.
6. Ball launcher. Today’s wide variety of ball launchers is terrific fun! There are many types on the market, from hand-held slingshots to electronic beauties. There are non-electric gravity launchers, and ones with balls that whistle as they soar through the air. Why play regular old fetch (not that there’s anything wrong with that!) when you can play step up your game with these super launchers?
7. Gourmet treats. Tired of the same old kibble nibbles? Put a gourmet treat sampler on your wish list and you’ll sniff this present out as soon as you wake up on Christmas morning. There is a huge variety of tasty snacks available, whether you’re a persnickety pup or a finicky feline. Nip-dipped snaps for the cats, yogurt bon-bons for the pooch, or liver licks for both! How about a yak-milk chew for those long afternoons? Or, freeze-dried salmon chips after a game of laser tag? Yum!
8. Indoor grass planter. Love grass, but you are strictly an indoor cat? This gift is just what you need. They come in an endless variety of shapes and sizes, including mouse, rabbit, Egyptian pyramid, Zen garden, laundry basket, and Picasso sculpture. Don’t ask. It’s weird. Tasty, but weird.
9. Remote-control fake butterfly chase game. Remember that one time a moth flew out of the clothes closet and you freaked out for about two hours, trying to catch that fluttery thing? Now you can relive the joy of that day over and over again with this game controlled by (sorry!) your humans. You can sit and enjoy the plastic butterflies as they flit and float in their clear dome, or bat and play with them from outside the dome.
10. Drinking fountain. I know. Water is boring when it’s just sitting there in a bowl. But with a drinking fountain bowl your water will be exciting again! Lap in luxury from the spigots or waterfalls, gurgling rivulets or dancing droplets when Santa delivers a cascading, refreshing, carbon-filtered water-dispensing wonderland! Please splash responsibly, though. No fair soaking Timmy’s homework or the tax returns.
Now that you have some new ideas, don’t forget to make and mail your wish list early this year. No one wants to see a “Sorry, they were sold out” note from the Big Man sitting on the tree come Christmas morning.
Jenny Kalahar, her husband Patrick, and their pets live in Indiana where she sells used and rare books and writes novels and poetry. She is the author of a fantasy novel about teens stuck with the worst-ever magical power, This Peculiar Magic. Her two novels about fostering cats are Shelve Under C: A Tale of Used Books and Cats, and The Find of a Lifetime. Her collection of nostalgic and humorous poetry is One Mile North of Normal and Other Poems. For more, visit her blog.
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